Irksome things we want to see less of in 2021


As the year staggers to a close - and what a year it has been - it is timely to offer a prayer that some of its more irksome features will not be revisited upon us in 2021.

It would be a good thing, for example, if populist premiers devoid of policies of any substance did not close state borders every time someone sneezed in some far distant corner of the land.

We get it - you're tough, fearless leaders prepared to die in a ditch to defend the good people of your state - unless of course, there's a game of football involved, which is a completely different matter altogether.

Did Anastacia Palaszczuk really text "Queenslander!" to her NSW counterpart Gladys Berejiklian when the latter attempted to engage her in a rational exchange regarding COVID-19 following the State of Origin match?

In terms of the year's more cringe-worthy moments, it takes some beating.

And politicians of all colour should also be required to close their Twitter accounts at midnight on December 31.




Steven Miles
Steven Miles


Deputy Premier Steven Miles deserves a dishonourable mention for his "have you considered intravenous disinfectant?" tweet to Donald Trump on hearing the US President had coronavirus, following this up with other hilarious Twitter bon mots such as "Good morning to everyone except Deb Frecklington" on the eve of the election.

Should the voters of Murrumba every tire of his presence, a career as a stand-up comedian surely beckons.

There would also, I think, be a sigh of nationwide relief were all ex-Australian prime ministers to take a vow of silence for 2021.

Kevin Rudd's increasingly desperate attempts at gaining relevance have become as tiresome as they are embarrassing, while Malcolm Turnbull's public sulking and ill-concealed, petulant scheming to damage anyone who failed to appreciate that he was the greatest prime minister since federation have trashed what little was left of his legacy.

It is too much to hope that public genuflection by athletes, otherwise known as "taking the knee", will fade from the sports arena, but we should ensure that those who indulge in this practice acknowledge the absolute right of others to regard it as a shallow and divisive gesture.

More strength to those people who by standing while others kneel, demonstrate the belief held by many of us that all lives matter.


Kevin Rudd
Kevin Rudd


Malcolm Turnbull
Malcolm Turnbull


It would also be a blessing if the B-word was banned from political discourse.

I refer here to the cries of bullying which are the last recourse of an elected member as they desperately attempt to deflect attention from their own failings.

Our Premier ill-advisedly attempted to hang the bullyboy tag on the Prime Minister during the pandemic crisis. Suffice to say it was not one of her finer moments.

There will, alas, be little we can do to stop world leaders from flying around the world next year attending conferences at which they all hold hands and promise to achieve zero emissions at some conveniently distant date.

None of the big emitters have the slightest intention of meeting these targets with China, responsible for almost 30 per cent of the world's emissions, saying it will achieve a net zero target by 2060.

If you believe that then, yes, there really is a tooth fairy and she lives with Santa Claus at the North Pole.

We might also hope that 2021 will be the year that Ita Buttrose, chairwoman of the ABC, concedes that the organisation, funded by all of us to the tune of $1 billion a year, is biased against the conservative side of politics and takes decisive action to achieve some balance.






There should also be no room for opinion on our national broadcaster, just hard news: what, when and where will do nicely, thank you.

Would it also be too much to ask Channel Nine nicely to please, please, please hire some rugby league commentators who possess a vocabulary of more than 10 words and are capable of articulating a complete and comprehensible sentence in English?

Those who call Australian rules games manage to deliver a commentary that relates to what is happening on the field of play, as opposed to their NRL colleagues who, in between Cromagnon-like grunts and groans, enchant their audience by speculating on the size of the crowd and the weather. Whatever they are paid, it's too much.

Let's also hope that the State Government uses some of the money it is borrowing - if there is any left after it has paid the extra public servants it is hiring - to address the shameful disgrace that is the Maritime Museum at South Bank.

We call ourselves the River City, but our maritime heritage continues to rot and rust and nobody in government appears to give a damn.

There are 17 days left in 2020. Will 2021 be less traumatic? We live in hope.



Queensland Maritime Museum
Queensland Maritime Museum








Originally published as Irksome things we want to see less of in 2021