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What’s that smell?

For two years from May 1987 Tony Fitzgerald QC turned a spotlight and then a fire hose on the corrupt Queensland Country Party regime of Joh Bjelke-Peterson, his henchmen and his blue-uniformed partners in crime. Four ministers were jailed, numerous coppers were convicted and the shop-soiled shyster himself was charged with perjury, narrowly escaping a stretch of porridge.

While in office the despotic old bumpkin and grifter cultivated an autocratic political climate of rampant corruption. Queensland became a magnet for white-shod carpet baggers, spivs and urgers. He was so emboldened by a lack of accountability, an outrageous gerrymander and his grand delusion of wide popularity that the Joh For PM freak show was assembled on the bizarre notion that the rest of the country would endorse an authoritarian crime boss as our head of the government.

That notion was quickly shot down in the court of public opinion and memory of the whole short-lived absurdity has faded – overtaken by the farce of a newer generation of rustic political pick-pockets re-branded as the National Party.

Abraham Lincoln observed that you can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

The National Party has traded on its ability to fool most of the yokels all of the time.

So brazenly confident were they of their right to country votes that they embraced as their federal leader another cartoonish oik – the “best retail politician in the country”, the priapic, purple-headed member from New England, Barmy Barnaby Joyce, a man who has never let his expansive ignorance interfere with his forming of an opinion.

To paraphrase Joseph de Maistre, we get the politicians we deserve. Barmy received 73.63% of the two candidate preferred vote and 64% of the primary vote at the 2017 New England by-election. So New England deserves the Beetrooter – but by default the rest of us then inherited this blathering ignoramus as an MP; an opinionated blowhard who no doubt gets his notions at the same Tamworth servo where he gets his petrol, his Playboy magazines and his dentistry.

Surely hillbillies, rubes, yokels, hayseeds and banjo strummers do not make up 73.63% of the population of Tamworth, Armidale and their surrounds. What excuses can New Englanders offer for their enthusiastic support of an all too obvious paperhanger in a risible verandah-brimmed Akubra that remains untroubled by the sweat any any actual labour?

But Barmy The Beetrooter’s shortcomings extend further than the purile gibberings of a provincial gobshite and comical, cardboard cut-out cow cocky.

While Bjelke-Peterson’s supplementary income was delivered in brown paper bags such discretion is not Barmy’s strong point. His favours are sought via such things as a $40,000 inducement in novelty cheque form presented at a glitzy agricultural event; gleefully received but grudgingly returned after monumental outrage.

Beetrooter’s disregard for proprieties however is blatantly Bjelke-esque. Whether it’s complacency on water theft from a distressed river system and indifference to its consequences, outrageous pork barreling, conflicts of interest or bag-carrying for mining magnates our hero is shameless.

The flimflam has been supplemented with spectacular hypocrisy – self-pityingly pleading for privacy on prime time television and from the front pages of newspapers while promoting his book; professing family values while boozing, womanising and shagging one of his staffers.

How is it that the straw-chewin’ tyre-kickin’ pastoralists and country town shopkeepers are so easily duped? Barmy is an entitled, in-it-for-himself, double dealing politician of the type the rustics rush to disparage, yet here they are nodding knowingly at Barmy’s facile flatulence over a shout in the front bars of country pubs. Are rural folk simply gormless hayseeds – parochial, uninformed, uninterested? Are they so rusted on to the agrarian socialist party that has sold them out in favour of the big bucks from minng interests that they will continue to line up at the polling booths to piss all over decency, accountability and their own interests?

The price for standing up to the Nats in the bush used to be social ostracism and boycotts if you ran a rural business**. The good news is that there are signs that the waft from Barmy and his chums is now reaching boondocks nostrils. Bushies are no longer prepared to accept that the countryside is there to be raped and pillaged for profit, they are (belatedly) acknowledging the reality of anthropomorphic climate change and most country electorates supported marriage equality.

The Nats meanwhile, in thrall to donations from the mining industry, maintain their climate denialism, pimp for more coal mines and coal-fuelled power stations, look the other way on water theft and support wide-scale clearing of native vegetation, adhering to their old time ethos of “if it moves shoot it, if it doesn’t chop it down”.

“Water is wealth and a dam is a bank. Any essence of wealth is connected to water and water infrastructure. As they say you can make money out of mud, you can’t make it out of dust.” Barmy Joyce 2016.

Since falling from the Nat’s top spot because his myopic belief in his own sex appeal was challenged by a Rural Woman of the Year via a sexual harrasment allegation Barmy has spent his time in parliament glowering from the backbenches at Michael McSomebody, his marionette-on-Mogadon replacement and plotting a return, claiming with his signature disregard for reality to be the “elected deputy prime minister of Australia” and declaring he would have no guilt in again seeking the Nat leadership.

Barmy instead belongs in Gina Rinehart’s Home For Discarded Tory Politicians, polishing apples and running errands.

Is it too much to hope that come the election in May the voters of New England will push the button and use some of their remaining water to flush this turd?


Nationals face their biggest threat yet after an annus horribilis – Guardian Australia

Barnaby Joyce defies the Senate on ‘pork barrel’ public service move – SMH

Waste of money: Opposition calls for the scrapping of our Barnaby bank – Northern Daily Leader

Barnaby Joyce accused of tilting Murray-Darling authority towards irrigators – The Guardian Australia

Barnaby Joyce sexual harassment allegation – The Guardian Australia

Poor white bloke – Inside Story.

Weatherboard and Iron: Politics, the Bush and Me – Barnaby Joyce. Book review

The Nationals Barnaby Problem – Independent Australia

*”…the confession in his autobiography that he was abusing “alcohol” and “carousing” in Canberra bars…

**… the Nationals run New England. If they don’t like you, that is the end of your career or business. Worse than the Masons.’

Barnaby Joyce: Peeling back the rumours – Independent Australia

*”A male witness we did locate and speak with did not see any initiating activity, but he did, allegedly, see a young girl in obvious distress at a Canberra pub in 2011. Then he saw an older female allegedly confront Joyce about his actions regarding the girl. And then he allegedly saw Joyce brush this woman off with what he was convinced was a pinch on the backside.

“After pub closing time, an allegedly inebriated Joyce, according to our witness, stood outside on the footpath in such a way the women felt intimidated and requested an escort to their cab.”

This article was originally published on The Grump Geezer.

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  1. Piser Nakeman

    The Smiley Burnette adultery business should have been enough to sink him. But turds are hard to flush.
    The standout for me in the entire ‘rooting a member of staff’ business was his confession that he was not absolutely sure the baby was even his. Presumably, neither was she.
    And that doesn’t really matter, but he said it. How would his wife feel to know that her husband had ditched her for the sake of a baby that he admitted could be another man’s anyway?

  2. Kronomex

    “What’s that smell?”
    It’s the large sticky reddish brown turd, wearing an Akubra, that is stuck in the toilet bowl named the Lower House and no matter how often you flush it it tenaciously stays glued to the side of the bowl.

  3. Josephus

    Sadly the article is spot on. Why isn’t he in prison? Or at lest sacked.
    But bear in mind that even the CSIRO accepts money from the Minerals Council each year. While some of its research is probably worthwhile ( its Virtual Curtain water purifying technology may well work, though I have yet to see any independent verification), its social scientists have come up with an obfuscatory non theory they call Reflexivity. which aims to er, educate ignorant citizens of the benefits of mining right near the sea, towns, farmlands and rivers.
    They are a bit less crass then Beetroot, that is all.
    The big corporations rule many politicians and now our leading research bodies, at least in part.

  4. Paul Davis

    Niall Blair deputy leader of the Gnats and minister for water syphoning was returned to the legislative council at yesterday’s election and today has resigned from both deputy and ministerial roles citing personal reasons, specifically excluding a bout of nausea caused by overcooked murray cod fried in cottonseed oil.

  5. John Holmes

    The next time you review the contributions of this person, please check out the contribution to Australia’s well being of the shift of the APVMA from Canberra. I would suggest that while many do not like the use of pesticides and veterinary products, it is in our interest to both have good oversight of the regulation of these products as well as not reducing the accessibility to users and developers from other parts of Australia to the Department any more. This cuts off the staff even more so from WA etc. We need good information, the dissipation of professional skills only allows the lobbyists – mostly OS based big firms greater control of our essential agricultural and animal industry inputs.

  6. Keith Chisholm

    Content aside, what a well-written piece. Refreshing to see such wonderful use of language these days.

  7. Florence Howarth

    Resigning today has to be a record.

  8. whatever

    Barnaby has been quite obviously fiddling with the editorial integrity of ABC Rural for some years now.
    I always listen to the Rural Report at midday on Radio National, and actual farmers having a whinge about everthing became the mainstay of the program. That is, until about three months ago……..then it started to be all about water, and nothing but the water…….and Barnaby went all sooky and doesn’t want to talk about water no more.
    Probably because of Barnaby, ABC Rural now has a section for Mining…..which is…. well, kind of Rural.

  9. Phil Gorman

    What’s that smell? It’s putrid corruption. We must act without fear or favour to continue pressing for a federal ICAC as per the recommendations of Transparency International. The Murdoch empire is dead against it, as in NSW.]

  10. New England Cocky

    An accurate description of reality in New England, in my experience, unfortunately.

    Recent 2019 polling however shows that Tamworth voters support Barnyard because he is a local known to be of limited intelligence and obviously preferable to any “outsider” who may have better accountancy experience and been successful in business.

    Moreover, too many New England males are envious of his high spending life-style on the public purse and his (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) philandering on the side committing adultery at every available opportunity.

    Meanwhile, Tamworth women supporting Adultery support Notional$.

    @John Holmes: The APVMA move to Armidale is an ALP policy from 1962 that the late Bill McCarthy Member for Armidale then Northern Tablelands implemented in NSW from 1976 with the economic benefits lost from Armidale with the election of the Greiner LNP government in 1988.

    The only economic benefits from either NSW or Federal governments we have had in the past 50 years in Armidale have come when Independent or ALP candidates were elected.

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