The Joyce affair: how the media didn’t know about it for sure until yesterday. No, really.

9 Feb


Over the last twenty-four hours since the Daily Telegraph revealed the worst-kept secret of 2017, there’s been a deluge of rather plaintive articles from journalists explaining why they didn’t publish the story of Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s extra marital affair with his former staffer who is also pregnant with his child, due in April.

Some have claimed they were respecting his right to privacy. Some have taken the high moral ground and spoken at length about gossip, rumours and lack of evidence. Or, “We asked him and he said no, it’s private.” That’s one of my favourites. Not in the public interest to publish, is another explanation. I addressed this last one here,  in October 2017, prior to the New England by-election in December.

In this piece titled “How Vikki Campion came to work for Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce,” Malcolm Farr gives background to the affair. Bearing in mind that Farr has tweeted that the affair was only a rumour, denied by Joyce, I found this paragraph in his piece startling:

Inside the Joyce office there were other clues and they were quickly picked up by the minister’s highly respected chief of staff Di Hallam.
Ms Hallam took two important steps: She sent Mr Joyce to the office of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to reveal the romance and Ms Campion was moved to the office of then Resources Minister Matt Canavan in late 2016.
“Clearly they thought her presence would be a problem, so she (Ms Hallam) made a decision,” said a source familiar with the situation.

In 2016, the affair was far more than a “rumour.” It was considered so serious that the Prime Minister was advised, and Ms Campion was moved (according to some accounts promoted with a salary increase) to Canavan’s office to get her out of the way.

As Farr acknowledges: … the romance, by its very existence, became part of the delivery of public policy and taxpayer-funded staffing.

In other words, it qualified as a public interest story, and did so from the time Ms Hallam intervened in 2016.

I have no idea, of course, when Mr Farr came upon this information. He could quite possibly have acquired it in the last twenty-four hours. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that nobody in the press gallery knew of the seriousness of these events until the Telegraph decided to publish them.

Well, that is what much of the media is asking you to believe.

Mr Farr’s account of the progress of the affair is detailed. He must have spoken to a lot of people over the last twenty-four hours.

Joyce is Acting Prime Minister when Turnbull is absent. Ms Campion was promoted out of his office not because she earned the new job, but to separate them. The affair continues, is described by Farr as “well-known secret,” advances to the point where it appears, according to Farr, that everyone who comes in contact with the couple realises immediately what’s happening except, sadly, Natalie Joyce, Barnaby’s betrayed wife who made this admirably frank statement about her feelings yesterday.

I don’t know about you, but I find it almost impossible to believe the press gallery did not know of the seriousness of the situation until the last twenty-four hours.

One could almost exclaim at the ineptitude of the press gallery, if they didn’t know anything more than “unpublishable rumours.”

It is of course impossible to ascertain what effect the affair would have had on the New England by-election, had it been revealed in October instead of yesterday. There are conflicting opinions on this: Joyce would have won anyway, some claim, while others suggest that New England voters did not go to the polls in full knowledge of Joyce’s character and circumstances, and might well have considered their options had they not been denied that information.

What matters, I’d suggest, is that they were denied that information, and this matters  lot.

What we do know is that the Turnbull government, with a one-seat majority, was desperate for a win in New England.They needed the seat, and they needed the morale boost. They could not afford to risk a loss.

The hounding by the media of private citizens (remember Andie Fox?) other politicians (Craig Thomson, Peter Slipper, Julia Gillard, to name but a few) makes me somewhat leery of high-moral-ground justifications of the hands-off Barnaby policy.

And, if it wasn’t in the public interest to report on Barnaby’s affair before the New England by-election, why is it suddenly in the public interest now?




67 Responses to “The Joyce affair: how the media didn’t know about it for sure until yesterday. No, really.”

  1. samjandwich February 9, 2018 at 9:15 am #

    ’tis a rum thing to be sure, and thanks for the expose. I’m glad this is being aired now… but yes I think Jennifer you have identified that the largest question of public interest is not that the affair happened but that it was not written about ages ago. There’s a book in this.

    I must say though I’m a bit ambivalent about whether Barnaby’s relationship status actually matters. You can’t help who you fall in love with, is the fundamental understanding I take to this. Some people are better at handling fraught and emotionally charged situations than others, and while Barnaby’s not exactly a gentleman it’s pretty hard to prevent a situation like this getting out of hand even when there’s no outside scrutiny. I certainly don’t think we can conclude there is anything sinister or malicious in the way Barnaby has conducted himself – as Clementine Ford seems to have done through her unflinchingly xenophobic lens. It’s just sad, and heartbreaking and life-affirming. It’s real life, people have failings, and people get hurt.

    Liked by 2 people

    • elldeelosang February 9, 2018 at 9:31 am #

      All well and good Samjandwich, but Joyce actively campaigned against marriage equality, trumpeting about its threat to traditonal marriage, his daughters, and family values all whilst conducting an affair with a staffer. He most certainly did conduct himself in the most malicious way – to his own family by concealing the affair and to the LGBTIQ community with his opposition – based on the basest hypocrisy – to marriage equality

      Liked by 3 people

      • samjandwich February 9, 2018 at 2:02 pm #

        Thanks L and yes I am aware of Joyce’s campaigning against marriage equality. I guess on that front I have never seen anybody take up a position against marriage equality which I would consider to be legitimate, ie their arguments are invariably just bluster covering up for an unexamined attitude or insecurity. Joyce isn’t unique in this regard… except perhaps that I actually think he’s smart enough to have realised that the “no” campaign was going to lose regardless… which is the weirdest thing!

        I just think of his behaviour as neglectful rather than malicious. He lacks moral courage, and as a result he handled his situation badly and he’s hurt everyone he loves. Silly, but understandable, and so common… and it does seem that he’s acknowledged that it’s nobody’s fault but his own – and that you sometimes have to go through something like this before you can face up to your own faults.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson February 11, 2018 at 1:10 pm #

          Sam, you are too generous for your own good. The man has exploited everyone for his own gain, causing even his CoS to leave his office because the affair was causing so much dysfunction. He then got his mate Canavan to invent a job for his lover, that paid $191,000 pa. Never existed before her. Ceased to exist after her. It’s not about Joyce falling in love. Happens to anyone. It’s about how he exploited, connived and defrauded in order to keep his relationship “secret” and his lover employed at our expense. He’s now living rent free in a house provided by a business man who tried to bribe Tony Windsor to get out of politics. Aaaaaargh!


    • Jennifer Wilson February 9, 2018 at 8:24 pm #

      I think elldeelosang addresses this, Sam & if you read my piece linked at the top of the post, I go through this is some detail.
      Of course marriages end, new partnerships begin, in this case it’s complicated by the Deputy Prime Minister being Barnaby, & his lover being promoted to a new job invented for her to get her out of his office, which was profoundly disturbed by their affair.

      It’s complicated, and we should have known about it.

      Liked by 3 people

      • samjandwich February 9, 2018 at 11:15 pm #

        Thanks Jennifer! I did read your article but my attention span these… daisies*=-)!

        What riles me most is cynicism (which is the hallmark of conservatives of course, but also the “mediocracy”/”precariat”;)… and the element of this debate that I really don’t like is the idea that there might be some sort of power imbalance between the “parties”.

        I just think this does a disservice to our understanding of how much agency individuals have over their own lives. But it’s past 11 so I’m not going to try to expand on this right now!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson February 10, 2018 at 7:39 am #

          There is definitely a power imbalance when an employee & employer enter into a personal relationship. That may or may not matter, depending on the circumstances, and it may even out. There are as yet unsubstantiated allegations that Joyce has serially harassed women, no doubt this will become more clear as time goes on, and I think this is contributing to comments about power imbalance in his affair.
          Very complex and interesting stuff.
          I am still at a total loss as to what any woman finds attractive in Joyce, but the heart has its reasons.

          Liked by 3 people

  2. Aguirre February 9, 2018 at 10:49 am #

    Regarding the by-election: there’s a big difference between someone being seen to ‘get away with it’ and someone being seen ‘not to get away with it’. While the ‘rumours’ remained unreported, Barnaby looked like he was untouchable. Voters in New England would have seen him as secure in his position despite everything they heard about him. You can also happily dismiss talk like this if it’s given no airtime, if it’s just locals chatting with each other. “Hasn’t done him any harm,” would have been a common observation around there, I’d say.

    Make those stories ‘mainstream’ through reportage and his position looks a lot less tenable. You can imagine how different things would have been if there had been reports in the major newspapers about the hell him family was being put through. But rather than casting Joyce’s wife as a sympathetic figure, a hard-done-by spouse, she was routinely ignored.

    These things matter.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Moz of Yarramulla February 9, 2018 at 10:58 am #

    I see Michelle Grattan in The Conversaion doing the full hypocrite with twist. Barnaby’s comments on Julia Gillard are not relevant to his actions or media commentary thereof, all that matters is the poor man’s lies to his nearest and dearest not be held up to public scrutiny. I mean, he would surely never betray us the way he betrayed his marriage vows!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Moz of Yarramulla February 9, 2018 at 11:01 am #

      On that note, I think his advocacy of traditional marriage should be extended to traditional treatment of oath-breakers… the Bible is big on death, banishment and occasionally maiming. Same for the ancient Greeks.

      Of course, if his was a Christian marriage it’s indissoluable and he’s now unquestionably up for the traditional response to adultery. Seems there are a lot of media figures who are without sin, shouldn’t be too hard to organise.

      Liked by 2 people

      • allthumbs February 9, 2018 at 5:48 pm #

        Adultery is a second circle infraction, a misdemeanour punishable with an annoying wind-eternal according to the Latin Poet, like listening to Scott Morrison in a Cabinet meeting.

        But an improvement on the first circle never ending remand he was going to cop for lying about hundred dollar lamb roasts.

        Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter February 9, 2018 at 6:50 pm #

      Yes. I was stunned at that too and a bit more besides from the middle class commentariat

      My view is that an open marriage proposal would only have been acceptable coming from the wife and we do not know if Joyce was a bit more unilateral than fair play might have dictated.

      Also comments referring to Roman Quodlibet and others are relevant and three cheers for Anonymous’ comment, in spades.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson February 10, 2018 at 7:43 am #

      Gawd, that is a crap, self-serving, arrogant piece by Grattan.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Fiona February 10, 2018 at 3:44 pm #

      Hasn’t Ms Grattan’s useby date well and truly passed?


      • paul walter February 10, 2018 at 7:35 pm #

        By quite some millenia.


      • Jennifer Wilson February 11, 2018 at 1:11 pm #



        • Shreiking Wombat Ninja February 12, 2018 at 4:58 pm #

          Absolutely. As is Murphy.


  4. Anonymous February 9, 2018 at 11:32 am #

    And , how come he didn’t announce his separation from his wife until the girlfriend was 5 mnths pregnant.
    Dont think he wouldve left his wife if the girlfriend hadn’t made sure she got pregnant

    Liked by 2 people

  5. George McMillan February 9, 2018 at 12:23 pm #

    Why has Roman Quaedvlieg the boss of Border Force been suspended and been under investigation for the past seven months? Because he was caught porking a subordinate staff member and promoting her to a better position.

    So what is the difference with what has occurred between Barnaby Joyce and Vikki Campion? We now know his Chief of Staff, Di Hallam and Malcolm Turnbull were aware of this and the events occurring.

    Why hasn’t Barnaby been side lined and the whole matter investigated by the Prime Ministers integrity program – if he has one, as per what has been made a precedent with Roman Q?. Then there is the instance of two Australian Football executives made to resign for similar reasons.

    For Barnaby to get onto ABC with Leigh Sales and cry ‘privacy’ and not in the public interest is a nonsense.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jennifer Wilson February 9, 2018 at 8:27 pm #

      Excellent questions, George. I doubt they’ll ever be answered.

      Liked by 1 person

      • doug quixote February 11, 2018 at 12:36 am #

        The aswers are very obvious. Malcolm went so far as to try to preempt the High Court’s decision on Baaarnaby’s citizenship just so he could stay in parliament to maintain Mal’s narrow majority a few more days.

        The further hypocrisy of the treatment of the world’s most powerful man and his sexual misdemeanours when all around are succumbing . . . it beggars belief.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Wilbur February 9, 2018 at 8:25 pm #

    Sounds like a lot of the commentary here smells of self righteous dudes claiming perfection in human relationships and have no idea or experience of a failed marriage. Barnaby is a public servant and if there was any relevance aka Weinstein and Hollywood power play, on this occasion then why don’t we ask Vikki Campion what she thinks about all of this? They are two consenting adults and leaving her out of the equation is intrinsically sexist and paternalistic. And as far as the press keeping this affair out of the public eye for whatever reason, you should ask yourself would you want the press preying on your private affairs? Sure, Barnaby is a public servant but what has his private affairs got to do with the way he conducts his duties or role as a public minister? The arrogance of this assumption is mean and dispirited. If you want to read self interest and personal advantage in Joyce’s silence for not publicly declaring this affair for public scrutiny then I am afraid your moral compass should be pointing at the childish and might I say surreptitious innuendo that your fraternity are attempting to whip up on this occasion. If there is an issue then let Ms Campion speak up about it or forever “shut up” on it. And if she doesn’t want to speak up about it then respect her right to do so. Sometimes your choice of social castigation only furthers to reinforce the lunacy of leftist political persuasions………


    • Jennifer Wilson February 9, 2018 at 8:29 pm #

      Oh don’t be ridiculous, Wilbur. The man is the DPM, at times acting PM, taxpayer funds are involved, and he’s lied his bloody arse off.

      Liked by 7 people

    • George McMillan February 9, 2018 at 8:33 pm #

      This is a little bit bigger than two consenting adults or privacy concerns Wilbur and you need to take the blinkers off and look at just what the issues are.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Ana Milosevic February 9, 2018 at 10:51 pm #

    We desperately need not just #FEDIcac, we need Royal Commission into LNP COALition corrupt Government. PM is dishonest man and cannot be trusted, and Barnaby is nothing but a despicable “persona non grata”.🤮🤮

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jennifer Wilson February 10, 2018 at 7:40 am #

      Yes we do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • paul walter February 10, 2018 at 8:40 am #

        Finally caught up with your article in IA re Baird and Badham and to say it rang bells would be a reasonable description.

        I won’t go into it further, let’s just say I offered a very similar critique to yours at certain sites and the response was hostile.

        Someone else ventured the opinion about the bloke-hate emanating from certain media sites, cant remember quote exactly, but it makes me think of anxious demographic massaging at a time when the Guardian and ABC, for example are increasingly deterred from doing their traditional work of investigative journalism and the result is sad to say the least.

        Sorry for the digression.

        The latest at IA also confirms a feeling of being deterred from examining the Joyce issue in terms not favourable to middle class people and remain very deeply suspicious of people like Sharkson at the Tele and still consider that msm has avoided pointing out the human cost in the form of Joyce’s unfortunate wife and daughters whilst going after Joyce for shadowy politic reasons.

        I know Joyce (and Vikki) lack redeeming features- Joyce is a particularly easy targer in his gross unlovebility, but keep to my feeling that there is more to the story than just a nasty, deranged marriage break up and think the response of the same msm that reinforces a very crude form of patriarchy and middle class victim hood/entitlement that empowered these and other people, again shows how quickly tabloid msm will tear down last week’s idols when it suits their own hidden agendas.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Jennifer Wilson February 10, 2018 at 9:30 am #

          You are right, PW, this is a huge story with many levels, we’re only just starting to unpack it. It isn’t about where and when and how Joyce gets his knob polished, that’s just the surface of it. This is why everyone is so exercised about it: we all know it’s huge. (Not Barnaby’s knob, but the story and implications )

          Liked by 2 people

  8. townsvilleblog February 10, 2018 at 9:02 am #

    So at the moment this great country is being led by a tax dodger and an adulterer, this is the level this motley crew has sunk to. Godd luck Australia, we will need it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter February 10, 2018 at 7:36 pm #

      You got it. Tax dodgers if you include Turnbull as well as Murdoch.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. B. Alderdash M'Arse February 10, 2018 at 10:26 pm #

    I commented under your earlier piece the one you wrote about Barnaby Joyce in OCTOBER last year. I feel gutted at how self-righteous a lot of journalists are sounding (and tweeting) because apparently doing their jobs is a tad too difficult cos well, verifying an unverified story is so difficult cos well, quid pro quo. Your other piece, can’t believe I missed it.

    I feel sick the media have let us down so badly. It’s not simply the press gallery’s hypocrisy because well, Gillard, and I was there so they can’t pretend again, but it’s really reflective how incestuous our media are, the whole media/politics conflation and how agenda is so clear.

    On the plus side at least I have the upcoming election to look forward to because the Nationals will lose Queensland, their marginal seats anyway, because a lot of wives are going to feel for Natalie Joyce and their daughters. It exposes the delusions Barnaby Joyce is going through, thinking he can have his cake and eat it too.

    Barnaby Joyce has pretty much destroyed the Nationals’ branding. And Turnbull knowing about this and using Natalie Joyce and the daughters’ pain and suffering as an excuse on how he came to approve the second job – that’s called complicit in your little dictatorship of bullshit you got going on.

    “Australian values” – mateship – when men in positions of power protect other men when they cheat on their wives and families.

    Journalists using the ‘private lives’ excuse when it would be well known when Campion was moved to Canavan’s office and then Drum’s. Apparently, being a journalist in Canberra means complacency and not doing their jobs.

    (And obviously Joyce was going to win New England – he didn’t have any bloody opposition really – but this is pretty much a protection racket thing going on. I find it laughable that Campion being pregnant is now up there with having an incurable illness – the guy is DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER and he cheated on his wife while spouting all these regressive opinions (and voting against) about HPV, marriage equality, social security etc etc. Remember when Tudge released that woman’s details re: her social security complaint?)

    I just wonder who the real bullies are in this story when you have the deputy prime minister scoffing at the need for a Federal ICAC and now we understand why, and a PM who pontificates about our democracy but isn’t helping to change how men in positions of power are corrupting that very system, actually doing a stellar job at ‘mateship’ there Turnbull, covering up for Barnaby.

    Apologies, but I feel gutted. Not only how journalism has failed us so badly, but that altercation Barnaby Joyce had with that guy in the pub makes so much more sense now. Also, Gillard. But, all good. She was only a woman in a position of power.

    Thank you for the Hennessy article. That was great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson February 11, 2018 at 1:14 pm #

      You’re welcome. I’ve now been attacked by Malcolm Farr, Josh Butler, James Massola & various other useless hacks but as I’ve pointed out to them, they need us more than we need them so bite me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • paul walter February 11, 2018 at 5:50 pm #

        Most of Backsiders, which is typical of current msm, was abysmal today so it looks like thinking people are stuck with you, Jenny Wilson.

        I thought Savva had turned over a new leaf, but reverted to the usual ignorant cynicism as the show progressed.

        Apparently Savva is married to a Turnbull adviser, from Jacquix at ATM.


      • B.Alderdash M'Arse February 11, 2018 at 8:41 pm #

        What makes me scoff is how this ‘adult’ government is now saying that instead of addressing the public’s concerns of procedural impropriety ie corruption of a system called the Ministerial Code of Conduct and well, actual use of public funds in weird and creative ways (almost the value of a Senator’s annual salary ffs) they’re going to BLAME LABOR ie bring up Labor’s shyte and can they get more unelectable?

        Not only has this government blamed Labor since 2010 (ie bullying) and how journalism fails to address the value of the AUD during Gillard but again, I digress, that this PM thinks voters are so stupid to not see collusion, corruption and how the government is now covering up something so serious by saying “look over there” and “but but they did it too” … um, don’t think anyone else spouted their “traditional values” when going around demonising LGBTIQA people’s human rights.

        I still find it strange when men in positions of power behave in this way under the auspices of a weird construct of ‘mateship’. The Nationals don’t come across as very bright if they consider Canavan as an alternative to Joyce but hey, go ahead, get the guy who helped waste public funds to lead the Nationals to their inevitable doom while spouting ‘it’s a private matter’.

        How DID the Bronwyn Bishop saga pan out for Abbott.Turnbull actually thinking the whole glass houses thing will work when it’s a completely different power paradigm and context. On the plus side, it will make Turnbull look unhinged and irrational, a variation of what Barnaby Joyce does best on any given day because well, shyte journalism.

        I’m sorry for my obsession with these articles of yours, but when you have journalists doing that self-righteous back-clapping when this mattered because democracy, and you see how shyte the press gallery actually is AGAIN, I didn’t think seeing this degree of incompetence AGAIN would affect me so viscerally.


        • Jennifer Wilson February 13, 2018 at 9:27 am #

          It gets to us all sooner or later, B’Alderdash. And there’s more to come


  10. B. Alderdash M'Arse February 10, 2018 at 11:16 pm #

    What we can all do now is watch how white men in positions of power (that whole WASP thing from back in the day except in Australia, today, our version of regression, it’s Catholic) try and avoid the inevitable.

    The arrogance in holding on to power when morally bankrupt when using the ‘concept’ of ‘morality’ as spurious as Barnaby does language on any given day.

    That interview with Leigh Sales, that was sickening, the awareness in the 21st century the reality of double standards and how all politicians did that sanctimonious bullshit re: News Corp and that front page of Campion, because you know pregnant. I’m not condoning News Corp but at least they’re highlighting what we were supposed to know over a year ago re Barnaby Joyce’s judgement, but it’s also these men in positions of power being oh so Moral that was kinda sickening.

    How has Barnaby Joyce conducted himself prior to his relationship with Campion? Isn’t journalism called “investigative” for a reason? Also, this News Corp onslaught broken by NewsCorp on Barnaby Joyce, does this mean Rinehart has broken up with him and called in a favour?

    Does Turnbull hope the cover up that has finally been exposed will die down? How did Abbott’s protection of Bronwyn Bishop pan out for him?

    While Turnbull pretends to use techniques in division, you know, demonising all those minorities, some would even call it “bullying” and calling it “leadership”, how will Joyce’s lack of judgement as leader of and for the Nationals pan out for him, Canavan, and Drum?

    Why doesn’t anyone approach Diana Hallam? Wouldn’t she have more insight? Or will she too be complicit in this cover up, using the pain of Natalie Joyce and the Joyce daughters as an excuse? Silence isn’t dignified in this context, it’s complicit. Joyce’s leadership needs more scrutiny, his decisions, his judgement and ultimately his choices.

    (Even Natalie Joyce released a statement.And while I fully respect the reasoning that it’s painful for her and her daughters, it’s a copout to avoid scrutiny on a deputy prime minister’s competence.) In the games people in positions of power play with ordinary people’s lives – the rate of Newstart, the job network provider system getting crueler, pensioners, demonising the poor, those gosh darn “African gangs” in order to boost their “leadership”, I call it bullying, we need more scrutiny in how much taxpayers dosh was paid to Campion, and no, Tony Burke’s current wife, this isn’t about you.)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. B. Alderdash M'Arse February 11, 2018 at 12:47 am #

    Christ, and now Burke (quelle surprise) is gagging Labor MPs re Joyce during HoR??? I know Burke has form but when will Labor realise this is about a cover up and not their own disgusting behaviour. (Apologies for all these comments, I do think it’s the media/politics conflation in this country and I’m wondering why News Corp is all of a sudden going hard on Joyce. And Labor has a massive opportunity to uncover a paper trail directly to the PMO’s language and behaviour but instead wants to do its own hypocrisy. They can go hard on Frydenberg’s stateless mother but a cheating deputy Prime Minister who used his power to create two jobs not so much? Politics in this country really IS a boys club with a shit press gallery huh? Ah, mateship, who knew it was so bipartisan on questionable and selective morals?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • doug quixote February 11, 2018 at 10:44 am #

      This has a long way to go, Balderdash.

      Pollies caught on the hop interviewed without knowing the details will stonewall – for a while.

      Liked by 1 person

      • B. Alderdash M'Arse February 11, 2018 at 12:01 pm #

        For me it’s this idea that the woman in the relationship doesn’t deserve scrutiny because she’s a private citizen. How is that a logical summation when she’s willingly been an accomplice to TWO jobs created for her in order to avoid what now? Will she pay the funds back? No?

        Yet how far have consecutive governments gone in demonising the unemployed who while on social security have not had their rates increased in twenty years??!!! Homelessness is very real so when I see the politicians and celebrities doing that cringeworthy sleep out when they can change the situation, this is so much hypocrisy and amnesia and leadership with an inability to address how ordinary people who can vote see how this drama plays out to them.

        If Shorten could string a decent sentence together he could actually extrapolate this microcosm situation to the macro that ordinary people who will be made to endure a crueler social security system but instead we have men in power protecting men in power and treating this woman as if she’s a victim, the ‘little woman’. Look, if there are issues of abuse, get it out in the open, and yes people have been talking about an abuse of power, but they’re now in a relationship so I fail to see how this reasoning applies any longer. UNLESS, there’s a history of this kind of thing, and or intimidation or someone finding herself in a situation where she felt she had no choice … but unless journalism, we got a woman who worked for the Deputy Prime Minister, they had an affair while he was married, and now she’s pregnant. Also, mates helping him look better while he was a piece of slime.

        If I hadn’t read Asher Wolf’s thread on her definition of ‘capable’ because you know the word was used indiscriminately, I would’ve been all, yeah … nah because she was a staffer who got involved with a CATHOLIC DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER who uses his religion for HIS justifications when voting on issues affecting “minorities”.

        I am so passionate about separation of Church and State and it bothers me that religion still has such a huge influence in this country’s institutions BECAUSE religion and the ideological binary of Christianity vs Islamic because you know, binaries are so deeply complex.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson February 11, 2018 at 1:16 pm #

          The only people I want to protect in this are Natalie Joyce and her four daughters. And maybe the husband of Vikki Campion, who married her only months before she began the affair with Barnaby. I feel for him and I bet he’s having a shit of a time right now.


          • B.Alderdash M'Arse February 11, 2018 at 3:57 pm #

            But in this particular context I think it’s too late because this is about a public figure’s behaviour and judgement. Barnaby Joyce is using that logic as is Turnbull, Cormann and every white male in positions of power in this saga. This is also a prime example about a type of ‘mateship’ ie corruption, complicity, collusion, ie covering their arses and protecting each other. This is ultimately about the deputy prime minister taking responsibility for his behaviour and resigning as leader of the Nats and putting his own family’s needs before his own hubris and moral bankruptcy.


          • paul walter February 11, 2018 at 5:46 pm #

            Hear, hear..


  12. B. Alderdash M'Arse February 11, 2018 at 12:20 pm #

    Btw did you see Michael Keenan’s doorstop and saying words to the effect of, if they did something wrong, they’ll pay the money back (re Centrelink) – and I think a journalist asked something about politicians and Keenan replied that politicians have more scrutiny and higher standards … and not even ironically. Now every potential voter watching that bullshit will laugh out loud at this government.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Marg February 16, 2018 at 12:56 pm #

    Looks like Barnaby’s getting some coaching from someone close to home. How delusional is this guy that he is blaming everyone else for his current situation – personal decisions he made, allegations of corruption aside.

    Now Barnaby is hoping Turnbull’s perceived “betrayal” is going to work in his favour. If the Nationals buy into this bullshit, they are doomed. I think Turnbull is already doomed though.

    Watching the Nationals, the way in which they supported Joyce, you can see they don’t really see the big picture – the corruption allegations won’t go away idiots. And Barnaby using Turnbull’s presser as a way in which to divide and conquer – yeah continue you idiot. You delusional idiot.
    What a clusterfuck – the Nationals voters are now going to be ripe for Independents’ seats and those marginal seats all because the Nationals won’t address how much worse this is going to get when a married DPM has a child with his new partner and was and is juggling two households and clearly can’t manage his finances if he is asking his rich mate for accommodation.


  14. Marg February 16, 2018 at 6:22 pm #

    Shorten had the perfect opportunity to highlight the role of LABOR pursuing the allegations of corruption and impropriety against Joyce. Instead Shorten saying Turnbull should sack Joyce when Shorten is relying on the idiots who don’t know that Turnbull can’t sack Joyce, only the Nationals can?

    Australia progressively (BOOM!) looking like a Banana Republic with the Nationals actually thinking what Joyce is saying is valid when it’s about Joyce’s decisions and judgements that caused all this mess.

    Now the Nationals look even more incompetent because they’re actually supporting Joyce’s desperate language in a presser that was scripted by whom exactly?

    All it looks like now is a desperate guy desperate to hold onto the status of earning $400, 000 a year.
    And when the Nationals actually realise how they’re being manipulated because desperation. If they imagine it’s bad now, what do they think is going to happen when all the other stuff is uncovered, plus the very real birth of a child, and seriously, adults doing nothing to protect their children piss me off, and Joyce’s selfishness, blaming the intrusion into his private life when he’s the one who did that to people with far far less power than he?

    I looked up quotes in order to cheer myself up, that there is a standard of behaviour expected by our public officials, aside from the stereotype of corruption imposed on those in power in developing countries, I mean.

    “Hypocrisy is the audacity to preach hypocrisy from a den of corruption.” Wes Fesler

    If the Nationals don’t realise how their complicity is going to be perceived come election time when they’re the ones preaching their conservative values to us, at times imposing it via votes that regress us, they deserve the destruction about to be unleashed because they are coming across as delusional.

    Shorten could’ve been a statesman today because Labor’s strategy in HoR was exemplary. And instead Shorten once again does opportunism with a lie. Turnbull can’t sack Joyce. I know he wants to highlight Turnbull’s powerlessness but lying to us isn’t the answer.


  15. Marg February 16, 2018 at 6:45 pm #

    *“Hypocrisy is the audacity to preach INTEGRITY from a den of corruption.” Wes Fesler

    (I was probably thinking how much hypocrisy can a koala bear.)


    • paul walter February 16, 2018 at 6:54 pm #

      Onya Marg, great copy.


      • Marg February 17, 2018 at 11:33 am #

        Thank you. Wondering though, the more the Nationals delude themselves, the more One Nation can frame themselves as an alternative?

        Working out who can benefit from the Nationals pretending they actually have the upper hand in this situation.


        • paul walter February 18, 2018 at 3:07 pm #

          Oh dear, wouldn’t it be a shame, all the righties fighting amongst themselves (smiles)


  16. Marg February 18, 2018 at 12:13 pm #

    Just think, if Barnaby Joyce had resigned as DPM as soon as the story broke (back in OCTOBER) um, well, you can’t have everything, this would’ve been okay, perhaps, but Labor would’ve still pursued the two jobs created and who knew what when. But now, all the other stuff is coming out as well as the pork barrelling and guy who really doesn’t seem to know his job very well – the ins and outs of the actual policy – water theft/corruption notwithstanding, fracking, coal etc and even if he does go to the back bench it’s not going to stop.

    Mal Brough anyone? Dastyari anyone?

    And did anyone notice how Barnaby Joyce said his mate OFFERED the accommodation, but Maguire told two journalists separately, Joyce ASKED for accommodation. If you think of the Powerhouse and its monopoly on accommodation and events in Armidale etc.

    And the Nationals couldn’t see how Joyce was manipulating them with Joyce turning them against the PM.

    I can’t stop chortling how backward the Nationals actually look, the sexism, the absolute conviction that some of them had that what Joyce had done wasn’t THAT bad. What contempt they have for voters, for ALL farmers. And farmers’ wives.

    If Turnbull calls a federal election we can avoid another by-election #JustSayin

    It’s kind of odd the Nationals don’t realise how serious the situation is – that Turnbull will most probably lose government because of Joyce’s refusal to resign as DPM now even as backbencher I can’t see the allegations of corruption stopping.

    Now just imagine how those recipients of robodebt notices felt. Not really a good comparison because of the vast difference in unfairness but Turnbull and his own delusions about ‘democracy’, ‘fairness’, ‘honesty’.

    It baffles me how Joyce thought he could pull of the Hypocrisy of The Decade and not think there would be consequences – nearly $200,000 paid for two jobs created and Campion allegedly left in October on STRESS LEAVE? Is it true she got a redundancy package?

    Again, refer to those “lucky” millions on Centrelink, made to jump through hoops by job network providers who relish in the power they have.


  17. Marg February 18, 2018 at 3:00 pm #

    Also, thank you, Jennifer. When I’m feeling better, I will start a blog. You’ve made me realise how cathartic writing and thinking are.

    Ever since Abbott, I’d been living in fear, not so much at what can happen to me personally, although, but it’s since panned out how some weird and wonderful ways of coercion have affected me mentally, but it was how certain types of men, aka their ideas what ‘leadership’ means, its impact on the diversity that make up this country.

    I think when we unite, in instances such as this, at the blatant hypocrisy of those in power, the collusion, the cover ups, the way in which they attempt to cover up all in the name of holding onto to power, we’ll terrify those ‘leading’ us with the concept of what true accountability means. And I don’t think power is necessarily bad but the way in which these men behave holding onto it, it’s kinda regressive and a schoolyard bullying kind of desperation.

    There was a time I was more afraid of Shorten being in than Turnbull, but now, seeing the contempt with which Turnbull has treated Indigenous peoples, particularly in light of the Uluru statement, and how dismissive Turnbull was after years of dialogue and research, and then you see how willing this guy is to bully the vulnerable and marginalised and the way in which he attacked Sudanese communities in Victoria because “African Gangs” and an election year in Victoria – it’s watching a much much weaker Neville Chamberlain attempt to appease the bullies in his own government rather than take a stand on what truly matters.

    Not sure what is more offensive, a weak and weakened PM using words like ‘democracy’, ‘fairness’, ‘honesty’ and expecting us to believe him, or a PM actually treating us like morons by lying to us with an impassioned public reprimand to distract from how weak he is, and to distract from the cover up about who knew what when about the double standards at play – one set of rules for Barnaby Joyce – those jobs created for his Not Partner, and all those ‘fortunate’ enough to endure the Centrelink experience when unemployed, mentally ill and wanting to keep trying to study because without persistence, where are we?

    Thanks for your blog. When I’m feeling (emotionally) better I hope to start my own. I’d always been able to use my intellect to distract me from stuff except last year watching how Turnbull acquiesced in the demonising of the vulnerable, plus, the mind games those in power play with those in a far less equal positions.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Marg February 18, 2018 at 4:05 pm #

    George Christensen not quite realising Florida happened. So desperate to distract by looking ‘macho’?

    Did someone coach him that culture wars crap might actually work as a distraction because OUTRAGE?

    Christensen not only looking moronic, BECAUSE FLORIDA, but hoping culture wars’ outrage will pay off from how silly the Nationals are. Meanwhile, Barnaby Joyce and allegations of corruption, how’s that going for the Complacent Nationals?

    (I try stopping to contribute and then I watch how those who have such a tenuous hold on power are doing whatever it takes to make the Barnaby Joyce Create Jobs For Non Partner a Left/Right binary.)


  19. Marg February 18, 2018 at 6:01 pm #

    How the media helps CERTAIN governments in this country – “budget emergency” that didn’t exist.

    Now Turnbull thinking he scored because the media jumping on that public reprimand rather than the cover up of two jobs. YAY, DEMOCRACY.


  20. Marg February 18, 2018 at 7:23 pm #

    Maybe I missed it, but did we get confirmation whether Turnbull signed off on the jobs created for Campion by Joyce, or did Joyce create those jobs with the help of Canavan and Drum?

    Did Turnbull know about the issues affecting the DPM’s “competence” at the time?

    And who signed off on Campion’s stress leave?


  21. Marg February 18, 2018 at 11:36 pm #

    The neo-liberal (false) economic narrative which is a distorted type of capitalism. We have a centralised banking system, this whole surplus preoccupation with the AUD the value it is baffles me.

    Aside from that, betcha Turnbull is cacking his dacks on what shit the Nationals can get up to while he’s trying to look all “prime ministerial” next to a dickhead like Trump. Christensen already doing his foray into “how to look almost as incompetent as our Not Deputy Prime Minister”. I do believe they’ve caused the downfall of this government because even if Joyce stays in Parliament he will be a reminder of a type of Incompetence you can’t pretend doesn’t exist, if you’re attempting to look competent, as a government, that is.

    Karma, Turnbull. When you accuse a ‘tiny minority of bullying a majority’ do you get how we feel about the Nationals defining a false narrative about “Traditional Australian Values”?

    I’m actually now appreciating the full circle of irony (since Gillard) although it does seem like Turnbull’s distraction with his public reprimand of Joyce making this about the rooting not rorting worked on the “gullible” media.

    (Jennifer, I’m sorry for yet another comment, but it’s really not schadenfreude, it’s more karma since the press gallery failed us so badly – Joyce wasting so much public money but doesn’t have to pay back a cent – particularly with Joyce’s cavalier response to the general public NOT the political class wanting a federal ICAC (and please god let it not be in the vein of Victoria’s IBAC) it’s about hoping and wishing and praying the media address Joyce’s actual dodgy deals … The Barnaby Republic, when a Nationals DPM’s sense of entitlement is so apparent it even disgusts the Liberal Party. #KarmaBaby

    When the media remembers its role in this apparent democracy – scrutinising Joyce’s actions aka the rorting can someone wake me up? All good, I have insomnia.


  22. Marg February 18, 2018 at 11:42 pm #

    What part of “taking a week off” didn’t Joyce understand?

    He just retweeted Christensen. Joyce is a moron. That he doesn’t even understand that “take a week off to reflect” meant radio silence as well.

    This guy is an Uber Dickhead. Now he looks petty, spiteful and absolutely incompetent particularly in light of the latest Newspoll.

    (I need my own blog but I don’t have enough cash for the monthly fee etc. YET.)


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