#AusPol winners and losers: Who risked their pension this week?

Approx Reading Time-11The return of a bad man, a cashed-in receipt and a minister who went back in time to an awful, awful place. Who were the #AusPol winners and losers this week?


Politics is like that social junket you show up to, where the only person you know isn’t there yet. So, you awkwardly stand in the corner and try your best to look serious. The music on-tap is the most overplayed remixes of 1990s glory day hits and the fridge is only filled with bitter. Eventually, the owner of the house kicks everyone out before it gets rowdy, or anyone has a chance to explore the upstairs bedrooms with a stranger, and thusly no-one can figure out if they had fun or not. Or in the case of politics, cannot chart a true winner or loser.

But we at The Big Smoke are a results-focused bunch, thus, here are this week’s #AusPol winners and losers.



Malcolm Turnbull: for getting the money back. For the second consecutive week, the Palomino Bae Mal struts the winner’s circle. The parliamentary stable that he sleeps in has endured an unseen amount of rocks hurled at its walls recently, culminating with his “Satisfaction rating”, which sounds vaguely sexual, crashing through the basement figure set by the Yorkshire Coach he ousted, Antonius Abbott.

But through the jagged holes punched in the drywall shines a light of hope, because this week, Malcolm did something which seldom has a politician done in recorded history: he got the money back from a terrible piece of governmental policy. The name of the inferno was #CensusFail, a crime so great it birthed its own hashtag, much like the #PotatoFamine or #MongolRaiders. Either or, those responsible for the clusterboink, IBM, offered to recoup the losses suffered:

Which is important, for we are in a deficit. That much is true.


Joe Hockey: for re-emerging to remind everyone that he’s still the bad boy of #AusPol. Remember the episode of Seinfeld when Costanza convinced that woman he was a “bad dude” via the medium of chewing gum and haemorrhoid donut? Well, that was codswallop. Picture Costanza in an Oxford suit, with three murders, and a doubled deficit on his rap sheet. That’s Joe Hockey. He seared back into town this week and set pulses racing with Mally T threatening to reanimate his castigated paid parental leave plot, and along with news as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald that “Despite already collecting an estimated $360,000 salary as US ambassador – and also double-dipping into his $90,000-a-year pension – Mr Hockey billed taxpayers almost $2500 for child minding during the five months in his new role”.

Joe, you’re a bad man. Please call me.



Scott Morrison: for not being able to overcome our cynicism: This week, the man loosely known as ScoMo pitched a vast hope for the lagging, and quickly-evaporating, realistic housing market, by calling for all state and territory leaders to reduce the median prices of houses by cutting red tape, and was good enough to forward his plan to the morning papers. The response was the same as I received when I asked Amy Lyons out on a date c. 1997 – collective laughs in one’s beady little face.

Oh well, Scott. You learned a valuable lesson. Keep your stupid comments in your pocket, away from the mean people.


Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Steven Ciobo: for going back in time to…well, not a very nice place. Poor Steven, graced with the ability to shift through time, landed in Paul Hogan’s Australia. On the week that the maligned backpacker tax was put on ice but still discussed, we deemed it sporting to send one of our elected officials to spruik us as a destination. Which is fine, as Ciobo is the Minister for Tourism, but alas, the application of such a serious matter reached a 5-barbied shrimp level of dated tack. Mashed into a photo alongside some faux lifesavers (who were probably bartenders), a British reality TV star and a surfboard with a kangaroo on it situated in a train station, Ciobo was, as Gabrielle Chan of The Guardian superbly put it, “as wooden as his surfboard“. Ouch kabbibles.


Ciobo with Lucy Watson: Lloyd Jones/AAP

But, props for getting on the plane, Steve.

Perhaps on the way back to forget about the whole incident, you can have a crack at breaking David Boon’s record. If we’re going back to 1986 Australia, let’s give it a decent go, eh?


Also on The Big Smoke


Honourable mentions

The “Golden Emerson” – awarded to those who waste everyone’s time with complete verbal tosh, goes to:

Arthur Sinodinos, who earned this week’s Golden Emerson for some fairly ornate waffle on QandA. When asked about the potential return of Tony Abbott, Sinodinos wobbled like a student who forgot his presentation was due today, so decided to eke out every second with some extraordinary faff: “I wouldn’t have put money on some of the things that happened in our first term, necessitating, taking the drastic action that was necessary … As I said before, you never rule anything out in this business. If I had to put money on it, I wouldn’t put money on it for the reasons I mentioned before. But I’m always careful in these things because in life I’ve learnt in politics it’s the thing you least expect that can come back…”

So, to recap. If he could bet on Abbott, he would, but his return is the outcome that he least expects to happen. So he wouldn’t put money on it. But then he kind of would.



The “Bushie” – the George W Bush commemorative plaque to honour outstanding performance in the field of trumpeted “fact”, goes to:

Barnaby Joyce, who, although making his debut on this list, is a man whose very unique skill-set might rule himself ineligible for future glory. However, our Deputy PM makes this week’s list not for criticising the Labor Party as Communists in front of the Chinese Ambassador, but in response to the collected media when he was quizzed on his comments afterwards:

“We weren’t calling the Labor party communist … What do you call it when someone says ‘I’m going to socialise your private asset without payment’?”



Share via