From pig-gate to Mao-mania
1. The general election debates
After they successful staged the first TV debates in 2010, broadcasters were granted a new opportunity to reveal the woeful ineptitude of our political leaders in 2015.
In this spirit, the debates were regularly punctuated by awkward humour – the kind associated with the slow implosion of an individual’s political dreams.
2. Ed Miliband - "Am I tough enough? Hell yes, I'm tough enough"
A special mention must be reserved for the moment that summed up Ed Miliband's leadership. His attempt to sound genuine and prime ministerial fell flat on its face as audience members could barely hide their amusement.
After an astonishingly good six months for the PM, the pig-gate scandal was a sign that Cameron still had a few skeletons in his closet. Whether the story is true or not (it is), it's a sign that all is not well at the top of the Conservative Party, and that Lord Ashcroft is mobilising his considerable power and influence against the incumbent Prime Minister.
4. Donald Trump trolled by UK
Billionaire moron Donald Trump is running to become President of the United States. Unfortunately – for the civilised members of the human race – he is doing quite well. However, many are fighting back. Following Trump’s unhinged (and unconstitutional) suggestion that the US should implement a blanket ban on Muslim immigration, the UK has responded with its usual irreverent wit.
Over 550,000 people have signed a petition to block Trump from entering the UK (which means that the issue will now be considered for debate in Parliament). Meanwhile, Harry Potter author JK Rowling said that “Voldemort was nowhere near as bad [as Trump]”.
5. Boris Johnson nearly maims a 12 year-old
One would have been forgiven for assuming that Boris Johnson had been banned from sporting activities after multiple failed attempts to chase a ball without injuring someone (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWIUp19bBoA and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Exz_d9qjWMA).
Not so. On a diplomatic mission to Japan this year, the London Mayor engaged in a game of rugby. Johnson may possess a quick tongue, but his footwork is sadly cumbersome in comparison; sad for the small Japanese boy who was hurled to the ground by a lurching barrel called Boris.
After five years of relentless campaigning, Ed Miliband’s Prime Ministerial ambitions died in a painful, public manner. Ed failed even despite the best efforts of his creepy 'Milifans', who 'promoted' the Labour message by photoshopping Ed’s face onto tenuously attractive celebrities.
7. Hillary Clinton: “May the Force be with you”
Hillary Clinton ended the third Democratic debate by saying “May the Force be with you” and thus won the support of Comic Con nerds everywhere. As the country gears up for the Primary season, all eyes will be on who the Americans elect as 45th President in 2016.
8. Jeremy Corbyn is elected Labour leader
Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader in September which, depending on who you spoke to, was either the best thing that had happened since sliced bread and socialism, or the end of civilisation itself. Shell-shocked Blairite MPs listening to the announcement of the result looked like they probably thought it was the latter.
9. Jacob Rees-Mogg destroys David Dimbleby on BBC Question Time
In a moment of memory lapse, BBC Question Time presenter David Dimbleby scolded Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg for the latter's privileged upbringing. However, with the help of the Somerset MP, Dimbleby soon remembered that one of his children had attended Eton with Rees-Mogg, and that he – David – was a member of the infamous Bullingdon Club during his time at Oxford University, and was thus in no position to disparage anyone for being privileged.
10. Natalie Bennett catches a nasty cold
The Green Party’s excitement peaked this year, as they reached the giddy heights of a 4% vote share in a general election. But the road to this notable achievement was a rocky one, as their leader Natalie Bennett suffered a terrible cold during the campaign. It was so bad, it caused her to completely forget her party’s housing policy in a radio interview.
11. The Shadow Chancellor quotes Mao in the Commons
This year’s Autumn Statement ended in misery for the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who quoted the notorious communist leader Chairman Mao in his address. McDonnell threw Mao’s Little Red Book across the despatch box towards the George Osborne, a stunt which Angela Eagle said “probably backfired a bit”.
12. Barack Obama fails to convince small children that bees aren’t scary
An initially promising publicity stunt went horribly awry at the White House as a group of young children were tormented by a marauding bumble bee. With the President’s credibility in tatters, embarrassed parents were forced to intervene as Obama continued to promise the children that the bee would not sting, and that America would quell their fears through military intervention against the bee kingdom.
This charmingly bizarre story also spawned the best political headline of 2015:
13. Liz Kendall
Liz Kendall – an early frontrunner for the Labour Party leadership – ultimately received just 4.5% of the vote on the 12th September. Regardless of the final vote share, Kendall’s gutsy charm enhanced what was a dreary, drawn-out contest.
The MP for Leicester skewered sexist trolls on Twitter through wonderfully acerbic putdowns, and maintained a cheery, jovial disposition throughout the months of campaigning.
Liz, we salute you.