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Barnaby Joyce – a goose on the loose

Barnaby Joyce is truly a goose on the loose and the voters of New England should give considerable thought to replacing him with Tony Windsor.

His rather bizarre claim that Indonesia as a reprisal for our ban on live cattle exports let loose asylum seeker boats was met with laughter and ridicule at an ABC debate in Goulburn on Wednesday.

The Moderator Chris Uhlmann, participants Joel Fitzgibbon and Greens leader Richard Di Natale, all gave Joyce the opportunity to retract, but he stood by his suggestion the boat arrivals were retaliation for Australia’s live export ban, which followed the exposure of animal cruelty in Indonesian abattoirs.

On Thursday Treasurer Scott Morrison said Joyce was misunderstood. In part that is true. I find it very difficult to understand him at any time.Then Julie Bishop had to repudiate his remarks and pacify the Indonesians. Tony Windsor implied, this bloke just had a brain explosion, we apologise for him”. Labor backbencher Nick Champion said, “Its hard to believe this man is the deputy Prime Minister”. Bill Shorten commented that he thought “I think the guy is just talking rubbish. When he starts weighing into foreign policy, I think he should best leave it to the grown ups in the room”.

What follows is my assessment of Joyce as a leader. It was first posted in April.

No doubt the Indonesians will soon let us know theirs.

Barnaby Joyce Prime Minister. How does that sit with you?

I have never known a politician to be more ridiculed than Barnaby Joyce. Even the man himself seemed to be self-mocking when he became Prime Minister for a couple of days last week.

Bill Shorten proffered the best observation when he said in answer to question about Joyce’s leadership. ‘’We will just have to see how he goes and cross our fingers’’

I’m repeating myself here but consider this.

It is said of Barnaby that he is the best retail salesman in Australia. I would suggest the public sees him as a person of mockery. It’s not so much his ocker image. After all Hawke and Keating had colourful turns of phrase. It’s the depth of comprehension. The understanding of things beyond politics.

It seems incredible that a man who was one of the principle instigators in 2009 of the downfall of the then opposition leader can now be his deputy.

It also seems implausible that a Senator who has crossed the floor to vote against his party on 19 occasions can now lead it.

Remember what Joyce said about mining Antarctica in 2006. He went there for a month and came back spruiking the beauty of it:

The vastness of nature itself”.

We staked a claim to a large part of it and signed an agreement not to mine it. Then he suggested on the ABC that we should:

“We can really realise that [mining’s] the game… or we can stick our head in the snow”.

“Do I turn my head and allow another country to exploit my resource… or do I position myself in such a way as I’m going to exploit it myself before they get there” said Barnaby

In the same year Barnaby opposed the new wonder drug Gardasil for the treatment of cervical cancer. The drug is now common place and is administered to boys and girls in their first year of high school.

Barnaby opposed it because of:

“The psychological implications or the social implications”.

“There might be an overwhelming (public) backlash from people saying ‘don’t you dare put something out there that gives my 12-year-old daughter a license to be promiscuous”.

It gets worse. On Climate Change. When he was a Senator he said, despite all the science, that he had:

“Serious doubt about our ability to change the climate” and that “the climate change debate is an ongoing debate”.

In 2010 he said he didn’t believe that global warming is as bad as everyone says:

“Why do I say that…not because I have the factual premise to debunk them on the science” ’Barnaby explained.

Then he said that Climate Change was…

“An indulgent and irrelevant debate because, even if climate changes turns out to exist one day, we will have absolutely no impact on it whatsoever”.

It doesn’t finish there. When he was asked about being identified as a climate denier he answered:

“The whole terms repugnant. Climate change denier, like Holocaust denier…”

On the subject of abortion he tends to lecture women. Whatever your view on the subject in Australia the topic is generally treated with caution by politicians.

In 2004 speaking to Mark Colvin he said he’s:

“:Pro-life, unashamedly pro-life” and that his “personal philosophy is anti-abortion”.

In 2005 he said that his greatest achievement would be to:

“Stop abortion’”. It was “the slavery debate of our time” and he was “philosophically opposed” to Medicare paying for abortions.

He said that using the RU486 drug was like an act of murder.

“So if I shoot a woman in the abdomen and do not kill her but kill the baby, I have not actually committed a crime” he argued before the Community Affairs Legislation committee.

The absurdity of this statement was pointed out at the time by Women’s Electoral Lobby ACT convenor Rosyln Dundas who commented:

“No, you actually have committed a crime by shooting a woman”.

He also gloated about rolling the then opposition leader.

Leadership demands more than just a ‘retail’ personality. It requires, in the sense of leading a country, a deep insightful world view. Anyone who has seen Joyce on a Q&A panel with guests who present an understanding of life in all its variances will acknowledge that he has not the capacity to appreciate life beyond politics. He is like Abbott, caught in a world that the rest of us have left far behind.

And so we have as Deputy PM the man who said a roast would cost $100 under Labor’s ‘carbon tax’ and who, when Finance Minister said Australia would default on its debt. The then Reserve bank Governor at the time said he was unfit for the job.

We deserve better.

2 Bronny and Clive both look like they will be no longer playing for the Capital Hill team. Both omitted.

3 With the budget only a couple of weeks away there will be much talk about surpluses and which party are the best economic managers. Does all the talk about getting back to surplus really matter? Does it all register with the historical facts?

Since 1945, significant budget surpluses have been achieved only rarely: once by Ben Chifley, three times by Bob Hawke, and eight times by John Howard, who shared another with Rudd, who was elected during the 2007-08 fiscal year. That is, the Menzies, Holt, Gorton, McMahon and Fraser governments managed only a few, small surpluses. So much for the claim about the Coalition’s Fiscal management.

The surpluses by Howard came from an unprecedented, never to be repeated mining boom and the sale of public assets. Let’s keep it in perspective.

4 If it hasn’t started already then this week should see the start of a very long, maybe not as boring as usual, election campaign. One team has been doing its homework for years while the other has been doing a horrible job of governing. If performance mattered and Governments judged for it then Labor would at short odds to win. But of course there’s more to it than that.

Baton down the hatches and hang on for a long ride.

My thought for the day

One who understands others has knowledge, one who understands himself has wisdom.

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  1. Terry2

    As Right Wing commentators are noting, Barnaby Joyce has delivered for them by putting the live cattle export ban and asylum seekers back into the news at a time when both issues were not on the public’s radar.

    It has also been suggested that the coalition are preparing for a major scare campaign on border security and boat people and Barnaby is just preparing the launching pad.

    The difficulty for Labor is that the shock-jocks and News Corp are acting as a coalition cheer squad.

  2. Möbius Ecko

    You are correct Terry2. There’s only two weeks until absentee voting opens and it’s estimated that up to 40% will vote this way this time round. It’s no use for the parties to campaign after the vote has been cast, so they will need to fire their big guns before people start voting in two weeks.

    The story I heard was exactly that, the Liberals are going to launch a major fear and smear campaign in the coming two weeks. I hope this backfires, but I’m afraid it won’t.

  3. Wam

    Barnaby could be vulnerable in his party’s lack of value in the coalition a series of little digs about ineffectual national party over farmers and growers could be wafted in vic, nsw and Queensland remembering he left Queensland for New England? What ever he is a perfectly nasty liberal pollie.
    Bill has a real plan and real policies and real history but virtual bullshit and warped beliefs are poised to hide history.

  4. David

    A few years ago I had a meeting with Bob Katter at 35,000ft in the seats at the back of a QANTAS 737 en route to Canberra. Many of the issues you raise about Barnaby were topics of our discussion. When we got to Canberra, I rode with Bob Katter to my hotel. As we were saying goodbyes, he warned me that the facts we were discussing should not be mentioned to the press, nor made public. As I said to him at the time: “we were at 35,000 ft, in a plane where any recordings would be unreadable”. We both understood the need to “play the game” and not to scare “the children”!

  5. Kaye Lee

    Albanese: “Barnaby tried to draw a link between the two issues. He got caught out and he exposed what a risk it is to have such an erratic maverick as the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. He should stick to worrying about Pistol and Boo. That’s been the highlight of his career.”

  6. Venus

    It would be Ok if Barnaby was the odd little man running the local Grainstore supply store shop; in a country town. But; he is second in charge of our country; which is scary.

  7. FreeThinker

    Barnaby was never taught the important scientific principle that correlation ( of events, circumstances, phenomena) is not the same as causation.

  8. helvityni

    God, I’m soooo sick of these ex -cops, ex rugby players, religious nutters, people talking in-tongues, liars, racists, no matter how agile they are…I don’t think I can take this any longer. I want intelligent, civil, progressive, compassionate people leading the country where I happen to live.
    “You light him up, there’s a bit of a fizz, but then nothing… nothing,” said Keating about Turnbull.

  9. Geoff Andrews

    …….. but .. but ..but… Joyce is a Shattered ACOUNTANT fer gods’ sake! They have to pass exams n things!
    He KNOWS stuff.
    He wouldn’t just make it up. Now would he.
    Well, if he DID make it up, at least he knows how the economy works.
    Because he’s an accountant.

  10. kerri

    Keith I saw that article too and immediately posted it to facebook!
    We are becoming one of those corrupt foreign countries we used to mock!

  11. michael lacey

    Lovely photo at the start of the article but do wish labels could be put on the characters so we know who they are!

  12. Shazz

    …reminds me of Hank from Hooterville (Green Acres) … !!!

  13. justiceinsociety

    He may act like a goose on the loose but he looks like a goat with bloat

  14. Athena

    Who on earth actually votes for this idiot? He’s more of an embarrassment than Tony Abbott ever was.

    As for Gardasil encouraging promiscuity, studies have shown that it doesn’t. By vaccinating young women, the incidence of HPV has also decreased in young men by about the same rate, thus showing the benefits of herd immunity. As usual irrational people like Bonobo Joyce are ashamed of their reproductive organs. Hepatitis B virus causes liver cancer and is transmitted sexually, yet they aren’t in the slightest bit worried about the Hep B vaccine encouraging promiscuity.

  15. Terry2


    What does encourage promiscuity and inbreeding is joining the Young Liberals and that is an indisputable fact .

  16. Geoff Andrews

    Surely part of the answer to getting rid of this intellectual pygmy, is to help Tony Windsor with either money or time. There is no excuse if oyce scrapes in.

  17. corvus boreus

    In 2014, Glen Turner, a father, husband, and public official enforcing civil law, was killed (shot repeatedly in the back), after serving notification of legal action against illegal actities, by the (repeated and knowing) transgressor.

    At the time Barnaby Joyce said ““You have this crazy situation where you don’t own the vegetation on your land, the state government does, and many people have had enough”.
    Mr Turner’s family were understandably unimpressed by the travesty of the tragedy of his death at duty being exploited to lobby for statutory change to benefit the cause of his killer.

    Today, a court of law declared the death of Mr Turner to be a deliberate act of murder.
    I hope his family can derive some small measure of comfort from this scant and token justice.

    Meanwhile, NSW land bio-diversity conservation laws look set to be bulldozered into dust.

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