Big Brave Jamie
Jamie Briggs has bravely told journalists about the terrible sacrifice he made by gallantly being forced to resign as Minister for Cities and the Built Environment after putting the moves on a public servant in a bar while on a ministerial trip to Hong Kong.
As he made clear, the issue was that he had to travel for his job, which made him drink alcohol. Obviously.
"I flew 150-odd times [in 2015] and I've found it really difficult," he explained, cleverly indicating that the problem in Hong Kong was that he just had a bit too much to drink and certainly not because he figured that it was a good time to exert sexual authority over someone whose job depended on him.
"I needed to resign because it's a very privileged position to be a minister in a Commonwealth government and I need to learn from the error that I made," he bravely continued. Note: that's error, singular.
See, there's the fairly important point that Briggs reportedly shared a picture of the staffer in question around his colleagues - which doesn't sound at all creepy or revengey, obviously - and then the photo mysteriously found its way to journalists somehow. Briggs insisted that he definitely didn't send it himself, and PM Malcolm Turnbull declined to have any sort of investigation into whether that was, for example, a lie.
And you can understand why Turnbull trusted Briggs' word. After all, the ex-minister's most notable achievement prior to being sacked for macking on a staffer was tearing a ligament while attempting to crash tackle the just-deposed PM Tony Abbott during a drunken furniture-smashing party. How could the PM question the integrity of a man that has consistently shown such excellent judgement?
But hey, it was all a bit of fun, right? We all know Briggs is the real victim here. Maybe we should get him something nice?
Judge a man by his works
But let's leave disgraced former ministers and turn instead to disgraced current ones, starting with Greg Hunt - Minister for the "Environment".
Greggles has been on a real environmental tear lately - approving coal mining developments and port expansions under the adorably optimistic belief that the rest of the world will shortly abandon renewable energy generation and their own mining operations and start buying Australia's coal exports instead, despite all of the evidence indicating the exact opposite scenario.
So G-Dawg should be chuffed that Australia's been namechecked in what he has previously called "the most credible, scientifically based" environmental analysis in the world, the Environmental Performance Index, in which Australia, among other honours, is ranked 150th out of 180 nations "for its trend in carbon emissions for electricity generation". High praise!
Sadly Saudi Arabia is still beating us for the worst climate and energy policies of all of the developed world, but that just leaves Big Greg a goal to aim for in 2016. Maybe a system of federal tyre fires would put us over the top?
A triumph for human wrongs!
Also winning is everyone's favourite slapstick superstar and occasional Immigration Minister, Peter "how do phones work?" Dutton.
Australia's recent history with asylum seekers has won him a new honour as Human Rights Watch have singled out Australia for its ghastly recent human rights record, namechecking the attacks on Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs over her accurate report on child abuse in detention, our cash payments to people smugglers, the lack of oversight in legislation designed to strip citizenship from suspected terrorists, and the continued lack of action on sexual assaults on Nauru.
Just as an aside, it would seem that the investment community are just as excited as Human Rights Watch. The company that has been overseeing "epidemic levels" of human suffering, Transfield, recently changed their name to the nondescript "Broadspectrum", purely by coincidence, although the rebrand still hasn't stopped their plummeting share price leaving them barely able to avoid a hostile takeover by Spanish company, Ferrovial.
Of course, Human Rights Watch have failed to take into account Pete's many wins, like the vast amount of medals he's giving to Border Force officers or his brilliant climate-change-themed stand up comedy career. Classic!
Which lobby group is writing national policy today?
And sure, we did go on about this yesterday but… look, that whole same-sex-marriage-plebiscite thing.
The government are continuing to bicker among themselves about whether or not gay people should have less civil rights than straight people, with Nationals MP Bridget McKenzie confirming that she too has no intention of respecting the outcome of a plebiscite if she disagrees with it.
And while there are reasonable questions being asked about why the actual freak we should bother having a plebiscite if Parliament ignore the outcome, here's a better question: why are we letting the Australian Christian Lobby write government policy?
That's especially important in this case, since the plebiscite was never intended to determine whether or not Australians want marriage equality, but was calculated purely to derail otherwise inevitable progress.
How do we know these things? Well, we know it was the ACL's idea because they were promoting it on their website back in May 2015, months before then-PM Abbott floated it to Cabinet.
And we know the intent as the ACL's director Lyle Shelton wrote a piece last September for The Daily Signal, blog of the staunchly right-wing US thinktank The Heritage Foundation (for whom dumped minister Kevin Andrews is skipping the first week of Parliament to go speak for some reason), with the telling quote "[A] people's vote known as a plebiscite would be held sometime after the 2016 election, kicking the issue into the long grass (putting the issue off) and blunting the momentum of same-sex marriage lobbyists." The weird brackets are his, by the way, not ours.
Shelton told the Guardian on Thursday that he was merely "making an assessment of the impact what had happened" and definitely not explaining his diabolical scheme in the manner of a Bond villain, but here's a little pro-tip, Shelts: if you want to keep your conspiracy with the government quiet, maybe don't write an article outlining how successful your conspiracy was.
The cocktail hour: spreading the poison
Look, it's got literally nothing to do with any of the above, but a) you could probably do with a laugh by now, and b) this has been stuck on permanent loop in the V from the S brain for a week now, to the point where it's stopped being a joke and become a legitimate personal hit.
So yes, on the one hand it's a hilarious redub of bits of Star Wars put to music by the evil geniuses at Bad Lip Reading, but it's also an exceptionally catchy song (not least because, as one particularly shrewd pal observed, Obi Wan sings oddly like Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie).
May you all have something waiting in the bushes of love, friends, and let's meet back here on Sunday. Cheers!
Andrew P Street's The Short and Excruciatingly Embarrassing Reign of Captain Abbott is available through Booktopia, and all good bookstores.
The top stories on smh.com.au on Thursday were:
- Severe thunderstorms to cap city's wettest January in 28 years
- Bermagui cafe owner receives death threats after Australia Day sign goes viral
- Sydney Rooster Mitchell Pearce's career in doubt after lewd act involving dog
- Gina Rinehart loses top spot in Forbes Australia's rich list
- Sydney Roosters' Mitchell Pearce involved in a drunken incident with a dog? And your point is ...