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“One way or another, Barnaby’s cactus.” Malcolm might be too.

Barnaby bunny blinks in the spotlight centre stage in our national political show, this week, as our Deputy PM shrewdly plays the victim in his marriage break-up while he muffs his special pleading self-defence for begging his Tamworth mogul pal, Greg Maguire, to be allowed to crash for six months at his millionaire mate’s luxury pad at mates’ rates.

So wrong; so unfair, Joyce pleads, leading his supporters in hand-wringing over how his private life is his own business, hoping the rest of us will miss bigger issues such as alleged abuses of public funds for travel and accommodation. He’s also punting on our confusing workplace exploitation and his abuse of power with an innocent, mutual, private affair.

It’s a captivating performance which helps divert the nation from the Turnbull government’s response to the Closing the Gap steering committee’s finding that the programme, launched after Kevin Rudd’s apology was effectively killed when Abbott ripped over half a billion in funding out of it in 2004- and cancelled an Aboriginal housing programme.

The policy, they report, has been “effectively abandoned” by extensive budget cuts since 2014. Turnbull’s response echoes his initial response to Don Dale; he fobs off the nation with another select joint committee inquiry which will seek how to “refresh the policy”; while holding a new inquiry into the issue of constitutional recognition.

As Jack Waterford, former editor of The Canberra Times writes,The government has never narrowed the gap. At present rates, Aboriginals will remain the poorest, sickest, least employed and least educated group in the community 80 years from now – and still without a plan, as opposed to a vague hope and intention, to make it different.”

Happily for the PM, there is a distraction. Poor, rich, white, boy, Barnaby, a lad who enjoyed a privileged upbringing, a St Ignatius College Riverview private school boy, – one of Sydney’s most expensive schools – who at home could roam Rutherglen an 1821 hectare farm estate, a New England University accountancy graduate who loves to play the battler from the bush is now acting hard done by. It’s all about soliciting free accommodation; favours from a mate.

Not only is BJ the victim of a marriage break-up, he hasn’t broken any rules, he wails. He didn’t ask to be put up free, he claims, contradicting the story his millionaire mate Greg has given The Daily Telegraph and put about the town.

Ex-wife Natalie dents BJ’s victimhood a tad revealing to Miranda Devine that her former husband is a serial philanderer. Whilst he may be “a hard pooch to keep on the porch”, to quote Hillary Clinton, he “always comes back”. Worse, he told the nation of his separation four days before he could face his wife. And he has to tell her Vikki is expecting a boy.

Not all of Joyce’s mail is from fans either. “Somebody sent this letter to my office today,” he guffaws to Fairfax’s David Robson last year. “It ran like this: ‘I don’t know who’s a bigger c…, you or Trump. But I think you win.’ And that was it!”

Nat’s no longer a fan either. Neither are many Nationals, including Veteran Affairs Minister, Michael McCormack who may have a crack at the leadership himself at Monday week’s party room meeting. Iain Macdonald, The Nationals’ attack dog, in senate committees an easy rival for Joyce’s fan mail award, tells Barnaby to take a back-bench seat.

Liberals call for Joyce to resign, while Labor’s leader, Bill Shorten, says neither Joyce nor Turnbull are fit to hold power.

“One way or another, Barnaby’s cactus. It’s just a matter of when.” says a senior National who tells The Saturday Paper‘s Karen Middleton that traditional National Party supporters are likely to be “extremely unhappy” – especially women.

A third of those who backed Joyce in December’s by-election no longer support him, according to a ReachTel poll last Tuesday night; fifty per cent believe that he should resign either from parliament or go to the back bench. A petition to demand his removal from his New England seat has received almost 7000 votes in five days, says The Herald Sun.

Happily, despite polls which suggest his electoral popularity is now down from 65% of the primary vote to 43%, a quarter say they’d be more likely to support him after his affair. Clearly, Barnaby still has a few mates left around the place.

Mates? ‘Mates don’t pay for things when they’re helping other mates out,’ Barney gargles in Question time. And they return favours. In a moving mateship tribute, the nation learns that Greg also does very well out of putting up public servants as Pork-barrel Barnaby moves a whole government department to New England to boost his local vote.

In true Nationals’ fashion, a mob of rugged if not roughshod individuals, whose contempt for bureaucracy matches its war with science and the environment, Barnaby decided to relocate the Australian Pests and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) from Canberra to Tamworth. It’s a cheap pork-barrel at a mere $26 million when you compare it with $10 billion for Joyce’s Inland Rail boondoggle which will never turn a profit either but which is also a nifty source of pork.

Joyce’s plan lacks cost-benefit analysis and is entirely off his own bat. Most of his work is like that. The Inland Rail, is really not that much of an exception. It’s all going brilliantly, of course, apart from those who work in the APVMA, including scientists who can’t or won’t leave Canberra. One in five positions are still unfilled.

Twenty regulatory scientists plus 28 staff members, with a total of 204 years’ service, left the agency between July and February, Fairfax reports in a staff exodus which has halved the authority’s approval rate for new products meeting. “Required timeframes” plummeted from 83 per cent in the September quarter to 42 per cent in March 2017.

It’s the worst rate in history says Monsanto pesticide industry leader, CropLife’s CEO, Matthew Cossey who warns of billions of dollars of lost farming revenue. He urges a return to Canberra. But he’s just a key corporate stake-holder.

At least APVMA boffins can count on food and shelter. Enter Barney’s flash mate Greg with his modestly named Quality Hotel Powerhouse, a pub which gratefully receives $14,700 spent by the APVMA relocation fund, money it controls to accommodate the wayfaring strangers whose business will help turn Tamworth’s (and Greg’s) fortunes around.

The APVMA invites an advisory committee of 20 odd to stay, reports ABC Saturday AM. Of course, as public servants, all are parched and on the tooth and primed for wining and dining. My, how they enjoy a welcome dinner of prawns with kimchi, truffle oil risotto, New England lamb and sticky date sponge; great value at $80 per head. Our shout.

The APVMA won’t divulge the total bill. Could it be an on water into wine matter? Greg’s joint is only one of several Armidale accommodation providers used by the regulator, a APVMA spokesman sniffs. “We don’t have a preferred provider”. The Neoliberal “provider” tag went feral long ago; instead of community support we buy and sell each other.

In a reverse planning move akin to putting the wings on an aircraft as it taxies down the runway, the committee, made up of APVMA and department of agriculture staff, as well as peak industry bodies, meet to work on the relocation plan.

The mad monk, Tony Abbott once buttered up Barnaby as “a great retail politician”, an MP who ranted about $100 lamb roasts resulting from a price on carbon. The term means a politician whose strength lies in cultivating his own popularity with his electorate. Coming from fellow egomaniac and walking three-word slogan, it means nothing but, alas, it’s stuck.

Every talked-up populist-capitalist running dog has his day, however, and Turnbull almost steals Barnaby’s thunder in a show-stopping finger-wagging in a new role as parliament’s head prefect or moral policeman on Thursday. The PM holds a special presser to scold Barnaby for leading a fluffy young bunny astray and to ask him to consider his position.

During intermission, Turnbull censors the ABC again – but no biggie. Happens all the time. The Guardian Australia reports “ABC News management has been in crisis meetings for two days” after the PM courageously attacks the articles in question time before getting Fifield and Morrison to join him in penning formal letters of complaint to management.

The Ayatollah, as he was mocked at Goldman Sachs, the PM succeeds in suppressing Chief Economics Correspondent Emma Alberici’s heretical analysis of how tax cuts to business don’t stimulate jobs or growth. One in five don’t pay tax for the past three years at least. Those who do, moreover, pay a seventeen per cent tax rate, on average.

Naturally, Qantas CEO, the silver-tongued leprechaun, Alan Joyce, is quick to grab ABC Radio’s ruling class megaphone to defend his company’s non-payment of corporate tax for nine years. He argues it is legitimate under rules that allowed it to carry forward losses from previous years. His words immensely cheer our aged pensioners on $671 a fortnight.

Workers on the minimum wage of $18.29 per hour are also heartened to learn that they’ve helped QANTAS to clock up its tenth tax-free year while Joyce’s salary nearly doubled in one year to reach $24.6 million in 2017. Can we afford the $65 billion, Alberici asks cheekily. Or could it be better spent on health, education and pensions?

She dare not mention raising the minimum wage or putting some of the money back into Aboriginal housing.

Above all, Alberici joins other economics writers in putting the lie to Treasurer’s Scott Morrison’s hoax that lowering tax rates makes us more internationally competitive when it comes to attracting investment. Now he and Matthias Cormann are promoting the falsehood that company taxes have to be cut or workers won’t get wage rises.

Before Trump cut US corporate tax earlier this year, the rate was 5 to 9 percentage points higher than our own. Yet Australian companies still preferred to invest in the US rather than Ireland, where the corporate tax rate is less than half ours (12.5 per cent), or Singapore (17 per cent). The truth is that many factors beyond tax rates guide investment.

Alberici’s piece is pulled because ABC management says it doesn’t meet editorial standards. Whilst ABC finds no inaccuracies in the articles, in the opinion of Director of News, Gaven Morris, “it sounds too much like opinion”.

Did Morris miss Chris Uhlmann’s opinionated reporting of SA’s power blackouts, wrongly blaming the Labor government’s reliance on renewables? The same lie is reprised this week in ABC previews of its SA election coverage.

All of Uhlmann’s factually incorrect SA blackout articles remain up, moreover, but, amazingly, it takes the ABC only 48 hours to remove accurate and factually correct reporting because it is unpalatable to the government of the day.

Alberici’s views are in line with leading economists including at The Australia Institute and at Treasury. Greg Jericho in The Guardian protests that she’s said nothing that many other writers haven’t been saying regularly. But as Mal’s new pal Donald Trump would say, a leader doesn’t need fake news or expert opinion to spoil his policy-making.

A calculated strategy of funding cuts, a constant stream of derogatory remarks from Liberal attack dogs, has crippled the ABC’s independence. Lest we forget, these attacks include Home Affairs Protector, Peter Dutton, and his “one down many to go” gibe at ABC presenter Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s dismissal.

Gibes and taunts add to the pressure of direct protests whenever The ABC holds government too much to account. Now Turnbull’s virtual appointment to Managing Director of pal Michelle Guthrie, who says her former 14 years career with Rupert Murdoch does not maker her a hatchet woman, the national broadcaster has become a Liberal trumpet.

Soon we will have a tabloid ABC with commercials, devoted to car crashes, stabbings, how hot or how cold the weather is for the year and endless relaying of superficial USA political news and shootings, which can then be knocked down to the highest bidder as requested by the Liberal Party’s key think tank and policy unit, The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA).

Turnbull, like his predecessor, aims his performances to the tabloid media. We saw Turnbull play huckster and shyster early. Now he adds his strait-laced Presbyterian minister routine knowing it will get full coverage in The Daily Telegraph. The moralising, holier-than-thou Reverend Mal (Turnbull 2.0) emerges this week in the midst of the Barnaby barn dance.

Thursday, Mal swoops right after Barnaby’s Aint nobody’s business to ban all Canberra office Rock ‘n Roll, along with jiving and swiving. Canute-like, he vetoes all sideways samba, jazz or jelly roll; sex between all ministers and staffers.

“Turnbull bans sex”, MSM wags say. No more fornicating, fraternising or horizontal folk-dancing between ministers of the crown and their underlings. Loins are to be girded at all times. To show he’s serious about ending the funny business, he’s put his bonking prohibition into the Ministerial Code of Conduct, every Cabinet Minister’s bible.

It’s risible but then it’s meant as a show of authority. Nobody in Canberra believes that the Code of Conduct carries any weight. Shorten says it’s not worth the paper it’s written on. Perhaps it will work if staffers keep it between their knees.

Fawning is still in, of course, as is flattery and obsequious devotion; essential to any staffer’s tenure. These are transferrable skills. Moguls, miners, anything in uniform, bankers, think tankers and lobbyists are still to be lusted after.

Equally, business big and small -like the US Alliance- is there to be serviced. But ministers and minions must, at once, stop bonking each other, especially “that stubborn bastard with rhinoceros hide”, as a senior Liberal calls Barnaby.

“If you want to be in power, you can’t afford to fuck around,” is how a real PM once put it. Sadly, Mal is no PJ Keating.

Compounding his ludicrous finger-wagging, the PM makes himself look even more inept, ineffectual, absurd, by calling out Joyce publicly for his predatory behaviour as well as his poor decision-making in his affair with Vikki Campion, his staffer. Worse, the lubricious leader of The Nationals, “the family values party” has got Ms Campion in the family way.

By Thursday, after trying a Kamasutra of new positions on the Joyce affair, Turnbull turns chaos into catastrophe when he blasts Barnaby with both barrels in a public bollocking of his own deputy, unique in Australian politics.

After the” private matter” position; the even trickier “not his partner” defence. Not his partner?

Women across the nation, including Campion, who is carrying Joyce’s fifth child, are cheered to hear her status reduced to a casual shag, a quick roll in the hay; as meaningless and ephemeral as a politician’s promise. Even Playboy bunnies had contracts. But what “those women” of Australia will hear from the PM on Thursday is even more alarming.

“My wife ironed my shirts this week… does that make her staff?” responds deep Andrew Broad, Nationals MP for Mallee.

Vikki and Barney are split up because of their madly passionate affair and she is promoted out of his office, twice, but they were not partners because they were not living together. Turnbull expects us to accept that?

Ducking and weaving, a desperate PM channels his inner Bill Clinton, (aka Slick Willie), to redefine a dangerous liaison to save his own bacon. Barnaby, he argues, did not have a partnership with that woman, his former staffer, Vikki Campion.

The PM needs to dodge responsibility for breaking the Ministerial Code of Conduct in promoting Campion, Joyce’s paramour to a couple of plum jobs to get her out of Joyce’s office to hide a rapidly all-consuming scandal.

Someone clearly thought a tricky definition was a winner. At least the Joyce debacle has helped expose the process by which Ministerial assistants are appointed and promoted out of fealty, fear and favour rather than any qualification for the job. Advisers are thus both partisan and beholden to their bosses. You see it in the quality of their advice.

Monday’s circus establishes a catchy reality TV show format: “So you think you’re a partner?” Will Team Malcolm’s cunning plan to unhook Vikki and Barney get the PM and his government off the hook? By Thursday, Newspoll will need something stronger. Cue strong leader, moral guardian of the national flock: Turnbull lowers the boom.

“Barnaby made a shocking error of judgement in having an affair with a young woman working in his office,” the PM scolds. “In doing so he has set off a world of woe for those women, and appalled all of us. Our hearts go out to them,”

So sayeth The Reverend Mal, at a special Barnaby-barrelling press conference, Coalition shot-gun divorce combo.

The PM’s excoriating sermon; his moralising, judgemental excommunication is too little, too late and too low. He stops short of dismissing him as deputy which ABC News 24 reminds us is something he cannot do. Secret agreement stuff.

At least Joyce’s had his bat and ball taken off him before he’s sent home. Barnaby won’t be acting PM when Turnbull treats coal-mining, non-tax-paying – at least for the last ten years – CEO of multinational Glencore to a five-day junket to the US. Joyce will take a week’s leave “to consider his position”.

Considering her position also will be Julie Bishop who is abroad at the moment but who has sent messages letting it be known that she could fly home at once if need be. Perhaps she could console Barnaby; coach Cormann by emoji?

Hearts do go out but not all, like the PM’s, appear to be worn on sleeves. Consternation erupts. Mark Kenny and other Turnbull toadies rush to praise the new, resolute and decisive PM but even Kenny concedes Mal’s ban is empty.

Barnaby Joyce calls an extraordinary conference to call out his boss for his “inept and unnecessary” attack on Friday.

Unnecessary? Paul Bongiorno notes, wryly, the PM gifts Joyce with a unique opportunity to show who is truly in charge.

Turnbull’s public rebuke and call for Barnaby to resign helps highlight the Nationals’ power. The Turnbull government’s subservience, if not its impotence, lie in its 2015 secret Coalition Agreement, whereby Turnbull secured the Prime Ministership by capitulating his own political ideals in favour of Joyce’s right-wing Abbott political agenda.

Others sniff hypocrisy. Others deplore the public blaming and shaming. Imagine if Goldman Sachs were to call out Turnbull for the $500 million it is reported to have cost the banking firm to settle out of court in 2009 after HIH collapsed taking many small investors with it after buying an overvalued FAI due in no small part to Turnbull’s dud advice.

Some may even ask is Turnbull still has no knowledge of logging when he was chairman of a company in the early 1990s whose Solomon Islands’ subsidiary was described as having some of the worst logging practices in the world.

Turnbull flits to Tasmania; seeks the high moral ground by going to water. He appears later on ABC energetically talking up the twelve great projects of the Tamar Estuary Water Management Task Force. Pity BJ is no longer water minister.

A nation is caught on the hop. For three years, our carefree, sun-drenched continental island home has thrilled to the rhythms of Flash Mal ‘n Barnaby bull-dust’s bush-bash band. They do all the old Tony Abbott standards as laid down in their secret coalition agreement but, suddenly, something’s up. Mal thinks he can pick a fight with Bulldust and win?

Is the band breaking up just over Barney’s latest dancing partner, Vikki? Slugging wildly at each other out the back of the outback country hall that is our national parliament, Mal and Barney our two Coalition band-leaders trade haymakers. Neither is in what you could call tip-top condition. Neither could fight his way out of wet paper bag.

The stoush lasts three days. Then a press release of a kiss and make-up saturates media mid-Saturday. Ominously, Scott Morrison, who couldn’t tell the truth about Reza Berati’s 2014 murder on Manus Island is sent on to ABC Insiders, Sunday to proclaim a “frank” clearing of the air but the PM has not walked away from his earlier comments. Nor has Barnaby Joyce who is quoted later in media reports saying he has nothing to apologise for.

Why the big bust up? The boys got the band back together in Tamworth only last December. New hats and boots, too. Will Barnaby Joyce survive a Nationals’ leadership spill. The signs are ominous. Yet, even worse are the portents for a Turnbull government which has been unable to deal with a matter it knew was coming at least six months ago.

The spectacle of the public spat; the utterly inept handling of Joyce’s affair with a staffer and of Turnbull’s moral denunciation and his patently impractical ban on sex between minister and staffer can only serve to highlight how rapidly his government is unravelling.

The PM is taking twenty Aussie tycoons to the US for five days. They can talk rich man’s stuff; Cayman Islands; investment portfolios; things he’s really into. Not politics; certainly not people. Perhaps they will also form a cheer squad while he begs Rupert Murdoch to give him one more chance. One thing is certain. The Barnaby brouhaha will not have died down on his return and the damage it has caused will be permanent.


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  1. Vixstar

    Great article its worse than I could even imagine the Trickle down Turdball off licking Trumps toes, when he should be in major damage repair for his stinking LNP , Asbestos Bishop over at the Paris fashion runway, Bonking Barnaby the sex bomb having time out (to do what exactly?more bonking!) Belgium Waffle running the show with no experience cred what so ever, Scomo running around with an axe in one hand killing the ABC and in the other hand counting beads hasn’t mastered the art of a calculator yet! Their sure to roll out the weapon of mass destruction Howard and Abbott running around giving everyone advice on how to run the show!

    Australia is dying because of these idiots and the propaganda machine 70% media owned King Maker Rupert the killer of democracy that props them up. His formula for readers, keep them in the dark, feed them shit and churn out LNP voters works everytime!

  2. Rossleigh

    Barnaby has always been cactus…
    Turnbull, on the other hand, may not outlast him!

  3. Glenn Barry

    Rossleigh, I’m with you, both are terminal, however I think Mal will be deceased first

  4. Matters Not

    David Taylor – indeed you are a great talent. I am in awe.

    There’s any number of ‘images’ that resonate but this opening jibe is priceless.

    planning move akin to putting the wings on an aircraft as it taxies down the runway

    One among many, I should add.

  5. John Higgins

    OMG! … Hymie Cormann as Acting PM … it’s enough to make one “vibble vobble” …

  6. Bradley Black

    …and in steps Mr potato head, right on cue. And further into the mire we sink.

  7. Phil

    Turnbull is taking twenty corporate bosses to the US? First I’ve heard of this. The relationship of big business to Turnbull government is like that between Joyce-Campion – inseparable bedfellows.Corruption resides here.

  8. Barry Thompson.

    I think that just about covers it David.
    Bloody brilliant !

  9. Kaye Lee


    May – Vikki Campion assists Barnaby Joyce’s election campaign as media adviser, having previously worked with NSW government ministers and News Corp

    August – Campion joins Joyce’s staff. She splits with fiance John Bergin, three months before they were due to wed. Friendship develops between Joyce and Campion

    December – Chief of staff Di Hallam reportedly seeks Joyce’s approval to have Campion transferred out of office. Hallam later quits to take up departmental role


    February – Campion is photographed in a Sydney bar with Joyce, as revealed by Daily Mail Australia

    April – Barnaby’s wife Natalie reportedly confronts Campion in Tamworth. Campion goes to minister Matt Canavan office as adviser. Natalie and Barnaby seek to make marriage work

    May – At New South Wales Nationals conference in Broken Hill colleagues describe Joyce as ‘a mess’

    June – Natalie and Barnaby show up together at Canberra press gallery midwinter ball

    July – Campion leaves Canavan office after he quits frontbench over citizenship. She temporarily goes back to Joyce’s office

    August – Campion moves to Damian Drum’s office in a social media adviser position specially created for her. He already has a media adviser. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is reportedly reassured by Joyce the relationship with Campion is over. Drum says he was told the same thing. Former Joyce chief of staff Di Hallam takes up a senior position with the Inland Rail project

    September – Natalie reportedly asks family friend, Catholic priest Father Frank Brennan, to counsel Joyce. Campion is seen managing Joyce media events at federal Nationals conference in Canberra

    October – Campion reportedly takes stress leave. Writ issued for New England by-election after Joyce quits over dual citizenship

    November – Natalie holidays in Bali with a daughter. Man in a pub in Inverell angers Joyce during election campaign by reportedly saying: ‘Say hello to your mistress’

    December – Joyce wins by-election. Joyce tells parliament during same-sex marriage debate he is separated. Campion’s redundancy package is approved. They move into an Armidale property provided rent-free by businessman Greg Maguire


    January – Joyce and Campion holiday in north Queensland and NSW north coast

    February – Joyce tells reporters Campion is now his partner. But denies she was his partner when she worked in Canavan’s office

    Mid-April – Joyce-Campion baby is due

  10. Matters Not

    Re: Hallam later quits to take up departmental role.

    Did she (Hallam) go straight from Joyce’s Office to the Inland Rail Office or was there some interim employment – perhaps In Chester’s Office? I thought I read it somewhere but now can’t find any link.

    Labor has been silent on Hallam (a good friend of Natalie Joyce) who blew the whistle on Vikki and then received a plum job – way above any known qualifications. Strange. Another merit selection? Was the position advertised etc etc

  11. Kaye Lee

    I have been ringing around politicians’ offices asking about the stress leave and redundancy payout from a job that didn’t exist when Canavan told us that her contract was terminated when he stepped down from the Ministry.

    “Ms Campion worked in Senator Canavan’s office up until all staff had their existing contracts terminated when Senator Canavan resigned from Cabinet in July 2017.”

    A couple said thanks for ringing I will pass on your concerns. Others got quite belligerent.

  12. Glenn Barry

    Hmm – I wonder if the relationship between Vikki and Barnaby breaks down, which it most likely will, she would most likely qualify for the sole parent pension.

    Would she be forced to go onto the Indue welfare card if it’s been deployed in her region?

    I do feel somewhat sorry for the woman, she obviously lacks judgement, but her life becoming such a spectacle amounts to somewhat cruel and unusual punishment.

    Barnaby on the other hand deserves everything he gets

  13. Kyran

    “Not only is BJ the victim of a marriage break-up, he hasn’t broken any rules, he wails.”
    Well, yeah, he sort of did. There is the little dual citizenship ‘oopsy’ where he lied to parliament, with the endorsement and support of the PM.
    Back in August, he was horrified to learn that he MAY be a dual citizen. Not through any particular knowledge that his father was a Kiwi though. It was because of his nomination for ‘Kiwi of the Year’.
    He attended the NZ High Commission on Saturday, the 12th August, 2017, where the declaration to renounce was witnessed by New Zealand High Commissioner to Australia Christopher Seed.
    On the 15th August, he advised parliament he MAY have been a dual citizen, having successfully renounced his duality three days before! This ‘sort of’ suggests he had dual citizenship, and that he knew he had dual citizenship. He retained his membership of parliament and his ministries pending the deliberation of the High Court, not on whether he was or wasn’t a dual citizen, but on whether he could have, should have or would have known he was a dual citizen.

    His defence, you ask? On the 28th September, his lawyers lodged an affidavit on his behalf with the High Court and all 20 pages are public record.

    Point number 10.
    “10. It is not contested that as at the date when he nominated to be a candidate for the office of Member for the Electoral Division of New England at the 2016 federal election, Mr Joyce was a citizen of New Zealand under New Zealand law. There does not appear to be any dispute that:”
    His defence was not that he wasn’t a dual citizen, but that he didn’t know he was a dual citizen. It ‘sort of’ forgets to mention that the original misdemeanor was when he entered the Senate in 2005, and his subsequent recidivism was re-enacting the crime every time he nominated. The media gave him a free pass on that, and on his retaining his seat and his ministries. They let him get away with constant references to ‘I MAY be a dual citizen’. And the PM’s assurance that Mr Joyce was “qualified to sit in the house and the High Court will so hold”.
    It was the sort of obfuscation we have come to expect from this PM, this Deputy PM and their media hand maidens.
    As Ms Lee points out, in August 2017, his apparently pregnant girl friend, who was not his girlfriend, was then on her third job and Bananas still hadn’t thought fit to tell his PM that his girl friend, who was not his girlfriend, may be another ‘oopsy’ in the not too distant future.
    As for November, 2017, before the by-election, the mysterious ‘Man in the Pub’ also asked him whether he was going to pay back the money he had earned while he was illegally in parliament.
    Now this is a good question. This incompetent, lying fool hasn’t answered it yet, and his media hand maidens haven’t pursued it. What happens when Bananas gets the flick? All of those lovely parliamentary benefits, bonuses and pensions for the dearly departed. Will they be calculated from December, 2017, or from 2005 when he was a Queensland senator? If he gets the parliamentary parachute, will they garnishee the proceeds to repay his original ill-gotten gains? You know. Like Centrelink would.
    More to the point, given the sort of obfuscation we have come to expect from this PM, this Deputy PM and their media hand maidens, will we ever find out?
    Thank you Mr Tyler and commenters. Take care

  14. David Tyler

    Thank you, Kyran. Barnaby was quick to point out he didn’t need to pay anything back because a disqualified member’s service is still recognised since 1907 when the High Court ruled that any votes made on legislation still stand, even after a member is booted from parliament. Any debt for salary is traditionally also waived. Even though they were not supposed to be there, they were still doing their job.

    At some expense to the rest of us. Don’t overlook the impressive $1 million, poor little rich white man Barnaby cost in salary and perks last year. Around $416K salary and the rest in perks. Some profess shock at how, last year he could charge the nation two nights’ accommodation and then the $60,000 for a “special purpose” defence force charter flight back to Tamworth – all to see an AFL match.

    But then, Steve Ciobo, and other Liberals have argued that an MP gets to a lot of political business at a footy match. Nothing to see here.

    There’s a wealth of information on Barnaby’s hypocrisy. And his hatred of the poor. I’ve not put in, for example, how Joyce once proposed that jobless people who got into trouble with the law – easy to do if you are jobless and homeless- should have their Newstart payments stopped in favour of food vouchers.

    Last May he was quick to chime in with the Coalition team line to ignore the fact that there are at least eight applicants for any one job vacancy, but instead to blame a mythic laziness. Unemployed young people should “get off your backsides” to find work, he thundered.

    As I’ve suggested in the article Joyce is always banging on about how he supports the battlers in the “weatherboard and iron in the regional towns” but his record shows he’s done everything he can to prosecute this government’s war on the poor – including supporting lower pensions and cutting penalty rates.

    Kyran: The man in the pub asked him to “say hello to your mistress for me”. Barnaby was restrained by a minder but he did knock the man’s hat off. The spin – which we are still being fed – is that Joyce’s support is solid despite the evidence in the opinion polls. Government would also like us to focus on the affair when it’s the jobs, the travel, the accommodation rorts and Joyce’s ineptitude and alleged corruption that are the real issues.

    There’s a slew of other scandals to be re-visited, now the Murdoch press has soured on their former hero of rural populism. Today in the AFR appears a piece repeating old news that the $10bn Melbourne-to-Brisbane inland rail project – Barnaby Joyce’s biggest pork barrel- won’t generate enough revenue to cover its capital cost, according to The Australian Rail Track Corporation CEO, John Fullerton.

    But it does make a top spot to find a new managing directorship to soothe his former chief of staff Di Hallam.

    The Paul Grimes scandal could also resurface- where Head of the Dept of Agriculture, Dr Grimes’ wrote a letter — which the Government fought to keep secret for more 18 months- stating he “no longer has confidence in my capacity to resolve matters relating to integrity with you”, following a saga where Joyce changed or caused to be changed the Hansard record of his disinformation to Parliament. Grimes, however, was the one who was was subsequently dismissed.

    Joyce is instrumental in the collapse of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and he is caught on a Tropfest-type video in Shepparton condoning the criminal behaviour of irrigators, and declaring The Greens to be the enemy, a mob, which he claims, is out to close rural farmers down – a theme taken up now by gorgeous George Christensen who claims his threat to shoot Greens was firstly just a joke and secondly fully justified by the ways The Greens are holding country towns to ransom and locals to commit suicide. Not just dumb, dangerous.

    Equally damning is Joyce’s vendetta against his internal rivals, aka his 2017 “cabinet reshuffle”. He demoted, Darren Chester, and others who dared criticise his behaviour.

    There’s much more including why the Inland Rail goes 10 km near Gwabegar his alleged conflict of interest rural properties he claims he didn’t know had gas reserves, his radio spruiking for Santos, the disastrous transfer of a government agency to his own electorate as I’ve touched on — all of which helps to make Joyce a walking bust as one of the nation’s worst ever MPs before we even get to his farcical ineptitude as Deputy Prime Minister and his recent, politically fatal decision to bag Turnbull in public in a unique display of disloyalty and defiance.

  15. Kyran

    Funny thing, Mr Tyler. This ‘bloke’, as dainty as a bull in the proverbial ‘China’ shop, is treated to the most subtle of nuances.
    “Barnaby was restrained by a minder but he did knock the man’s hat off.”
    For anyone else doing that, with witnesses, you would expect, at the very least, officer plod would be making enquiries about assault. Potentially affray.
    As to the repayment, I understand that parliamentary convention, decided by parliamentarians discretion, allows for a polite ask for reimbursement by the Finance Department with no subsequent enquiry or enforcement.
    Where Bananas difference lies is his stubborn refusal to abide by any such conventions. Convention would have had it that, on the 12th August, 2017, when he left Mr Seed’s office, he, at the very least, should have ‘stood down’ from Deputy PM and his various ministries. He didn’t. From the 12th August to the 27th October he stayed knowing that he had been a dual citizen. His stupidity up until the 12th August is, apparently, permissible by convention. It is this buffoon’s stubborn belligerence after the 12th that should render him subject to Sect 46 remedy.

    “Section 46 of the Constitution of Australia provides that if a Senator or member of the House of Representatives is constitutionally ineligible or disqualified from holding that position, they will be liable to pay any person who sues for it 100 pounds for every day that they have sat. With the introduction of the Australian dollar on 14 February 1966, where 100 pounds equaled A$200. The section has never been invoked.
    Section 46 only applied “until the Parliament otherwise provides”. Prompted by the case of James Webster, a Senator whose eligibility to sit was questioned in the High Court, Parliament passed the Common Informers (Parliamentary Disqualifications) Act 1975 (“Common Informers Act”), which replaced the constitutional scheme of penalties for members sitting while ineligible. If Webster was found to have sat whilst ineligible, the penalty under the constitution might have exceeded $57,200.
    Under the Common Informers Act, the quantum of damages which can be recovered is significantly reduced. A person found to be ineligible is liable for a single payment of $200 for sitting in Parliament on or before the day they received notice of the suit challenging their eligibility, and a $200 payment for every day they sit in Parliament after receiving notice of the suit. A twelve-month statute of limitations has been introduced, and it is made explicit that a person may not be penalized twice for the same sitting.”

    $200 per day to each person willing to join the action, as long as suit is filed within 12 months. Perhaps one of those savvy legal firms that specialise in class actions can file suit for all of the voters (not just New England) listed on the Electoral Rolls as at the 12th August.
    $15,400 per voter, by my calculation.
    Seriously, does anyone know a good lawyer?
    Thanks again Mr Tyler. Take care

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