In reply to #utegate – Making Political Scandals Australian

Like every other fan of Australian political theatre, I’ve been following the Ozcar affair. But I really object to it being called Utegate. We’re Australians. We don’t have -gates. That’s an American shorthand for a political scandal. We have our own term for these things, or at least, we should.

So I propose that we innaugrate a new, Australian cliche: The Overboard.

The Overboard is named, of course, for Children Overboard Affair. I think everything should be an “overboard affair”, mostly because the word affair is broader than the word scandal, and also, it’s a homage to the Man from U.N.C.L.E.

But that’s not enough. That won’t get this established. That’s going to take a little more. So here, in reverse chronological order, are a few of the better Australian political scandals:

2009 – The Email Overboard Affair
Also known as the Ozcar affair or the Utegate scandal.

2006 – The Wheat Overboard Affair
Also known as the Australian Wheat Board kickbacks affair.

2001 – The Children Overboard Affair
Okay, this one was already called that. I just like to remind people of the sneaky, weaselly behaviour of a certain government in power at the time.

1998 – The Kernot Overboard Affair
One of the few things listed here to involve an actual affair.

1992 – The WA Inc Overboard Affair
This one actually led to a Royal Commission.

1987 – The Bjelke Overboard Affair
From the Fitzgerald Inquiry to his resignation.

1975 – The Constitution Overboard Affair
C’mon, you know what this is already.

1966 – The Prime Minister Overboard Affair
Technically, he was in the ocean. That’s overboard, right?

And on that note, I’ve probably indulged in enough bad taste for now…

2 thoughts on “In reply to #utegate – Making Political Scandals Australian”

    1. I thought of that, but I thought I’d save it for something else. I nearly called it Budget Overboard, but I decided that Constitution Overboard was probably the closest rendering of “constitutional crisis”, since that seemed to me the unique feature of this event.

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