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Joyce and other self indulgences!

Sunday 25 February 2018

And so it came to pass as these things so inevitably do that Barnaby Joyce will tomorrow step down as Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. Those who seek to rule from the confines of narrow thought and buffoonery always come to the same end. Joyce has a history of ill-considered policies and inept thinking that has been very costly to the Australian taxpayer.

He reached the high altar of leadership with a mixture of country ockerism and controversial speech that persuaded people that he was acting in their best interests when he was really about his own.

No doubt Joyce, like former Prime Minister Abbott, will in due course want his old job back. That is why this resignation must be looked on as an interim measure that may last for just a few months.

Like Abbott he will use his former status as a reason to express his views on all manner of things. He will also use his vote to ride roughshod over a man he detests. And undoubtedly the same dissension will prevail. When he speaks he will do so as a leader in waiting. And if he decides to cut loose he will be much worse than Abbott however, his authority, because of his stupidity, will have been greatly diminished.

He still has many questions to answer. Try these passed on to me by Linda Gardiner. They are not limited to the following:

  1. The 3 million dollar security upgrade to that ‘rent free’ property were approved by who and on what basis?
  2. Was Barnaby actually an MP or just a ‘candidate’ at the time such security upgrades were a) approved and b) undertaken?
  3. Is it standard practise to upgrade security for an MP (presuming he was one at the time), who’s just living somewhere ‘rent free’? I mean, 3 million dollars is rather a lot to spend on a place when there’s not even a lease in place!
  4. Now that Barnaby and Campion have moved out of the ‘rent free’ accommodation, how do we, the Australian taxpayers, get our money back on that ‘security upgrade’?
  5. When will the investigation commence as to the real machinations of the ‘rent free’ townhouse? Maguire says Barnaby approached him, Barnaby says Maguire approached him.
  6. When did Barnaby register this ‘gift’? After he was elected? Well if that be the case, then once again I ask, when were those security upgrades approved and when were they undertaken?
  7. Is it coincidence or something else that Maguire, the provider of the ‘rent free’ townhouse just happened to get some rather heavily funded ‘function’ donations?
  8. Is it standard practise in government to just ‘create’ a job and employ ‘in house’ without a single advertisement for such ‘job’?
  9. What about all those travel expense claims staying out of home? Is there evidence of ‘official’ business being conducted?
  10. What about Grimes’ letter questioning Barnaby’s integrity in regard to Hansard? All that taxpayer money used fighting to keep that letter under wraps!
  11. Were the people of New England duped? I mean, this is a guy who positioned himself as a conservative, a practising Catholic, sang the praises and sanctity of marriage and all the while he was having an extra marital affair! Isn’t this ‘false, misleading and deceptive conduct’?
  12. What about the allegations on another affair with another staffer and an apparent abortion? What about the allegations of the affair with a high power lobbyist?
  13. Given that majority of Australia knew about the Campion ‘affair’ and ‘the pregnancy’, how is it that Turnbull ‘apparently’ didn’t? Or perhaps, on this one occasion, when Barnaby claimed the PM was ‘inept’, he had it right!
  14. As for the allegations of sexual harassment. Well that is indeed a police matter.

I think the only thing Linda left off are answers sought to the sale of water.

“I’d like to say that it’s absolutely important, it’s incredibly important that there be a circuit-breaker, not just for the Parliament, but more importantly, a circuit-breaker for Vikki, for my unborn child, my daughters and for Nat. This has got to stop. It’s not fair on them.”

The use of the phrase “circuit breaker” to me doesn’t indicate any longevity.

Having said that the leader they choose, likely from Michael McCormack, Darren Chester and David Gillespie, might find the power and the money for that matter, not easy to give up. McCormack is once alleged to have said that:

“Unfortunately gays are here and, if the disease their unnatural acts helped spread doesn’t wipe out humanity, they’re here to stay.”

Sounds like a nice guy.

Darren Chester is a nice fellow and represents my own electorate of Gippsland and was applauded for the work he was doing as infrastructure minister until Joyce, in a fit of revenge, sacked him. But like Joyce none are fit to be Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.

The conflicts between Liberals and Nationals will continue unabated because they are in a mixed marriage that cannot survive. Both have within their ranks conservative extremists who would be better off with Bernardi and his crew. The Nationals have never acted in the best interests of their constituents and would be better off alone uninhibited by those progressives, the small “L” Liberals .

The big winner in this scandal is Malcolm Turnbull, who tried everything to get rid of Joyce and then an allegation from the West did the trick. Maybe now he can reveal the contents of the agreement that has been holding him back all these years. Maybe now he can shrug off the right and go back to his left leaning ways.

However, whilst Turnbull got his way he may have stood on a rusted nail in the guise of two former leaders on the back-bench.

For his part Tony Abbott got slapped down after his “Immigration speech” by all and sundry: both friend and foe. Given his personal arrogance and hatred of Turnbull he will probably continue. Even his most ardent supporter Greg Sheridan got in on the act saying he was 100% wrong. I wonder where blind Freddy was? Perhaps Joyce and Abbott will form a tag team. Goodness, I’m seeing images of Barnaby in red speedos.

Abbott showed he had the gift for a bit of sarcasm by saying:

“… gratuitous criticism from ministers who are only in government because I led them there”, and that “you’d think a government that’s lost the past 27 Newspolls might be curious about how it could lift its game.”

We all have to ask ourselves this question. Why are they all doing this? It certainly isn’t for us?

Bill Shorten can now quietly claim the scalps of a Prime Minister and a Deputy Prime Minister. But as last week,s Newspoll showed, it doesn’t seem to hurt the Coalition at all. Almost half the population think they are doing a fine job.

My thought for the day

“Wouldn’t it be good if in our parliament, regardless of ideology, we had politician’s whose first interest was the people’s welfare and not their own?”

PS: That was the end of Act One. Act two: will Joyce after a month or so on the backbench accept a generous job offer and force another by-election in New England?

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31 comments

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  1. auntyuta

    As usual, I reckon your thought for the day is spot on!

  2. Barry Thompson.

    John, please tell me that 3 million dollars for a security upgrade to the free rental accommodation is a typo !
    If not more detail about it please. I am gobsmacked.

  3. Arthur Tarry

    Yes, an independent audit of Joyce’s expense claims during this sordid affair is highly appropriate, IMO. There are so many unexplained issues that we require investigations to get to the truth so that we have a real understanding of any shenanigans, though this might expose to us the way politicians have ther noses firmly in the public trough, and, like pigs eating voraciously, getting their share of this bonanza.

  4. Graham

    Rather than continuing to make this all about Barnaby why not up the anti and start pushing for ICAC. CATCH ALL. Or is that too real and ‘we the people’ prefer salted gossip rather than a wholesale cleanup of the system. Children of the world unite under one flag, Murdoch’s agenda. How many times can you be fooled by MSM? Countless it seems.

  5. Peter F

    Surely it is none of our business if we spent $3m making the lovenest secure: Why do we need to know? No doubt the owner will have a garage sale soon to recoup HIS costs and all will be well.

  6. Frank Smith

    It is absurd that 21 people sitting from a minor Party behind closed doors will determine who the Australian people will get as their next Deputy PM. Turnbull grow a pair and rip up this secret Coaltion agreement that Barnaby has trashed.

  7. Frank Smith

    Above comment should read:

    It is absurd that 21 people from a minor Party sitting behind closed doors will determine who the Australian people will get as their next Deputy PM. Turnbull grow a pair and rip up this secret Coalition agreement that Barnaby has trashed.

    Sorry my tablet ran out of battery before I could correct it – technology??

  8. Graeme Henchel

    The great “retail politician” can now April his wares in the Reject shop.

    Joyce claims that the Nationals saved the Turnbull government at the last election by picking up a seat (from the liberals) ensuring a 1 seat margin. In my view the the Neanderthals in the National Party in the their like in the liberals were responsible for them losing 15 seats.

    https://graemehenchel.tumblr.com/post/171245438524/barnaby-choo-choo

  9. MikeW

    What about all the years Barnaby was ineligible to be in parliament due to his dual citizenship, shouldn’t he have to pay all money received back to the Australian taxpayers as he received it illegally?

  10. helvityni

    What has this Government achieved? I would not call punishing the poorest in the society an achievement…

  11. Matters Not

    A $3 million security upgrade? Methinks – an urban myth.

    But it’s amazing how easy it is to create ‘fake news’ and have it believed.

  12. Terry2

    HOT Press

    In a media interview to express his wish to be left alone to the intimacy of his new love, Mr Joyce conceded that he has called on Sixty Minutes and Womans Day to do interviews which will allow him to express the desire that he and Vikki have for privacy, but he has not denied that he and Vikki will be doing a cameo on My Kitchen Rules and Married at First Sight if the money’s alright. As regards a trip to the jungle as surprise guests on I’m a Celebrity Get me out of Here he has ruled this out at least until the baby is born.

    Mr Joyce has been critical of the Prime Minister’s updated ministerial code as being discriminatory :

    Other relationships
    2.24 Ministers must not engage in sexual relations with their staff. Doing so will constitute
    a breach of this code.

    Mr Joyce said that ‘this was the straw that broke the camel’s back‘ not that he was suggesting any form of impropriety with camels or other mammals, his main point being that he didn’t come into parliament to be told what he could and could not do in the stationery cupboard and with whomsoever he chose. Thus he considered that the freedom of the back-bench along with his mate Tony was the best place for him : not that he was suggesting any form of impropriety with Mr Abbott but not ruling out a bit of slap and tickle with those of a female persuasion should the opportunity arise.

    Asked about the book that he was writing Mr Joyce said it would be a work of fiction about a horny wombat from the bush who ran rampant in Canberra : the sort that eats, roots and leaves he added with a wink.
    Suggestions that he would be adapting the Secret Seven into a version of Weatherboard Nine were purely speculation he added.

    Then, with a flick of the tea-towel he dismissed the assembled media telling them that ‘it’s alright for youse, but I’ve got to finish the washing-up’. 🙂

  13. Frank Smith

    Terry, shows what a good media adviser can achieve. No doubt the media adviser will also come in handy when editing the book – someone will have to reconstruct all those unintelligible sentences

  14. Roswell

    I’m half expecting Turnbull to hand him a new portfolio: women.

    Barnaby Joyce – the Minister for Women.

    Nothing surprises me.

  15. helvityni

    “I felt the stab of envy. How is this even fair? The Kiwis get Ardern. Canada gets Trudeau. Somehow they get to elect actual human beings who fight for real things. We get Mr Hollow and Mr Beetroot, a sham and a vegetable. I know, I know. Leader-envy is unbecoming and futile. But it is grotesquely unjust”

    Elizabeth Farrelly , SMH

    PS, I too am suffering of this very same syndrome, leader-envy (and I’m not naturally an envious human being)

  16. Aortic

    Simon Birmingham welcomes the ” clear air” so the government can continue to get his message out. If only we knew what the hell the message is they are trying to promulgate, this statement might have some validity.

  17. Shevill Mathers

    I think that many politicians who have been in the game a long time, and have become adept and used to using taxpayers monies for all and sundry in their daily lives, have actually lost the ability to distinguish right from wrong in their trough dipping. No wonder the low end of town has to tighten its collective belts in order for them (politicians) to continue feeding thus from the trough.

  18. simon pockley

    On the right track but yet again this commentary has missed the opportunity to talk about why Australians are so outraged with Joyce. It has nothing to do with his marriage breakdown except that it has put him, and his behaviour, in the spotlight. Mounting outrage is due to the fact that this senior politician is widely viewed as being corrupt and that the Turnbull Government is complicit. There is much that has been revealed by the ABC about his role in the theft of water from the Murray Darling but here I’ll concentrate on his land speculation. We can prove that allegations of misconduct are not imaginary. We now have verified evidence that Barnaby Joyce has speculated on the value of land that he bought in the Pilliga and then, while a Minister, attempted (with a compromised PM) to influence the value of that land. Barnaby Joyce claims publicly that he “didn’t know the land was subject to a petroleum licence when he bought it.” This is a lie that for some reason the press think let’s him off. Several locals (including Denis Todd, who has verified the conversation) said Barnaby told them, just after he bought the first block, how much gas was under it. They had asked him why he bought such a rough block, and did he think there was coal there? – to which he replied, “No, the coal’s too deep – but there’s a ton of gas.” It is outrageous that a senior politician should speculate on land in area where he then tries to influence the value of that land. There is a clear ‘conflict of interest’ when he and the PM call for the Santos CSG project to proceed and try to talk up CSG royalties for landholders. He may call it a co-incidence but the public see serious corruption when he accepts payments (political donations) from Santos that are perceived to influence how he votes in the Senate (against the ‘water trigger’). No wonder the Senate called on him to resign. Public loathing has nothing to do with Barnaby Joyce’s Affair. Joyce, and by association, Turnbull, both need to be indicted by a Federal ICAC before an outraged public begin to feel that decency and integrity have returned. For as long as these matters are not aired – they fester. FYI, here is a piece about how this is personal: https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/how-barnaby-joyce-contaminates-my-drinking-water,11197

  19. Christina Heath

    I agree with everything you have said Simon. The public outrage against Joyce must continue and I believe these issues will come to the fore before the next election, particularly by Joyce’s opponents in New England. The alternative Nats’ leader, Michael McCormack, is not much better. He is my local Riverina MP, another example of ineptness. As Editor of the Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga) in 1993, McCormack lead his Editorial with the headline “Sordid homosexuality -its becoming more entrenched”. He began: “Dear readers. A week never goes by anymore that homosexuals and their sordid behaviour don’t become further entrenched in society………How can these people call for rights when they’re responsible for the greatest medical dilemma known to man….Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome…….. “. Michael McCormack apologised many years later when seeking election but his apologies have never seemed sincere.

    As Small Business Minister, McCormack was one of the main drivers of the reduction in penalty rates to lower paid workers. The same Daily Advertiser reported that McCormack was claiming $273 a night Travel Allowance to pay off a mortgage when staying in his second home his wife bought in Kingston (near Parliament House) in 2013. Fairfax media reported in March 2017, McCormack had claimed almost $60,000 in TA since May 2013 and this on top of his ministerial salary at the time of $313,500. In July 2017, he justified his TA to local media, “I get TA, others get penalty rates, its part of the package”. Sounds fair enough – he does not see any difference between low paid workers relying on penalty rates and his own entitlements. The claims are legal but the morality …………………………

    Not much to look forward to, really.

  20. simon pockley

    Thanks Christina, sickening – what a can of worms…surely there is decency and integrity out there somewhere?

  21. Florence nee Fedup

    They have only spent 14 maybe 16 nights in the unit. Suggest it is scarcely more than an address for Joyce to say he still lives within the electorate. Suspect he has moved in with his lover in Canberra. Would love to know what state Vikki lived in doing the jobs that originated in the PMO.

  22. Pete Petrass

    Another question is when he resigns as Nats leader tomorrow what happens to the secret agreement between him and Fizza. I have also read his mate Maguire is in the running to build and own the new building to house the APVMA. There are also issues regarding other land he has purchased relating to his inland railway project. A man who idolises Bjelke Petersen cannot be anything but corrupt.

  23. Kaye Lee

    simon,

    From 2011….

    “Despite Tony Abbott on Friday calling for a ban on drilling without the approval of landowners, Senator Joyce said existing law allowed drilling on private land and classed gas as a public resource.

    But he said he wanted a guarantee of “fair and just terms” for landowners, noting that the Senate rural affairs committee had heard evidence that some drillers expected they could enter farm properties and give landowners nothing more than “a slab of beer” for the right to drill on their land.

    Companies extracting gas were paying landholders an average of 75 cents for every $1000 worth of gas extracted, he said.

    “There should be fair and just terms. If the government wants to deal with any other asset it’s on fair and just terms.

    “In fact, if they are dealing with coal they have to give you 10 per cent premium above the value of your place — minimum. That’s available in coal, it’s not available in coal-seam gas.”

    ….the project should not proceed without ” a reasonable return” for farmers.

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/barnaby-joyce-pushes-farmers-right-to-fair-drill-deals/news-story/ad237aa2889d99b1ecbba5d55cb3e26d?sv=1b33846c89eba69532a25dd4456111ca

  24. Kaye Lee

    From 2015….

    A farmer whose property hosts four coal seam gas wells would be paid $1 million a decade, gas giant Santos has revealed as it resists government efforts to regulate compensation paid by the industry.

    Premier Mike Baird has asked the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal to review payments by gas companies to landholders who host CSG activity

    Santos, which is seeking to move the controversial Narrabri Gas Project into the production phase, says it had already struck “highly attractive” access deals with landholders.

    During the exploration phase, Santos pays landowners more than $30,000 a year. Once more intensive production begins, a farmer would receive an average $25,000 per well a year, or $100,000 for four wells. Over a decade, the amount would total $1 million, Santos’ submission revealed. Production can last up to 30 years, potentially netting a farmer $3 million or more from those four wells.

    The tribunal also says the government should consider giving a share of its royalty revenue to landowners so they can share in the benefits of coal seam gas, adding this would lead to more access agreements and gas production.

    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/1-million-payday-for-farmers-who-allow-csg-wells-on-their-land-20150624-ghwhtc.html

  25. simon pockley

    Joyce proposed that a landowner get one per cent of the wellhead revenue of a CSG well. The best performing well in Queensland produces $1 million a day, but an average CSG well brings in about $60,000 a day. At that metric, a single well would earn a landholder, pre-tax, more than $200,000 a year — enough to reshape the value of land in marginal areas throughout the Pilliga, like Gwabegar where he bought his blocks of land.

  26. Frank Smith

    The Australian (or should that be Australien) link seems to be behind a Mudrock paywall John.

  27. Matters Not

    Re the security upgrade and its cost. The Australian (never a reliable source) claims:

    upgrade, examples of which cost up to $3 million,

    Note carefully the words used. In particular: examples … up to . To extrapolate from a (claimed) generalised example to a particular is somewhat of a stretch. For example – some people in Australia live in houses that cost up to $80 million. Thus, did you know that X lives in a house in Australia.

    But never mind. It’s now out and about and the veracity of the claim, or otherwise, matters not.

    I hope future generations will develop a critical consciousness (a crap detector) that will be turned on always.

  28. paul walter

    And sections of the press have the cheek to claim Joyce is not about corruption.

  29. Barry Thompson.

    John, I do not read that rag and am surprised you give it credibility. I’m with Matters Not on this one.

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