And the winners are… Refractory Awards 2016

Happy New Year to you all, dear readers!

What better way to celebrate a new year than by announcing the winners of our surprisingly successful ‘Refractory Awards 2016!’

With over 400 votes cast, millions of bitcoins spent on blatant lies painted on the side of a bus, and some Russian hacking, this is undoubtedly a victory for the little people, the real people, and the village people.

And so, without further ado, here are the winners:

 

Dude(tte) of the Year 

Bernie Sanders

Only just edging past Jo Cox in our poll, the socialist hobgoblin senator is our deserved Dude of the Year 2016. His campaign against Hillary shifted the ground of Democratic politics to the Left, putting at the forefront issues such as wealth inequality, college tuition fees, Wall Street Reform, and climate change. He demonstrated that there is a hunger in the US for progressive, socialist politics. He was also a huge underdog, fighting Hillary, the DNC, and most the media at the same time. He turned a coronation into a proper contest, and could well have challenged Trump had he won the nomination. And he did it all without major donors, and without appealing to Big Money. We can all be thankful to Dobby the Elf’s grand dad for showing us that all hope is not lost in the US.

 

Institutional Scandal of the Year

Mossack Fonseca

 

Our clear winners in the Institutional Scandal of the Year goes to Mossack Fonseca, for proving once and for all that taxes are for poor people. If you want to find the root cause of people’s discontent, the reason why we “need” austerity, the reason why people vote Brexit, the reason why people have lost faith in the system, then look no further. Taxation, the ultimate foundation of the social contract, has been revealed to be a sham. There is a parallel system in existence, one which allows the rich and famous to keep their wealth away from the tax authorities. It is a disgrace, a fraud, and a travesty of everything Western democracies pretend to stand for. It’s the kind of bullshit that makes people riot, if only they weren’t too busy playing Pokemon Go.

 

Cunt of the Year

Donald J Trump

The winning has started for Donald. I never thought COTY would go to a US President who hasn’t even started his first term yet, but Donald is a special case. His should be a cautionary tale about the dangers of sleeping in a tank filled with fake tan spray for a decade, but instead he decided to run the most racist, sexist, xenophobic, demeaning, nationalist campaign in living memory. And win. The world will never be the same again, and if I were you I would start stockpiling water, canned food, batteries, and shotguns. Still, long term, at least it’s good news for cockroaches.

 

Clusterfuck of the Year

Syria & the world in general

Tied at number 1 are Syria, and the world in general. Syria won it last year, but it remains a clusterfuck of epic proportion. Putin’s tactic of killing everyone and then calling a cease-fire is a tried and tested strategy, which unfortunately seems to be working. But Syria might not have descended into the nightmare it find itself in if the world in general hadn’t been such an unstable place. One thing is sure, it’s all changing: the post WWII world order, the post cold-war “end of history”, the USA’s hegemony as a world power, all of this is going out of the window, and no one know what will replace it. A US-Russia alliance? A Russia-China alliance? A free-for-all where anything goes? We’ll do our best to keep you posted.

 

Uplifting story of the Year

Colombia Peace Deal

This was a close-run vote, but the Colombia peace deal only just shaded the Austrian election to win our Uplifting Story of the Year. And despite the inexplicable referendum result (no, not that one), it seems as though this peace deal will be implemented anyway. This should put an end to the longest running civil war in modern times. One which almost tore Colombia apart through violence, bloodshed, narco-trafficants, marxists in the jungle, and lots and lots of cocaine deals. Well done Colombia, and let’s hope it sticks.

 

Biggest Storm in the Smallest Tea Cup

Banning the Burkini

We shall fight them on the beaches… I doubt Churchill had this in mind when he made his famous speech, but France has decided that the best way to fight terrorism is to tell its Muslim population what to wear at the beach. Especially the women. The burkini (pictured above) doesn’t seem especially conducive to terrorism. But an alienated and angry Muslim population does. So France chose carefully, and decided to antagonise its minority population and appease the racists instead, a tactic that has produced mixed results in History. Still, it’s good to know that the French are the first to create an armed Fashion Police. So avant-guarde…

 

Plucky Underdog of the Year

Black Lives Matter

It can’t be easy being black in the US. The legacy of slavery is still alive and well, as demonstrated by its criminal justice system and its agents who kill unarmed black people seemingly at will. 2016, and the proliferation of cameras, have demonstrated just how racist and violent US police forces are: militarised, entrenched, and terrified of black people.  You’d think that a peaceful justice organisation designed to counter this systemic injustice would be welcomed, but instead it has been vilified, ridiculed, and demonised. But BLM is still going strong, continuing the tradition of civil rights movement that have shaped the US into what it is today. The Trump presidency will bring new challenges, so these are difficult times ahead. But hey, that’s nothing new for black people in the US.

 

Quote of the Year

Michael Gove – “People in this country have had enough of experts”

The pinnacle of the Leave Campaign was surely this extraordinary statement by former Cabinet Minister and pedo-look alike Michael Gove, calmly claiming that British people are basically angry peasants who don’t like thinking or learning stuff or using that gooey substance inside their cranium. And fair enough, who needs experts? All those pesky doctors, neurosurgeons, statisticians, car mechanics, accountants, lawyers, and electricians, it’s all a scam! Who needs these people when you have good old Brexit Common Sense? If anything summed up the destructive, poisonous, deceitful, and demagogic nature of this referendum, it was this quote by Chief Betrayer Michael Gove.

 

Thank you again to all those who took part in our awards. We are very grateful for your participation.

And here’s to hoping that the world doesn’t turn into a gigantic post apocalyptic nuclear wasteland in 2017. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, people. Brace yourselves.

 

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