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Tony Abbott Jumps The Shark, Brings Back Knights And Dames

Wait, what?

In easily the most ridiculous news that has happened today, bar none, Tony Abbott has decided to reintroduce Knights and Dames into the Order of Australia honours list. In doing so, he bestows upon himself the duty of recommending Knight- and Dame-hoods to the Queen, and bestows upon his country the most retrograde thing to have happened since we elected him in the first place.

And just like that, our national attention was diverted from Actual Heartbreaking Problems That Are Actually Happening to something that doesn’t really matter at all.

Savvy move.

The categories of Knight and Dame of the Order of Australia were discontinued by the Hawke government in 1986, after being introduced ten years earlier. They do still exist in New Zealand of course — but, you know, New Zealand. The change represents an “important grace note in our national life,” Abbott said, in a blatant misuse of the word “important”.

According to his official statement, there may be up to four Knights or Dames in any one year, with the recognition extended to Australians of “extraordinary and pre-eminent achievement and merit” who are working in public office.

The first new Dame is the Outgoing Governor-General Quentin Bryce, and the first new Knight is the incoming Governor-General Peter Cosgrove.

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said the move showed the government was rushing back to the 19th century.

Twitter said the move showed the government was an idiot.

Still, a good enough reason to revisit a classic: