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The 2015 Australian Annual Out of Their Depth Award

Voting has begun in the people's choice category of the 2015 Out of Their Depth Award with the judges announcing the five finalists.

This year the awards committee wishes to acknowledge the past achievements of two giants of the OTD awards: "Captain" Tony Abbott and "Smokin' Joe" Hockey. Abbott has already made a huge splash on the European circuit with his address to the team of reigning UK OTD champion David "Porky" Cameron. Hockey will now ply his trade in the USA, the nation that produced former world OTD champions George W Bush and Sarah Palin, as well as the current title holder Donald Trump. The committee wishes Abbott and Hockey the very best of luck, or at least enough luck that they don't have to come back here looking for work.
This year's finalists are:

Peter Dutton

Instantly recognisable from his trademark vacant stare into the distance, like a cadet on parade trying desperately not to pass out. Peter “Spud” Dutton is the short-priced favourite in this year's award. What the Spud lacks in ability, charisma or signs of intelligent life, he more than makes up for in his single-minded determination to do sweet FA in his job, regardless of the consequences.

Bereft of compassion, understanding and humanity to the point of demanding a new definition of 'clinically dead', there is no known superlative that does justice to the blinding incompetence of this man. Instead we have had to resort to a made-up word: Ignoranus (one who is both stupid and an arsehole).

Brutalising a rape victim on Nauru; persecuting whistle-blowers who reveal details of child abuse in immigration detention that even the Catholic Church wouldn’t cover up, while refusing to investigate those allegations; accusing Amnesty International of "bullying" the Government over its treatment of asylum seekers - any one of these actions in isolation would make the Spud a shoo-in for this year's award. To combine all three, and then top it off with serving meals containing human teeth to detainees on Manus Island, represents a level of out-of-depthness that would make someone book a cruise on the Titanic, with a connecting flight on the Hindenburg, rather than allow this man to give them a lift home. He will be tough to beat.

Scott Morrison

Neither honest nor capable in any of his undertakings, Scott “Mad Dog” Morrison is the consummate professional out-of-depther. Morrison approaches all aspects of his job with the empathetic demeanour of an intoxicated skinhead.

Overshadowed in previous years by Abbott and Hockey, Morrison has this year been given the opportunity to shine in his new role as Federal Treasurer. As his predecessor Smokin’ Joe demonstrated with aplomb, there is no other job with which to display one's fiscal, intellectual and altruistic deficiencies as destructively as that of Federal Treasurer.

Morrison has hit the ground running, enthusiastically adopting Hockey’s position of refusing to address tens of billions of dollars in lost revenue from corporate tax evasion, superannuation loopholes and offshore financial scams. A position which helped Smokin' Joe clock up an additional $60 billion in debt in just his first budget. Morrison has added to this his own trademark brand of kneecapping the vulnerable by suggesting the GST should be increased by 50% and applied to fresh food, with the proceeds then being squandered on a tax cut for millionaires. Morrison may not understand economics, but he evidently knows how to suck up to the boss.

Could 2015 be the year of the Mad Dog?

Bill Shorten

The Federal Opposition’s sole entrant in this year’s award, mainly due to the ALP’s reluctance to turn up during most policy debates over the past two years. Bill “Footloose” Shorten, despite possessing the popularity of a warm flat beer on a hot summer’s day, has been ruled ineligible for the OTD award in recent years due to his modestly successful strategy of not being Tony Abbott. All that changed in September this year when new kid on the block, Malcolm “Moneybags” Turnbull, exposed Shorten’s shortcomings by surging ahead in the not being Tony Abbott stakes – despite carrying the excess baggage of the overwhelming majority of Abbott’s cabinet and policy platform.

While most commentators believe Shorten hasn’t a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning anything, 2015 could be the year he proves the critics wrong.

Christopher Pyne

Few OTD veterans have displayed the full extent of their lack of tact, judgement and tolerability as Christopher “Princess” Pyne. Pyne’s consistent inability to get his plans past the Senate, however, has meant that the Australian public has so far largely been deprived of the opportunity to fully appreciate the disastrous consequences of his ill-conceived policies. As fellow South Australian and former Out of Their Depth award winner Alexander “Bad Boy” Downer was once rumoured to have remarked: “Christopher’s incompetence often negates his ineptitude”.

Pyne has suffered a further setback this year after being moved from Education to Science, a portfolio so bereft of opportunity to wreak havoc that the former Abbott government didn’t even bother to appoint a minister to the role. Despite science in Australia currently lacking the levels of funding to slash and research to denigrate that education offered him, it would be hasty to write off Pyne at this stage. Time and again the Princess has proven that even in the most adverse of circumstances, he can still produce a spectacular fuck up.

George Brandis

Having already picked up this year’s award for Politician who most resembles a Muppet, thanks to his uncanny resemblance to Dr Bunsen Honeydew, Brandis is hoping to add a second trophy to his $15,000 bookcase this year. Despite being a regular finalist in the OTD awards since earning promotion to John Howard’s front bench in 2007, Brandis is considered a bit of a rank outsider. While clearly possessing no idea of the role and responsibilities of Attorney General, or the impact they have on the rule of law in this country, Bunsen Brandis's out-of-depthness is often overlooked due to the fact that his incomprehensible garble is regularly mistaken for actual legal jargon.

Voting closes on December 31, with the winner being announced on April 1 2016.

Commenting on this Blog entry will be automatically closed on January 6, 2016.