Facebook Google Menu Linkedin lock Pinterest Search Twitter



Dec 13, 2013

2013 Crikeys: pick our person / arsehat of the year

It's that time of the year again, when Crikey readers get to decide who is our Person of the Year -- and our Arsehat of the Year.


It’s been a big year. The federal election threw Labor out of power and brought the arrival of the enigmatic parliamentary force that is Clive Palmer, while internationally there’s been a focus on how governments spy on people. New leaders in Iran and the Vatican have ushered in change welcomed by many. And the year has posted its share of whopping mistakes, trials and tragedies, from celebrity twerkers to inappropriately “supplemented” AFL footballers and Tea Party warriors intent on grinding the US economy to a halt.

Welcome to the 2013 Crikeys, where you’re the judge on who should be crowned Crikey’s Person of the Year and Arsehat of the Year. We’ve scoured the globe for the people who changed things for the better in 2013 — whether that’s in politics, business, sport or entertainment — and the people who really stuffed things up. The nominations are …


Peter Fox: policeman who blew the whistle on the sexual abuse of children by clergy; instrumental in bringing about the royal commission on child sex abuse, which started hearings this year.

Edward Snowden: former US spy who revealed details of his government’s extensive surveillance program. Seen both as a hero and a traitor, he was charged by US authorities and is a fugitive in Russia.

Cathy McGowan: giant-killing independent candidate who managed to unseat Liberal frontbencher Sophie Mirabella at the federal election, for the seat of Indi.

Pope Francis: the humility and more liberal attitudes of the first non-European Pope in 1200 years have softened the image of the Catholic Church and inspired hope of reform.

Colin Russell: Tasmanian Greenpeace activist who was thrown into a Russian prison for more than two months for protesting against the drilling for oil in the Arctic.

Angelina Jolie: the mega-star went public with her preventative double mastectomy, sparking a global surge in testing for breast and ovarian cancer (Jolie’s mother died of the latter).

Hassan Rouhani: the new President of Iran has taken a more conciliatory approach to security issues and opened negotiations with critics of Iran’s nuclear program, leading to hopes that tensions may dissipate.

Clive Palmer: written off by many as a buffoon, Palmer stormed to success in the federal election, winning a lower-house seat and balance of power in the Senate from July 2014.

Nova Peris: became the first indigenous women ever elected to the federal Parliament, as a Labor Senator for the NT. Peris gave an inspiring maiden speech.

Satoshi Nakamoto: if he exists at all, he’s the creator of Bitcoin, the digital currency on everyone’s lips as its value soared in 2013.

Adam Scott: after famously choking in 2012, Scott steadied his nerves and became the first Australian golfer ever to win the US Masters Tournament.

Chelsea Manning: US soldier (formerly known as Bradley Manning) who leaked classified documents, mainly to WikiLeaks. She paid a heavy price, being sentenced in 2013 to 35 years’ in prison. After the judgement she came out as a woman.

Ita Buttrose: the indefatigable businesswoman and dementia campaigner was named Australian of the Year, and at the age of 71 has tried her hand at breakfast television.

Glenn Greenwald: American journalist who, while working for The Guardian, teamed up with Edward Snowden to reveal extensive surveillance by US authorities.

Also-rans: Tim Flannery, Peta Credlin, Angela Merkel, Prince George, John Hill (for that interview with Jaymes Diaz), Jeff Bezos for buying WashPo. Nelson Mandela, who for many people is the most inspirational figure of the 20th century, is not nominated because the award is for people who have posted significant achievements in the year 2013.


Charles Saatchi: made international headlines for grabbing his then-wife Nigella Lawson around the throat in a London restaurant, then being generally unpleasant about it.

Jaymes Diaz: Liberal candidate at the federal election whose inability to recall the details of his “six-point plan” on asylum seekers made for the campaign’s best television moment.

Alan Joyce: Qantas has had a tough year, and some sheet much of the blame home to the CEO.

Rebekah Brooks: former Rupert Murdoch-fave and editor of the News of the World whose trial on charges related to hacking the phones of innocent people started this year.

Ian Macdonald: former NSW Labor minister who was found guilty of corruption by ICAC in relation to sweet deals for mates and procuring the services of a prostitute named Tiffanie.

James Hird: AFL Essendon coach suspended from his duties in relation to the Bombers’ supplements scandal (but is he still being paid?).

Bashar al-Assad: the world recoiled at images of Syrian civilians who had chemical weapons used against them. Syrian President al-Assad is held by many to be responsible.

Glenn Druery: the “preference whisperer” helped various microparties game the preference system at the election, leading to several candidates winning a seat despite almost no one voting for them. They will share the balance of power from July.

Mark Textor: during a diplomatic crisis between Indonesia and Australia, the Liberal operative sent a tweet that appeared to liken a senior Indonesian politician to “a 1970s Pilipino [sic] porn star”.

Miley Cyrus: brash 21-year-old US celebrity yowler who performed an infamous twerking routine (a sexualised dance), and regularly wears almost nothing. Seen by some as a brand and marketing genius.

Campbell Newman: the Queensland Premier brought in draconian anti-bikie laws, which critics say breach fundamental rights.

Ted Cruz: Republican Senator and Tea Party luminary who helped shut down the US government in a political gamble that backfired spectacularly.

Clive Palmer: critics say he bought his party into Parliament through a cashed-up campaign, and accuse him of bullying tendencies. His party will share the balance of power from July.

Nathan Tinkler: former high-flying billionaire businessman who has spectacularly fallen from grace.

Also-rans: AEC chief Ed Killesteyn (who presided over an organisation that lost 1370 WA votes at the election), Paula Deen for racist comments, Kim Jong-un, Kim Kardashian, Miranda Devine for blaming environmentalists for a sexual assault.

Plus we’re opening the ballot in our traditional sexiest male / female politician of 2013 (Scott Ludlam’s hair is expected to poll strongly). Now it’s over to you. Jump onto our online survey page and cast your vote by noon on Thursday, December 19. We’ll bring you the results the next day.


Leave a comment

28 thoughts on “2013 Crikeys: pick our person / arsehat of the year

  1. Anon

    Deadheat between Snowden and Rouhani for person of the year. Cruz and Assad are close for ‘arsehat’, but you’ve got to hand it to Campbell Newman.

  2. barbs

    How the hell do you vote?????

  3. shepherdmarilyn

    No Scott Morrison for Arsehat?

  4. Cathy Alexander

    Hi barbs, here’s the link so you can vote (it’s hyperlinked at the end of the story):


    If that doesn’t work, let me know and we’ll find another way so you can cast your ballot.

  5. Sharkie

    I nominate Alexander Downer / George Brandis for Arsehat duo of the year. Their behaviour royally screwing Timor Leste is one for the ages.

  6. Alystra

    Surely the description for Peter Fox as person of the year applies equally to Joanne McCarthy (except the policeman bit). I suggest a joint nomination for their (combined)stirling work.

  7. ianjohnno

    Spoiled for choice. Perhaps in future we can have separate contests for domestic and international.

  8. Zeke

    Where’s Christopher Pyne in the list of nominees for Arsehat of the year? I still can’t get over the irony of him being appointed Minister for Education.

  9. klewso

    “The Mincer for Medication”?

  10. TheFamousEccles

    Dead-heat between Fox and Snowden for Person of the Year. Far too much choice for the Arsehat crown, I agree with Sharkie though. Downer and Brandis are a laydown mesaire (spelling?), with the Poodle yapping at their heels.

    The merest thought of Downer and/or the Poodle can change my mood from happy to wanting to break stuff. Grrr, where’s the tranquiliser darts?

  11. Glenn Druery

    Dear Crikey, I honored to be an ARSEHAT! Thank you…. BUT PLEASE, can we go to preferences for the ARSEHAT of the year award?

    Best Regards,
    Glenn Druery
    aka Preference Whisperer.

  12. AR

    Some many contenders for Arsehat can there not be a spliff (joint-geddit?)award? If they all then partook they might be marginally less stupid.

  13. Aidan Stanger

    Why is Crikey calling anyone an arsehat? That term’s generally not used except on facebook, as you can’t call anyone an arsehat without looking rather like an arse yourself.

  14. MJPC

    Arsehat, so many choices, so frightening for the Australian body politic but I am wondering also why Downer missed the boat on this one. He’s the arsehat that keeps on keeping on, wait till the Hague rules with East Timor, maybe his complicity in criminal acts as a public minister come private lobbyist on the public payroll will carry him over till next year also, roll on 2014! Revolution now!

  15. klewso

    “Hat”? “Wipe”? What’s in a name?
    If morality is the pivot of a civilised society, why isn’t Murdoch or his trained bear on the list?

  16. Corban Hicks

    Sexiest female politician? Fiona Scott, OBVIOUSLY

  17. Kincuri

    Poor Jaymes Diaz… the guy made headlines for generally being incompetent.

    He didn’t end up getting elected, but now he’s nominated on a list along side Bashar al-Assad for arsehat of the year…


  18. drovers cat

    Geez, Arsehat’s a tough one this year; the entire Abbott front bench to choose from.
    Maybe Pyne scrapes home for services to education, insulting the name of poodles everywhere, and successfully depressing the entire populace with one utterance – with Morrison 2, Brandis 3, Abbott 4.

    Oh, and Cathy McGowan for the good bit

  19. Aphra

    I’m sticking with Australians in this vote. I, too, find it weird to class an Australian ding-a-ling, would-be MP,with a mass murderer who’s engaged in an international war between Sunni-oil and Sharia-oil.

  20. Bronwyn

    Have to agree that nominees should have to reach some minimum threshold on the scale of arsehattery – including poor old Diaz just seems a bit gratuitously mean. And speaking of irrelevance, what the hell is Miley Cyrus doing on the list? Waste of a nomination that could have been far better used for others mentioned in the comments. No list of arsehats is complete without Morrison.

  21. drovers cat

    Aiden Stanger, you have to be a student of First Dog on the Moon and his portrayal of Kevin Rudd’s cat (may he RIP) to understand crikey’s usage

  22. Stephen Ingman

    How about Julia Gillard as person of the year? History will be much kinder to her than the electorate. She put through a major reform program in a very difficult political environment and will be remembered as one of our great prime ministers. She suffered outrageous comments from shock jocks and Tony Abbott with dignity and kept smiling. When it was time to go she made a clean break, unlike her predecessor.

  23. Len Copley

    Peter Fox would have to be the best person of the year and a hero to all the Australian Children with out a voice, who were abused by the Clergy in the name of God. Those abusers were protected by the very organisation, that is there, to protect our children, however, that organisation gave the abusers a licence, to abuse our children. They all acted like the three wise monkeys, see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil, that is against their own church clergy, while they lectured those that have also done evil things. This is called two faced.

    A Royal commission should be set up into the Churches and have removed those that sanctioned these atrocities and the perpetrators imprisoned.
    While we still have corrupted clergy in the church nothing will change, remember they are paedophiles acting with the consent of the church, because they condoned the atrocities by turning a blind eye.

  24. Len Copley

    I think we are being really nice, giving a name like arsehat to an award; it is like calling an Aussie a Pratt, cow or a Little Pommy Gitt, as it has no meaning to us. It should be called The Richard Cranium Award.

    There is not much difference between QANTAS and Virgin Airlines; they both fly internationally and domestically.

    Virgin Has Sir Richard Branson
    QANTAS has Sir Richard Cranium

    The surnames are only different, one of the Sirs is has intelligence and the other Sir has Ego instead of intelligence.

  25. kll@deakin.edu.au

    Chelsea Manning for Crikey Person of the Year her heartbreaking courage to fight for personal integrity against a world power totally out of hand and without apparent accountability to anyone for anything.

    Bashir al Assad for Arsehat his willful neglect of humanity, especially in relation to his own citizenry. Global shame on you.

    Karen Lane

  26. David Hand

    We have the usual boring list of lefty heroes for person of the year and the usual sprinkling of Coalition personalities for arsehat.


    I guess that not nominating Tony Abbott as Arsehat means he won’t get the award. He would be a shoo-in on Crikey otherwise.

    Can’t you guys even be half original?

  27. AR

    We can be sure that DH won’t be even “half original” – unless he switches hands.

  28. Cathy Alexander

    Interesting David Hand – would you describe Clive Palmer as a “lefty hero”? Ita Buttrose? Adam Scott?

https://www.crikey.com.au/2013/12/13/2013-crikeys-pick-our-person-arsehat-of-the-year/ == https://www.crikey.com.au/free-trial/==https://www.crikey.com.au/subscribe/

Show popup

Telling you what the others don't. FREE for 21 days.

Free Trial form on Pop Up

Free Trial form on Pop Up
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.