The reintroduction of the Knight of the Order of Australia (AK) and Dame of the Order of Australia (AD) is a political masterstroke.
Tony Abbott should be applauded for his foresight and brilliance. In one sortie he has demoted hundreds of pretentious Australians.
The 457 recipients of the Companion of the Order of Australia – which was until yesterday the number 1 honour (excluding bravery awards such as the VC, CV and SC) – have been demoted at a stroke to second class.
Many of the recipients are narcissists who will not be satisfied with a second class honour.
This is in contrast to the decision by NZ Prime Minister John Key in 2009 when he restored knighthoods when 85 recipients of the Order of New Zealand were offered the opportunity to upgraded.
Think of some of these recipients of the AC who now possess a second-class honour: Stephen Bracks, Richard Butler, Ian Chubb, Gareth Evans, Joan Kirner, Malcolm Fraser, Ronald Wilson, Douglas McClelland, Nicole Kidman and Lois O’Donoghue.
By creating the new honour, the Prime Minister has dishonoured some others.
In a year or two, he should create a new top level, the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Australia.
Which reminds me of the Yes Minister episode discussing honours: CMG (Call me God), KCMG (Kindly Call me God), GCMG (God calls me God).