The bi-yearly honours list invariably invites controversy with some recipients deemed to be unworthy.
It’s going on in Britain now with massive outrage over Tony Blair’s knighthood, understandably in his case. Nigh on a million signatures have been garnered for a petition demanding the honour be withdrawn. The rage is explicable but nothing will come of it. Blair is a large-scale war criminal but outwardly at least, seems extraordinarily thick-skinned and insensitive.
That said, there are award recipients who are richly deserving and none more so in our latest New Year’s list than AUT history professor Dr Paul Moon.
Academia has a justifiable reputation for indolence, a charge that can’t be laid at Moon’s door. Few if any New Zealand academics could match his extraordinary output of well researched, highly readable books on New Zealand history. Indeed, so lengthy is his list his publishers have abandoned the convention of including his bibliography in the frontispiece of his books.
In an age in which gross dishonesty, small-mindedness and intolerance have become characteristic of many academics, such as the disgraceful recent nonsense over “maori science” from Auckland university’s lightweight fashion-following show-ponies, Paul is a shining beacon of intellectual integrity.
All the fuss about Tony Blair is silly; he is a war criminal in the sense William Massey was a war criminal for sending troops to Gallipoli to “protect” New Zealand from invasion.
Tony Blair’s “war crime” was to castrate the left wingers in his party – sidelining into irrelevance people who had been big stuff in the 70s and 80s……(and that will never do, will it ‘comrades’?)
Nope I wholly disagree. Mr Blair “let slip the dogs of war” knowing that the justifications were entirely false. There was no UN mandate and no threat to any country from Iraq. He had no mandate from the UK people and only half hearted support in Parliament.
The specific and deliberate destruction of Iraqs civilian infrastructure and the deaths of hundreds of thousands as a result is a war crime.
And he’s a very good writer. Could probably sell books on any subject. His NZ history, particularly the Maori/Pakeha relationship is unmatched.
Richard, are you referring to the title “A Savage Country’ or to another?
For anyone interested in a UK Historians view of Tony Blairs Knighthood (damming with faint praise) & some explanation of just how many different honors can be rolled out.
On the face of it, Knighthoods & Damehoods main purpose appear to be get out of jail free cards; with Tony Blair & Margaret Thatcher being no exception.
You really do wonder what the Queen is thinking? Forget the useless politicians; the Royal family is losing creditability all the time; not that it had much from me anyway.