Okay people: I’m going to have a rant. I was reading an article the other day about our Prime Minister, John Key, and his recent personal audience with the Queen. The original article (which I’ve found) is from the British newspaper, the Daily Mail.

Now, before I begin my rant, let me say that I am no great supporter of John Key and I’m not a monarchist either. This doesn’t imply that I’m against the British monarchy but I’m from a generation of Australians who identifies more with Australia itself. I don’t see the UK as “the mother country” and I view the monarchy as something of an outdated institution.

Whether I support them or not, I do think that both Key and the Queen deserve respect. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. as sung by Aretha Franklin. And so I find the article in the Daily Mail offensive, disrespectful and basically gutter journalism. I’m sure my father, who once told me he fought in WWII for King and country, would be horrified.

I have no idea how the Daily Mail is perceived by its readers – whether it’s considered serious journalism or a gutter tabloid rag. Either way, I don’t think describing the Prime Minister of New Zealand in these terms is respectful or called for:

He is totally chuffed to bits, glowing nuclear pink with pleasure, at being snapped with the Queen in her private sitting room. She, on the other hand, has her head bowed, deep in thought. Perhaps she is having second thoughts about letting this galloping colonial clot through the front door?

What the? Galloping colonial clot? Are we in the 19th Century still when Australia and New Zealand were referred to as part of “the colonies”?

And then we find the Queen’s private sitting room being ridiculed:

“The pre-1970s plug points and appliances that still have leads of twisted cord. Then there are the sagging, twin-bed dog baskets, the wild profusion of china knicky-knackies and a general air of mothballs and pet hair. Readers – who lives in a house like this?”

Who lives in a house like this? Possibly a monarch who is a bit frugal and likes the decor of the pre-1970s, that’s who. Frankly, I’d rather this than a monarch sitting amongst the latest, massively expensive items. So what if she’s living in the past a bit? So what if she has sagging dog baskets or some pet hair lying around – at least she loves her dogs enough that they are a part of her daily life. And she has china knick-knacks? Quelle horreur! You mean to say that Brits don’t have feature walls or glass cabinets stuffed full of miniature china dogs or kitsch bits and pieces collected from their travels?

Since when did it become okay to ridicule, criticize and tear down public figures? Sure public figures are open to being talked about; their political stance in a democratic society can and should be challenged – but to deliberately tear them down or ridicule them in a disrespectful way is just not on. End of rant.

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