The 2014 Imperator Fish Awards

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2014 has been a strange year. It seemed in July that we had reached peak crazy, but the thrills just kept on coming.

But now the year draws to an end. What better time, then, to pay tribute to some of our most stellar achievements?

The Imperator Fish Awards recognise those among us who made a huge difference. They are the people who in 2014 made us laugh, or cry, or want to punch ourselves in the face.

The award winners were selected after a rigorous judging process that involved a careful consideration of various important factors. But what tipped the scales in most cases was the brown envelope full of cash that Carrick Graham sent me in the post.

To the winners, I salute and congratulate all of you. To those of you who missed out, better luck next year, and why not have a word with Carrick?

So here are the winners.

2014 Malaysian Airlines Award for notable disappearances

This goes to Colin Craig. Has anyone seen him since the election? Where did he go? Was he ever really here, or is my recollection of him a false memory?

Let us all hope that, like a firefly, Craig emerges soon from his long period of hibernation to once more burn furiously and splendidly.

Let us also pray he isn’t done with the whole thing. Politics may at times resemble a circus, but no circus would be complete without its clowns.

2014 Lance Armstrong hero-to-zero award

Congratulations to Judith Collins for a stunning year of achievements. She worked hard for this award, and it’s a thoroughly deserved one. Couldn’t happen to a nicer person etc. etc., although I’m sure she’s really a nice person if you get to know her. So was Cruella De Vil.

Collins started 2014 as a tough, non-nonsense arse-kicker who was liable to scare the bejeesus out of anyone unfortunate enough to go up against her. Now the only people afraid of Judith Collins are fibre-board manufacturers. And by “afraid,” I mean not really.

2014 Pundit of the year

This goes to the aptly-named Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury, for his efforts in predicting the outcome of the 2014 general election.

Bradbury’s efforts are so consistently and reliably wrong that his body of work is fast becoming a vital resource for all political strategists.

2014 Politician of the year

How could it be anyone else? John Key had a tough year, but ultimately it was a hugely successful one.

Key will now be looking forward to a peaceful and relaxing holiday break. Let’s hope he gets his memory back soon.

2014 Black Knight award for never giving up

This award goes to David Cunliffe for giving a stirring victory speech on the night of Labour’s worse election defeat in generations.

2014 Villain of the year

Nicky Hager’s publication of the private correspondences of a person known to routinely publish the private correspondences of other people, was the act of a truly despicable and dangerous person, or a valuable public service, depending on your point of view.

Hager’s revelations of dirty politicking, and of bloggers being paid to destroy careers, sickened and disgusted many people. They even forced some in the news media to face up to their own questionable ethics—for almost five minutes.

Some will say Hager is a hero for revealing the truth behind what our politicians get up to. But wthout Hager’s book Dirty Politics we would not have known any of this grubby stuff. Therefore, Nicky Hager is to blame. Shoot the messenger? Sure, why not?

2014 First against the wall award

This award goes to anyone who used the term “MSM” in any blogpost or publication this year, other than chemists and others using the term as shorthand for methylsulfonylmethane.

2014 Dastardly plot of the year

The Labour Party, for planning to kill that speaker of truth to power (for cash), Cameron Slater.

2014 Apology of the year

“I’m sorry for being a man.”

Earnest, heartfelt, admirable and brave, and thanks for losing us the 2014 election, David.

2014 Non-Apology of the year

Remember the New Zealand Herald’s stunning revelations about Donghua Liu’s involvement with the Labour Party? It was evidence of corruption within the Labour Party. Hypocrisy! And, oh God, David Cunliffe had even forgotten a routine letter written eleven years ago over Liu and as a result had to resign. Meanwhile, John Key forgot what he did the day before, and that was fine.

Liu’s evidence turned out to be full of holes, and the Herald ended up looking a bit silly for publishing accusations without checking they had any substance. But did the country’s biggest paper apologise for leading readers astray with false accusations? Heck, where’s the harm? Lucky it was only election year.

2014 Word/s of the year

“Labour values”. A term that means whatever you want it to mean. Which is kinda the problem.

2014 Politician who is named Andrew Little of the year

Andrew Little was almost knocked out of Parliament, and now he is Labour leader. A very effective one, at least so far. His no-bullshit approach makes a refreshing change from the mealy-mouthed utterances we have come to expect from Labour leaders in recent years.

Little’s success is bad news for pundits and bloggers, most of whom predicted he would not win the job, or that he would be a dismal failure as leader*. If pundits and bloggers could be so wrong about Little, what else might they be wrong about? What if it turned out that our most relied-upon talking heads and commentators actually didn’t have a fucking clue?

* Myself included

2014 Never saw that coming award

This award goes to all the people who this year took to the blogs, Twitter and Facebook to complain about how the media wasn’t doing its job properly.

2014 Woman of the year

This is a tie between Lorde and Lydia Ko, for being so disgustingly talented.

Hopefully these amazing young women will in 2015 sink to a level of mediocrity most of us are comfortable and familiar with in our everyday lives. Because their astonishing successes make me feel so pathetic in comparison.

2014 Man of the year

Mike Hosking. For being so willing to share with us all of his remarkably simple solutions to the complex issues facing this country.

2014 Journalist of the year

This goes to Cameron Slater, after a judge determined he was a journalist but then declined to give him the journalistic protections he sought.

Slater later went to war against the news media, suing various media organisations to stop his emails being published, complaining to the police, and trying to kill the biggest political news story of 2014.

So just like a journalist, then.

2014 blogger of the year

I’m also giving this one to Cameron Slater, but only because I hope to annoy people on Twitter. He’s actually a complete cock.