Just A Bunch Of Absolutely Batshit Things That Happened In Politics This Year
Boy, 2018 sure was a hell of a decade.
Boy, 2018 sure was a hell of a decade. We end the year in politics in much the same as we began it — with a hypocritical Nationals MP embroiled in a sex scandal of his own making. Think of Australian politics in 2018 as a gross sandwich you left in the bottom of your school bag, and sweaty Nationals MPs as the two slices of mouldy bread that are holding it all together.
But hey, there are some other really gross, now-unidentifiable lunch meats in the middle of that sandwich too, and we shouldn’t forget about them! So let’s dive into the rancid swamp that was Australian politics in 2018.
[Editor’s note: This is by no means an exhaustive list. This is literally just the ones we could remember.]
Barnaby, Oh Barnaby
Can you believe the Barnaby Joyce scandal was THIS YEAR.
— Sharri Markson (@SharriMarkson) February 6, 2018
In February, The Daily Telegraph reported that Barnaby Joyce’s marriage of 24 years was over, and he was expecting a baby with his former staffer, Vikki Campion. That kicked off literally months of smaller satellite scandals for Joyce and the people around him:
- Barnaby begged for privacy… in a nationally televised interview. He did this several times, always in front of cameras.
- He tried to use the “Ross from ‘Friends'” excuse.
- He tried to make it all go away by going on “personal leave”.
- Malcolm Turnbull had to ban MPs from having sex with their staff.
- Which started an all-out war between Turnbull and Joyce.
- It also upset horny Nationals MPs.
- Joyce finally resigned as Deputy Prime Minister and was replaced by a guy who once wrote an incredibly homophobic opinion piece.
- He publicly questioned whether he was even the father of his new partner’s baby.
- Joyce and Campion sold their story to 60 Minutes for $150,000.
- He then got into a Twitter feud with Lee Lin Chin.
- And after all that, he still wants his old job back.
Time For Australia’s Annual Leadership Spill
Remember those few days earlier this year when we all thought Peter Dutton was going to be Prime Minister? Haha wasn’t that terrifying! Luckily, Dutts and his band of hard-right warriors were too incompetent to actually pull a leadership spill off.
It all started in August as Malcolm Turnbull was trying to get a climate change policy past the Liberal partyroom. Despite Turnbull bending over backwards to please people like Dutton, Tony Abbott and Eric Abetz, they were never going to let it happen.
Sensing that Dutton was about to make a move, Turnbull blew up his own leadership by calling a surprise spill. He won, but only just, and that set off five days of absolutely bananas action in Canberra. For the rest of the week, everyone in Canberra was speculating that Peter Dutton was slowly gaining the numbers needed to roll Turnbull.
Fortunately, Dutton and his numbers man, Matthias Cormann, can’t actually count. Another spill was called, Turnbull knew he was cooked and stood aside, and Scott Morrison was able to come charging up the middle, securing the 45 votes needed to win. Dutton thought he had the numbers right up until… he didn’t.
We all breathed a sigh of relief that Peter Dutton was no longer going to be PM, until we remembered that Scott Morrison is also quite shit. Speaking of which…
Meet Scott Morrison, Somehow Worse Than The Other Guy
So Scott Morrison took over as PM, and immediately set about fucking things up. Let us list just some of the ways:
- He immediately set about being homophobic.
- As promised, Malcolm Turnbull quit parliament. And Scott Morrison promptly lost Turnbull’s seat for the first time ever.
- During that campaign, Morrison floated the idea of moving Australia’s embassy in Israel. This pissed off pretty much everyone.
- He was schooled by a transgender teen.
- He fundamentally misunderstood Indigenous rights.
- The “religious freedom” review really backfired on the government.
- Malcolm Turnbull turned into a messy bitch.
- Morrison drove an empty bus around Queensland and was mercilessly dragged for it.
- He called his own MPs muppets.
- One of the government’s few female MPs quit the party, forcing the Coalition into an even smaller minority.
- But he intervened to save a completely mediocre male MP.
- That turned Malcolm Turnbull into the messiest bitch.
- The government supported a Pauline Hanson motion stating that “it’s ok to be white”.
And of course:
And The Rest Of The Nonsense
And then there’s *waves hands* all of this.
Here’s a bunch of dumb shit (and some ok shit) that happened this year that defies categorisation.
- Someone left a bunch of government secrets in an old filing cabinet then SOLD THE CABINET.
- The new Environment Minister just straight up insulted a former head of state.
- Liberal Senator Lucy Gichuhi gave us the best ‘no comment’ of the year.
- A Senator called for a “final solution” to Muslim migration.
- An under-fire government Senator hid behind a whiteboard.
- Alan Jones dropped the N-word live on air.
- He then demanded an ad for a horse race be projected onto the Opera House and the NSW government folded like a cheap suit.
- Peter Dutton claimed Melbournians are afraid to go out at night.
- But Christopher Pyne forgot he was supposed to be running a scare campaign.
- Malcolm Turnbull lost 30 Newspolls in a row.
- Pauline Hanson picked a fight with a child and lost.
- There was the whole #MyHealthRecord debacle.
- The ABC kinda fell apart.
- Sarah Hanson-Young sued her fellow Senator, David Leyonhjelm.
- There was quite a bit of slut-shaming in parliament.
- Clive Palmer’s online persona became deeply cooked.
- Anti-marriage equality group Marriage Alliance re-branded as an anti-trans group.
- Labor cleaned up in the Super Saturday by-elections.
- Labor also destroyed the Coalition in the Victorian election.
- Tony Abbott cracked a joke about “invasion” in a room full of Indigenous kids.
- And what the fuck was he doing here?
And then we ended the year just as we started it: With a male Nationals MP involved in a weird sex scandal.
See you next year!
Rob Stott is Junkee Media’s Managing Editor. He spends far too much time reading about politics. Follow him on Twitter.