Key Points:

This is when columnists list their personal bests and worsts of the past 12 months. New Zealander of the Year, MP of the Year, Wally of the Year, Hero of the Year, and so on.

But the people I'd name as the year's standouts would mean nothing to anyone else - as usual, the individuals who really deserve the medals are happier to stay out of the limelight, thank you very much. Those whom the Gods wish to destroy, first they make famous (crazy, actually, but it's essentially the same state).

If I were presenting bouquets I'd give one to Helen Clark, for putting up with the greatest number of personal insults any Prime Minister has ever had to endure.

Nasty comments about her teeth, her hair, her choosing not to have children, relationship with her husband, wearing trousers to meet the Queen, her voice - we all like to pretend we're thick-skinned, but I challenge anyone else to shrug their way through that muck.

Judging by the way most people rear up on their hind legs in indignation, then rush off to Sue, Grabbit & Run whenever I make some mildly critical remark about them, I think Clark deserves the Rhino Award of the Year.

And if I were chucking brickbats, I'd aim them at the silly people who knee-jerk their way up the steps of Parliament, metaphorically speaking, seeking law changes, or new legislation, every time something shocking occurs.

This week, as yet another child died in Starship Hospital from horrendous non-accidental injuries, ex-MP and former prostitute Georgina Beyer called for stricter laws against prostitutes working on the streets, after a second Christchurch sex worker was killed in as many years.

It isn't called the oldest profession for nothing, and the Prostitutes' Collective is absolutely right to calmly state there will always be prostitutes on the streets.

Tragic and infuriating as the death of Mellory Manning is, sex workers are much safer than New Zealand children in their own homes.

A little child is in more danger of being killed in this country than a prostitute, so why don't we make child-bearing illegal?

Reversing out of the driveway? Woops, just squashed a kiddie. Fell asleep drunk? There goes the baby. Children getting on your boyfriend's nerves? Turn the other way while he annihilates them, after giving them a good torturing first.

If that sounds hard, it's meant to. Isn't it time we rounded on the low-lives who make children's lives a misery, instead of lecturing good parents about the dangers of breastfeeding in bed, or reversing a vehicle without checking?

When some monster goes to court, supporters clench their fists, punch the air, and call out, "Love you, bro".

And am I the only one irritated when the "loving" family, who should bear some responsibility for ignoring the child's bruises, broken bones, or terror, appear in court wearing T-shirts printed with "justice for blah-blah" or "blah-blah for evva"?

Likewise the gang-member father of Jhia Te Tua, shot by a rival gang in Wanganui, proudly displayed his dead daughter's name tattooed on his face. If he'd used his initiative to take the baby away from a violent environment she'd have been alive this Christmas.

Finally, the "how could you get it so wrong" award goes to so-called porn king Steve Crow who spat the dummy when Wellingtonians ignored his erotica show. He's not returning with his "Boobs on Bikes" parade because only 6000 out of an expected 15,000 turned up to be titillated by what appear to be the worst-shaped breasts Crow can find, judging from the newspaper photos.

We have good taste in Wellington. As the late Paul Newman said, why go out for hamburger when you can have fillet steak at home?

Women in the Capital already know what's sexy, and it's not exposing as much flesh as legally allowed. We don't do mini-skirts and vaulting cleavage. We know what turns men on - intelligence, and not finishing every sentence with a rising inflection.

I don't care if Crow does come back with his Erotica exhibition - it's harmless, and attendance isn't mandatory. But I doubt the reason Wellingtonians stayed away was because, as Crow said, we have "deep pockets and short arms".

We're deeply bored by tackiness, and men or women who boast how good they are in bed. Never true, except in their dreams.

Crow's off to "Palmy" with his porn, where he says they "love it". I'm not surprised - two unsubtle cities where people need to be beaten over the head with the bleeding obvious. Inhabitants in these cities will see out the year with a whinge. In Wellington, we'll be welcoming 2009 with a bang.