Ancient Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times!
Barnaby Joyce, our Deputy PM, eh?
Well, it just goes to show that if you have great ideas and talent, then politics isn’t the area for you.
I did like the way various people in the media were re-framing Barnaby over the past twenty-four hours. Most of it went along the lines of:
“Well, one thing about Barnaby Joyce is that he’s authentic, he responds to things on instinct. What you see is what you get, and we’d be better if there was a lot more of that in politics…”
One could say something similar about Kim Kardashian, apart from the bit about more of that sort of thing in politics. I’m sure nobody believes that we’d be better with more Kardashians in politics. Although I may have to stop this comparison now that I remember Donald Trump’s public profile was given a boost through reality TV and this may look strangely prescient when we have the “Kim for President in 2020” campaign.
I’m also wondering why when sportsperson lands in trouble with the police for “acting on his instincts”, there isn’t the same level of praise for their authenticity but that’s another issue.
And, of course, the praise for Barney’s home-spun honesty does raise the question about the “authenticity” of our beloved PM, among others.
Anyway, I couldn’t help but wonder how strangely our democracy works. Let me just remind you that Mr Joyce has become Deputy PM through popular vote. Now, I know that some of you are going to use this as evidence of the failure of our system and you’re going to be getting right behind Russell’s Revolution where the way to change the system is to not vote and wait until Mr Brandt leads the population revolution in between comedy shows and if the health and education systems are trashed in the meantime, well, both parties are bad, so it really doesn’t matter. Personally, I just can’t help but wonder how a man who is anti-abortion, anti-climate change action, anti-same sex marriage and anti-just about everything that would win if we had a plebiscite on it, gets to be elected to such a high office.
But then we’ve always had interesting relationships with many of the concepts that we respect. Take free speech, for example. I liked the Marriage Alliance’s little meme
No, it’s not a joke. Apparently, people are too intimidated about saying that they’re anti-same sex marriage at work, because so many people will attack them with nasty words like “I disagree” or “But how is this affecting you?”, and, faced with no logical reply, these people suffer stress.
And that’s the thing about the politically correct police, they want to shut down debate. Thank God we’ve got strong men like Archbishop Denis Hart, who when hearing that independent, Cathy McGowan was going to give the Mary McKillop oration on the topic of giving the underprivileged and marginalised a voice, instructed that her speech be cancelled because her views on same sex marriage were against Catholic teachings. That’s the sort of strong action that helps stop those PC people from bullying everyone and stopping anyone from exercising their right to tell others that they don’t have the same rights to marry.
But while on the subject, I was gratified to hear Barnaby Joyce’s views on his relationship with the Liberals and that thankfully it wasn’t a “marriage”. After all, Malcolm is a man – well, in the generic sense of the word – and that would have made it rather difficult for Mr Joyce give his views on same sex marriage. Barnaby informed us:
“We are a business partnership and not a marriage. At certain times the business partners have different views on things but I’m not going to go searching for them.”
Do I infer from that that people in marriages don’t have different views? I expressed this idea to my wife and when I told her that this meant that henceforth she must always agree with me, strangely she had a different view, making me wonder whether, in fact, we were now a business partnership.
Still, I’m looking forward with interest to see if Mr Joyce can fill the void left by Tony Abbott. While the fact that he’s only vice-captain means that we won’t have “captain’s calls” like the decision to bat for the other side (as some have dubbed the knighting of that Duke who’s also a Prince) Bananaby has a with words. OK, it’s often the wrong way, but that’s what makes him that lovable larrikin that achieved world fame with a threat to execute Johnny Depp’s dogs.
Remember when told us how good Tony Abbott was at multitasking:
“He is the man who swims in the surf lifesaving club, while at the same time he writes books.”
I find that even writing in the bath made the paper far too soggy, but, hey, I’m not Tony Abbott.
But I particularly liked the way he stood up to the bias of the ABC with this exchange:
BARNABY JOYCE: Well, Tony, I am not a scientist but I put the challenge back to you: why don’t you have Professor Plimer, Professor Carter, Lord Christopher Monckton on your show?
TONY JONES: Well we have. You’re making a redundant challenge. Because we have had Professor Plymer and Professor Carter on our show. Both of those people have been on Lateline and expressed their views. And we intend to in the future.
BARNABY JOYCE: Good, good.
But I think it’s his capacity for self-reflection that is perhaps his strongest point. When speaking on climate change:
BARNABY JOYCE: I never believed the science is settled. If the science was settled, Copernicus would be dead. Sorry, he is dead
Yes, Barnaby will be our acting PM when Malcolm’s taking time off to clean the kisses off his mirror.
I wonder if any of the media outlets will use this photo for any articles about him.
Ah, interesting times!
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