SIR GEORGE’S “BASTARD ARISTOCRACY.
(From the Dunedin Morning flemld.
Sir George Grey has, so far, failed to abolish the “ bastard aristocracy ” against which he ranted so furiously about a year ago. In his celebrated Thames speech he said that the grant of the title or style of ‘ ‘ honorable ” to our retired judges was one of the burning questions that would have to be dealt with by the country. But the country has refused to give it the very least consideration. It has received Sir George Grey’s proposals both on this, subject and on the subject of an elective Governor with what is called silent contempt. It appears to be perfectly satisfied with the Governors appointed by the Crown, and it certainly has no wish to deprive the Judges of their honorary distinction when they happen to retire from the bench. To call the permission to retain such an uninvidious, and (for the purposes of justice) almost necessary title, the creation of an aristocracy, is simply absurd. The Judgesof the Supreme Court possess the title ex officio, and few will deny that the dispensers of justice ought, in the inferest of the public, to be held in the highest respect, and protected as far as possible in the popular regard from that familiarity which is said to breed contempt. But if they are allowed to retire after a certain term of service, and before they are completely worn ou' with their arduous duties, it is surely notonly fit and proper, but also highly expedient, that they should carry the outward mark of respect they had enjoyed into the retirement which they have so well merited. There is no more venerable character than that of a judge, and it is plain that the deprivation of his simple and honorable title when bo returns to the condition of a private citizen would tend to lessen the veneration with which that character ought to bo regarded. Such a so-called aristocracy, moreover, as that which Sir George Grey tried—but without effect —to render contemptible by the base epithet he applied to it, would have a very wholesome effect on our colonial society. In a young democratic country there is little or nothing to look up to —little or nothing at least that deserves to be looked up to. But men, as Mi. Carlyle says, will worship. If tl)oy c|o not find worthy objects of their reverence, they will bestow it on objects that are unworthy, and the tendency in all our colonies, and, for that matter, all over the world, is to worship mere vulgar wealth.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 40, 27 December 1879
SIR GEORGE’S “BASTARD ARISTOCRACY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 40, 27 December 1879
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