The Sneering Hubris Awards aka The SMUGGIES

Andrew L. Urban

The Sneering Hubris Awards, nicknamed the SMUGGIES, were announced in the wake of the King’s Birthday Honours where the Companion of the Order of Australia awards list included Daniel Andrews and Mark McGowan, former premiers of Victoria and Western Australia – for their contribution to cynical politics during Covid.

By coincidence, it was Department of Premier and Cabinet secretary Jeremi Moule, who was appointed to his role as Victoria’s most senior public servant by Dan Andrews, who is Victoria’s representative on the 19-member body that considers nominations for the awards.

Daniel Andrews

By another coincidence, both former premiers also feature in the Sneering Hubris Awards, which recognise outstanding perseverance in projecting self-righteous confidence while being wrong, with tones of superiority complex. The winner of the top gong, the Hubrius Maximus Award is Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen “for his perseverance in the face of humiliating evidence” to maintain his stubborn and expensive ‘renewables or bust’ policies based on propaganda. This award is shared with non-Australian Antonio ‘Boiling Earth’ Guterres of the UN, as a matter of inclusiveness. (There is only one such award, the Companion in Hubris, as the potential recipients are too numerous to fit onto the list.)

Another Minister featured in the list is Andrew Giles, irresponsible for immigration, “for working ‘day and night’ while failing to correct his own mistakes”; that’s the Humiliation Hubris.

In broadcasting, ABC TV’s Media Watch host Paul Barry won the Hubris MiniMax, awarded to the recipient who spends the least time broadcasting (15 minutes a week) while exhibiting the highest level of hubris.

Barry might like to invite his co-workers at the ABC to the celebration party as they won the collective, group award, “for sticking together inclusively on politics of the left” – the MULTISMUG.

The Hubris in the House special SMUG award reserved for performance during parliamentary question time was shared by the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the Leader of the House, Tony Burke, “for consistent displays of smuggery”. An additional notation was added to the Prime Minister’s award, “boosted by performances to the camera.”

Another special SMUG award was created to recognise the contribution to Australian politics by former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the Turnable Smug, “for dishonouring political disloyalty in a manner that oozes with the milk of human smugness.”

Greens leader Adam Bandt, named after the first male sinner in the bible, is listed last in the list, as the recipient of the Hubrius Ignoramus, “for being unrepentantly wrong on everything with the smug confidence of the ignorant”.

Anticipating that left leaning critics might accuse the Hubris Awards committee of anti-left wing bias, it has included a statement with the awards list: “They would be wrong. The Hubris Awards Committee has been diligent in considering nominations from all sides of politics and has finalised the list of award recipients in the confident (smug) knowledge that it has made the right decisions. The award winners could not be beaten for their smug hubris. We know hubris. No correspondence will be entered into.”


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