Prat of the Year Awards 2010

by Jackie_South on January 2, 2011

Now 2010 is over, the panel have counted the votes for our inaugural prestigious Prat of the Year awards. Without further a-do, in reverse order:

5th equal: Nicholas Sarkozy
The French president is awarded this for the news in June that he has banned bodyguards that are taller than him. Not only does it display an extraordinary insecurity of his 5’5″ height, surely if you are shot at you would want to be surrounded by men taller than you?

5th equal: Colin Eldridge
The funniest gaffe from the elections: Eldridge was the Lib Dem candidate in Liverpool Wavertree, a seat his party had hoped to win particularly when Labour chose a posh north Londoner, Luciana Berger, who didn’t know who wrote “Ferry Across The Mersey” or who Bill Shankly was.

It all went wrong when Eldridge appeared on Liverpool’s CityTalk radio to read the papers on 1 April. The story he chose was Liverpool’s Daily Post’s piece poking fun at the council’s plans to add Chinese translations to the city’s street-signs.

Colin was so keen to defend the (then) Lib Dem council that he failed to notice the rather precise £142,010 (or 1-4-2010 if you prefer) price-tag. You can hear it in its full glory here.

Eldridge went on to lose on a 2.1% swing to Labour.

4th: Sarah Palin
There weren’t many things to be cheerful about after the US mid-term elections, North Korea shelling its southern neighbour should really not have been the source of one of them and it would have been long odds that it would have resulted from the radio show of the Tea Party’s loudest champion, Glenn Beck.

But, as we said at the time, Sarah Palin’s criticism of the government on that show for not doing enough to support North Korea is some classic prattery which cheered us all. Good work, just don’t frighten us all by getting elected President so that we have to worry about you making these mistakes with your finger on the button.

3rd: Fabio Capello
I was a great fan of Fabio up until the World Cup, he seemed to be able to get the best out of the England team and was a significant improvement on Steve McClaren’s tenure.

But he seemed to lose his grip in South Africa this year, resulting in England’s truly dismal performance of drawing with both the USA and Algeria before losing 4-1 to Germany in the second stage. Whilst the laziness of some team-members are to blame, Capello seemed unable to deal with the situation, communicated poorly with the team and continued with the odd habit of only announcing the starting line-up just before kick off despite signs it was damaging team chemistry.

2nd: Christine O’Donnell
Did I say that there weren’t many things to be cheerful about in the US mid-term elections? One ray of sunshine was how the Republicans completely ballsed-up winning the Senate race in Delaware.

When the single most popular politician in the state, congressman for the state-at-large and past governor Mike Castle, announced that he was seeking the Republican nomination for the senate race all the potential Democrat contenders dived for cover, leaving the unknown Chris Coons holding the baby.

But the Tea Party insurgency chose Christine O’Donnell instead of Castle. Not only was she a staunch campaigner against abortion and for sexual abstinence, she called masturbation sinful and equated it with adultery (and added “if he already knows what pleases him and he can please himself, why am I in the picture?”) . She owed the IRS tax. She had admitted on TV to having dabbled with witchcraft. She claimed that scientists had bred mice with fully-functioning human brains.

In TV debates with Chris Coons, she seemed completely out of depth when asked about constitutional issues and asked her opponent to show “Where in the Constitution is separation of church and state? (it’s in the First Amendment).

O’Donnell lost 40%-57%.

And the winner is: Vince Cable
A clear and unsurprising winner, having already won Prat of the Week in weeks 4and 7. Vince has fallen from being probably the most popular politician in the country and occasional economic pundit on Newsnight at the beginning of the year to its most pompously ridiculous: declaring himself “the elephant in the room” during the election, reversing his pre-election views on the economy (which were the foundation of his reputation after all), holding three different positions simultaneously on tuition fees in the week before the vote, falling the Telegraph sting and being stripped of parts of his portfolio after being caught declaring war on Murdoch. Oh dear.

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