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Day to Day Politics: The Brand, Barnaby and Brandis.

Friday October 28 2016.

If you knew anything about branding you wouldn’t go about destroying it. Large companies and institutions spend millions in support of it. Companies like McDonalds and Ikea know just how important image is.

Political institutions, however, seem to have little grasp of public relations. They seem to think that you can behave outrageously and somehow it won’t affect or offend your brand.

Take for example this week’s brand destroying performances by the Deputy Prime Minister and the Attorney General. Barnaby Joyce seems to defy all the rules of acceptable behaviour, displaying an arrogance of ‘Trumpish’ proportion.

Barnaby in his own ignorant way seems to have thrown out the rulebook and political ethics with it. It is almost like he has decided to up his historic conduct to the level of Donald Trump, who has trashed the Republic brand.

On Wednesday, in front of communist party officials, he likened the Labor Party to communists.

How is that for diplomacy?

Whilst his leader is trying to combat the poor public relations of Brandis, Barnaby decides to let rip with comments more suitable for a couple of mates over a few stubbies out the back of Bourke.

Perhaps the title of Deputy Prime Minister has gone to his head. He is certainty acting outside the norms of political behaviour.

His decision to move public servants from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Association (APVMA) into his own electorate, and the sacking of his department boss, has caused a bit of a stir in Canberra.

The decision to move APVMA was made during the election campaign for his own political purposes. He will not even release the costings for it.

Had anyone acted in such a manner … he would have been sacked on the spot. Sorry, I’ve forgotten his name.

“That’s just Barnaby … And Barnaby is going to do what Barnaby wants – rules or no rules” said one Nationals MP.

Now politicians can’t just make the rules as they go along.

National University, Professor John Uhr, has been quoted as saying:

“We have seen some unusual activity by this senior minister, who is occasionally the acting prime minister”.

The letter pertaining to the sacking of Dr Grimes would in other times led to the dismissal of Joyce but the old rules, or standards of parliamentary behaviour no longer apply.

“Anyone reading the letter from Dr Grimes … can be in no doubt that Barnaby Joyce was into the Hansard changes up to his eyeballs and that he misled the House on two occasions” said Joel Fitzgibbon.

“As a result of all of this, a very senior, respected and professional public servant has lost his job. He should not have lost his job”.

Anyway, all that seems to be of little interest to Barnaby. Who gives a stuff about branding and public relations? Barnaby went on to describe Labor as commos.

Our Deputy PM was giving an address at the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) congress in Canberra to an audience which included none other than the Chinese ambassador.

What a ratbag, someone from the bush might say.

“The love of one’s country is best delivered when you own that country” Joyce said. “I may like your car but I love mine. Likewise I find your house very interesting but I want to go home to mine”.

“It is the ultimate sign that the Labor Party and the Greens just don’t get it and believe you me, there is one thing people are not keen to do and that is die for a rented country”.

No he hadn’t finished. The nutter goes on:

“I thought about how Labor dispossess people of their private assets with tree-clearing guidelines – ‘vegetation management’ as it’s euphemistically called”.

“This just essentially took away ownership from private individuals and gave it to the community. Dispossession of the individual for the community benefit without the community paying for it”.

“When I was marking my 184th lamb I thought there is a word for this – it’s called communism”.

As is usual journalists questioned him later. He was asked if it was appropriate to call Labor communists with Chinese officials in the audience, Joyce answered:

“We weren’t calling the Labor party communist”.

Now that’s ‘Trumpish’, I thought.

“What do you call it when someone says I’m going to socialise your private asset without payment?”

Anyway, having trashed the brand on numerous occasions he reminded me of one of my observations:

Be generous with your praise and considerate with your criticism”.

Doesn’t quite fit the occasion, does it?

But back to George. Surprise, surprise, The New Daily is reporting that the Prime Minister is not very happy with Mr. Brandis and that after too much brand bashing the man who cannot use a computer is on his way out.

The media outlet is reporting that “Malcolm Turnbull is sick and tired of him”, saying “Turnbull has lost confidence in Brandis”.

There is no doubt that he has been a monumental problem for both Turnbull and Abbott.

He has repeatedly demonstrated a disregard for impartial advice and sound counsel.

There is an accusation that he misled the parliament.

The Senate censured him over allegations he had tried to induce Gillian Triggs to resign.

Then there was his statement that “everybody has a right to be a bigot” in support of changes to 18c.

And he approved an ASIO raid on the Canberra offices of an East Timor legal representative that resulted in an international incident.

Not to mention his illiteracy on meta data and the taxpayer funded bookshelves and the arts funding scandal.

I had better stop. Fingers getting cramp.

Opposition Attorney General Mark Dreyfus said:

“Let us be clear, we are talking about an Attorney-General who has destroyed the integrity of the office of Solicitor-General because of a personal vendetta”.

“This is one of the worst abuses of power ever committed by an Attorney-General. You do not make new laws to muzzle a critic. We do not live in a police state”.

“This must be the final straw for Prime Minister Turnbull. He can no longer protect George Brandis. He must be sacked”.

Of course these two are not the only brand destroyers of the Coalition. Morison, Pyne, Cash, Dwyer, Pyne, Dutton, Hunt and the PM himself also chip in to trash it.

Did I mention Pyne twice? Well you know it’s about contribution,

My thought for the day.

“The art in of diplomacy is not in what you say but rather in how you say it”.

PS: My tip for the next Solicitor General is Frank Advice QC.


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  1. Peter F

    I doubt if Frank will ever appear again while this government is in office.

  2. lawrencewinder

    Aaawwww…. fair suck of the Sav…. destruction is the one thing this IPA controlled ruling rabble do really well… credit where it’s due…

  3. Adrianne Haddow

    This coalition government has conducted an assault on the Australian people, transparency of government, the institutions that underpin the social contract they are supposed to have with the Australian population and the very principles of our so-called democracy.

    Barnaby Joyce has emerged as a bigot, an tiny minded, self-interested man who has spent up big at the taxpayer’s expense and is sheltered under the umbrella of Gina Rhinehart and the IPA.
    Brandis is of the same ilk, with the added menace that he has manoeuvred the Federal police force to become his private enforcers and is instrumental in subverting our legal system to suit his own ideological agenda.

    The blatant refusal to be held accountable for actions that both have undertaken, in pursuit of their own personal power grabs, displays a lack of respect for the parliament of Australia and for the offices they hold. Their refusal to comply with standard procedures and safeguards for our democratic rights amounts to an abuse of their positions in this country.

    Joyce’s changing of Hansard should be called what it is, a criminal offence. Brandis’s sidelining of the office of the Solicitor-general should be seen for what it is, an attempt to subvert access of our “representatives” to legal advice regarding proposed legislation from this, our worst government ever.

    It is time for Turnbull to do the job he is paid for, and call for the resignation of these men. He needs to look at the actions and words of many of his cabinet, and correct their impression that they are above the law. He needs to show he is not governing for his party and their donors, but for all of us.

  4. Dave

    Marking lambs isn’t the most intellectually stimulating activity is it. I hope Barrrnnnaby leaves the radio on in the ute so the sheep have something to listen to rather than the mutterings of a gibberer like him

  5. David

    Is it going to be today?…Friday?……Standby for Breaking News @ 6.00 pm re. Brandis!…

  6. Stephen Bowler

    Turnbull is the leader in name only he has not got the power to even speak his own mind (that is if he could string a sentence together without running of in tangents and confusing himself, let alone the listener – oh thats right there are no listeners anymore)
    What makes anyone think Turnbull has the power to sack Brandis, in fact what makes anyone think he has the power to even have a chat with the ministers (yes I know, they are not his ministers they belong to Abbott)

    We all thought Abbott was a bad leader, but he did lead, which is more than this popinjay can do!

  7. Kronomex

    With Sock Puppet Truffles McDesperate in charge they can, and do, do anything they like without fear of retribution.

  8. Roscoe

    “The love of one’s country is best delivered when you own that country” if so why are Barney and and his friends so willing to sell it off to any foreign power?

  9. helvityni

    Waleed Ali is criticizing Australian inhumane treatment of asylum seekers in the prestigious New York Times. The word gets around…

    Many Australians might be ‘sleeping’, whilst immoral men are ruling over the lives of good people like Gleeson and Triggs,but thankfully not all…
    Thank you John Lord for keeping us awake … 🙂

  10. Absolutely filled with hope

    Great read Lord,
    Barnaby is the leader of the third party which is the vestigial remainder of the menzies era. A mob of men whose attitudes and beliefs were, and still are, a waste of space.
    ps George is inspired by trump’s power in choosing judges who will make the supreme court amenable to his administration. So my suggestion for the new solicitor general is Roger Earnest Peatafterme

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