You won’t read this take on the Queen’s Birthday Honors list anywhere else.
Yep the Show of Shows. Up on the stage are the Prime Minister and GG (showbiz can be very forgiving of people’s little foibles) and they’re here to make you laugh, make you cry or make you stand on the seat and scream in rage with all the drama and comedy of the latest Honours List.
Here’s Crikey’s take on the big gig. First, the Comedy Awards. Toymaking in Glebe has been recognised, and three cheers for Desmond Stanley Matthews, who is now a OAM for “services to ballroom dancing, particualry Latin and New Vogue, as a teacher and coach”. Here’s hoping that our Macarena industry is internationally competitive and up to world’s best practice.
Hats off to Murray Roy Alexander, a new OAM too. Where would we be as a nation without his “service to clay target shooting”?
And a big round of applause to Councillor Patricia Joy Harvey who has also scored on OAM for, in part “service to the community of Mosman”. Clearly a friend of the great Aussie battler.
But that’s only an amuse bouche. We’ve got five whole courses of awards to stomach as Crikey guides you through the tastiest treats of the rich feast that is Queen’s Birthday Honour List.
AC Companion in the General Division (the really posh one)
Robert Champion de Crespingy: The PM must really have gone off Nick Minchin, since de Crespingy has spent most of the past few years pissing off his one time closest ally. Still, we quite like the Crispy Mushroom and don’t begrudge him this honour.
John Jeremy Doyle: A consolation gong for the Chief Justice of South Australia who, despite the constant campaigns from back home, is still to become the first Croweater to grace the bench of the High Court.
Herbert James Elliot: A sportsman! Amazing that he hasn’t been made GG or had a palace to rival Blenhiem built by a grateful nation. Whilst we note that Herb was a Pacific Dunlop director, all is forgiven because Crikey barracks for Richmond and Herb sits on our board. However, someone has emailed in claiming Herb was a messy tenant.
Hugh Mattheson Morgan: Full time right wing maniac (“land rights supporters are backing paganism”) until his shareholders pointed out he was supposed to be running a mining company. Made the astounding discovery in the nineties that Aborignal people were human beings and treating them as such can facilitate business. Clearly an award with something for everything. Should have been sacked when he lost $500 million in Canada and then further stuffed up with about $1 billion in hedging losses and then the fiasco that was the $10.20 a share takeover offer from Alcoa that Huge refused to even allow his shareholders to consider. He’s a Liberal mate who should be getting the boot rather than an AC.
Jeanne Pratt: Hubby has lots of money for her to give away but she must have been shocked by these lines from Dick’s Sydney lover as reported in the Sun Herald. Tune in to Doug Mulray’s Beauty and the Beast tomorrow night to hear Shari-Lea Hitchcock say she likes her man “6 foot 1 and Dick-licious”. Doug quite appropriately warns that extra-marital affairs can cause you to make “a complete Pratt of yourself” which just causes a giggle fit from Shari-Lea. Anyway, Jeanne got her gong because the Pratt Foundation has given $10 million to Charity since 1978 which doesn’t sound that much given the legendary stories that abound about Dick’s generosity. We thought the figure was closer to $100 million.
Stanley David Wallis: In case you didn’t know, there’s an invisble clause in the employment contracts of anyone who undertakes a major enquiry for the Government that reads “come up with something we like and there’s a gong in it for you”. Still, it took a while for Stan’s to come through. There must have been a few details in the fine print Cozzie didn’t like. However, given the various troubles at Coles Myer, AMP and Pineapplehead, we object to someone that we believe is now one of our worst 10 directors getting a big one, the AC.
AO Officer in the General Divison
David Michael Gonski: For services to conflicts of interest. We’ve told you before that Kerry Packer’s favourite investment banker has a fundamental conflict of interest and should not sit on the Fairfax board. He also agreed to do a review of the Australian film industry when he was chairman of Hoyts. Now he’s chairman of the Australia Council and also gets to announce the winner of the Archibalds each year not bad for a colourless lawyer who came over from Cape Town in the 1970s.
Paul Joseph Ramsay: If he can ever explain how the Michael Wooldridge came to put down the address of Ramsay Health Care Victoria rather than his own address in an electoral return, perhaps we can make a special exemption to the Australia Act and make him a Privy Councillor. Given that BRW reckons his wealth has leapt from $240 million to $495 million over the past year (thanks to massive public subsidies for private hospitals), Liberal Party Treasurer Malcolm Turnbull should be well placed to eke a big donation out of Ramsay in return for this gong.
Michael Robert Willesse: For a unique contribution dumbing down TV current affairs. It’s one thing to be inducted into the Logies Hall of Fame, but surely a tabloid TV proponent is not the sort of person who should be gonged.
AM Member in the General Divison
Paris Aristotle: For service to the community through the development of an Australian network of services to assist refugees, particularly survivors of torture and trauma, and to assist their integration into the community. Hang on a minute! A gong for this? It will only encourage those bastard boatpeople. There must be a mistake soemwhere
David Miles Connolly: For being rolled for the Liberal preslection in his safe seat of Bradfield by that upstart Brendan Nelson. Hope this and the ambassador’s job in South Africa have made up. Love, John.
David John Hamer: Who cares if he’s dead? He was a good Liberal – a Senator if you’d forgotten like most people have.
David Blyth Hill: The PM owes him big time. His candidacy in 1998 for the ALP turned the marginal seat of Hume into safe Lib territory. And what a great job he did for the ABC and Australian soccer. Whoops, this is the mea culpa we sent to subscribers on June 12:
17. GONZO CRIKEY GIVES GONG TO WRONG DAVID HILL
A Sydney journalist writes:
“I think you may have confused your David Hills in the gong story. The DB Hill is the former Ch 9 sports director not the former ABC boss.
CRIKEY: Whoops, and there was Crikey talking about this on Virginia Trioli’s program last night saying there was hope yet for her and other ABC broadcasters given that the former MD of Aunty had been gonged. Don’t we look stupid now. It did seem a bit odd. We’ve heard of Keating giving Greiner a gong for “public sector reform” but Howard for David Hill did not make sense. And of course Howard would award a loyal Packer sports producer like David Hill. He even gave one to 2GB shock jock and rugby league caller Ray Hadley. And we all know that the Rodent was telling the Yanks yesterday how vital right wing shock jocks are for getting around the left wing news media.
John Hamilton Hinde: If he hasn’t bored you to death with his intro, the grainy black and white, lo-fi 1936 Rank Studios film that’s about to screen on the ABC at 3:45 am invariably will. Living through it all to reach the grand old age of 345 deserves some acknowledgement, though we would have disqualified himself for appearing on those alleged comedy shosws by Elle McFeast.
Lady Neal: Aren’t Governors wives supposed to do good deeds as part of the job description? The citation doesn’t mention anything about it, but maybe- maybe- it was her help to husband Eric that stopped Westpac from going right under when he was in charge.
George Leslie Piggins: We would have given him a gong just for pissing off New Limited the way he did. Still, if he keeps on letting Rusell Crowe turn up at the Rabbitoh’s games he might find that it gets taken back.
Ian Wilson: For being rolled for the Liberal preslection in his safe seat of Sturt by that upstart Chris Pyne. It’s taken all these years to come through and you haven’t got an ambassador’s job as you clearly voted for that bastard Peacock. Love, John.
OAM Medal in the General Divison (can be collected from the drive-thru window at your local KFC or by clipping vouchers in the Telegraph)
Rabbi Pinchus Feldman: For character references to Rodney Adler.
Bruce William McAveney: For being able to shout and mumble simultaneously. No doubt Bruce’s response was to say “special”.
Public Service Medal (PSM)
David William Borthwick: Public servants rarely get singled out for criticism in Parliament from the Opposition. Not David Borthwick.
And some special mentions
Congratualtuions also to Tuong Quang Luu AO, Professor Hung Tan Nguyen AM, Associate Professor My-Van Tran AM and Hung Viet Tran OAM.
What’s the bet in 20 odd years that when gongs are presented hopefully on some other day, as we will have stopped celebrating the Queen’s Birthday that there will be no Afghan, Iranian or Iraqi names amongst them. After all, refugees even when they’re not Al-Queda sleepers are just scandalous freeloaders with nothing to contribute to Australia, aren’t they.