The Uncuts: 2016 political awards (part I)

Honorary Order of Suez – David Cameron

From triumph to tragedy, Uncut’s 2015 politician of the year is awarded the Honorary Order of Suez for 2016.

This is an extremely rare accolade, earned only by those politicians whose train-wreck judgement on a career-defining issue doesn’t just end their political life, but tips the country off a precipice into the dangerous unknown.

Anthony Eden is the one other politician to have qualified for this least sought after honorific. At a push, Edward Heath might have been considered in 1974 for calling, and losing, an election while at the mercy of striking unions. But David Cameron is the first politician to unequivocally clear the threshold for this prize since 1956.

Having become Conservative leader with a clear view that the Tories needed to “stop banging on about Europe,” David Cameron departs as Britain prepares to exit the EU with Europe set to dominate the next decade of British politics.

It’s hard to conceive of a greater or more personal political disaster for him. His manifold political successes – from beating David Davis for the Tory leadership to becoming Prime Minister in 2010, turning back Scottish independence in 2014 and winning an unprecedented majority at the 2015 election – will be wiped from the historical record. David Cameron will be remembered for one thing and one thing alone.

It is quite an extraordinary and dizzying fall.

British politician of the year – Theresa May

Getting to the top of the greasy pole merits recognition. Theresa May has hankered after the top job for many years and amidst the carnage of the post-Brexit Tory leadership campaign (see below Political suicide bomber of the year and Media moment of the year) she was literally the last candidate standing.

May’s ascent might have been comparative – less her rise, more others’ fall – but she is now resident in Number 10 and has the opportunity to define her governing creed.

Her challenges are plentiful and the whispers flowing out of Whitehall about micro-management and institutional sclerosis do not augur well. Her very Brownite journey to the top, defined by studied inaction, seems to have extended into a quintessentially Brownite management approach to the Number 10 in-tray.

Nevertheless, for the good of the country, Uncut wishes her well in understanding how Downing Street differs from every other department of state and a better fate than 2015’s Uncut British politician of the year.

Political suicide bomber of the year – Michael Gove

This is a special category created to recognise the extraordinary endeavours of Michael Gove in 2016.

He started the year as a family friend of the Camerons, a close political confidant of the Prime Minister Cameron and widely regarded as one of the smartest in the Cabinet with impeccable personal connections across the parliamentary party.

He ends it estranged from the Camerons, shunned by Prime Minister May, out of the Cabinet and with a new cadre of lifelong political enemies from the Boris Johnson campaign, sitting along-side him on the backbenches.

In 2016, Michael Gove couldn’t pass a bridge without burning it.

First he rowed back on his private hints to David Cameron that he would remain neutral in the referendum campaign. Then, he reversed his commitment to Cameron that he would play a bit part in the Leave campaign. Finally, he brought the drama to a shattering climax by backing Boris Johnson in the post-Brexit Tory leadership election before declaring him unfit and standing himself just hours before the Johnson campaign’s scheduled launch.


Michael Gove detonated his own career, Boris Johnson’s chances of reaching Number 10 and played a leading role in tearing down David Cameron’s premiership not to mention curtailing George Osborne’s tenure in Number 11 as well as crushing his hopes of succession to the top job.

Has any politician ever betrayed so many and destroyed so much, in such a short period of time?

Media moment of the year – Andrea Leadsom’s supporters marching on parliament

For all the madness and absurdity of 2016, there was one stand-out winner for media moment of the year.

Nothing comes close in terms of compelling viewing. Difficult to watch, impossible to turn-away, mandatory to repeat; this clip is the very definition of a car crash media moment.

From the pallid chanting to the desultory numbers, the toe-curling nature of the disaster is clearly felt in real time by the marchers.

Theresa Villiers nervously clutching at her pearls says it all about the march and provides a wonderful metaphor for the Leadsom for leader campaign.

Bravo all involved.

International politician of the year – Donald Trump

As with Theresa May, victory makes the case for Trump’s award ineluctable.

There has never been a mainstream candidate for President less qualified, let alone victorious. For all the words written about Trump, his victory is perhaps better categorised as Hillary Clinton’s defeat.

Yes, she won the popular vote but in key states, the depth of dislike was so deep, so visceral that a candidate as manifestly unfit as Donald Trump was successful.

If there is an upside, and this really is the thinnest and faintest of silver linings, it is that we now have four more years of Alec Baldwin’s Trump on Saturday Night Live.

And four more years of the US President complaining about it.

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4 Responses to “The Uncuts: 2016 political awards (part I)”

  1. John p Reid says:

    Labour Uncut is soon becoming the moderates version of the canary
    Or a clever spoof like the daily mash,or Skwarkbox

  2. John p Reid says:

    Noticed there weren’t any Labour Party peoepe in these awards,are we that irrelevant ?

  3. Alf says:

    British politician of the year? Jeremy Corbyn. Saw off the Tory-lite #chickencoup. Came out smiling! New Labour is finished. Thank heavens.

  4. John P Reid says:

    Alf ,New Labour were finished when Gordon brown didn’t start cutting quicker,taking over from a popular leader, when weeks Before Blair went labour were level PeggIng in the polls, labour having swings towards us at by-elections, New labour were certainly finished when Ed Miliband said 6 tines New labour was over, when he became leader, a Bloke saying to ‘Kinnock’ we’ve got our party back’ then Ed miliband lost

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