It was a year that satirised itself
It says a lot about the state of Australian politics that this is the third year running I have been able to compile a list of real news headlines that read as satire for the Monthly. Perhaps it says even more that I was able to compile a whole book of them from the Abbott government’s first – and thankfully only – term.
The members of the Abbott government set a cracking standard for gaffes in 2013 and 2014. But somehow they managed to outdo themselves in 2015: a wind-farm commissioner, an 80-kilometre taxpayer-funded helicopter ride, and a failed assassination attempt on Johnny Depp’s dogs were just the beginning. And you have to give them points for originality, too. Each new misstep went in an entirely different direction.
The stuff-ups stopped after 14th of September, though. Malcolm Turnbull’s arrival to the leadership felt like a real teacher finally turning up to replace the wacky substitute. Mr Turnbull wanted the class to do actual work, and the students started acting more appropriately. Of course there are still some class clowns acting up – Eric Abetz is using n-words, Cory Bernardi accidentally quoting a neo-Nazi. But the golden age of gaffes has come to an end.
So please savour this list of utterly ridiculous Australian politics headlines. Palm your face extra hard while reading, for old times sake. It might be a while before you mistake the Age for the Onion.
Public servants banned from wearing ugg boots, onesies
Julie Bishop answers Thermomix question by becoming human emoji
Tony Abbott says he went too far likening Bill Shorten to Nazi Goebbels
Bronwyn Bishop spends $5,000 on 80km charter helicopter flight from Melbourne to Geelong
Treasurer Joe Hockey is paid the same amount as Newstart, $1000 a month, to sleep at his wife’s house
Eric Abetz and Cory Bernardi rack up a bill to attend anti-government waste do
Joe Hockey announces 50-centimetre extension of Parap pool which Darwin City Council says is already too long
Leaked talking points tell ministers to say ‘our cabinet is functioning exceptionally well’
LNP to host International Women’s Day function at club that only allows men
Attorney-General George Brandis busted reading poetry books during estimates hearing
Christopher Pyne refuses to say how he ‘fixed’ higher education reform bill: ‘I want it to be a surprise for you’
Australian Border Force: Peter Dutton says his office received copy of press release, but no-one read it
Eric Abetz says lots of gay men don’t want to marry, citing Dolce and Gabbana
Johnny Depp’s dogs Boo and Pistol could be put down if they stay in Australia, Barnaby Joyce warns
Australian minister: ‘Gay marriage could damage our cattle exports’
Abbott government pledges to appoint a wind farm commissioner in leaked letter
Abbott regrets not halting clean energy more
This koala hugged Vladimir Putin. Now Russia wonders whether Australia killed it
Tony Abbott’s senior adviser accuses UN of creating climate change hoax to impose ‘new world order’
Indigenous affairs adviser to PM ‘sorry’ for Confederate flag costume and ‘unaware’ of US outrage
Communications Minister is hopeful ‘all should be good’ and NBN satellite won’t blow up on launch
Joe Hockey’s advice to first homebuyers – get a good job that pays good money
Joe Hockey raises prospect of Australians living until 150 to justify budget cuts
Australia senator threatens to grab PM's testicles over mining row
Jacqui Lambie likens the Greens to Islamic State in joke to mining industry
Liberal MP and new mum Kelly O’Dwyer told to express more breast milk to avoid missing votes in the chamber
Bill Shorten crashes into parked cars in Melbourne after ‘spilling coffee’
Labor’s Anthony Albanese to drop beats at DJ set next week
Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi mistakenly quotes American neo-Nazi
‘Learn to speak Australian’: Liberal Senator under fire for insensitive remark – but he insists it is ‘political correctness gone mad’
David Leyonhjelm unapologetic about calling Julia Gillard a ‘mangy dog’
Clive Palmer’s dinosaur Jeff destroyed by fire at Palmer Coolum Resort
Clive Palmer to headline Queensland Poetry Festival
Prime Minister eats another raw onion, choosing it over caramelised onion quiche
Kyle Sandilands more popular than Tony Abbott in The Encore Score’s new celebrity poll
Tony Abbott goes topless at wild farewell party after being ousted by new PM Malcolm Turnbull
Tony Abbott ‘resigned as Prime Minister by fax’
Liberal MP hits out, says ‘get a life’ after revelations of Abbott's ‘Monkey Pod’ gatherings
Federal MP hurt leg ‘crash tackling’ Tony Abbott
Tony Abbott buys a fridge on Gumtree
Evan Williams’ book Australian Leader Eats Raw Onion Whole: Headlines from the government that broke satire is out via Black Inc.
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