Beaten finalist urges rule changes

A losing finalist in The Bug’s Australian of the Year award has graciously applauded the winner but has called for an overhaul of the nomination process and general qualification rules.

Much-loved Brisbane newspaper columnist Des Hougton rang The Bug to say he totally agreed that fellow scribe James Morrow (below, right) was a worthy winner of our 2021 Australian of the Year gong.

“James’s body of work throughout last year was truly amazing and reflected his patriotism for the country he clearly loves,” Des told us.

“Through that entire calendar year, just about every word he penned showed him to be a steadfast supporter of LNP governments and oppositions around this great nation of ours and you can’t get much more patriotic than that.

“He clearly only wants the very best for Australia, as most people do and not just the great bulk of the country’s mainstream journalists.

“And I readily accept that during 2021 I simply did not, try as I might, match his patriotic output. He often writes daily of course, which gave him a distinct advantage over me but I certainly won’t be using that as an excuse for not winning.

“But here’s my gripe. It’s just an absurdity that myself and the other state finalists are now done and dusted for ever and can never taste The Bug AOTY glory.

“There will be an entirely different group of contenders next year which, frankly doesn’t make sense.

“How the bloody hell am I expected to spend the next 12 months striving for journalist excellence without any hope of ever again attaining The Bug AOTY glory? Or put another way, where is my incentive to continue writing columns of the quality of my recent one where I named Scott Morrison my own personal Australian of the Year for 2021?

“How would tennis lovers feel if whoever is the runner-up when Ash Barty wins the Australian Open women’s singles crown on Saturday is not eligible to strive for victory next year?

“Or for that matter, the entire 131 women players who didn’t lift the trophy in 2022? It’s just an absurd notion, isn’t it?”

Des admitted that despite James Morrow’s brilliant and unwavering support of the only side of Australian politics capable of providing good strong stable government at federal, state and local level and keeping communist unions at bay, he was heartbroken not to have taken out the 2021 AOTY award.

“I haven’t felt this bad since October, 2020, when Palaszczuk’s Queensland Labor state government against all odds wo.. w…. wo….. wwwww …. wo…. w…. wo…. didn’t lose power despite the efforts of so many of us who are proud and patriotic Queenslanders.”

AT TOP: Des Houghton and one of his 2021 columns for the LNP’s Bowen Hills Branch that, quite understandably, made the veteran scribe feel he had a real shot at The Bug 2021 AOTY glory.