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Is It Just Me? Amanda Vanstone gets AO in Australia Day Honours!

Ok, I’m sure that there are always people who receive honours and you ask how on earth did they get the nod, whereas others you can look at say, “Even though I personally find them an odious reptile, I can see that they have done some things that a rather warped person would see as truly great.”

For example, while many of you wouldn’t like Campbell Newman, it’s worth noting that his award was for services to the Queensland Parliament and I can certainly see that. Newman was elected in the biggest landslide in Queensland’s history and then governed so badly that he lost the next election, which most people surely see as a great service to the Parliament and the people of Queensland.

But Bettina Arndt? I mean, really?? Clearly she only got the nod because she’s a woman. After all, plenty of men have been going around justifying their own bad behaviour and nobody ever nominates Chooka for explaining why he and his mates have every right to comment on the way women dress and how it’s their own fault if anything happens to them.

As for Amanda, I’ll leave it, “Is it just me?”, the way she did when commenting on Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s grant to complete her book. That way I can’t be accused of all the implicit dog-whistles…

Oh, that’s right. A metaphoric dog-whistle is meant to be something that only racists can hear. Big fail there, Mandy.

Anyway, given the fact that most people won’t be happy with the current Australia Day Honours for all sorts of reasons… The fact that it’s not being called Invasion Day, for one. Or the fact that nobody even thought of nominating you is another. And, of course, the fact that the list contains all sorts of people who have simply done what they were paid to do and, in some cases, they didn’t even do that well…

Given people’s unhappiness, I thought I’d give you my own list.

  1. Bridget McKenzie an OD (Order of Distraction) for her services in deflecting attention away from the Government’s inability to come up with any sort of sensible response to climate change.
  2. Paul Kennedy OND (Order of Non-Distraction) for interviewing a couple of politicians and actually not allowing them to simply regurgitate their talking points.
  3. Michael McWotsisname (Order of Miraculous Achievement) for rising to role of Deputy PM with no discernible talents or abilities. In spite of being born without a personality, he hasn’t let this stop him and he remains an inspiration to all those ordinary people who refuse to accept their lack of a qualification prevents them from having an opinion on such topics as climate change or monetary policy.
  4. Malcolm Turnbull OI (Order of Irrelevance) for coming out and saying the sort of things that make us feel that he would have made a great PM if only he’d made the long trip with Dorothy and discovered that he could actually have courage without waiting for the Wizard to give it to him.
  5. Twiggy Forrest OO (Order of Obfuscation) for announcing that he was giving $70 million to bushfire relief, only to clarify that $50 million was going into his own charity which will conclude that it’s all the fault of letting trees grow and nothing to do with fossil fuels.
  6. Peter Dutton OOC (Order of Outright Contradiction) for doing what some people would consider lying. Apart from the comment about not listening to the “Twitter crazies” (how does he know they’re crazy if he don’t listen to them?), when asked if he’d ever heard of Matt Kean, Dutton told listeners, “Never!” He then added that he doubted that anyone outside a three kilometre radius of inner Sydney had… Perhaps it was just a lucky guess, but most of us wouldn’t be able to pinpoint the location of someone we’d never heard of.
  7. Anyone keeping up with politics and still being optimistic that good sense will one day triumph petty point scoring should be given an OWWD (Order of Wow, Well Done!) Yes, it’s a hard job but if nobody does it, we’ll all just end up in a foetal position on the floor and that won’t help anyone.

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  1. Kaye Lee

    I am always reminded of Amanda’s inauspicious time as Immigration Minister when she overruled everyone to grant Francesco Madafferi a visa. The police report alleged that both Antonio and Francesco belonged to a “crime family involved in blackmail, extortion and murder”. The report also stated that: “If Francesco is allowed to remain in Australia, he will continue to carry out acts of violence on behalf of an organised criminal syndicate.”

    Just before Christmas 2006, two federal police agents were contacted by a complainant with some potentially explosive information. The complainant told the federal agents that a Liberal Party insider had told them in 2004 about a plan involving donations to the Liberal Party in return for help getting Francesco Madafferi a visa.

    The complainant offered to sign a witness statement and later signed a Victorian statutory declaration.

    The complainant also gave police a copy of a file saved onto their computer in early 2004, recording what the Liberal Party insider had confided. The file named two politicians – Vanstone and the NSW senator Marise Payne – and stated:

    “In exchange for [alleged] criminal Frank Medaffery’s [sic] release from Villawood detention centre and the granting of his application to stay in Australia, Liberal Party received donations from Medaffery’s [sic] associates and business partners within the Italian community. (Mention Nick Scali as an example).”

    The complainant’s file went on to allege that some of the donations went to the individual fund-raising accounts of at least two federal Liberal MPs. The file also claimed that up to $100,000 was donated and that much of it could have been in small amounts below the $1500 disclosure threshold.

    Well done you Mandy.

  2. Patricia

    ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, well done Rossleigh. I needed a good laugh this morning. Fancy awarding a gong to Campbell Newman, the worst Premier that Queensland has ever had, and that is really saying something.

    A brilliant piece. Love it. May I copy to my facebook page please?

  3. Rossleigh

    Facebook away, Patricia

  4. Kronomex

    A.O. – Arseholus Officialus?

  5. silkworm

    What’s a Chooka?

  6. totaram

    I think it is fair to say that Australia day honours are now as discredited as “Rhodes Scholarships”. So sad, because there are some deserving candidates who have actually done some good things (I mean the Australia Day types). I can’t think of anything good done by any Australian recipients of the Rhodes Scholarship, so I will leave it there. We do know of course, that the Rhodes Scholars are chosen by previous Rhodes Scholars, who were chosen by previous Rhodes Scholars and so on, all the way back to someone connected to the original Rhodes himself, who managed to have a whole “country” named after himself, and in Africa, if you please! No marks for guessing how that was achieved.

  7. Aortic

    The Australian not of the year but of any year, should be Dr. Barry Kirby. A tradesman who saw some tragic situations in childbirth amongst the Papua New Guinea natives and returned to Australia to complete his medical degree when he was in his forties. He returned to Papua and now treks for miles to remote destinations despite a dodgy hip, to assist women in their child delivery. I appreciate those from Australia who received awards, no doubt justly awarded, but for mine Dr. Kirby outshines them all.

  8. leefe

    This year must surely set the record for the least distinguished and most undeserving recipients of these risible so-called awards.

    The inclusion of Vanstone, Newman and Arndt would make most valid recipient feel downgraded and disrespected.

  9. Andreas

    Thank you, Kaye Lee, for this interesting summary and link.
    Surprised I am only that not one of the said gentlemen made it onto the AD honours list with Mandy…
    Ah well, maybe next year…

  10. Terence Mills

    Campbell Newman, a failed politician, turfed out after one term by the Queensland electorate, an appalling right-wing nut job who now spends most of his time providing his opinion to those who watch Sky-after-Dark.

    How do they come up with these people – is Bridget McKenzie in charge of handing out the political nominations ?

  11. Frederika Steen AM

    .Amanda? the Minister for Cruelty who sat down to Christmas dinner in 2003 while 45 refugee Hazara men on Nauru were 2 weeks into a hunger strike (“Freedom or Death “, see the U tube documentary ), and who still denies (today’s SMH) that seeking protection from persecution is a human right in international law , even though the subsequent review of those men’s persecutiuon claims resulted in all being settled in Australia AS REFUGEES who would face persecution if they returned home…. She was only doing her job? carrying out Howard’s orders… Unforgivable . In the awful British colonial tradition of punitive control.

  12. New England Cocky

    Now KL, I would make the following awards:

    1) OA (Order of Anus): to Benito Duddo, for his services to racial harmony leading to his resignation from the Queensland Police Force to pursue a career in Federal politics after his shift in the Queensland Drug Squad. He brings to the job of Gruppelfuhrer for Everything all the sensitivities better known in the German SS between 1935 and 1945. While his contribution to destabilising the Morriscum Liarbral Nazianal$ misgovernment is yet to be fully exploited.

    2) OA (Order of Adultery): to Barnyard Joke, the representative of the Nazianal$ in New England and Adulterer-In-Chief for the aforesaid misgovernment. His wonderful example of extracurricular skirt chasing while in Canberra put special emphasis on his scurrilous Kiwi bye-election strategy of the nazianal$ campaign defaming Lyn and Tony Windsor (Independent). HIs commercial skills as an accountant were well known in the two towns where he occasionally practiced and were seen more recently in the $80 empty glass of MDB water purchase.

    3) OA (Ordinary Anus): to Mick Muck, this week’s Leader (?) of the Nazianal$ for his duplicity about the Bandit Muckenzie Sportsgate vote buying scandal. There is no doubt that Muckenzie should resign from Parliament immediately or sooner and take MIck Muck with her, but the few surviving Nazianal$ would create another leadership dilemma between the member for Manila Georgy Porgy and the Member for Miners Mutt Caravan. Either way, the preferred option omits Barnyard Joke.

    4) Lest.we.forget.Yasmin.Abdel-Mageid.

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