Barnaby Joyce live from his microwave and other lighter moments from our politicians this year

Source: SBS News/AP/Getty

From our deputy prime minister conducting an interview from 'inside' a microwave, to the Queensland Premier's apparent obsession with graphic art and an obscure pop culture reference from the Prime Minister. We look at some of the less serious moments from the political year.

It's been another big year in politics, dominated by COVID-19 and a range of other serious issues.  

But it wasn’t all heavy. Punctuating the political year were flashes of light from our democratically-elected representatives. 

Here are some of the key moments that grounded us in 2021.

Barnaby Joyce coming to you live from ... his microwave?

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who is isolating in the US after contracting COVID-19 during a trip to meet UK officials, appeared on Channel Seven’s Sunrise this week.

He gave an update on his health, telling viewers he was “feeling great” and likely had the Omicron variant.

“They tell me I haven’t got Delta, I haven’t got the original version of COVID, they haven’t determined what I’ve got, probably Omicron,” he said.

The interview would have been forgettable if not for an open microwave door poking out the side of the frame.

Asked if he had propped his phone up in a microwave, Mr Joyce – in a full suit – said, “I’ve had enough of you people at Channel Seven so, goodnight” and closed the microwave door. 

Why the phone was placed in a microwave? Only our deputy prime minister knows.

Queensland Senator’s ‘fully circumcised’ digital certificate

One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts furrowed some brows in October when he posted a ‘fully circumcised’ COVID-19 digital certificate to Instagram, in a supposed dig at the government’s proof of vaccination documents.

The caption took an entirely different slant with Senator Roberts instead slamming the Nationals for “surrendering” to net-zero emissions by 2050 and sledging the government for taking action on climate change. 

“They are not just circumcising our country they are castrating it,” the caption read, in a show of his commitment to the unusual metaphor.

The Senator later posted to Twitter writing that he had been "shadowbanned" by Instagram, which would hide or limit the reach of his content. A screenshot of an Instagram pop-up within the tweet said that his account had "repeatedly posted content that goes against Our Community Guidelines on false content about COVID-19 or vaccines". 

Scott Morrison likens Australia's COVID plan to 'The Croods'

In August, it became known that Prime Minister Scott Morrison has watched The Croods when he used the film about cavepeople to explain that Australia should prepare itself to reopen and live with COVID-19 after reaching the required vaccine milestones. 

For context, The Croods is a 2013 animated movie about a family who survive several natural disasters by sheltering in a cave. Grug, the dad, would only allow members of the family to venture outside for short periods of time, but alas, his inquisitive daughter wanted to explore beyond the cave and eventually, she finds a new life. 

“Now it’s like that movie The Croods. Some wanted to stay in the cave and the young girl wanted to deal with the challenges of living in a different world,” Mr Morrison said. “COVID is a different world.

“We need to get out of there and live with it. We can’t stay in the cave.”

It wasn't long before the internet found the footage and commented that the movie wasn't as ingrained in pop culture as the prime minister might have hoped.

Western Australia's Premier Mark McGowan said Mr Morrison's comments were “an odd thing to say”, adding that WA was not living in lockdown or under any restrictions.

“Sometimes people are too focused on where they are and they don’t realise that outside of NSW it’s a very different situation. Australia is bigger than just NSW," said Mr McGowan.

“We are not living in caves — we are living a normal life.”

The time Pauline Hanson forgot her birthday

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson was at the centre of a bizarre debate back in June when she told the Senate her birthday was both "yesterday" and "last month".

During a discussion on the government’s now passed superannuation laws, Senator Hanson proposed an amendment that would let older Australians contribute more money to their super above the regular cap. The amendment was for those aged 67 and older. 

After Labor Senator Murray Watt wished Senator Hanson a "happy birthday" for "yesterday", he accused the 67-year-old of giving herself a "nice, sweet, fat pay rise".

“This is one of the biggest attempted rorts and swindles of the public purse that Australia has ever seen,” Senator Watt told the Senate.

“Yesterday was Pauline’s payday – coming to Canberra to give herself a nice, sweet, fat pay rise that the battlers in Queensland are going to be paying more tax to fund.”

In response, Senator Hanson said this: “I’m proud to say I am 67 years of age, and I turned 67 yesterday."

Minutes later, Senator Hanson returned to the subject and accused the Labor Senator of misrepresentation and “telling a lie”, while also correcting that her birthday was “last month”. Debate was temporarily derailed by the confusion.

Annastacia Palaszsczuk x Canva

It was another year moved online, but 2021 was different. This year Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's office appeared to really harness the graphic design platform Canva. 

It captured the attention of Australians beyond Queensland who noted the unorthodox infographics posted on the premier's social media accounts.

The designs used pastel colours and cursive fonts to make major announcements on borders, COVID-19 vaccines and lockdowns - a change to the serious look that usually comes with the government designs.

Some people likened it to the "live, laugh, love" catchphrase, which has become the mascot of all things unoriginal and embarrassing.

The Feed cannot confirm that the designs were made on Canva, but we can confirm that it has become a running joke that the premier is "addicted to Canva".

Bob Katter: ‘I’m one of the dumber ones’

In its last sitting week of the year, parliament was in some chaos as a strew of confused politicians waived COVID-19 rules and walked across the chamber floor.

It came after Liberal MP Bridget Archer crossed the floor to try to force a federal ICAC debate.

It was brief, but Independent MP voiced his confusion to the chamber. 

“Clearly a lot of us are very confused. I'm one of the dumber ones, so I'm really at a loss,” said Mr Katter, between laughs. 

Then he sat down, and that was it.