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If you have good ratings you can do whatever you please – just ask Donald Trump, Don Burke and Barnaby Joyce.

When Malcolm Turnbull made his bizarre bonking ban pronouncement on Thursday, he did Barnaby Joyce an enormous favour. A favour which Joyce is obviously too stupid to recognise.

All of a sudden, the conversation has moved from a man abusing his position for personal gain back to people “falling in love”.

Putting aside the expectations that a married person in a senior management role should realise that having sex with significantly younger junior staff members is unwise, I think most people grudgingly accepted that marriages do break up, that new relationships can form.

All questions asked of Barnaby have been about his subsequent actions.

He made us pay for his lover’s made-up high-paying jobs. This alone is sufficient reason for him to stand down.

He made us pay for an extra 50 nights travel allowance while he stayed in Canberra. That may have been legit. Then again, he may have wanted to stay closer to his girlfriend.

He made us pay to fly his family to Canberra and Sydney on multiple occasions for “family reunions” because he spent so much time away from home.

He made us pay for a function at his mate’s pub.

The same mate who has given Barnaby free holidays and free accommodation.

Even though Israeli police have recommended that Benjamin Netanyahu face corruption charges for accepting similar gifts, Barnaby’s response is a dismissive “friends do not charge friends rent.”

He obviously moves in different circles to me. I charge my children board.

That comment gave me flashbacks to 2011 when Tony Abbott said “Mates help each other; they don’t tax each other.”

To give context, this was Abbott’s response to the temporary flood levy to help rebuild devastated communities and infrastructure in Queensland.

Mr Abbott said the proposed levy would discourage people from donating to future rebuilding efforts.

Just like Greg Maguire is donating to rebuilding Barnaby’s life.

Though I am not sure how that fits in with Tony’s temporary budget repair levy. Maybe mates can tax mates a little bit if they promise it will only be temporary and good things will follow.

But back to Barnaby.

How should Barnaby have handled the situation when he realised he was in love with a woman on his staff?

First thing – tell your wife, preferably before she reads about it in the newspapers and before you get the next woman pregnant.

Second thing – tell your lover that she cannot continue in taxpayer-funded employment in Nationals members’ offices because of the obvious conflict of interest.

Third thing – instead of heading off to a resort for a free holiday, find a new home for you and your new partner. I doubt she wants to have to keep moving around, bunking down in temporary accommodation when 8 months pregnant.

Fourth thing – thank people who offer gifts but point out that, considering your position, you cannot accept.

Fifth thing – DO NOT do press conferences criticising your Prime Minister and those that have questioned your grasping ways. You are in NO position to do so. By your actions, you have forfeited the right to outrage.

Despite all of Barnaby’s failings and poor judgement calls, my real disgust lies with the other 20 Nationals in parliament who have implicitly condoned his behaviour using the Don Burke excuse. Barnaby’s ratings are so good that he can do whatever he pleases and they will still support him for the sake of their own incomes.

The “don’t tell us what to do” attitude is ludicrous. You are obviously so out of touch with what is appropriate, or you never cared, that you have lost all credibility.

You are enablers. And for that, you all deserve condemnation.

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  1. Shutterbug

    Nailed it, Kaye. Right between his skanky snake eyes.
    Gold Class Journalism.

  2. Kaye Lee

    Oh geeze,

    “Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will rely on the “integrity” of his colleagues to enforce a ban on sex between ministers and their staff”

    You couldn’t rely on their integrity to not have affairs with their staff before but you will rely on their integrity to not do it any more – or at least to not get photographed doing it. The more these guys talk the sillier it gets.

    When I was a teacher, I often had to speak to parents about concerns I had regarding their child. Some would thank me and ask how they could help. Others would get very defensive, belligerently defending their child and suggesting any perceived problems were my fault.

    I get the whole “stand by your man” thing – in fact, I think I heard a Nats Senator say “Bite one of us and we all bite back” or words to that effect. But if you have no standards, no accountability, then you are setting yourselves up for demise.

  3. John Higgins

    Barnaby Hypocrite got the public outing and condemnation that he should, but I’m intrigued to know why Roman Quadvlieg of Border Farce has been protected with a wall of silence since April last year when he went on forced leave for an affair with a younger staff member, and he’s racked up over $400k in full pay? Obviously having Dutton protect you counts. Who will break the details of this story?

  4. johno

    Well said Kaye, corruption is one word that springs to mind re this whole affair.

  5. Kaye Lee

    John Higgins,

    “The Australian understands the integrity commission has completed its investigation and forwarded its findings to the Department of Home Affairs. Because the Border Force Commissioner is a statutory officer, he can be sacked only by the Governor-General, who must act on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, who in turn will be guided by the advice of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.”

    paul walter,

    Kristina Keneally tweeted the following…..

    “In QT the PM tore into @albericie for her analysis that there is little case for corporate tax cuts. He’s ignored similar pieces by @MichaelWestBiz @Adam_Creighton @StephenLongAus @1petermartin @BernardKeane

    Draw your own conclusions.”

  6. Christopher

    Thanks Kaye, the whole episode has been, well, delicious, given my hatred of what these men and women are doing to our country.

    The best part, only Ministers can’t root their staff, backbenchers can carry on as usual. lol

    And I don’t think the abuse of power has been highlighted enough

  7. Kaye Lee


    Apparently it’s only their own staff that Minister’s can’t root. Other people’s staff are still fair game.

    And whilst we all focus on the bonk ban, the rorting is ignored because Barnaby assures us he has done nothing wrong. Oh, ok.

  8. Christopher

    Blast, that should be can’t

  9. Kaye Lee

    I fixed it for you 🙂

  10. Diane Larsen

    Unfairness, hypocrisy, condecention, lying is there nothing this government will not perpetrate on this country begone you bunch of tossers you deserve nothing but to be reviled for your poor, crass and stupid behaviour towards those you are suposed to be working for. To put it in simple terms that everyone can understand this government stinks.

  11. John Higgins

    Thanks Kaye …. intriguing to follow the end results

  12. paul walter

    Kaye Lee, observed Terry2’s comments elsewhere the criticisms of the Right are opinions likely not based on fact but wilful or blinkered misreadings of Alberici.

    But the Oz has such little credibility and such a track record of misrepresentation that few with even half a brain will take their lies seriously beyond observing that the noise means the article must have hit a soft spot.

    Nothing makes me sick!

  13. paul walter

    In the end, the Turnbull/ IPA/ Murdoch arguments for tax cuts are shown up for what they are…flimsy alibis for theft the community on a monumental scale dressed up as proprietary “rights”.

    Dickens, then Marx, even JS Mill at times as to ethics, deal with this sort of rubbish back in the nineteenth century, yet the stench lingers pervasively.

    Stop the thievery NOW.

  14. diannaart

    Cracking advice on what Barnie could’ve done but didn’t, Kaye Lee.

    I should be enjoying this tasty snack of schadenfreude… I love watching the pompous and self-entitled become increasingly dumb and dumber – not that there are any surprises, given decades of dumbness, but that such stupidity is getting such a good public airing across all media.

    BUT, when the f*ck are we going to get some action on climate change, renewable investment, science investment, education investment, health investment, infrastructure investment and so on ad nauseam?

    What have we achieved in the last 6 months?

    Equal marriage? which has resulted in outrage from the religious at the thought of more people being treated as equals than prior to the postal poll we had to have.

    Tax cuts for big business? – not quite, not yet, with those pesky journalists reporting on facts like, how decreasing tax on those who do not pay tax, is a great waste of time.

    Section 44? – apparently bogged in a mire of LNP telling Labor to out their dual citizens, but not willing to out their own. Ever heard of quid pro quo, Mr Turnbull – could clear up a tangle very quickly.

    The Uluru Statement? – ignoring something does not make it go away.

    Refugees indefinite detention – ignoring something does not make it go away.

    States independently progressing with renewable technology – ignoring something does not make it go away.

    Dealing with reality, such as fact that Australia exists in Southern Asia – ignoring something does not make it go away.

    I have to stop, my boss (Auto-immune disease) has told me to watch how I spend any more of my precious energy – so will end here.

    I have absolute confidence my fellow AIMers can carry on outing the reprehensible level of stupid of politics.

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