blog Seasoned Delimiter readers will know that your writer is fond of gently teasing Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull over his aristocratic bearing, through the use of several honorifics. At times we have dubbed the Liberal MP ‘the Duke of Double Bay’, ‘the Viscount of Vaucluse’ and so on. But by far the most common title we have awarded to Turnbull has been one that made it onto the floors of Parliament this week. Labor MP Ed Husic gave a light-hearted speech speculating that the move by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to reintroduce knighthoods to Australia’s honour roll could lead to Turnbull’s elevation. Husic said (the video is online here):
“Since the heart beats of those opposite have bolted off the chart at the prospect of popping a peerage, I thought I would come up with some candidates. Firstly, the Treasurer, who gives money to a chocolate factory to promote tourism while refusing to support the national carrier which actually flies the tourists here, is probably in line for a knighthood. The other possible nominee is the person who heads up one of the biggest portfolios in government but is rarely seen—a knighthood for the Minister for Defence perhaps? We might not have our own stealth fighters, but we sure have our own invisible defence minister!
Next is the member for Wentworth. As Minister for Communications, the soon to be named ‘Earl of Wentworth’, has rolled out more gigs to consultants than he has optic fibre. But, if getting him a knighthood prompts monarchists across the country to drop into a foetal position clutching a portrait of the Queen, it will be worth it.
You may notice I haven’t recommended anyone as a dame. Since the Afghan cabinet has more women in it than Australia’s cabinet, you can appreciate the challenge confronting me. However , an honourable mention has to go to the Assistant Minister for Health, who has a website providing information on healthy eating which was pulled down by a former lobbyist for junk food. That has to deserve a mention.
The final honour goes to someone who has spectacularly advanced the cause of republicanism in this country: Prime Minister Abbott. I would like to table my speech printed on the back of an Australian Republican Movement nomination form.”
Although it would be amusing indeed to see Turnbull legitimately awarded the title of Earl of Wentworth (and we have no doubt that the supportive residents of Turnbull’s electorate wouldn’t block such a move), at the moment there are other individuals who we believe deserve the high level of praise that would come with such a title more. In the next Australia Day honours, Delimiter will be nominating a clutch of executives who have truly driven Australia’s telecommunications industry forward, rather than just talking about it — iiNet’s Michael Malone, Internode’s Simon Hackett, and NBN Co’s dedicated founding chief executive, a certain Mike Quigley.
Image credit: Office of Malcolm Turnbull