The 2014 Arsehole of the Year

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Every politics blogger understands the importance of staying uninformed and irrelevant. We write what we write in the deluded belief that our words may one day be read by someone of influence, or that we might end up being quoted in Parliament by a politician we approve of. We are fools, utter fools, and yet we keep at it. What madness possesses us? Why do we do it? I should be outside enjoying the sun, but instead I am at my keyboard bashing out a blogpost about how terrible the other lot are (But never mind the other lot—our own people are the worst!).

We bloggers are the very dregs of humanity. Blogging brings out the very worst aspects of our personalities, including the tendency to judge others while ignoring our own faults.  But some people think that their blogging is cathartic. They have convinced themselves that all the filth, slime and ooze that resides within them needs to be driven to the surface and washed away. It’s unfortunate for the rest of us that the filth, slime and ooze inside these people doesn’t seem about to run out any time soon.

The end of another calendar year now looms, and it brings with it many things, the most prominent among them being intoxication, sunburn, and sexually transmitted diseases. Each year end also gives us the opportunity to review what transpired. To cast our memories back to the good, the bad, and the dirty. And by God there was some dirty this year.

So in the spirit of delusion, bile, hatred and uninformed opinion masquerading as fact, I present to you the 2014 Arsehole of the Year Award. I have ranked the five top arseholes of 2014. These are the shitbags who made public life just that little bit stinkier this year. These five arseholes spent 2014 taking away what little optimism you still had about the future of the human race.

So who are our five top rancid personalities? Let’s take a look.

Fifth: It’s hard to look past Judith Collins this year. The bully found herself the target of questions about her links to the dairy company Oravida and blogger Cameron Slater, and eventually lost her ministerial post. Collins sought redemption via the medium of the newspaper sympathy piece and fortnightly column, but in the process alienated a whole new group of people: manufacturers of fibre board. A true blue arsehole.

Fourth:  Also on this year’s list is Tony Ryall, who retired from Parliament this year after a successful stint as Health minister. The Health portfolio has always been a difficult one, and has ruined a few political careers over the years, but Ryall managed it skilfully and avoided embarrassment for his government. He did such a good job in his portfolio that Labour never landed a hit against him. This scrooge gave the opposition absolutely nothing to work with. What an arsehole.

Third:  When it comes to consistently strong form, one often thinks of sportspeople like Richie McCaw, Kane Williamson or Valerie Adams. But someone who continues to perform strongly in their field year after year is blogger Cameron Slater. 2014 has been a top year of arsehole achievements for Slater, following on from an impressive 2013. The star of Dirty Politics has found a way to combine a considerable talent for controversy with a lack of basic human decency, and the result has been all the media attention a disturbed man-child could possibly want. A top arsehole.

Second:  Radio New Zealand stalwart Geoff Robinson retired this year. For decades Robinson was the voice of morning radio for thousands of people. His politeness and professionalism almost seemed out of place in the modern era of shouty, hectoring, opinionated radio hosts, which is probably why we miss him so much. Robinson’s decision to retire reeks of selfishness. How dare he! For choosing to ignore the very many people who wanted him to go on and on and on, Robinson earns number two in my Arsehole of the Year rankings.

First: But the biggest arsehole of the year? That’s easy. For writing so many petty and spiteful posts this year, very few of which were funny, and a good many of which were nasty and uncalled for. For frequently getting it wrong on his blog, and then doing everything possible to cover his tracks, in the hope that nobody would remember. For disabling comments on his blog to make it harder for people to tell him just what a dick he has been.  For making fun of Putaruru, and for an ongoing campaign of ridicule directed at the Taxpayers Union (they just want to save the taxpayer a few dollars, honest).  And for brazenly leaking some of his own political party’s most secret plans.

But if that’s not bad enough, this guy goes onto his blog and labels Geoff Robinson, a national treasure, an arsehole.

It’s pretty clear that I deserve this award. I have earned it, and it’s all mine. This is one blogging award that prick Cameron Slater isn’t winning.

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