What do you think about the Australian Prime Minister’s idea to reinstate the old British Honours System for Australian citizens?
By anointing outstanding citizens as knights and dames our nation could show its appreciation for those who make a special contribution to their community…
…but by linking that appreciation to the medieval class system of our old colonial master, Australia undermines its identity as an independent nation and declares itself just another outpost of the British Empire.
What arguments like these prove is that this isn’t a single idea but a collection of thoughts that have somehow got clumped together over time. The PM’s idea contains at least five quite distinct thoughts:
1. Recognise people who contribute to society.
2. Draw public attention to inspiring role models.
3. Reward community service with certain advantages and perks.
4. Distribute titles that inspire special treatment in restaurants.
5. Copy the historic value system of a different country.
There’s some interesting ideas here to work with; it’s really just a question what outcome you’d like to achieve. If you were PM, which ideas would you keep… or chuck… or change… or add?
Ideas are like LEGO, aggregations of different bits and pieces assembled by someone else; whenever you hear one feel free to break it down, mix it up, move it around.
Ideas are just toys. Play with them. Build on them.
Because that’s what they’re for.