Federal

Feb 13, 2018

‘Not his partner’: the single phrase that sums up this wretched government

Deciding that Barnaby Joyce's girlfriend wasn't his partner, so that Malcolm Turnbull could avoid being dragged into the Joyce affair, was the worst idea anyone's had in this incompetent government.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

There were times in 2012 and 2013 -- when Kevin Rudd and his followers regularly lobbed bombs at Julia Gillard -- that you could only watch events unfold with a sense of wonderment; that never before had we seen such chaos, and we never would again. One of the promises Tony Abbott made before the 2013 election, the one that even his devoted enemies thought he would keep, was to restore a sense of calm and order to government, of adults being in charge. After all, Abbott was extraordinarily disciplined, he led a united party and he and his ministers had substantial experience in government.

Boy did that turn out to be wrong. The incompetence and sheer brazen stupidity of the Abbott years (all two of them) made the Gillard years look relatively ordered. Gillard could at least blame Rudd and his malignant egotism. Abbott had no one to blame but himself. Malcolm Turnbull, we knew, would have Abbott destabilising and white-anting him, but surely would prove as skilful at being prime minister as he was at most everything else he had turned his hand to in his life.

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions

69 comments

Leave a comment

69 thoughts on “‘Not his partner’: the single phrase that sums up this wretched government

  1. klewso

    Meanwhile Turnbull “Knows Nuthink” – “I am advised”? …. Like Howard and his “Children Overboard” fire-walls?

  2. leon knight

    I can’t feel much sympathy for his wife or girlfriend….both of them must have known for a long time what sort of values Joyce represents…. It probably didn’t come as much of a surprise to his children either.

    1. Richard

      Somewhat harsh. His daughters likely had no choice in the matter of who their father was.

  3. Gregory Bailey

    Barnaby Joyce is just the symptom. Malcolm Turnbull is the underlying disease. Joyce has already shown his true instincts in favouring the rights of irrigators over the larger health of the Murray-Darling Basin and real hypocrisy in morally criticizing others in the dual-citizenship saga, to name just two misadventures. Now he is embroiled in his own domestic crisis upon which the press, somewhat reluctantly, is examining in a forensic manner.

    Yet it is the PM, who in his utter determination to maintain his position above all else, has allowed situations of the Joyce variety to begin, fester and then explode. It is he, who in his unwavering support for Joyce and his twisting of the truth, who is deserving of real criticism.

    Beyond that, the whole sorry episode is yet another distraction away from the fundamental issues Australia has been facing for many years, but which are continually put on the back-burner. Egoes and political survival trump all else. The country’s future be damned.

  4. Jim Hart

    “Not his partner” is right up there with some of Bill Clinton’s memorable denials.

  5. Ian Roberts

    Interesting photos circulating of the Beetrooter at Canavan’s baby’s christening with his not-partner at his side.

  6. MAC TEZ

    Crikey BK, I thought you might’ve passed the baton/pen/keyboard to a team mate rather than write a single word about the beetrooter affair.
    On Wednesday the 7th you were quoted here running a line that this whole thing was off-limits,private,personal,highly classified, Secret White Man Business and in no way was it in the public interest blah,blah,blah…

  7. Richard

    Not only is it bullshit. Had she not exhausted her capacity for humiliating herself by successfully coupling with Beetroot Man (oh, the potential for mind snapping imagery there!!), his (Not) partner could have be deeply humiliating and hurt by this throw-away line. Willing home wrecker or not, she must be very distressed by the lack of public support by her inseminator.
    I feel very sad on numerous levels for the innocent product of this messy mating.

    1. [email protected]

      Will be interesting to see how long this messy relationship lasts. I give it 6 months, I feel rather sorry for her and the resulting offspring

  8. brian crooks

    barny and his mad pack of nationals are busy making a pair of concrete boots for mal trumbles to take him swimming, the plan is remove the truffle man, the mad right of the liberal party will then put a new leader in and bring Abbott back into the ministry, there will be plenty of vacancies after all the trumble supporters are removed, if this doesn`t work then the hard right will split and join bernadi`s party along with the nats, they might even be able to coach a few of Pauline`s rednecks to join them in a coalition, trumble and the moderates in the liberal party are on borrowed time.

  9. Mark Emons

    If there are two sides to every story my minds eye has a picture of Barnaby Joyce standing proudly at a lectern, jacket buttoned tie straight and Akubra securely planted addressing the throng of media. The alternate picture from behind is the same except for the lack of trousers and underwear and very red buttocks from the last spanking.

Leave a comment

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details

Sending...