Physicists have been completely unable to explain how or why, but 2017 managed to last for somewhere in the vicinity of 25,000 days. It was so jam-packed with absolutely batshit shenanigans and goings-on that any time someone brought up something that happened I practically screamed ‘THAT WAS THIS YEAR?!’ directly into their face. It’s been a long one.
We thought we’d cast an incredulous eye back over all of the record-breakingly stupid shit that happened in Australian politics this year so that you can chuckle at it one last time before you purge it from your brain with expensive and dangerous experimental Eternal Sunshine-inspired technology. So, here you go, in rough chronological order – it’s the 2017 Auspol Hall Of Fame For Stuff That Was Heaps Cooked (we’re working on a catchier name).
Former One Nation senator Rod Culleton getting the boot
While this in itself isn’t particularly cooked, it marked the final chapter in an extremely cooked saga. January 11th marked the final day of Rod Culleton‘s brief six-month tenure as a senator after spending more or less the entire time either embroiled in legal battles or personal stoushes with the other members of One Nation.
Culleton’s eligibility was called into question early on thanks to larceny charges he held at the time of his election stemming from a missing set of keys to a rental truck that was being repossessed off him. Before that could even come to its proper conclusion, though, he was made ineligible when Federal Court found him to be bankrupt and he was promptly thereafter kicked out.
Just prior to the end of his career as a senator, he split from One Nation after a series of quarrels with Pauline Hanson, which left us with probably the most important part of his legacy: this video of him knocking over a bunch of stacked mugs while trying to tell a reporter that everything’s fine.
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) November 23, 2016
Oh, there’s also the fact that he refused to accept that he was kicked out. What a trooper.
David Leyonhjelm cracking jokes about the Melbourne car attack within an hour of it happening
Getting into politics solely because you enjoy pissing off the people you feel are ‘too sensitive’ might traffic very well with a certain kind of dipshit, but it also means that – time after time – you will reveal yourself to be a gormless, heartless dickhead. While there’s certainly no shortage of dickheads in parliament, most of them are the way they are because of their ridiculous, dickhead beliefs. David Leyonhjelm is the way that he is for no reason other than he enjoys being the worst.
His position that every man, woman, and child in Australia should be able to fire rocket-propelled grenades in public without being bothered by police is something he usually champions the loudest immediately after news unfolds of a mass shooting, but he saw fit to expand his remit to vehicular attacks after the incident on Bourke Street in January.
The bastard Leyonhjelm wasn’t going to let something as trivial as six people being killed and 36 people being injured stop him from dropping some dumb shit line about guns.
Probably one of those semi-automatic assault cars. https://t.co/8oUYMryALl
— David Leyonhjelm (@DavidLeyonhjelm) January 20, 2017
Not a great dude, it turns out.
Turnbull’s insane phone call with Trump
We can all get behind anyone that makes Malcolm Turnbull noticeably shrink into a frightened worm, but what if that person is Donald Trump? This is a dilemma many of us faced in February when Trump lambasted Turnbull in one of their early phone calls.
The ill-fated call saw Turnbull try and convince Trump to uphold a deal to accept 1,250 refugees, something that Turnbull really needed for his government to look good, and something that Trump really didn’t want to do because it would make him look terrible.
Trump told Turnbull that the deal was “stupid“, that it would make him look like a “dope“, and that it was going to “kill [him]“. Clearly the skilled words of a master negotiator. You can check out the highlights here, it’s a doozy.
The Labor MP giving himself a black eye from laughing too hard at Veep
In what is surely a huge testament to the show, Labor MP Graham Perrett was watching Veep while eating dinner one night and managed to laugh so hard he started choking. He collapsed, whacked his face on the bench in front of him and gave himself a big ol’ shiner.
— Brighette Ryan (@brighetteryan) May 3, 2017
He even got attention from Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the one thing we all crave:
I mean, c’mon, I’m actually having a hard time believing it. But the real question is – what episode? https://t.co/sqGyRT8e0z
— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) May 3, 2017
The extremely dour man hitting Alan Joyce in the face with a pie
Tony Overheu quickly became famous in May after expressing his personal distaste for Qantas CEO Alan Joyce‘s public support for marriage equality by smashing a lemon meringue pie into his face.
— 7NEWS Perth (@7NewsPerth) May 9, 2017
Overheu earned himself a lifetime ban from flying Qantas after the stunt, which saw him hide out in the room hours before Joyce was due to give a talk, stalk out on stage with the serious of the Terminator, and deliver the pie to Joyce’s mug.
Turnbull’s god-awful Trump impression
This is maybe more cringe-worthy than it is cooked, but the video of Turnbull trying out his best Trump impression at the Mid Winter Ball sure was something. The Mid Winter Ball is a for-charity gathering of politicians and press gallery journalists and is traditionally considered to be off the record, which meant that the release of the video caused quite a stir among establishment journos. If anything, it’s a bit terrifying to see Turnbull being candid about his position in the polls and his thoughts on Trump to a room full of laughing journos, because it really hammers home the point that both they and the pollies know that everything the pollies say to the public is bullshit. Don’t you just love politics?
The citizenship scandal
Who would have thought that a single section of the constitution would become a household name in 2017? No one normal, that’s for sure. Nevertheless, Section 44 of the Australian Constitution got well and truly drilled into our brains after it claimed member of parliament after member of parliament.
The fiasco kicked off after it was discovered that Greens senator Scott Ludlam held dual citizenship with New Zealand, after which he promptly resigned. Very shortly after that, it was discovered that fellow co-deputy leader of the Greens Larissa Waters was ineligible due to her having Canadian citizenship by birth, with her also promptly resigning. Then shit got real.
The next few months saw the resignation of One Nation goofball Malcolm Roberts, Barnaby Joyce (until his subsequent re-election), Nick Xenophon, Jacqui Lambie, Fiona Nash, Stephen Parry, Sky Kakoschke-Moore, and John Alexander (back in by virtue of winning his by-election).
In the (sort of) words of Scott Ludlam:
— Scott Ludlam (@Scottludlam) November 6, 2017
Eric Abetz saying marriage equality could lead to people marrying the Sydney Harbour Bridge
It’s impossible to say why Eric Abetz is so ideologically opposed to the idea of gay people getting married in Australia, but a tiny hunch I have suggests that it is somewhat connected to how he vociferously opposed decriminalising homosexuality in Tasmania in 1994. Let’s just say he’s not a fan of the gay lifestyle. Or gay people.
He’s pulled out all sorts of interesting arguments against marriage equality before, but his contention that it could lead to people marrying the Sydney Harbour Bridge was a pretty stunning one.
Pauline Hanson wearing a burqa in the Senate
Where would Pauline Hanson be without pulling tremendously dickheaded stunts? Probably still flogging fish and chips. Hanson worse the Islamic garb into the Senate to make some point about how just anyone could walk in wearing a face covering – except it turned out security verified her identity before entering anyway, making her point absolutely meaningless.
Probably the best part of all this for me is imagining the process she had to go through to buy one, presumably dealing with a people that she has done nothing but slander and malign her entire career (or, at least, since she got sick of slandering and maligning Asian people).
Tony Abbott eating an onion in public for the third time
You know what they say: eat an onion once, shame on you. Eat an onion twice, you are an extremely weird dude. Eat an onion three times… man, what the fuck. It was reported on mostly as a mere footnote in an article about a conference that Abbott spoke at, but it definitely happened: in the year of our Lord 2017, Tony Abbott shoved another raw onion into his very disconcerting gob.
Tony Abbott getting headbutted square in the noggin
If you’re wondering why the onion eating incident didn’t get much press, it’s because it was immediately eclipsed by another event in Tone’s life: getting headbutted the very next day. Tony’s decision to immediately attribute what happened to him to the ‘yes’ campaign might well have shored up some votes for the ‘no’ side, but the bloke’s statement rejecting that characterisation of events will go down as surely one of the greatest political soundbites in Australian history:
t was nothing really remotely to do with that. It’s just about Tony Abbott, the fucking worm that he is. All it was is I saw Tony Abbott and I’d had half a skinful and I wanted to nut the cunt.
That One Nation senator quitting One Nation the moment he was sworn in
Nothing to me has been more satisfying than the denouement of Malcolm Roberts’ political career. Roberts spent his time in parliament wasting CSIRO‘s time with absolute nonsense questions about climate change conspiracy theories and completely refusing to listen to their answers because they don’t match his insane worldview. He was a huge waste of time and money and could not have been ousted in a more spectacular fashion.
Despite his many vehement denials that this was not the case, Roberts was booted from the Senate when it was found that he had not renounced his British citizenship in time, largely because he doesn’t seem to understand how email works. Even more wonderfully, he then failed to win after running in the Queensland election in Ipswich.
What makes this all better, though, is the fact that the candidate they brought in to replace him in the Senate left the party instantly upon being sworn in. It’s still not clear what happened, with both Fraser Anning and Pauline Hanson claiming it was the other person’s fault, but we know one thing for sure: it’s very, very funny.
Malcolm Turnbull revealing he’s an alien who doesn’t know how to watch TV
Less an event and more of a revelation, we all got to discover that Turnbull just has no idea how to act like a regular human being. On November 15th we got two disturbing insights into the TV-watching habits of this highly disturbed individual.
Turnbull’s Instagram stories continue to reveal details his odd lifestyle like this really low TV pic.twitter.com/UKSLpWvuzI
— Tom Joyner (@tomrjoyner) November 15, 2017
Who is this sick, sick man, and why do we let him represent us on the world stage?
Bob Katter reminding us of the danger of crocodiles in North Queensland
I can’t imagine you’ve forgotten this one, seeing as it took place a few weeks ago and is possibly the most memorable 30 seconds of television in history. Bob Katter’s incredible thespian gymnastics deserve at least a gold medal, morphing from amused dismissiveness to unadulterated anger in less a second with the speed and skill of a professional safecracker.
— Insiders ABC (@InsidersABC) November 18, 2017
In summary: what the fuck even is this country.