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Under Barnaby Joyce the Nationals are dying a slow death

Election diary No. 22: Saturday, 26, March 2022.

1 Known to me for most of my early life as The Country Party, was born on 22 January 1920, when nine members of Parliament, elected in December 1919, decided to support the objectives of the Australian Farmers’ Federal Organisation as an independent political party.

Wikipedia tells us that:

“… the Nationals (or the ‘Nats’) is an Australian political party. Traditionally representing graziers, farmers, (questionable) and regional voters generally, it began as the Australian Country Party (ACP) in 1920 at a federal level. It later adopted the name National Country Party in 1975, before taking its current name in 1982.”

Without it, the conservatives could not rule. They are the junior party in the Coalition; the National Party in the main votes for Liberal party policy. Generally, they do as the Liberals do, and on significant issues like the NBN and climate change vote with the government. Rarely do they represent their constituency. They are pro-mining rather than pro-farming.

In a previous post on this subject I wrote that in my time of following national politics, they have been subservient to the Liberal leader. Now and then, they made a bit of noise, but the old slow-talking fuddy-duddies have, like their coalition partners, stayed in the world of yesteryear listening to Dad and Dave.

Unlike the National Farmers Federation, they are unrepresentative of modern, highly technical, IT savvy farmers who left Dad and Dave to contemplate the past. At the same time, they got on with surviving in a vastly different landscape.

Then came a loud-mouthed, water-stealing buffoon – Barnaby Joyce – who didn’t care who he offended so long as everyone heard what he had to say.

After some time, buffoon Joyce was replaced with the buffoon McCormack, and after a period in which buffoon two accomplished nothing, they returned to buffoon one.

Yes, the current leader of the National Party is:

“… Barnaby Joyce. He was re-elected leader following three years of Michael McCormack. The deputy leader of the Nationals, since 4 February 2020, is David Littleproud, representing the Queensland electorate of Maranoa. Littleproud is the first Deputy Leader from the electorate (Maranoa) and the fifth member of the party to become Deputy Leader representing a Queensland electorate.”

But where are they now, and what is their future? To say the organisation is old-fashioned would be an understatement. Seeing a bit of female representation at meetings would be highly unlikely.

But the ageing male-dominated party has to ask itself just who it represents and, with an ever-declining vote, just what its future might be.

In recent years they have been plagued with scandals.

“At the 2016 double dissolution election, under the leadership of Barnaby Joyce, the party secured 4.6% of the vote and 16 seats. In 2018, reports emerged that the National Party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce expected a child with his former communications staffer Vikki Campion. Joyce resigned after revelations that he had been engaged in an extramarital affair. Later in the same year, it was revealed that the NSW National party and its youth wing, the Young Nationals, had been infiltrated by neo-Nazis, with more than 30 members being investigated for alleged links to neo-Nazism. Leader McCormack denounced the infiltration, and several suspected neo-Nazis were expelled from the party and its youth wing.”

Like their senior party, the Liberals, they have a brand crisis. What and who do they represent? They certainly don’t mirror the image of the modern-day farmer. Certainly not the ones I see on television talking like scientists who know a bit about climate change.

Leaders who cannot comprehend the importance of truth as being fundamental to the democratic process make the most contribution to its demise.

But first, they have to overcome the outback Ocker image portrayed by men like Barnaby Joyce. It will only achieve this with a reappraisal of who they represent, Mining companies or small businesses and farmers.

It still hasn’t dealt with the accusations made against Barnaby Joyce by former WA Rural Women of the Year Catherine Marriott.

It is believed that there were even more complaints against Joyce. And WA leader Mia Davies, who expressed no confidence in Joyce, is still trying to overcome a party backlash because of her intervention.

Now, those like me believe her intervention was part of a conspiracy to get rid of Joyce to give then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull a louder voice. I know it goes back a bit, but it’s still their DNA.

WA Nationals have never been represented in our National Parliament, nor have SA, TAS or the ACT. Even their name is unrepresentative of who they are. It is all a farce when you consider that they have 16 members in the House of Representatives with half the vote of the Greens, who have one.

The downfall of Joyce the first time stands as a stark reminder that the Prime Minister couldn’t sack him as a minister because, at the time, he had signed a grubby piece of paper declaring himself a hypocrite for giving into Joyce on policies that he once so firmly believed in.

Like their senior partner, the Nationals have very few people with any talent. Well, by that, I mean talent for effective governance. They even had one member in George Christensen who became known as the ‘Member for Manilla‘ because he spent most of his time overseas for apparently seeking a wife (and at the taxpayer’s expense, I believe).

The old Country Party is just hanging onto power by the crack of a stock whip on a cold morning. Many in the country are angry that their party never represented them with a fast NBN connection. Many farmers feel let down by Nationals who have supported mining before agriculture. Not to mention their belief in a changing climate while the organisation they belonged to didn’t.

Just because clowns govern us doesn’t mean we have to laugh.

Over the years, it has often been muted that the two parties split. Maybe they should give it some more serious thought.

The Greens at the last election received 1.4 million primary votes, representing 10.2 per cent of the country for one seat.

Conversely, the Nationals received 624,555 (4.6 per cent), delivering 16 seats in the House of Representatives.

2 On Tuesday, the budget will be delivered by the Treasurer. I expect it to be a high spending attempt to buy victory at the next election. The Prime Minister will then likely meet with the Governor-General to announce an election date.

My previous diary entry: Brands Liberal/National are on the nose

My thought for the day

On the NBN: The problem with designing a network to meet the needs of yesterday is that it denies you the ability to meet the needs of tomorrow.

 

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19 comments

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  1. John Lord

    The Greens at the last election received 1.4 million primary votes, representing 10.2 per cent of the country for one seat.
    Nationals received 624,555 (4.6 per cent), delivering 16 seats in the House of Representatives.’

  2. leefe

    “mooted”, please, not “muted”

    The Nats weren’t exactly killing it with McCormack on top, either. Their relative prominence in politics and misgovernment is evidence of the unthinking ‘rusted on’ nature of so many voters.

  3. Terence Mills

    Judging by Joyce’s body language, he just doesn’t want to be there : but the money’s good !

  4. New England Cocky

    Ah, JL a sad story of rural ignorance and unthinking selfishness by the rural socialists who believe that profits are privatised and costs are socialised, and all government handouts are a right of class. However, your account misses key details from the electorate.
    .
    1) Barnaby ”Beetrooter” Joyce was the last elected Senator for Queensland while running his second attempt accountancy practice in SW Queensland (Maranoa). He aspired to move to the Lower House but was blocked by then MP Bruce Scott who put off his retirement by three years to block the proposed candidacy. Beetrooter came home to the Tamworth district in New England and challenged popular Independent Tony Windsor, who according to local Nazional$, had betrayed the country by supporting Julia Gillard LABOR government from the cross-benches, ably assisted by Rob Oakeshott (Independent for Lyne) at Port Macquarie NSW.
    .
    2) Pre-selection in Maranoa went to David ”Little to be Proud of” Littleproud, and in Tamworth Beetrooter was expected to meet his political demise.& retirement (much to the relief of the Nazional$) ….. except Windsor retired citing health concerns …. and Beetrooter bolted in, returning New England to its accustomed rural slum future.
    .
    3) The current Nazional$ preference for buying votes in swinging electorates has done no favours for New England as very little government funding has been granted to a ”safe seat” intent upon reaching the 19th century in the next 22 years.
    .
    4) Indeed, the NSW COALition misgovernment has directed that ALL the huge Megawatt production of solar & wind electricity go straight into the national grid controlled from the Hunter Valley without any electricity ”reserved” for local NSW Northern Tablelands use to provide manufacturing job opportunities. This will insure that Northern Tablelands remains a rural slum as long standing policy punishment from Sydney bureaucrats for having the temerity of wanting to control their own destiny as the New England New State Movement between about 1920 and about 1970 after the Askin referendum.
    .
    5) Beetrooter purchased two ”grazing” properties in the Pilliga Scrub about 2013 while his 2019 Campaign Manager John Anderson was boss of Eastern Star Gas. Anderson the former Nazional$ leader, has along standing ”interesting” relationship with Windsor plus at least 15 years interest in the next Nazional$ White Elephant project, the about $14 BILLION Northern Inland Railway (NIR), originally planned to link Melbourne with Port Darwin via inland Victoria, NSW & Qld.
    .
    6) A re-routing of the NIR puts the line about 20 km proximity from the Beetrooter properties thought to be sitting over CSG deposits now owned by SANTOS. A squeeze on Scummo received an about $500 MILLION ”political bribe” to extend the NIR from Toowoomba to the CSG export terminal at Port Gladstone. This is a long way from the original proposal to export Australian manufacturing from Victoria & western regional produce out of Port Darwin, now ”owned” by PRC China interests.

    Thinking persons interested in economic development see this costly proposal eventually being sold off at much less than development cost to a private operator.
    .
    7) The name change from Country Party to Nazional$ at the about 1975 Armidale Annual Party Conference had about 300/600 delegates hand-in their resignations as they departed, and since then the Nazonal$ have had great difficulty staffing volunteer polling booths. Indeed, polling booths are frequently staffed by paid Liarbrals to maintain the political presence.
    .
    8) Branch membership remains tiny, Senator John ”Whacko” Williams was elected to a Senate vacancy on the vote of about 14 members of the Inverell branch, Upper Hunter(NSW) had about 22 members pre-select for the Upper Hunter NSW electorate and the Armidale branch meets in the remaining phone booth where there is adequate parking for Zimmer frames and other mobility devices.
    .
    9) Who do the Nazional$ represent? The pecuniary interest of the politicians and the few water thieves exploiting the Upper MDB water in complete disregard for the water requirements of South Australia and other downstream family farming enterprises.

    If Beetrooter is the best politician to lead the Nazional$ supporters by the nose to every election, then G*d help Australia, because nobody else will. Rather, they will be making ”political donations” aka ”political birbes” to the Nazional$ to exploit our natural resources for the benefit of foreign owned multinational corporations with a complete refund of all costs & expenses thanks to the current Australian Taxation laws.

  5. wam

    A warmer giggle today, lord. Wonder if your buffoon is the same as mine because barnaby is not amusing to me. What are your needs for an NBN? ps Ask an unbiased arithmetician, lord, to explain how the Nats with an average vote of 30000 per candidate wins seat over the greens with less than 10000.

  6. Harry Lime

    NEC,all so true…did you get out of bed grumpy this morning? Be of good cheer,because these’ National’ trough swilling dolts will soon be just the memory of a particularly bad smell.

  7. Kaye Lee

    I see we are on a similar theme today John. It absolutely flabbergasts me that anyone would vote for this buffoon let alone choose him to be leader. The Nationals party room meetings must be excruciating.

  8. Kathryn

    The reason WHY so many of these absolutely useless, totally phony political parasites in the LNP are SO DESPERATE to keep their elitist, pretentious a*ses firmly planted in the cabinet of the Liberal National Party is because they could NEVER keep ANY type of high-achieving, responsible job out in the REAL world. The bone-idle, nauseating bible-thumping hypocrites, political psychopaths and smug alpha male “swinging dicks” (as so aptly described by one of their own, the ex-LNP stalwart, Julie Bishop) are CAREER political parasites who have NEVER done a thing to contribute to society! I challenge ANYONE to name one thing that the LNP has ever achieved that could be described as altruistic or provide benefit to ordinary Australians! History has proven that the LNP have NOT done anything that would provide benefit to anyone EXCEPT themselves and their cronies in the Top 1%!

    The overpaid, under-achieving, self-serving and totally corrupt oxygen thieves in the most depraved and undemocratic political regime in our history will continue to stoop to ANY level of depravity, commit any act of vile vindictiveness, tell any lie, relentlessly attack the most vulnerable citizens in our community (especially those people who are receiving any type of welfare), spew out relentless character assassinating slander against the ALP or ANYONE who justifiably condemns them in order to maintain their bloodstained grip on autocratic power – especially NOW when we are only weeks away from a national federal election! For as long as anyone can remember, the unholy and dangerously undemocratic LNP/Murdoc/IPA Alliance have ALWAYS used hate, fear and WAR as a distraction to take people’s attention away from the LNP’s inherent callousness, hopeless ineptitude and escalating corruption in order to attain, and maintain, a level of power that is becoming more and more malicious in tune with the LNP’s rising desperation in knowing that they may be ANNIHILATED at the next federal election (we hope!).

    The “revelation” that the Young Nationals have been infiltrated by fascists is not at all surprising! Extreme ultra-conservative, deeply embedded misogynistic, racist and anti-Semitic views have been an inherent part of the intolerant, vengeful and malicious LNP ideology for a long, long time – going back decades! The LNP have PROVEN that they have ZERO integrity, not one iota of credibility and not a drop of compassion for anything or anyone but themselves.

    The truly repugnant thing about the LNP is that, underneath that thin, transparent cloak of nauseating bible-thumping hypocrisy, they fail to hide their escalating corruption, their self-serving greed, their condescending arrogance, their shocking skirt-lifting misogynistic predation of women, the LNP’s insufferable born-to-rule entitlement, their appalling callous inhumanity, their total lack empathy for ANYONE but themselves and the ongoing acts of disgraceful – even criminal – corruption by so many members of the LNP that are allowed to continue without consequence!

    Most intelligent Australians with any level of integrity have, at last, seen through the hypocrisy, lies and verbal diarrhoea spewed out by the LNP which is WHY Morrison and the political sociopaths in the LNP are now running scared! Sadly, the ONLY people left who are STILL stupid or self-serving enough to continue to cheer on and support the corrupt and dangerously undemocratic LNP are the foolish, self-serving and/or non-taxpaying billionaire LNP supporters who keep on voting for them! Working- and middle-class Australians who are stupid, stubborn or Murdoch-manipulated enough to keep voting for the LNP – truly the WORST, most corrupt and depraved pack of pathological psychopaths in our political history – should WAKE UP and realise that they are voting for a party that DESPISES them! To those misguided members of our society, we want to remind you that the LNP has NEVER EVER represented YOU and NEVER WILL! Once again, be warned, that the ONLY people the LNP cater to and support are their obscenely wealthy, non-taxpaying billionaire donors in the Top 1% – most of them in the filthy oil, gas and coal-mining industries! If the manipulative, hypocritical political demons and climate-change-denying idiots in the LNP manage to crawl across the electoral line AGAIN, they will go on and on destroying, vandalising and DEFUNDING everything they didn’t get time to destroy, vandalise and defund up until now and that INCLUDES our environment, our taxpayer-owned ABC, Medicare, our international reputation (which is now in freefall) and just about EVERY social welfare program that benefits destitute Australian citizens!

    FFS, AUSTRALIA, WAKE UP! Do this nation a HUGE favour and KICK THE LNP TO THE GUTTER because THAT is where they REALLY belong!

  9. Jim Jacobsen

    Excellent summary JL. I particularly liked your comment
    “Leaders who cannot comprehend the importance of truth as being fundamental to the democratic process make the most contribution to its demise.”
    Between Morrison and his band of cowards unwilling to challenge him for his seemingly unstoppable stream of mistruths, deliberate misrepresentations and sociopathic lack of care about the truth in what he is saying, they will soon learn the price that cowardice brings with it. That is a shunning of that political party. In SA we have removed the Liberals because no one could trust them. They couldn’t keep their hands out of the petty cash drawer, and the deputy leader, a purportedly trained lawyer, (and Attorney General), had to be forcibly stood down, because she did not appear to understand that the phrase “Direct or indirect, pecuniary or non-pecuniary, benefit or detriment”, the definition of conflict of interest, applied to her property, and any decision making affecting it. The classic Liberal ” born to rule” problem arrising from entrenched nepotism.
    PS – NEC – excellent summation of the not so National “Let’s make Gina Rhinestone Cowboy even wealthier” Party.

  10. B Sullivan

    Wam

    Twice as many Australians vote for The Greens than for The Nationals. You can check that out on the AEC website, that publishes all the Federal Election results.

    Why aren’t Greens voters entitled to fair and equal democratic representation in the Federal Parliament which any mathematician can tell you is twice as many seats as the Nationals? If you can’t find a mathematician you can work it out for yourself using your fingers.

    Is it because Greens voters are spread out across Australia, while the Nationals voters tend to be concentrated in the same coalmine reliant electorates? That’s not democracy.

    In a democracy Government is determined by a majority of the people, the demos, not by a majority of the electorates that doesn’t represent the majority of voters. That’s not a democracy. I think the correct term is a scam.

    Yeah. Until someone can explain what the correct term should be, Scamocracy will have to do to describe Australia’s political system. With Scomo as the scamocratically elected PM.

  11. Jano from the Gong !

    Strike me Rome .. The Looney Tunes cartoon segment show has got some new characters , The Fiberals and the irrationals ,( The Road runner and the Coyote) got sick of the Buffoons and took off! . As for Dad and Dave , They said, they listened to UNCLE BOB say ..If you cant govern ya party and opposition , Then, there’s no way you can run a sun burnt country ………, ( It dont matter what party you are supporting). They both subscribe to this , IF IT AINT BROKE ,DONT FIX IT , THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN APATHY – REMAINS THE SAME !!! , She’ll be right, Dad ,, Is that right, Dave ……………………….

  12. John Lord

    Great minds think alike Kaye. But seriously you’re’ right how could anyone vote for such a nongovernmental.

  13. New England Cocky

    Who could vote for Beetrooter?

    Well, that is easy ….. all the socially oppressed women of New England who believe that public figures may have private lives that make a lie of their political convictions. Remember Armidale is a beacon of the 21st century in a rural slum electorate kept that way by the perverse attitudes of broad acre farmers over-exploiting MDB water without any regard for down stream family farming enterprises and NSW government polices that exclude New England from direct access to all the solar electricity being generated by demanding that ALL the electricity be sent down the national grid to the Hunter Valley with the consequent apparently acceptable line losses.

  14. Stephengb

    “The Greens at the last election received 1.4 million primary votes, representing 10.2 per cent of the country for one seat”.

    “Conversely, the Nationals received 624,555 (4.6 per cent), delivering 16 seats in the House of Representatives”.

    There you have it, government under the Westminster System is formed by the party with the MOST SEATS
    NOT
    The must VOTES.

    The LNP are fully aware of that fact, whereas the ALP keep thinking it’s most Votes.

    The LNP campaign for each electorate seat numbers whilst the ALP campaign for national vote numbers.

  15. wam

    B Sullivan,
    Raw scores don’t mean much other than in a first past the post system and to compare results in a151 seats verses those in a 130 fewer seats is ridiculous.
    The greens use tactics that include all the 151 seats.
    We have a system that requires 50%+ to be elected. That is democracy of the majority.
    The nats can command the democratic total in electorates like poor of NEC’s and only the bandit has the ability to command such numbers and he must be congratulated for conning many labor voters and attracting the liberal preferences. In ACT and Tasmania the greens are worth a look??
    In the senate the extremist parties have more senators than their votes but there the democracy needs only 14.3%.
    But the bandit has a plan to take 9 seats of laboorwithliberal preferences??

  16. Kaye Lee

    Tasmania with a population of about 525,000 has the same number of senators as NSW with a population of about 8.2 million.

  17. Goog

    I had the senator for nsw from Conargo at my door pumping for the endorsed candidate for the Hunter , next day a posting with her, the endorsed candidate ( not a politician yet) the sitting member for upper hunter Lazyhell and some Natz woman doling out more pork barrelling for Singleton Council , Lazyhell said in free paper thanks for the 400 people that helped at the voting booths , one of them polling booth helpers I stopped for him I thought walking over a pedestrian crossing but it was to try hand me a how to vote Natz . So all the guns are pushing for the “endorsed Natz candidate “ a senator that is doing door to door?

  18. Wam

    Had to get to the airport, B Sullivan
    So couldn’t remind you of my oft repeated plea for honesty rather than lord’s truth with omissions?
    Would we have had a bipartisan climate change in 2009 if the boobie had voted yes on either occasion?
    Would we have a $trillion debt if Chrissy, an honest naive loonie, had stuck to her plan and voted to double the debt rather than give the libs a blank check?
    Would Juliar have been a slogan if the bandit had not won a seat on liberal preferences (his current 9 seat strategy to emulate the nats)
    ps have never met a green able to understand such criticism,

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