Written By: - Date published: 1:10 pm, December 15th, 2018 - 39 comments
Categories: class war, Europe, greens, Iain Lees-Galloway, International, jacinda ardern, labour, Media, national, nz first, Parliament, Politics, Russia, Shane Jones, Simon Bridges, The Standard, uk politics, us politics, winston peters - Tags: donald trump, jamal khashoggi, labour, national, politicians
Welcome to the Standard’s Politician of The Year 2018!
The awards, which have been run annually since the blog’s founding in 1894, are eagerly awaited by MP’s, media hacks and comms flacks in NZ and worldwide. The SPOTY’s provide an opportunity for the humble reader of NZ’s finest outlet for political musings to give their thoughts on the winners and losers of 2018, both home and away.
Votes will be tallied in the The Standard’s state of the art counting facility and will be ignored, amended and invented to produce the outcomes we like best. It’s democracy, but not as we know it, Jim!
The categories are:
To get you started, here are my completely scientific and impartial picks:
Best Government MP: Overcoming many obvious handicaps Shane Jones has made the best of his year. He’s now the clear frontrunner to take over as NZ First leader when Winston Peters retires in 2032. No other MP in the house has consolidated their position as heir apparent quite as well. Also the only polly to be compared to Pablo Escobar.
Best Opposition MP: Despite a strong run at the title from the MP once known as Maureen Who but now renamed Maureen Pughsless by her own leader, the clear winner is Jami Lee Ross. Ok, he was mainly in opposition to his own party, but wow, what a spectacular way to achieve cut through and name recognition!
Best Minister: There’s lots of Ministers quietly going about their work, bringing fairness, equity and niceness to NZ, but for mine, only one has really stood out. Iain Lees Galloway was dealt a rotten hand in the Sroubek case and arguably played his cards poorly, but he has stood his ground, taken the criticism without bleating and in his other Ministerial role has worked with the coalition parties to significantly improve our employment laws.
Best Comms: Without doubt Hamish ‘Shameless’ Price wins hands down. No lie too great, no outrage too faux for Hamish to promote. Just for the record, Hamish has never drafted, suggested, composed, published, or caused to be published, any of Simon’s tweets, or any of his social media activity. They’re all Simon’s fault, according to Hamish.
Best Media: This should probably go to a ‘proper’ journalist, but my vote’s with Bryce Edwards. Bryce is annoying, pompous and seems as insulated from real life as a character in a Evelyn Waugh novel. He’s replaced Josie Pagani as the Go To Faux Lefty when the msm needs to put the boot into Labour. However, his Political Round Ups in the Herald are always well compiled and they definitely help promote blogs like the Standard. So good on ya, Bryce, keep plugging away, fella.
Word of the Year: TERF. The rise of identity politics has seemingly peaked with the debate around whether women are women. Special mention to the defiant racist Rachel Stewart for elevating herself to Victim of the Year.
Death of the Year: Sad as I am at the passing of Harry Leslie Smith, the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi has exposed the international links to the odious Saudi regime of governments around the world. The poms tut tutted, but kept flogging arms to the Saudis and the orange one was strangely unable to properly condemn the killing. It’s almost like he owes the Saudis more than he owes the Russians.
Event of the Year: Gotta be the Brexit negotiations. When England voted to leave Europe, dragging the reluctant Scotland, Wales and NI with them, nobody knew just how awful it would turn out. If there is no second Brexit referendum, I predict the Kingdom will be united no more and Scotland will scarper. And a re-united Ireland may well be on the cards, too.
Polly of the Year (overseas): There’s a good case for Jacinda Ardern to pick this one up. She has had an amazing impact offshore and her heartfelt words in support of the family of Grace Millane lifted the bar for what international political leadership should look like. But, it’s Trump for me. Still stupid, still lazy and still there. A Nixonian exit (via golf cart rather than helicopter) looms in 2019.
Polly of the Year (NZ): C’mon, do I have to say it? Yes, it’s Winston Peters who (wait … some mistake surely … consults notes … ). As you were, everyone! It’s Jacinda Ardern. Of course it is. DJ of the year, mum of the year, polly of the year, leading contender to take over from Steve Hansen, there is simply no stopping the most popular PM ever.
So there’s my picks. What’s yours? No need to nominate in every category; nobody really cares who’s opposition MP of the year. Sorry, David Seymour. I know this was pretty much your last chance to shine.
And it’s not too late to invent new categories if you want. But don’t bother with blogger of the year. There’s a lawyer out West Auckland way who’s got that sown up 😉