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Monday, March 09, 2009

Political Master-stroke 

On the day the US pulls the plug on the long-awaited FTA (which National berated Labour for making no progress on as Government), the Government serves up a heapin' helpin' of conservative populism in the form of reinstated aristocratic titles. They're so antiquated that wives of auspicious men, but not the husbands of auspicious women, will pick up a title for their troubles, too! How quaint. Next we'll be choosing our Head of State on the basis of their being the first born son of the last one ... oh, hold on.

The best part is, these cost nothing, and are certain to dominate both the front pages and the water-cooler type chatter. A master-stroke and a first class diversion. There's probably only so many times you can get away with such tactics, but as an example of political management of the media it's second-to-none. Something Labour wasn't capable of in its third term as National's messages (nanny-state, blah blah) made all the noise.

Update: I just remembered I've written about this before, when Darth George called for the reinstatement of knight- and damehoods. Finally we have rejoined Papau New Guinea in distributing these things:
As for the first claim, titles like "Sir" are certainly distinctive in a way that prestigious honours like "ONZ" are not. This seems to be true and is unfortunate. But as for the claim that "he appellation Sir carries weight no matter where you go" ... well, you can't get it in Australia (finally ceased in 1986; highest award: Order of Australia), Canada (generally discontinued since 1919; highest award: Order of Canada), the United States, Ireland, South Africa (discontinued 1952), or too many other countries where English is widely spoken as far as I can tell. Except Papua New Guinea of course - perhaps that's what Darth means by "international".

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