Opinion: Sir John Key? More like Knights of the damned

OPINION: Sir what's his face and Dame who cares one bit - honestly are we still living in the 1900s?

It's the Queen's official 'other' birthday, so obviously it's the perfect time to dole out meaningless royal titles to mainly rich, entitled Pākehā New Zealanders who have done this or that in politics, sport, charity or big business while receiving a highly paid salary.

It's really a celebration of nostalgia and so-called Anglo-Saxon values isn't it? Or is it about reaching the highest echelons of being a top-notch Capitalist Kiwi?

We'd have Sir Richie McCaw if he'd let us, but he's happy with being the youngest ever member of the Order of New Zealand, whatever that is. Sounds like some bizarre cult where famous Kiwis get together to enjoy an all you can eat buffet of Pavlova and L&P ice cream.

I love studying New Zealand history warts and all, but our close tethering to Mother England has reached ridiculous and endemic levels.

Do you really think that the United Kingdom cares about New Zealand anymore? Has it ever? They even tried to claim Sir Edmund Hillary as its own son. A New Zealander who does great things is "originally from New Zealand" by default in the UK.

A couple of royal visits each decade and a generic nod to us on Anzac Day or whenever we have a natural disaster is about all we can expect from the old country these days. 

My hope is that once the mostly wealthy Baby Boomers begin to pass on then younger Kiwi generations will realise that we don't need great dollops of ridiculous 'British-ness' in our lives.

Does keeping calm and carrying on mean we should also keep the Queen and the Union Jack as our head of state and national symbol?

You might argue our identity is defined by the Silver Fern, or the Kiwi bird, or rugby or something similar, but our flag still screams Great Britain, not an independent and progressive nation in the South Pacific.

Even John Key tried to change our old British naval ensign flag, but the four options he presented us with were, quite frankly, laughable.

And now Teflon-John is Sir John, for services of being an awesome Prime Minister during a world economic crisis.

The results of Sir John's reign: Massive overseas borrowing to fuel our booming 'rock star' economy and a housing crisis. Add to that that Māori and Pasifika are still highly dependant on welfare and make up the majority of our prison population.

Sir John Key reintroduced knights and dames in 2009 - while his great mate Malcolm Turnbull scrapped the practice across the Tasman in 2015 when he became Prime Minister of Australia.

Arise Sir John, take your new honour and move to the UK if you like, but don't think they'll welcome you with open arms.

Tony Wright is a senior reporter and producer for Newshub.

 

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