Courting controversy

SYDNEY: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has changed tack and has literally waded into the ongoing debate over the awarding of Australia’s top honour – a Companion of the Order of Australia – to tennis legend Margaret Court.

Only yesterday, the PM stayed at arm’s length from the furore, declaring he had nothing at all to do with the Australia Day honours selection process and knew nothing more about who was to be honoured next Tuesday than any other Australian outside the “selection process bubble”.

But Mr Morrison eagerly joined the debate this morning, striding from the surf at Cronulla Beach dressed only in speedos featuring the Australian flag and looking so genuinely surprised to find a media throng and his professional photographer waiting for him that he forgot to suck in his tummy.

“Those who wade ashore will get ashore,” the PM said with a knowing smirk.

“Look, I know why you’re all here,” he added, glancing down briefly at his speedos and absent-mindedly adjusting his junk.

“While I might totally agree with Mrs Court’s views on the evils of homosexuality and those who attempt to transgender, often on the public health purse, and the generally accepted benefits of conversion therapy, I will defend her right to free dog whistling…. I’m sorry… I meant speech!

“Free speech.”

***


CANBERRA: Media outlets around Australia are looking rather foolish this morning after the Australia Day honours selection committee released a brief statement categorically denying that tennis legend Margaret Court would receive the nation’s highest Order of Australia honour on Tuesday.

“That rumour is simply not true,” the statement read.

“The Morrison Government by Cabinet decree late last week reintroduced the Australian version of Britain’s imperial honours of knights and dames and from now on, they will sit proudly beside our traditional Order of Australia honours.

“And naturally we wish to congratulate Dame Margaret Court AO on her well-deserved elevation.”

The Bug understands others to be honoured early next week include Sir Clive Palmer for his services to Australian politics and mainstream media operating profits in late-April and May 2019, Sir Alan Jones, Sir David Flint and Sir Tony Abbott for their services to one another generally, Sir Cardinal George Pell for his central role in ensuring no jury in Australia will ever again accept the solitary evidence of an alleged sexual assault victim if the accused is famous or well-known, and Dame Peta Credlin, Dame Vikki Campion, Dame Miranda Devine and Dame Peta Gleeson for their sterling efforts in restoring to full health the previously fading art of Australian humour writing.