Knights and dames a boost for republican movement

The Australian Republican Movement has welcomed Tony Abbott’s reintroduction of knighthoods and damehoods, declaring it has re-invigorated the republic cause and prompted a boost in members.

The bizarre outcome was among the unintended consequences of Tuesday afternoon’s surprise announcement, which sparked a tide of ridicule in Parliament, newspapers, radio and social media.

Speaking at the National Press Club, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten asked if the country was in a time warp, noting that not even John Howard had revived the British titles in his almost 12 years as prime minister.

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