NEVER before in Australian history would a Deputy Prime Minister have been permitted to return to the same high office he had resigned for the reasons Barnaby Joyce bowed out in 2018. Publicly betraying a wife and siring an illegitimate child with a staffer was an indiscretion no man in public life could ‘move on’ from in days of yore. Such a man would have been compelled by reining mores to do the right thing: to resign – permanently. We congratulate ourselves that we’re more ‘tolerant’ now but we shouldn’t. The issue isn’t moral judgement but the appropriate fate of political leaders who fail to maintain the discipline voters have a right to expect from those telling them what to do. If a Bunnings section manager did what Mr Joyce did four years ago, he’d be forced to hang up the red polo. Except he isn’t lord of the letterbox aisle; he’s the country’s second-in-charge. Thankfully, the job doesn’t come with nuclear arming codes.
Nobody savvy is surprised by a new Barnaby betrayal, nor that it was – in a manner of speaking – cheating (again) with a woman. The two defining infidelities of the Deputy PM’s career are linked. By sending a text extravagantly denouncing Scott Morrison to Brittany Higgins via a third party, he was duchessing the sex propriety queenpin to either sandbag himself from future scrutiny or to act out some interior yearning for rehabilitation. This is not the behaviour of somebody who should be the Prime Minister’s counselor. It is not reassuring form in a man privy to state secrets. Remember that Mr Joyce was smoked out by the blackmail of inevitability.
Which brings us to the question of forgiveness. Given that his enemies in the media are now doing something akin to rifling through wheelie bins for embarrassing old letters, Mr Morrison’s kindly, no-hard-feelings response to the Joyce apology was about as flawless as you will ever see in politics anywhere. As a survival strategy under pressure, I mean. Killing the scandal softly with an official pardon was the only choice. The PM cannot sack the Nationals leader or get away with selecting a Liberal in his place as his own Deputy. Mr Joyce’s failure to be honourable – yet again – demeans his principal and really amounts to doubling down. And so this is the state of things in the run-up to a Federal election. A creedless leader and a heedless clown.
Amazing how Labor or Green figures almost never seem to be subject to these sort of revelations, or if they are they are greatly downplayed.
It’s almost as though the MSM and others are actively conspiring to cover up dirt or scandals from the left side of politics.
Of course, that would never happen, would it?
Barnaby is the best the the Nats have.
Maybe they shouldn’t’ve recruited all those wet wymminses.
No he’s not.
He’s a stooge for NewsCorp and that’s the only thing he’s ever had going for him.
He’s not a votewinner, Christensen retired rather than face an Election with Joyce as Leader and none of the National Party marginals want him either.
Maybe they should have put John Anderson as their number one senate pick.
Sneakers Ed back in one of many roles, this one being a shill for “Scotty”.
Anderson is 66 and the day before yesterday’s man.
Mick is a vote winner, he kept all their seats last time when NewsPoll was calling it for Labor 10 days out from the Poll.
Gee, it’s not as if he has sold our water to the Chinees or sumfin.
Leave the poor battler alone.
But there’s never been a Post Turtle like Barnaby Joyce in politics before.
How many scandals has he skated thru now?
He was only being honest, Barny, that is. Drunken text from an alcoholic.