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.

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


Leave a comment

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

  1. Marcus Hicks

    Malcontent Fullabull is so useless he couldn’t tip piss from a boot……even if you put instructions on the heel!

    1. Karen Hutchinson

      …my new favorite, Marcus.
      and so the ‘band’s back together.’
      Headlining act; Malcontent Fullabull and the Beetrooter, bootscoot’n at a venue near you!

      1. [email protected]

        I’d be there front row with my supply of rotten tomatoes!! Scratch that, I wouldn’t even waste rotten fruit on this pack of sackless wonders!!

  2. bushby jane

    Bernard still can’t get past thinking that Turnbull is a moderate or progressive.

  3. Woody

    Optimistic on a Turnbull government turnaround. One of the worst federal governments I’ve seen. Not unlike Billy McMahon’s. They should and will be turfed out next election.

    1. Howard

      Now go easy on the old Silly Billy there. He did have one or two redeeming features. I understand his wife had nice legs!

    2. Howard

      This government IS worse than that terrible McMahon government. Bill Shorten must be in two minds at the moment. When Fraser called an early election in 1983, unaware that that other Bill (Hayden), had been forced to resign as Labor party leader in favour of Bob Hawke, Bill made the comment: ‘A drover’s dog could lead the Labor Party to victory, the way the country is’. History has a habit of repeating.

  4. Peter Fuller

    Turnbull apologists – especially in the MSM – remind me of the late, lamented rugby league identity, Jack Gibson, who famously said that waiting for Cronulla to win the (NRL) premiership was like leaving the porch light on in case Harold Holt turned up. Granted, the drought for the Sharks finally ended in 2016, but since this was eight years after Jack died, he wouldn’t have been extinguishing his outside light then. Malcolm’s turnaround, his standing up to his internal enemies or the Nationals is as distant as was Cronulla’s Grand Final success when Gibson offered his observation.

  5. Bruce Adams

    To Bernard Keane, I am very dispointed with your comment that the inland rail project is a colossal waste of money. Could you please substantciate your claim please. Here in the central west of NSW we are very excited about this project happening at last. If you are interested you could go to Parkes Shire Council website to get some information of the potential of this project to benefit Australia. Perhaps you should leave the “Canberra bubble” and have a drive around. Very disappointed with your comment as I have been a keen reader of your Crikey article foe a long time.

  6. Sleuth

    Bernard, Turnbull will never govern effectively. He hasn’t got it in him and no amount of journalistic well wishing is going to turnaround Turnbull’s fortunes. He has bad judgement in everything he does and cutting the hapless Joyce loose will make no difference. Read all about it: magnificent Turnbull unexpectedly loses 2018 election in a landslide, with journalists dumbfounded.

  7. behrendt

    Throughout my life (now 62) and thanks to loving parents, I now deem two qualities essential in one’s life. Number one – always have a kind heart (especially toward those less fortunate than yourself) and number two – don’t be a hypocrite. That’s my beef with Barnaby, added to the fact he is totally incompetent in his portfolio.

  8. Coral SeeNQ

    This article says more about the writer than the subject it’s seem plain from the consensus of the comments here. I am just not sure who he is trying to deceive, us or himself. I do not have enough info to know the answer or make informed judgement on that one, but generally one likes to believe what they see in front of them is credible. There appears to be a bit of piss taking on this one.

  9. Peter Hartup

    If Joyce is such an incompetent flake, it doesn’t bode well for Trumble’s chances of “slapping the Nationals back into place” if they have a competent flake for a leader.
    Whatever the Nationals’ve had over Trumble to date, I suspect they’ll still have post-Joyce. Only they might be even better at doing the slapping.

  10. Di Keller

    Banning sex, Hahahaha!!! Another silly little brain zap from Turnbull that just won’t work 🙂

    1. zut alors

      Note that only ministers have the ban. Ordinary Liberal MPs were not mentioned. What happens when a Lib MP is having a torrid affair with a staffer &, due to a cabinet reshuffle, is suddenly elevated to the position of Minister? Either the affair must end overnight (as if) or the staffer must be moved/fired.

      Can a Minister have an affair with another minister’s staff member? Has Turnbull’s fine legal mind considered how many loopholes he’s created?

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