Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009: Republican traitors

Garth George's rant on Thursday in favour of the reinstatement of titular honours, like most of his rants, managed to rope in some collateral targets. When, last year, he denounced the alleged rise in violence against children, he took out people who were pro-choice and liberals in general. When he bitched last week about Labour stealing all our honours, it was 'republicans' and anti-monarchists who took a hit. Fortunately, just as the pro-death abortionists hit back last time, the chairman of the 'Republican Movement', Lewis Holden, has written in to the Herald to fight back today let him have it, Lewis!

Except he doesn't. I know that, so far, I seem to be rather more radically opposed to titles, and the honours system in general, than most people. I just don't really see the point. But Mr Holden is quite happy to have New Zealand's own titles and honour system. He even claims that the republican movement is not even anti-royalty; well, I am - a bigger bunch of inbred racists, snobs and wankers I have never seen - so what movement should I join? Does Mr Holden really seek to defeat Garth George in single written combat by being nice? He's going to get chewed up and spat out alive.

But there's another question I want answered: why does everyone just assume we need a head of state? Am I that stupid that I can't see the reason? I am sick of pro-status quo people arguing that we would just be swapping a queen for a president. Why? My friend, a law student, said that if there were no head of state, they would have to reword a bunch of laws. My reply was: you're a law student - what the hell are you complaining about? Anyway, if anyone can answer my deep existential questions, please do.


  1. According to the GG's website we need a head of state to "maintain the legitimacy and continuity of government by ensuring there is always a government in office with a democratic mandate to govern... but [without playing] an active role in military matters."

    So if there's some kind of coup we need a head of state to stop it single-handedly, maybe we should interview James Bond or John McClane for the role.

    Also, "The Governor-General represents all New Zealanders at important public ceremonies" which is just as well, otherwise we'd all have to turn up ourselves, and to be honest the idea of attending 200 powhiri each year doesn't really appeal.

    "The Governor-General, and his wife, are the patrons of many charitable, service, sporting, cultural and community organisations... During most years, the Governor-General will attend more than 400 functions at Government House or throughout the country." Poor bastard.

    So that's why we need a head of state - some poor chump who has to put up with endless ceremonies and functions with a constant smile on their face, and who's first in line to take a bullet for democracy.

  2. This blog seems more about having a go at the people who write in to the Herald, than the Herald itself.

  3. Hi James,

    I'm not sure why you think I wasn't critical enough of Garth George's blatant misrepresentation of the Republican Movement. Titular honours aren't uncommon in republics overseas. As such, there's no reason for republicans to be opposed to titles - unlike the Sovereign, no-one is born a Knight or Dame. We did call for the government to introduce Maori titles alongside the English titles. That would go further towards a New Zealand style honours system than the previous system.

    It's the Republican Movement policy to focus on principles and not personalities. That's why we don't attack members of the Royal family or Royalty generally. They're irrelevant to New Zealand, and we treat them as such. Attacking them only gives those mildly for or against a reason to support the monarchy. In the long term it will only hurth the prospects of bringing about a republic.

    As for the head of state question, this is a common one. The main reason, as gazzaj points out, is that the G-G has certain constitutional roles outside of Parliament. Abolishing the head of state would require either also abolishing the Parliamentary system and creating a US style President, or giving the Supreme Court more power to regulate Parliament. The best course would be to have a President akin to Malta, Iceland or Ireland - ceremonial, but able to act if need be - something we don't have currently with the Governor-General.