I know I rise early and sometimes in the changeover from bleary eyed half asleep writer to the wide awake writer for The AIM one is apt to misread headlines. But no, there it was in the boldness of stark big black type:
“Nat’s leader links emissions to night sport”
I know LNP MPs frequently make the most outrageous statements on many matters but to say that pursuing a target of 45% emissions would put an end to sport under lights was a bit of a stretch.
“I mean sure, go down that path, but forget night footy, forget night cricket”
And it didn’t end there. The Deputy Prime Minister of Australia went on to say that:
“You’ll have pensioners turning off their power because they won’t be able to afford it, and they’ll be shivering all winter, and they’ll be melting all summer.”
These comments by Michael McCormack were the follow up to last week’s gaffe on The Project, where after a question from Waleed Aly he was unable to think of just one, yes just one time when the National Party had supported farmers over miners. All to often he is caught with his pants down exposing his inabilities.
As a leader Michael McCormack shows little capacity for it. The Aly slip-up is just one of many illustrating his incapacity to think on his feet (or his bum) in this case.
Barnaby Joyce has the same problems when it comes to leadership. Here are a couple of snippets of my thoughts on The AIM from a time now past:
“Leadership demands more than just a ‘retail’ personality. It requires, in the sense of leading a country, a deep insightful worldview. 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.”
“Bad policy.Allowing – and maybe even actively supporting – water theft in the Murray Darling Basin. Positive support for coal, opposition to renewables and inaction – or waste of money on Direct Action – on climate change. Pork barreling in rural electorates. These policy disasters stem from the same sense of entitlement that Joyce showed in the conduct of his affair, but have much more significant results. They are the real legacy of Barnaby Joyce”
The National Party no longer represents country folk. It hasn’t for a long time. And it’s not just farmers over miners. When is the last time they have stood up to the Liberals insisting, for example, on a world class NBN for their constituents. Can you remember when they emphatically said NO to a Liberal leader? And it would seem that farmers know more about the environment than the Nationals and they are doing their utmost to protect it but it would seem that Barnaby and Michael think climate is the thing you do with a ladder.
All they do is vote with them. They never initiate policy. With only around 3%of the vote they gain 9 House of Representatives seats compared with the Greens 9% and one seat.
Now it seems that the Nationals, well some of them, led by the irrepressible Barnaby Joyce want a coal power plant built in Queensland and for the taxpayer to foot the bill. And it’s just two months before the election. You would have to be nuts. Such things are only ever done by unsound minds.
This week Barnaby Joyce laid out his claim to the leadership saying that he was elected Deputy Prime Minister at the last election and would stand again if the leadership ever came up. Without realizing just how on the nose he was he had said that the Nats were not married to the Libs. Most times what Barnaby says is politically unfathomable. Just bullshit in the “look at me manner.”
McCormack, in a grubby reply said he understood what it took to have a successful marriage:
“I understand when you have a marriage that it’s a two-way relationship,” he told reporters in Queensland on Monday.
“You don’t always get what you want but you have to work together to build better outcomes for your family.”
It was no doubt an unnecessary reference to Joyce’s recent much publicised marriage breakdown. Also an unnecessary reflection on today’s politics.
“I would hope nobody in politics revels in the personal issues of others and I hope that this is not the case this time.”
Another example of his character is in 1993, McCormack published a controversial editorial in which he blamed homosexuality for AIDS and criticised pride parades. He wrote “a week never goes by anymore that homosexuals and their sordid behaviour don’t become further entrenched in society. His article was the subject of three complaints to the Australian Press Council.
His remarks resurfaced when he embarked on a career in politics, and he issued further apologies in 2010 and 2017, stating that he had “grown and learnt not only to tolerate, but to accept all people regardless of their sexual orientation or any other trait or feature which makes each of us different and unique”.
Despite his apologies, the controversy resurfaced after he became Deputy Prime Minister.
In other editorials, he called for the return of caning in high schools, saying; “there is nothing wrong, in my opinion, with students being given a ‘stinging reminder’ about how to conduct themselves.”
He even wants the Death Penalty returned.
So here we have two dunderheads fighting over the leadership of what is really a country party whose members are not the least interested in the egos of two small minded politicians who have little to offer in the way of leadership.
Joyce in his usual warped state of mind reckons he is “The elected deputy prime minister of Australia.”
While McCormack reckons he is but few can remember his name.
In the recipe of good leadership there are many ingredients. Popularity is but one. It however ranks far below getting things done for the common good.
Labor’s shadow treasurer Chris Bowen” probably summed it up with this tweet:
“It’s a Venezuelan style stand-off between two blokes who think they are the deputy prime minister. I reckon we just give Tanya Plibersek the job.”
They have nothing positive to say about water, energy, and food or the environment. All of which are in their natural domain. In fact they have little to say about anything other than themselves.
The reality is that they are not a party of or for women. They have little to say about the status of women in their party. Women however have much to say about them.
This for example from Farm succession planner, farmer and 2013 New South Wales Rural Woman of the Year, Isobel Knight said Joyce was not the right person for the leadership and it was a common view in his seat of New England, where she lives.
“I don’t think he is the right person to be in leadership regardless of which side of politics you support, because of his personal integrity and lack of respect for women as well as his adherence to mining interests over farmers,” Knight said.
Loud mouth Joyce never seems to take into account the gravity of what he is saying. He just opens his mouth and lets it rip. When and if a Royal Commission is held into the Murray-Darling Basin plan, Joyce may find himself sorted out from a million others who were incorrectly baited.
I live in the country in the Seat of Gippsland, held by National Darren Chester. For a brief time he became Minister for infrastructure and was able to use his influence to have the City of Traralgon gain an Olympic size swimming pool, a new theatre complex and the refurbishment of the existing basketball complex.
Otherwise it never would have happened. I only mention this because Mr. Chester is a man of quiet dignity, who without much fuss, is determined to get things done for country people. He is enlightened and progressive. Much against National Party policy he was at the forefront of support for Marriage Equality.
I expect the Nationals to take a big hit in the next election. They deserve it. In failing to stand for policies that effect country people and simply caving into the Liberal Party at every turn it has diminished the public view of the party.
Together with having leaders who display all the signs of crazed unsound minds the party has lost so many folk who had always thought of it as their party.
On Tuesday 12 March Fran Kelly interviewed Joyce on Radio National. He became so deranged that Kelly had to ask him to calm down. Former Senator Amanda Vanstone in a tweet has also expressed concern about his mental stability.
The National Party is without leadership and presents itself as a party of ageing country bumpkins or chooks all running around with their heads cut off.
They need to ask themselves if they should revert to the name of Country Party and be fairdinkum about representing them or get to hell out of politics altogether and concentrate on baking pumpkin scones.
My thought for the day
At some time in the human narrative … in our history, man declared himself superior to women. It must have been an accident, or at least an act of gross stupidity. But that’s men for you.
PS: No night footy at the “G”. Now who said that?
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