Feb 14, 2018

Getting rid of Barnaby could spark a Turnbull turnaround

Dropping the toxic political deadweight of Barnaby Joyce is just what Malcolm Turnbull needs to finally govern properly.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The thin, but nonetheless very real, silver lining of the vast tropical low that is wreaking such havoc on the government at the moment is that Malcolm Turnbull will have a far better government without Barnaby Joyce. Getting rid of this incompetent flake and slapping the Nationals back into place will be just what the Prime Minister needs to start governing effectively.

As Crikey outlined on Monday, Joyce is a walking disaster. Everything he touches is a debacle. The current catastrophe of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is down to Joyce's truculent refusal to do anything in water policy that didn't pander to his irrigator mates -- including making sure the states took their responsibilities seriously. In parliament, he is literally incoherent about his "new" portfolio, infrastructure, reflexively talking about another colossal Nationals waste of money, the inland rail, even when asked about Tasmanian projects. Politically, Joyce has mishandled every aspect of the revelations over the last week.

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64 thoughts on “Getting rid of Barnaby could spark a Turnbull turnaround

  1. paddy

    ROTFL You’re ever the optimist Bernard.
    I’m afraid merely getting rid of Joyce will have bugger all effect on the stinking pile of ordure that is the Turnbull Govt.

  2. philro

    Surely it could only get better with Barnaby gone, it couldnt get any worse.

    1. leon knight

      Faulty logic I fear Phil…one missing turd in a bucket of turds does not make the bucket any more attractive..!!

    2. Draco Houston

      *monkey paw curls up a finger*

  3. Marcus Hicks

    Dead wrong, Bernard. Maybe if he had acted decisively the minute the “jobs for the mistress” issue was first known about, then he might have come across as a strong leader. Instead, his mealy mouthed, semantic nonsense about when Joyce’s mistress was officially his “partner” is turning this debacle into a repeat of the Bronwyn Bishop or Godwin Grech debacles. I expect that Malcontent’s personal standing will start heading towards the same territory the Coalition languishes in in the polls.

    1. MJM

      I think the Bishop example is quite instructive. Abbott defended her chopper ride claim for so long that he lost all credibility and it was not long after that Trumble replaced him. If Trumble is not seen to be taking action he’ll go the same way.

    2. gerald butler

      You are right Marcus. If any PM let a prat like Joyce put it over him like this one has, then he is a useless bag of prevaricating shit. Imagine a Keating doffing a forelock to the bunsh of bastards stumbling behind Turnbull. As for BK; wakey,wake You!

  4. Di Keller

    Turnbull is totally disgusting with or without Barnaby Joyce. Every time we say it couldn’t get any worse , it does !! His levels of incompetence are how we got to this place.! He couldn’t govern effectively. Julia Gillard had worse enemies inside and outside. Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbot ?? But she still governed effectively even if it was a her own expense . The difference she wanted to govern for us , he is all about Malcolm Turnbull .

    1. Marcus Hicks

      Totally nailed it, Di. Malcontent cares about one person only……Malcontent. It’s all about him keeping the top job, at any price…….even $1.75m

    2. Howard

      Spot on Di.
      Gillard puts all her PM successors to shame in the policy and legislative stakes. Managed to run a minority government effectively and got the job done in spite of all the opposition from within her own party as well as the appalling misogynistic, unprecedented treatment from the Abbott opposition and the disgusting, shameful treatment from the media and assorted radio shock jocks. Can you imagine what her situation would have been if she was tainted by anything like the Right Honourable Beetrooter is facing. Notice how quiet those shock jocks have been lately too? As for Turnbull, enough contributors have already expressed the waste of space he has proven to be.

    3. lykurgus

      People forget that Gillard had not one, but TWO hostile Houses to contend with – not the 1-sycophantic/1-ambivalent combo Malware has. And she still holds the record for average bills passed per day, of any prime minister (for a rusted-on Keating fan to say all that, feels better than you might think).
      And we’re meant to feel sorry for a PM that has it all (1friendly/1″meh” Hose combo, and a press-pack sucking his cock) and it STILL goes tits-up.

      1. Marcus Hicks

        LOL. Very well put.

        1. Susan Anderson

          Very indeed!
          I told you a few weeks ago Bernard there are millions of voters across the country who viscerally hate Turnbull, there’s no coming back from that, preferred prime minister is a load of shit, they always prefer the incumbent, maybe they just poll thick’eads

  5. Marcus Hicks

    BTW, the Nationals will still be the difference between the Liberals holding government & being in Opposition……so, no, they cannot afford to treat them as a “junior partner”, even if Joyce ends up on the backbench…..where I feel certain he will join his mate Abbott in undermining the PM at every opportunity.

    1. tonysee

      Spot on, Marcus. The underlying assumption in Bernard’s thesis is that the Nationals will be chastened by the demise of Barnacle. Good luck with that! They will still hold enough stick to beat Malcolm with because what spine he does have is, resting precariously on the thinnest majority. Arguably, it could get worse with Barnacle’s enthusiasm for holding a grudge (second only to Abbott’s and Rudd’s). Together, they could make it much worse for Malcolm.

  6. Pedantic, Balwyn

    It couldn’t get any worse without Joyce? Oh yes it could, with Hayseed and Abbott on the back benches making sure it only get worse for the Turmoil Government.

  7. Paul

    Good try, but it is Turnbull you are talking about. No ethics, no morality, no beliefs, no backbone, no policies, no rigor, no application, just a classic narcissistic egomaniac.

    1. MJM

      Succinct list and very accurate.

    2. Suzie_darling

      Hey Paul – well put – you described him perfectly!

    3. zut alors

      And let’s not forget that he’s “not had this much fun in years”.

      Makes you wonder what a dud day would deliver.

    4. Susan Anderson

      A narcissistic sociopath actually, so is Rudd but Abbott is only a common sociopath – at last you people are seeing the light.
      The problem we have in Australia with 4 PM’s in 6 years or whatever the stupid numbers are is not the rate of turnover its the fact that 3 out of 4 of them have a moderate mental illness. Don’t vote for narcissists – did I vote for Latham ? No. I couldn’t vote for a party with an unhinged leader, I had to vote for Bronny in Pittwater – I almost gagged

      1. Howard

        Not sure how you managed to vote for Chopper in the state electorate of Pittwater Sandra as Chopper’s electorate was the Federal seat of McKeller. Also Can’t believe that you were prepared to sentence us to a further three years of the Howard government just because of one ‘unhinged’ pollie. It’s the policy we should be voting on, not the personality. You people seem to have real problems getting over this cult of personality. Just like Hollywood ‘stars’ there is always going to be a degree of narcissm in anyone who is successful in public life. After suffering nine years of the conservative Howard government, you were prepared to sentence us to a further three!

      2. Karen Hutchinson

        Thanks for that great assessment Susan. From your pen to voters full recognition of the unlosable punt on ‘self-interest’ wining every race!

    5. Coral SeeNQ

      He is very similar to Trump in this regard. He is amoral and stands in front of a band of weak, corporate bent thugs. He doesn’t care as long as he can stay in the job. The public can make their own arrangements.

  8. Dion Giles

    I’d differ over “the right of the party will still need to be placated.” No, it will need to be confronted. Turnbull simply kowtows to it to placate it. That stupid “plebiscite” against SSM is a case in point, when he could simply have placed Howard’s marriage law on the floor of Parliament for debate and repudiation.

    1. Duncan Gilbey

      Not “confronted”, it must be destroyed, but Mr Fluffypants doesn’t have the ticker.

      1. Susan Anderson

        Mr Fluffypants is one of them, he said Hockeys 2014 budget didn’t go far enough and he meant it, given the chance he would remake Australia in the image if the good old US of A because he thinks it would be more fun and having a lazy $200 mill in the bank ensures he would never suffer the downside

  9. helen johnson

    I am no fan of Joyce at all, but how can he be a blithering incompetent and at the same time responsible for maintaining this stranglehold on the government for the sake of his own interests?

    1. Howard

      How? With Turnbull as PM. That’s how!

  10. brian crooks

    Keane`s article is just another attempt to give reason for a failed and dysfunctional government, possibly and probably the worst government in Australian history, getting rid of barmy does n`t help the millions suffering the death of 1000 cuts and the trickle down cancer that`s the mad rights ideological mantra, save your breath Bernard, like the rest of this miserable government your`e full of it.

    1. Dion Giles

      Not the worst government in Australian history. B0b Menzies gets that prize.

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