As we know, Australian republicans will accept knighthoods from foreign republics, but object strongly to those awarded by The Queen of Australia. It seems English republicans take a similar position on their honours system. According to The Weekend Australian (“Thanks for the gong, bloated imperialist,” 26/6) the former communist journalist Bea Campbell OBE said this in The Guardian on the ethics of accepting a gong from the Queen:
“My politics comes from Marxism and feminism; it's republican, it's gay and it's green. It belongs to networks whose mission is to create ways to empower the most marginalised and to call power to account. The survival of an honours system clothed in royalism and imperialism is a reproach to New Labour's craven sentiment about pomp and power. You ask yourself the question: how can I accept anything from this horrible imperial regime?”
But last Tuesday she joined Phillip Andrew Adams AO (1992), AM (1987), DUniv (Griffith), FRSA, author, broadcaster and filmmaker, and Republican of the Year in 2005, on ABC Radio National's Late Night Live:
Adams: Now Bea. First of all, the OBE.I'm so proud of you. Were you astonished?
Campbell: Um, when I was warned, my nearest and dearest said, "Um: Now you're in for a shock. Sit down. Not a bad shock. But it is a shock."
Adams: Oh, isn't that lovely? But look, it does my old heart good. We must talk about it more quietly on another occasion. But, look, great waves of congratulations from your antipodean fan club, of which I'm proud to say I am the treasurer.
(Thanks to LNL listener Gerard Henderson for the transcript.)