Hoping desperately that defamation lawyers loosen up around Christmas, Crikey is proud to once again present our own invaluable contribution to a political climate already savaged by dirty, personal attacks. In the true spirit of this ongoing Hypocritic Oath, we’re asking you the reader to decide just who on our list of stooges and Scrooges deserves to have that Christmas coal rammed straight up their stocking — if only to give our fossil fuel industry something to do before the typhoons hit. But first, a quick reminder on who’s been scraping at the bottom of the barrel in 2014.
Vote here to elect the 2014 Crikey Arsehat of the Year.
Malcolm Turnbull has the dubious distinction of appearing in both Crikey’s Arsehats and Sexiest Pollies lists, making any auspol editions of Fuck/Marry/Kill at your work’s Christmas party frustratingly difficult — unless you work at the ABC, that is. If you do, huddle tight around that effigy you’re burning of him — it’ll be a while before the power comes back on, and the Silver Fox is still lurking in the shadows.
Giving new meaning to the expression “taking the piss”, NRL star and urinary gourmand Todd Carney lost his career, dignity and any future mouthwash sponsorships when he appeared in your newsfeed aiming a stream of urine into his own mouth. Carney’s agent dismissed the photo as a set-up, “like when people stand in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa”, a statement that not only raises some pressing questions about his past trips to Italy but would make Freud bite his pen in half.
Let it never be said that the Daily Tele doesn’t ask the tough questions. “Who is Australia’s craziest left-wing frightbat? Crown our crazy queen!” Blair’s witch-project, where he dismissed some of Australia’s leading journalists and academics as silly, hysterical women who should get a grip on their womb-madness and let the men do the talking, made for uncomfortable reading. So who reigned supreme as solitary monarch of matriarchal madness? Let’s be honest here: no one cares.
Oh Tony. You know why you’re here. But it’s Christmas, and who likes to kick a man when he’s down? Nevertheless, we can’t help but wonder if there’ll be a wistful look in our Prime Minister’s eyes as he watches the Archbishop give the yearly blessing; there, but for the grace of Bob.
If George Brandis has done one thing that’s unforgivable this year, it’s making that weird guy on Facebook who won’t stop posting 9/11 truther articles seem disconcertingly sane. Having campaigned heavily on the promise that he would finally give a voice to the most marginalised section of our community — old white bigots with newspaper columns — the rise of a certain Apocalyptic Death Cult (EP to be released soon) forced Brandis to abandon his plans for a more forthright society in favour of a world where shadowy figures rifle through your metadata and journalists are reduced to churning out thoughtful, impotent op-eds with the word “Orwellian” in the first par.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
If Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi did not exist, George Brandis would have to invent him. It’s hard to point to just one example from 2014 where the leader of Islamic State has displayed less than stellar character, so let’s do a quick tally. Poor form: leading an Apocalyptic Death Cult in a brutal crusade through the Operation Shit-Storm that is the Middle East, creating a political climate that can uncomfortably be summed up as “(re)post-9/11”. Redeeming qualities: excellent taste in watches, might actually be dead.
Thinking of sending your kid to study at one of the most prestigious universities in the country? Not so fast, you socialist. If Oz media editor Sharri Markson’s scathing undercover expose of the University of Sydney’s media faculty is anything to go by, the journalists of tomorrow will be nothing but brain-dead lefties programmed to distrust government media advisers for no better reason than the fact that their sole job is to manipulate or conceal actual facts to manufacture public support. Or it could just be that Markson could benefit from a few more lectures herself — read this outraged extract from the article and see if you can spot the moment she misses the point completely:
“But the indoctrination appeared to be strongest at The University of Sydney where the entire first major lecture focused on News Corp’s power and its impact on journalism, irrespective of the fact it is one of the largest employers of journalists in Australia.”
X-Factor judge and human yeast infection Redfoo turns 40 next year, and someone should really tell him. Having released yet another throbbing tone-poem on the eternal recurrence of all parties, everywhere, Redfoo made the bold artistic decision in his latest hit to advise female listeners to absorb his music in silent contemplation by screaming at them to “shut the fuck up”, which is both the entirety of the chorus and the nadir of human endeavour. You know, until the YouTube hits start to creep down and someone releases another one.
You may know Kim Kardashian as that slick, glistening arse that unfailingly crops up on Facebook every time your boss walks past. Naked but for a thick layer of industrial-grade lard and an unfortunately placed garbage bag, the heiress posed in a series of risque photographs for New York’s Paper magazine entitled “Break the Internet”. It has not.
In many ways, 2014 in Australian politics was the year of Jacqui Lambie. Don’t be fooled by her charmingly earthy claims that all she’s looking for is a man with heaps of cash and a titanic trouser-snake straining against faded blue jeans — it’s becoming clearer by the day that all the former PUP Senator really wants is to watch the world burn. Having lost her baffling, wilfully ignorant campaign to ban the burqa and drive all these dirty Muslims back into the sea, Lambie reacted in a manner fitting for an elected representative of the Australian people: hiding in her office, shit-talking her few friends left in Parliament and cutting off all hope of rational debate on army pay by issuing the government with the classic ultimatum of refusing to vote on any government legislation until her demands were met.
There’s something vaguely refreshing about a world leader who’s fully embraced his identity as a Bond villain. Responding to Tony Abbott’s mumbled promise to “shirt-front” the Russian President should he set foot on Australian soil following the destruction of flight MH17 over Ukraine, Putin raised the stakes by announcing his attendance in the traditional Russian manner: a convoy of heavily armed warships eager to put Scott Morrison’s rhetoric to the test. The true significance of Abbott’s decision to present his Russian counterpart with authentic Aussie Surrender Koalas in response was, alas, lost in translation.
Here at Crikey we like to look on the bright side, and the public disgrace of Rolf Harris in 2014 is no exception. Now that Rolf Harris has been convicted of indecent assault and hurriedly excised from Aussie culture by every arts editor with a red pen, we can finally look ourselves in the eye and, as a country, admit that that portrait he did of the queen was shithouse. By all accounts, Jake the Peg with his Extra Leg (that skeezy feeling running down your spine is yet another benefit of hindsight) is having a rough time in prison — the system works.
Once a respected professor of poetry at the University of Sydney, Barry Spurr is now predominantly famous for reviving your racist uncle’s passion for “whimsical linguistic games” over Christmas dinner. Scoring is simple: if, during an argument about “political Aborigines”, your uncle chortles at you to “lighten up”, stab him with your fork.
It’s never a good sign when you actually have to learn a backbencher’s name. George Christensen, Liberal National member for Dawson, came thundering into your morning scroll through Twitter with a bellowing cry that the burqa must be banned in our fair country yesterday. “The entire nation of France has a ban on the burqa,” he roared. “I mean, is the entire nation of France a nation of racists?” Your words, George, not ours.
Also rans: Scott Morrison, Alan Joyce, Ian Narev, James Packer, Hamish McLennan, Andrew Forrest, Roger Corbett, John Dawkins, Frank Lowy, Jennifer Westacott, Peter Mason, David Johnston, Julien Blanc, Clive Palmer, Cory Bernardi, Gina Rinehart, Geoffrey Edelsten, Joe Hockey, Michael Danby, Jim Carroll, Bill Shorten, Graham Lloyd, Mark Latham, the anti-halal campaigners, James Hird, Mark Scott, Robert Hughes, Eddie Obeid and George Pell.