Last week, Barnaby Joyce was being blamed for the necrosis of the Nats. This week, he’s Mark Vaile’s mentor.

What’s changed? If the Nats are dutiful junior Coalition members,
Barnyard crossing the floor is a shocking sign of disloyalty; if they
all do it, then it’s leading the charge for rural Australia. Hero or
outlaw is all a matter of perspective, it seems.

Barnyard should enjoy his moment in the sun. No doubt by next week Vaile will have forgotten all about the Libs trying to rob the Nats of seats, stopped threatening to boycott joint party room sessions, come up with actual policies and target liberal seats, and everyone will be back to referring to BJ
as “maverick Queensland Senator Barnaby Joyce.” A week may be a long
time in politics, but give it a fortnight and everything always looks
the same again.

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey