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Day to Day Politics: Meet Barnaby Joyce, Our National leader.

1 How is it possible for a party that attains 6.4% of the primary vote to have so much influence on major policies? Or indeed its senior partner and leader? A party that derives approximately the same votes as the Greens, yet has 9 seats in the House of Representatives to the Greens one.

As it stands Barnaby Joyce is calling all the shots. Every time he says “jump”, Malcolm says “how high?”

Let’s run through some examples. There is no doubt that an efficient world’s best NBN would have been of enormous benefit to its constituents yet it is the National Party that has supported the Liberal policy of a second best service that will eventually have to be replaced.

It is the National Party that supports the Adler shotgun importation. Most Australians find guns abhorrent. The National Party needs to explain why we need more of them. We shouldn’t have to put a case for opposing lethal weapons.

It is the National Party who support the greyhound industry and in so doing condemns thousands of dogs to death.

It is the National Party who have converted a politician who once had a view that Climate Change needed urgent attention and had a sincere desire to do something about it.

We all now know that it was the Nationals who insisted Turnbull sign a document that he act to the contrary. What is more peculiar is that those on the land are among the most at risk. Even more amazing is that the more serious land owners take seriously the environment risks they face.

It’s the National Party who hold all the cards in the opposition of Marriage Equality. Whilst an overwhelming majority of the Australian population endorse it, it’s the Nats who hold sway over the Prime Minister and the parliament. It’s the junior coalition party imposing its cultural cringe on the rest of us.

It is the party of oddballs. The Party of Andrew Broad who would bring down the Government if a parliamentary vote was allowed on Marriage Equality. Or so he says.

It’s the party who attracts racists like George Christensen. A man of anti-Islam sentiments who also wants to end income tax because…

”There are only a few things more detestable than someone mooching directly off your income, even if it is the state and it is supposedly for the common good”.

It’s the party of the sexist Barry O’Sullivan, of Toowoomba.

”I thought you might like to hear a man’s voice”.

A man known for his rudeness in Senate Estimates.

Yes it’s the party of mediocre men where women are tolerated but not encouraged. A party where unexceptional minds like Barnaby Joyce dictate to exceptional, if not hypocritical ones, like Malcolm Turnbull.

It’s a party with a leader of clownish disposition and ocker country temperament inclined to a voice of stupidity when opening his mouth. Some find his ockerish-ness appealing while others find him simply moronic.

It’s the Nationals who breathe the air of a world that others have vacated. It is a world long gone where men of the land ruled and serfdom had its traditional customs.

2 In the meantime of course the senior party is, because of its own internal brawling between far right conservatives and small L Liberals, and who is the rightful leader, are finding it almost impossible to counter Joyce. Both the ideology argument and leadership battle is likely to be ongoing so good government may be hard to find for a while.

It’s a pity Turnbull has not had the guts to confront Joyce with the same intellectual hostility as he did with Abbott. But sooner or later Turnbull will have to become, or at least create the perception that he is his own man.

3 Richard Branson reminisces about a lunch with Donald Trump some years ago.

Even before the starters arrived he began telling me about how he had asked a number of people for help after his latest bankruptcy and how five of them were unwilling to help”.

”He told me he was going to spend the rest of his life destroying these five people”.

”He didn’t speak about anything else”.

”I was baffled why he had invited me to lunch solely to tell me this”.

”For a moment, I even wondered if he was going to ask me for financial help. If he had, I would have become the sixth person on his list!”

Sort of rings true, doesn’t it?

4 Scott Morrison out and about yesterday telling the States how to lower the cost of housing when Labor so ably demonstrated during the last election campaign that it was negative gearing that was the elephant in the room.

5 Back to Trump for a tick. There is this rumour apparently doing the rounds of Washington that Trump is planning to lose and lose big time. Why, well it seems, as conspiracy theories go, he plans to open another news network.

According to a story by Richard Parker from Fairfax:

”With Trump at the helm, it would present two opportunities: a rump movement of the far-right that will effectively destroy the Republican Party by cleaving it in two. More tangibly and lucratively, a new far-right-wing media empire would emerge from the ashes of the campaign. There is big money in conservative media for advertising, books, direct marketing and petition-based fundraising. Conservative media’s dirty little secret is that it takes a healthy rake on all of it”.

I’m not a praying man but in this case ”please don’t let it happen”.

6 Australia is now ranked 23 out of 26 countries for customer satisfaction of broadband services. Personally I registered for the NBN in September when I was told we would be on line mid October. Then it was delayed until November and now I’m told it will be March.

My thought for the day

“The danger in looking back to often is that we lose the will to go forward”.



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  1. Rowan

    From a farming family, and a farmer myself, the Nationals do not speak for me and any other farmers I know. I have often wondered who does vote for them, and why they would vote for a minor party who do nothing in their best interests. The national party is an old, lame warhorse that needs to go to the knackery.

  2. babyjewels10

    How is it possible indeed. Clearly this is not right and is a failure of our democracy.

  3. lawrencewinder

    John, Le Jongleur, Roskam must be proud at the carnage wrought by Barnyard’s boys application of his IPA’s ideological nihilism.

  4. Arthur Tarry

    Many of us wonder about the Hansen phenomenon especially about the attraction, to some, of her attitudes and statements. Her policies, or what purport to be policies, are unworkable and the now members of parliament who cluster around her are just minions. It just occurred to me that the Nationals are a mirror image of Hansen’s One Nation, and have been for a long time. They are both regional groups drawing support from folk who have a regional outlook that is often narrowly focused and seem to lack a comprehensive understanding of facts and figures, and trends. It will be interesting, though sad, to see what happens at the next election when each of these parties will go head-to-head trying to vigorously consolidate their electoral positions as their vie for support. A lot more ‘a spade is a spade’ talk no doubt, and an attempt to convince people they understand, when they really don’t.

  5. Andreas Bimba

    The Greens received 9.9 % of the first preference House of Representatives vote for the last federal election and won only one seat – Adam Bandt for Melbourne. This compares to the National Parties 6.4%.

    Some sort of proportional representation voting system such as Tasmania’s and the ACT’s Hare-Clark system or Germany’s and New Zealand’s MMPS is the only way to ensure fair representation for smaller parties with dispersed voting bases.

    Our own House of Cards

  6. stephentardrew

    Like frogs in boiling water the sheeple sleep seemingly incapable of rational thinking in terms of causality, equity and justice. As the remnants of democracy fade away, with cruel and brutal minority representation, we sell our souls to the Christian devil. Britain and the US are the artificial gleaming, yet heavily tarnished, fortresses in the sky captured by fanatical ideological and dystopian financial madness. Yes it is that bad. Nature is telling us that. Survival of the fittest has become entrenchment of masochistic retributive injustice driven by greed and war. In the scheme of things social democracy is a failure, not because it is worthless, simply because primitive minds cannot divest themselves of fearful judgement day when it is the fear itself that is driving this listing ship onto the rocks of unwarranted and unjustifiable suffering and hardship for the many.

    Bernie Sanders has been eviscerated by Democratic corruption as the choice of two evils is no choice at all. Jeremy Corbyn has been vilified by the right of his own party and a completely compliant media. This is not democracy it is bought a paid for oligarchy at its worst. Awake yet? Seems not as we steam towards a very dark future in the hands of madness and narcissistic self-interest.

    We frogs are happily boiling alive while we accept power and control by those who are turning up the fire. The crazy thing is the masses are seemingly happy to fry in their fear that they might lose the crumbs left behind by the elites. My friends you know it, I know it, that is why we are on social media voicing our concerns. Our scientists and academics seem to be mute in the face of endless lies and cultural misappropriation of natural selection in its pseudo Christian guise ignoring the demonstrable proof by Darwin that community and mutuality is the glue that holds a species together.

    Our journalist are generally ignorant, scientifically untrained and unprepared logically and rationally to face the truth and act upon it in the face of their bought and paid for masters. More fear of losing the crumbs handed down by our cultural elites. Unless we are ready to admit we do not have a democracy we will continue to play pawns in a game that is rigged by those snake oil salesmen that sell you the pretence of democracy which you swallow whole through indoctrination and fear that your little slice of reality will not last if you share it with those who are in dire circumstances nationally and internationally.

    Of course the repost will be it is not that bad. Well scramble with the facts all you like, continue to shift the goal posts, meanwhile the planet burns and hose who suffer, through no fault of their own, are used as punching bags for endless greed, injustice and inequality. This is not going to end well and, yes, you may lose the crumbs you have been given because of your own intellectual laziness and complicity. You have been warned by greater voices than me.

  7. Klaus

    John, I said it before. I love your articles. However, your faith in the excelenncy of Malcolm Turnbull, a supreme Waffler, bad communicator when he tries and explains, very arrogant in his own, perceived abilities and no spine or character.

    He is now less favorable in the polls than Abbott was. Q:P Didn’t he replace Abbott because of bad polling?

    He represents a government engaged in at least psychological torture (offshore processing) and defends it vehemently. He is engaged in blackmail by threatening to withdraw $600 Million from the Melbourne Tram project, unless a Tram stop is built in South Yarra, Kelly O’Dwyers seat of Higgins.

    He defends an indefensible Attorney General.

    Stop describing him as excellent! My stomach turns.

  8. Stephen Brailey

    Another excellent and compelling opinion piece from John Lord.

  9. Möbius Ecko

    Don’t forget to add that it’s the Nationals, mostly Joyce actually, that want to eschew laws to do with animal welfare, especially in the areas of live export and intensive farming, whilst harshly prosecuting animal activists who highlight animal cruelty on farms and in live exports. Again it looks like Joyce is getting his way.

    Why, well it seems, as conspiracy theories go, he plans to open another news network.

    Not so much a conspiracy if you research the background on who is supporting Trump and their roles in media, especially radical right wing media. One or two don’t stand for anything, right or left, only spouting their own nonsense, often contradictory, to anyone who listens. Sadly that’s a lot of people.

    Look up Trumpbart or @trumbart.

  10. helvityni

    Fizza. Who’s the next, the third one?

  11. Harquebus

    “To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.” — Adolf Hitler

    We are dead meat.

  12. Möbius Ecko

    That’s @trumpbart


    Joyce also blindly encourages the horrific animal torture that is the live export trade, one thst sickens and disgusts millions of Australians and is a shocking blight on the collective Australian conscience and brings shame on US all.

  14. helvityni

    Yes,SUZANNE, it brings shame to us, and so does our way of treating asylum seekers, who are living (existing) without hope on Nauru and Manus…double shame.

  15. ozibody

    When a handful of electorates determine the outcome of our Federal Election, which yields this Government a majority of ONE.! ….. does this not stimulate some serious investigation ? ! Real investigation ! …. not just “looking at” ! … worthy of thought ?

    Is one entitled to wonder whether our Electoral System might be just a touch “dodgy” ? ……. is our Democracy dependent upon some degree of “luck” ? ….. the long time taken to determine the outcome of those last few “close” electorates ? …. time to do what ??…..

    Just what degree of influence is achieved by $$ Big Money $$ in our Governance ?? … Why do our Parliamentarians have such large staffs ? ( thank you Kay Lee for bringing figures to attention! ) …..

    Why do I feel so bogged down ? ….. like a ‘ bushie ‘ in the wet season !

  16. Ken Wolff

    Don’t forget that when Turnbull first became PM (September last year), part of the deal with the Nationals was that responsibility for water policy was moved from the Department of Environment to Barnaby’s own Department of Agriculture. So now water is considered a ‘farming’ issue and not an environmental issue.

  17. Roscoe

    ”There are only a few things more detestable than someone mooching directly off your income, even if it is the state and it is supposedly for the common good”. yes we know that Georgie, we have you and your ilk doing exactly that and I for one find it very detestable

  18. Ross

    Poor old Barnaby. You have to laugh.
    He should walk around with a condom on his head, he’s such a dickhead.

  19. Jaquix

    The answer to your first sentence, in the form of a question, is simple. The Nats have done a deal. The Nationals are in coalition/alliance/business partnership with another minority party, erroneously called The Liberal Party. They dont set candidates up against each other in electorates, thus giving so-called “conservatives” no alternative but to vote for one or the other. Big lesson there for the Labor and Greens parties to consider.

  20. Leep

    It’s all well and good to lament about the national party having 6%+ of the primary vote and yet have 20 elected group of drongos in the parliament, what has caused the situation as it is and what can we do about it.

  21. king1394

    The Nationals win seats because they and the Liberals have agreed not to contest each other’s sitting MPs. This guarantees the conservative vote goes to existing National Party MPs, as there is no alternative for that section of the electorate Given the opportunity to vote Liberal or National where there are sitting Labor MPs, (eg the seat of Throsby) more people who choose to vote conservative will vote Liberal than National. In these seats, the Liberals and Nationals swap preferences (though there is always some leakage to Labor / minor parties).

    In contrast, the Greens choose to contest every seat, and to fight strongly against sitting Labor members where they perceive they have a chance of winning, so we saw them putting great efforts into unseating Anthony Albanese and Tanya Plibersek in the recent Federal election.

    I would like to understand why the Greens do not put greater effort into opposing Liberal/National Party members in those electorates where there is a real contest. And if the Labor Party stood back from those contests and supported the Greens we could see more Green members.

  22. Kronomex

    Joyce has a stranglehold on Nobody Loves Malcolm due to the fact that all he has to is threaten to remove the National from LNP and the whole rotten deck falls apart.

  23. Arthur Tarry

    How can Joyce have a stranglehold on anybody, let alone our so-called PM ? Real politik or just simply ‘Fizza’. However, it has been so between the Nats and Liberals forever – is it symbiosis or parasitism ? Whatever it has not served Australia well.

  24. Kaye Lee

    Joe Hockey is charging taxpayers thousands of dollars for babysitters to watch his children while he wines and dines VIPs in Washington.

    Despite already collecting an estimated $360,000 salary as US ambassador – and also double-dipping into his $90,000-a-year pension – Mr Hockey billed taxpayers almost $2500 for child minding during the five months to June this year in his new role.

    Documents obtained by Fairfax Media under freedom of information laws show the former federal treasurer – who once declared that the “age of entitlement” was over – is drawing on his entertainment budget five or six times a month to hire people to look after his three children.

    He charges between $US50 and $140 a pop so he can have brunch with Australian government ministers, attend formal dinners and host events at his official residence.

    Mr Hockey initially listed the expenses as “babysitting” but in April changed tack and began listing the childminding as “additional staff”.

    The change occurred about a week after Fairfax Media submitted its initial freedom of information application.

    In total, Mr Hockey and his predecessor, Kim Beazley, charged $121,000 for their entertainment budget in the 2015-16 financial year. The 2015-16 total was up significantly from the $86,000 Mr Beazley spent in the previous financial year.

    Both Mr Hockey and Mr Beazley have charged thousands for food, wine, flowers, musicians, dry-cleaning and even piano tuning. They have both also charged for membership of Washington DC’s famously exclusive Metropolitan Club.

    It was also previously revealed Mr Hockey and wife, Melissa Babbage, had recruited a $46,000 housekeeper – on the taxpayer – to prepare meals, clean, wash and iron.

    Age of entitlement is over? Double-dipping? Lifters and leaners? Gee these people have a hide!

  25. Lance

    if Gina says it’s OK for this mumbling moronic hayseed to be there- doing her bidding –who are we to go against the billionaire’s wishes —
    Billionaire’s deserve to get what they rightly pay for -and Barnaby never came cheap .

  26. guest

    The National Party has been dreaming up big dreams for the North as a food basket. This, despite the failures of places like Humpty Doo, where geese destroyed the rice crops just as they have wreaked havoc on the Ord River, where 60% of the agriculture is sandalwood.

    As well, we have seen the decline of rural towns and the landscape torn apart with huge costs for rehabilitation yet to be met.

    What is the purpose of the national Party? And is Barnaby Joyce really the deputy PM?

  27. Jaquix

    Guest – the purpose of the National Party is to prop up the Liberals. Without them, they would be cactus. Labor and The Greens, being progressive parties, need to work more cooperatively somehow (not a coalition as the Lib Nats have got, that probably wouldnt work at this stage), to get a similar result. Chasing the same electorates for instance is plain folly, and The Greens must realise it certainly hasnt worked for them.

  28. helvityni

    Re; Kaye Lee’s post above.

    Have the Liberal Ladies become lazy? They are outsourcing their ironing services ? Good lord ,what happened to real women; it must be those awful Labor women’s influence….

  29. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    The Greens and Labor need to be seen by the public to be working cooperatively, so that people know they have a chance of changing the government next time instead of seeing it slip through their fingers by ONE again!

    To seal the deal, some public alliance making could be beneficial by inviting some reputable Progressive parties like the Pirate Party into the pact also.

    Not only would it put hope back into Progressive voters; but it would put the willies up the LNP and their sycophants.

  30. Rais

    How can the National Party with its relatively tiny vote dominate the Liberal Party in government? Simple. After the federal election the leader of the National Party goes and sees the leader of the various State parties that caucus federally as the Liberal Party and says, “Nice minority you’ve got there. Pity if you couldn’t form a Government.” Or words to that effect. And the leader of the Liberal Party wants to form a Government. So he does what he has to do to achieve that. And keeps on doing what he has to do to maintain it.

  31. Absolutely filled with hope

    The Nats I know are in QLD and Ballina. They are rich yet smart enough to have a health card. They are vehemently opposed to the ‘not rich’ having costly infrastructure, like the NBN, wasted on them. They fervently believe that europeans are culturally and/or intellectually superior to Asians or Africans(Aborigines don’t get a classification) They support the abolition of the unemployment benefits in favour of the America food stamps. They oppose gender equality or positive action. They are strong Australians with the culture of the ANZACS ie racist, sexist, homophobic but in the modern sympathetic way of understanding that there are some people who cannot help themselves. They have no problems with ‘collateral damage’ ‘you must crack eggs to make an omelette’ and have no hesitation in supporting ‘one size fits all’ policies for the ‘poor’, the unemployed and the Aboriginals.
    It is beyond me why the bother to include me but I get all the dreadful rightwing septic and pommie propaganda which I used to send on to torpid tania et al but as I no longer get a ‘thanks for your letter all our operators are busy’ type note I assume I am spam.
    The diludbransims have plans to reach the status of the nats and goodluck to them in today’s world where for a fleeting monment we could have, Theresa Hillary and Angela to go with the bush blair and howard.

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