We Australians, like all of those who walk the grasses of this Earth, are not without fault. Though possessing the best intentions, we occasionally act with ill judgement, offering the best care to our sick and the best education to our youth, opening our borders to the truly needy, and speak only the whole truth. Thankfully, one organisation has spent almost 70 years being nothing but forgiving of our wrongdoings: The Liberal Party of Australia.
Today, BULLSH!T would like to honour the upstanding men – and strictly men! – who have dedicated their lives to bettering us as a people. As leaders, they have helped direct us down the right path, and for this, we are eternally grateful.
5. Brendan Nelson (2007-2008):
Though his tenure as Leader of the Liberal Party was brief, Nelson’s presence was nothing short of inspirational. He was, and still is, living proof that being born into adversity is no match for the human will. Nelson, the poor thing, was born into a pro-Labor family, and to make matters worse, a Catholic one. But he persevered, worked his way into the right side of politics and was eventually deemed their leader by his brethren. Status didn’t mean the end of hardships, however, with Nelson receiving record-low public approval ratings of 7 per cent. And how did he respond. Never one to back down, he labelled himself the “underdog” and kept on trucking. Bless you, good sir!
4. Harold Holt (1966-1967):
“All the way with LBJ,” Holt famously proclaimed. Through his questionable decision to blindly follow US President Lyndon B. Johnson’s lead and increase Australia’s military efforts in the Vietnam War, Holt became a hipster among the Liberal Party ranks. He was a trend setter whose attitude achieved retro-cool status in the early 2000s, prompting then-Prime Minister John Howard to send Australian troops into Iraq and Afghanistan as a show of arse kissing. He was at the cutting edge of thought, but just like some of the great minds of the 20th Century, his life was presumably cut short when he disappeared off the coast of Victoria. His legacy, however, lives on…
3. John Hewson (1990-1994):
He may not have had the smooth voice of Menzies or the commandingly male physique of Abbott, but Hewson was never shaken by being a mere mortal; rather, he made his humanity his greatest asset. To the Australian people, Hewson was a relatable man, evidenced by his childlike fascination with cake – he wanted to know where a cake was made and all about its decoration. This obsession made the public remember their younger selves, but unfortunately, also made them remember that their younger selves were incapable of running a country. As such, Hewson became the only leader undone by cake (although Alexander Downer’s weight pulls that feat into contention).
2. Robert Menzies (1945-1966):
How many Prime Ministers can say they were brought back by popular demand? Well, besides Kevin Rudd, that is. With his stern yet enthralling gaze and a voice that could rally the most ungrateful middle class citizen, it’s no surprise Menzies holds the record as Australia’s longest serving leader. Besides forming the Liberal Party of Australia in 1945, his other achievements include valiantly protecting the country from the communist threat posed by Moscow, located a dangerously close 12,000 kilometres away. His only misstep was promoting equality and condemning oppression – an error future Liberal leaders were more than happy to correct.
1. Tony Abbott (2009-present):
Is it any surprise that we’re ending our list on our current Liberal Party leader and Prime Minister? He’s a rugged man who embodies what every Australian bloke wants to be – physical, with leathery and reptile-like skin to protect him from the elements, and a figure that distracts from his character flaws. He’s even a hit with the ladies! Sure, they may claim to be repulsed by his condescending smirk, but it just makes them want his approval more. Kind of like a nationwide daddy issue. As his benevolent reign is still in its early days, we’re not celebrating what he’s done – we’re celebrating the great things he’s sure to do.
Vincent Varney is a Sydney-based writer who can’t understand why the rest of the world finds the name ‘Liberal Party of Australia’ ironic. Follow him on Twitter.