AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR:
A new name is believed to have been added to the top-secret shortlist for The Bug’s coveted Australian of the Year Award for 2019 to be announced on Australia Day next month.
Former deputy prime minister and former National Party leader Barnaby Joyce’s social media rant about the drought, God, and climate change on Christmas Eve (main picture) is believed to have caused a groundswell of support for his inclusion on the shortlist of award contenders.
However, chair of the judging panel, The Bug’s finance and investment advice columnist Morrie Bezzle (pictured) refused to comment on the rumoured addition to the list.
“You blokes, and of course sheilas, in the press know I can’t whisper a word about who’s on our shortlist,” Mr Bezzle said when contacted close to midnight on Boxing Day during a working lunch and massage at the Oily Palms Gentlemen’s Retreat in inner-Brisbane.
“But let me just say that based on the reactions of everyone I’ve spoken to, I can safely say there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when people watched Barnaby’s emotional plea to our nation.
“So much so that I reckon he should make it an annual thing, like the Queen’s Christmas Day message and the Pope’s whatchamacallit thingy he does over there at the Vatican to cash in on Christmas.”
Mr Bezzle did not rule out the 2019 Australian of the Year Award going to the 2018 winner, businessman and political operative Clive Palmer (pictured).
“Well, what can I say? Clive’s an obvious choice again isn’t he? I mean I’m not breaking any confidences when I say all Aussies who love an underdog would be cheering Clive on in the award stakes,” Mr Bezzle said.
“I reckon Clive gained a lot of fans in this year’s federal election campaign.
“Who doesn’t love a little Aussie battler like Clive who stands up to the big boys with only his own personality, a few big ideas, and of course a $60 million advertising spend?
“I know I do, and I’m not just saying that because I was giving the big fella a helping hand and earning a slice of commish on his spend along the way,” Mr Bezzle said.
Mr Bezzle would also neither confirm nor deny that The Bug’s AOTY shortlist also included teenage climate change activist Scomo Turdberg (pictured).