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Joe Hockey Manages to Smear Himself

The Courier Mail today ran a story revealing that would-be Treasurer Joe Hockey failed to declare a family interest for most of the duration of his Parliamentary life.

Mr Hockey declared the directorship of Steel Harbour Pty Ltd held by his wife, Melissa Babbage, in May last year among a series of “new positions” under spouse declaration rules. But business records show Ms Babbage was appointed to the role in 1998. Pecuniary interest register declarations are supposed to be made within a month.

What was even more interesting than the seeming disregard for public accountability, was Mr Hockey’s response to the story …

“As I become aware of my wife’s commercial interests I declare them, as is appropriate,” Mr Hockey said.

No, Sir, that’s not good enough. Setting aside the question of what it implies about a relationship that one can go over a decade without knowing about one’s spouses’ Directorships, the rules pertaining to the register of pecuniary interests are such that you have an obligation to ask your wife about them. But what’s most extraordinary about Mr Hockey’s response was his utter petulance, nay arrogance in declaring the revelation to be a Labor “smear campaign”.

Mr Hockey said: “The Labor Party has previously engaged in this type of muckraking and then been forced to correct such unsubstantiated assertions. It is a desperate action from a desperate government.”

No go, Joe. I mean, what “smear”? There’s no indication from you the story is incorrect. There’s no concession from you – at least none reported that I can find – that you erred significantly. No apology. No “oops”. Just a pathetic attempt to pass the buck to those who are simply pointing out that you have failed in an important area of public accountability. Is it too much to ask that you acknowledge the failure and offer at least a smidgen of contrition? It’s not the Labor Party asking this of you, Joe, it’s the Australian public (or at least those that think such things matter).

Earlier this year when Liberal heavyweight Arthur Sinodinos was forced to apologise to the Senate for failing to declare a bunch of Directorships, he at least showed some character. Can you, Mr Hockey, match that? Do you share a similar level of concern and regard for the principle of transparency in Government? It would appear not.

Even if were to come to light that you had expressed some sort of penitence it wouldn’t matter, as trying to make the issue about Labor and “smear campaigns” is a pathetic and cowardly way to attempt to abrogate your personal responsibilities. And you want us to support you as a future Federal Treasurer?

What’s also somewhat tangentially interesting about the Courier Mail’s story, is that despite the fact they were revealing a not insignificant failure on Joe Hockey’s part, they nevertheless saw fit to litter the story with photos clearly intended to show him in a positive way. Happy snaps of him and his wife, culminating in a fantastically irrelevant-to-the-story family shot of the couple and their children.

I don’t know about you, but I prefer my news services, when reporting actual news, to not attempt to emotionally manipulate me, and how else is such a thing to be interpreted?


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  1. PeterF

    Standard LNP response: ‘Nobody told me’.

  2. mikisdad

    Well said, Dan.

  3. dwejevans

    Bottom line: I don’t know about you, but I prefer my news services, when reporting actual news, to not attempt to emotionally manipulate me, and how else is such a thing to be interpreted?…………Exactly. If this story is true it should be obvious that Hockey has misled the Parliament, and it follows that he is not fit to sit as an an M.P…..The family happy snaps are completely irrelevent and are really only just empty space fillers.

  4. Chris Gould

    Sack him.

  5. joy cooper

    Spot on Dan.

    Joe Hockey is absolutely incompetent. Typical Liberal reaction. It’s not my fault it’s Labor’s. He is not suitable to be a MP let alone to be in the senior position of Treasurer. The country will be heading for a Depression quick smart if he & the rest of his party get the keys to the Treasury. First thing they’ll do is sack all the finance brains working there & replace them with their hand-picked dullards. .

    Abiding by such rules is not a strong suit of the Coalition as they tend to see themselves as above all of that. When Kevin Rudd became PM in 2007, Thérèse Rein sold off her entire Australian business worth many, many millions. This was a business she had worked hard to establish yet Joe Hockey is that slack & dismissive of the parliamentary rules that he can’t be bothered to declare a pecuniary interest his wife has had for 14 years. She must have too many directorships for Joe to take note of. Hasn’t she recently been appointed by the Newman government to some board or something?

  6. Geoff Of Epping

    The thin veneer of “avuncular happy” Joe is tissue thin indeed. once cornered the mask slips and you see the greedy grasping mendacious reality. it stinks Joe. To high heaven. But then you are a part of the most utterly amoral team I have ever seen in my four plus decades of voting. You’re in good company mate, Mirabella, Pyne, Bishop, Brandis, Morrison…look around yourself Joe. looks like a “mean girls” club don’t it Joe?
    Suits you to a tee Joe.

  7. silkworm

    Joe is a man with no ethics.

  8. Maureen

    I just hope Australia never has the misfortune or worse to have Joe Hockey as Treasurer. Supremely arrogant and dismissive. His born to rule mentality is always just under the surface

  9. joy cooper

    Very true Maureen. Trouble is like scum, Joe Hockey’s sense of entitlement & born to rule mentality has risen to the surface.

  10. bundysmum

    It’s all LABORS fault.

  11. cassilva48

    Which regretably is what can happen when the 1st gen children of immigrants believe they have climbed the “social rung” from their working class parents, i.e to middle and upper middle class status in the community. Forgetting, in many cases, that it was from their blue collar parents that they were able to enjoy a higher standard of living because their parents fought for fair employee rates of pay and conditions that was forced on them by their middle and upper class employers. Joe Hockey admitted that both his parents were staunch Labor supporters. Thanks to labor our blue collar workers now enjoy the best award rates of pay of all the 1st world countries which as anyone who needs a plumber, electrician, etc can vouch for. Funny thing is the upper middle class and executive class still regard them as the nuovo riche and may want their vote, but doubt they would want their company!

  12. richo

    Yet again the Born To Ruler’s are blaming someone else. It’s a labor smear, can’t trust treasury, can trust treasury but they’re wrong. etc etc etc.

    Personally I have never understood the appeal that Jo has to some people he has always seemed to me to be a plastic fake pretender. All good with the plattitudes and fibs but never able to come up with anything of substance.

    Jellyfish Joe is the perfect description along with eleventy

  13. Umberto Ledfooti

    Since Hockey has shown himself to be so out of touch and so incompetent that he doesn’t even know about a directorship his wife has held for over 14 years, how can he realistically be capable of the day-to-day management of Australia’s presently-robust economy?

  14. Skye

    I find it interesting that you memtion the other article used “positive” photos, given that you have clearly used an old photo of Joe many kilos heavier!

  15. richo

    The News’s article used older photo’s also Skye

  16. jane

    I just love the way Sloppy reckons his rorting for 14 years is somehow down to Labor smear. Yeah Joe, with any luck Ashbygate will swallow you whole as well.

    What a complete wanker, and he’s getting worse with every passing day. I look forward to his complete meltdown.

  17. chips

    Every time I see and hear Joe I straight away think of “The Shrek”, something to do with the looks and the IQs maybe.??

  18. richo

    Yep Good old jJoe and his Bad Govt mantra. Goes along with we don’t accept that and they’re wrong.

    Oh for some accountablility and truth.

  19. clarittee

    Everything is labor’s fault. Just imagine IF the boot was on the other foot! Labor muck raking. That’s rich coming from the “expert” muck rakers. There was a time when I thought Joe was a leader in waiting. Sort of “decent bloke”. WRONG !! Take them on trust. You would be nuts or blind. With Moylan and Washer leaving the rest look like a mob of NASTIES with TEA Party techniques. SHOCKEY Huffs and Puffs and says nothing real.

  20. cassilva48

    If Tony Abbott is elected, and I say IF, I will predict now that we will witness another IDES OF MARCH, who are waiting silently in the wings until they are in power.

  21. richo

    You sense a knifing coming on by the faceless men of the LNP – who’d of thunk it.

  22. cassilva48

    Yeah, for starters, Malcolm Turnbull and Joe Hockey are not there for their good looks!

  23. richo


  24. David nuller

    Hell no says big Joe. Those rules just dont apply to our family. Its all labours fault anyway. That ought to do it.

  25. richo

    I don’t accept that, I don’t trust that.

  26. doctorrob54

    It would be good to watch them knife one another,but while they do they will also ruin
    the country and dismantle the solid foundations Labor has put in place to send our country forward.

  27. doctorrob54

    Obviously previous comment was before the election,I hate it when I’m right sometimes.As for the
    present.I never thought they’d win,now we are in the shit.Labour must attack then like mongrel dogs.
    no different no let up as the libturds did to them,And Anthony Albanese is the man to lead them,
    Start talking with the Greens and get back to grass roots issues,
    Stick with Murray-Darling,clean air and water issues,clean energy,Stop the bullshit about refugees,and point out every time they lie.
    As for Hockey, he is a oxygen thieving parasite,knows nothing of economics and totally believes the
    market economy will solve everything and must not be limited at all by Gov.interference,I call him
    parasitic cos he has done nothing but hinder,his arrogance can not be topped by anyone,turns
    on anyone like a mongrel dog when asked a question he dislikes,but he can’t run away in Parliament
    and question time will be the end of this baboon.

  28. Jason

    Now he blames the labour government for Australias debt etc. It is not as bad as they say.

    As usual Hockey suggests raising the taxes for all but to reduce taxes for the rich.
    Also to increase ownership of our assests to the Private Sector. Smells very much like the Howard era.

    I will never vote for Labour again as they are like the Liberals and the Liberals are capitalists and bend over for Big Business. I will vote at State and Federal either Greens or Independent. I know people will say I am foolish but enough is enough.

    Get rid of the Major Parties as they are all rotten.

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