Tuesday 13 February 2018
I first posted this piece on February 11 2016, and again on February 12 2017. Seriously, how do you think it’s turned out?
1 The day has finally arrived. Barnaby Joyce has become Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. Now we have a Prime Minister who firmly believes in a Republic, equality in marriage and the science of Climate Change and a deputy who does not. The intellectual gap between them is of sagacious proportion.
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,” he said.
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.
“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.
“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.
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” (link unavailable).
In 2005 he said that his greatest achievement would be to … “Stop abortion … 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.
Barnaby argued before the Community Affairs Legislation committee. The absurdity of this statement was pointed out at the time by Women’s Electoral Lobby ACT convener Rosyln Dundas who commented.
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. To think he will be the acting Prime Minister of this country next week.
This is also worthy of a repeat
2 The news that Greg Hunt has received an award as ‘Best Minister in the World’ will be received with much scepticism by many Australians. Even hilarity. Mr Hunt told Fairfax Media he was “genuinely humbled” by the prize, but noted “this is really an award for Australia”.
The criteria for winning the award, according to the organisers, is that the minister should lead quality successful initiatives that serve the needs of citizens.
Any economist, environmentalist or climate scientist or journalist specialising in the subject would be aghast that a person who has done so much harm to environmental policy could be honoured with an award.
Politics in this country is rapidly turning to farce. First we make Philip Ruddock our Human Rights Envoy and now this!
Internationally, in environmental gatherings Hunt is referred to as the man for all seasons. He has long been admired for his ability to put the case for Direct Action without ever explaining exactly how it might work. Or how it might be paid for.
He gained a masters with honours in 1990 with a brilliantly argued thesis for a carbon tax to reduce carbon emissions. Then he did an about turn when Abbott gained power supporting Direct Action. It was then that he lost all credibility and has been ridiculed ever since.
There is an award at every climate summit called “The Fossil of the Day.” The award is given by the international Climate Action Network to the country which has done the most to block progress at the climate change negotiations.”
My thought for the day
“Be generous with your praise and considerate with your criticism.”