Feb 16, 2018

Open war erupts between Turnbull and Joyce

Canberra has been left stunned by Barnaby Joyce's unprecedented savaging of his own Prime Minister, which leaves the Coalition, and this government, in tatters.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Australian politics entered unprecedented territory late this morning when Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce emerged to savage the Prime Minister for his criticisms of Joyce yesterday. At this point, the future of the federal Coalition is unclear.

In a remarkable statement, Joyce called Turnbull "inept" for his "completely unnecessary" comments about Joyce which would "basically pull the scab off to everybody to have a look at" and cause further harm.

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65 thoughts on “Open war erupts between Turnbull and Joyce

  1. pinkocommierat

    What id they tried some make-up sex?

    1. AR

      It’s probably their Id which causes most of the problems this country faces.

      1. Betty

        Excellent point AR.
        I used to think toddlers were Id on legs but I’ve been forced to expand the definition.
        Not nearly enough Super Ego wandering around and about.

  2. Sydney or the Bush

    Barnaby always shoots from the hip, or thereabouts.

  3. Xoanon

    This fits neatly with Rundle’s piece the other day about how Labor has been infiltrated by incompetent narcissists who don’t realise how useless they are. Obviously is happening on both sides of politics.

    1. CML

      Leave the Labor Party out of this..they have absolutely NOTHING to do with the shite from this COALition lunacy!!

      1. Luckyduck

        Well said. I do not even try to read Rundle’s treatises.

  4. Peter Adams

    He is willing to destroy his own government because of what???
    This from a man with no sense of personal or political judgement who can’t keep his dick behind its zipper or his mouth shut.
    Bring. It. On!!!

  5. graybul

    Prime Minister bans sex . . . now that is an action of a true Conservative.

  6. leon knight

    Great photo by the way – looks a lot like Bazza Mackenzie about to impress us all with a huge technicolour yawn….

  7. Hunt Ian

    Not just the ex New England Kiwi – a gorgeous cartoon by David Rowe in AFR captures Barnaby perfectly – but also Turnbull have flashed their egos. I thought the #MeToo Q & A on ABC last night set the issues straight, which not every Q&A does. The conclusion: the #MeToo movement is a magnificent protest movement, even if a few hop on board with spurious (bad sex) complaints or with only she-said/he said credibility. This does not mean a bonking ban is called for but it does mean that a code of conduct is called for in parliament that calls for scrutiny of close personal relationships, when whistle blower complaints are made. It should also require MPs not to appoint people with whom they have close personal relationships, and so on.
    Any more is over the top and will fuel further media excess, as others will now have a genuine reason to dig into personal lives, rather than exposure of hypocrisy as claimed with Barnaby.
    Let us see the egos battle it out

  8. Jack Robertson

    It’s an economic showdown, if you arx me. Scratch away the laughably prissy bullsh*t about sex in the workplace and it’s a snapping – one hopes – of the ideological tension that’s been building for yonks. The depth of distrust and resentment in the National Party at the Spiv Economics of Born-To-Rule Liberals like Turnbull is the thing that’s no longer coalition-viable. I for one – remote country boy, sure, with a lot of dumbly-ingrained sympathy for our polity’s Barnaby Joyces, maybe even affection – wouldn’t mind seeing the end of the Coalition in my lifetime, not one bit. Not the way the Libs have gone. It hasn’t been a good fit for decades. If Joyce has stones he might even pick up the phone to Bill Shorten, right about now. Why not? See how Turnbull goes forming government without the eternal butt of LNP jokes; the hillbillies from the bush, the sheep town dopes, the rural village fools, the smelly farm oiks with their one good suit and the cowsh*t on their RM’s, a-ripe for a big city taking for a-ride. Ho ho ho, look at the hayseed morons from Sh*tsville we clever metro wide boys have to put up with…

    F*ck the Liberal Party. Why not? To any Nat with an ounce of self-respect Turnbull’s Head Prefect D*ck Act of yesterday was surely nauseating, in all its lifted-nose, coiffed-hair disdaining glory: condescending, morally sanctimonious (but only selectively and belatedly), gutlessly weather-vaning in the p*ssant winds of electoral expediency. An opinion poll on Joyce’s approval rating was all it took to turn him into Mrs Curtain Twitcher at number 22, appallingly dressed up as #MeToo ‘leadership’, 100% Turnbull style: strictly from the rear, post-stoush, post-risk, bereft of conviction, all pantomime Debating Club smarm. How pathetic that the gallery would largely gullet this garbage narrative without even a frisson of nauseous aftertaste. The debasement of public life: jesus, how much lower can this sh*tshackled cast of fourth rate polly-n-press mediocrities drive us all? And how can we turn the whole rubbish show off?

    There’s something truly sick-making, though, about the Head Boy crap: about being lectured on ‘morality’ by a wealthy, fairweather opportunist who made his dubious fast fortune by a) chucking some spare cash at someone else’s good idea and sitting back on his arse until b) a total fraudster chucked (Someone Else’s) Stupid Money at his chunk at the lying height of the Spiv IT con, then c) bailing out with his grotesquely bloated cut, then d) parking it mostly in unproductive property and faraway spiv accounts, then e) strutting his anointed way casually into the Lodge as a brilliant ‘capitalist’, like he was Dale Carnegie. Except that Malcolm Turnbull isn’t a ‘successful businessman’, is he (or, except for our times): He’s a spiv; a hustler; a pump-n-dump flim-flam artist, like most others among our current corporate leadership, squawking for their next tax cut/handout (“More please, more! More, more, more…’)

    Lecture us on morality? Yeah right. Like that of so many other ‘self-made’ men of his era, the PM’s defining ‘successful business fortune’ is profoundly immoral, if you can only vomit up the koolaid we’ve all apparently drunk: it came straight out of the massed life savings accounts of a multitude of duped small investors, in his case by way of WorldCom and corporate crook Bernie Ebbers. Turnbull the businessman is ‘successful’, sure, but only as the quintessence, the functional uber-model, the perfect individual manifestation of the utterly un-moral, sustained economic theft that has now brought the western democratic world to the edge of unviable electoral implosion. And to stave off the deserved economic reckoning for their rank greed and duplicity that is at least twenty years overdue, these…suited fakes contrive up evermore fantastical ‘social’ and ‘political’ reckonings – for others. Always, with others as the focus of moral condemnation. Identity politics, terrorism, unions, political correctness, even attacks on the ‘politics of envy’ and ‘class warfare’ itself (the f*cking audacity of them)…and all things sex, too, of course. Of course, sex.

    And how they ditch all erstwhile allies as required, as they glide oikishly down this expedient path. So sure…eventually, inevitably…well, now it’s the Nationals. Yep, ho ho, now even the socially-redneck Nationals know what it feels like to be the target of the well-to-do Lib’s moralising sleight-of-hand (rather than its usual enthusiastic, loyal second): the rich getting us to aim our disapproving eyes anywhere but at their own grotesque, civically ruinous greed.

    Welcome aboard, Nationals! Welcome aboard the good ship diversion.

    Barnaby Joyce may be a lot of unpleasant things, and whatever fate awaits him he has no-one much to blame but himself. You sow, you reap. But like most National Party coalition members since Thatcherism took hold of the planet, he’s had to navigate a political lifetime of making a virtue of – and/or making the best of – a brand of immoral, scorched earth economic spivvery that has positively savaged the regions and the scrub, the Australian communities that rely existentially more than any on the exact antithesis of neoliberal economics: on networks of people acting communally, for a greater good (collective local happiness, local betterment…simple local survival); on functioning mutual obligations between interdependent citizens (not atomised ‘consumers’); on a selfless effacement of individual ambition; on generational continuity, on ‘safety in numbers’, on slow, sustainable economic long-termism. Much of the allegedly ‘new’ economics – freer trade, globalised markets, agricultural modernisation and adaption – have been in no way inconsistent with this bread-n-butter stuff of rural life; in no way automatically bad for the ‘Nats heartland’ (do you really think country people are pig ignorant, reactionary hillbillies, too stupid and scared to ever change anything?). Nope: globalisation and the National Party can work together just fine. It’s been the ferociously toxic, utterly opportunistic add-ons of neoliberal ‘economics’ – the cult of personal greed, the arcane financial chicanery, the senseless privatisation of viable public infrastructure (for the sake of consultant fees, carve-up slices, deals, ASX games), the multinational giganticism – that’s killed the bush…and it’s been exactly these things, not the authentic pluses of freer trade, that have enriched the big end of town’s battalions of self-satisfied ‘ersatz capitalists’, all these faux-‘successful businessmen’ exactly like the PM.

    So sure, Joyce is morally flawed; maybe a hypocrite, maybe even a bit of a grub, or a bad drunk, or just hopeless, for all I know. But whatever his clearly multiple faults, I’ll take their kind over the deep-seated (but deeply buried) nastiness, the ruthless (but icily gentrified) self-servery, the odiously-projected delusions of ‘decency’ and ‘civility’ and ‘rationality’ spewed forth by the Head Boys of the modern-day Liberal Party. Any day of the week. I watched Turnbull’s sermon on workplace sex the other day, I wanted to punch him in the head. And I’m a very gentle country boy who would never hurt a fly.

    I just will not be lectured about ‘morality’ by the economically-thieving Malcolm Turnbulls of Australia. And I hope the National Party finally has the collective guts to tell him and his spiv chums to go shove their coalition up their silk-trousered a*ses. It would be much more civil than everything else than has emerged in this truly base week.

    1. Woopwoop

      It would be good to see the Nats getting the 7% representation in Parliament that fairness would suggest.

      1. Jack Robertson

        ah but ‘tis gummint by seats not votes woops…tricky things, coalitions…:-)

      2. BobbyFisher

        Let’s hope the Libs finally have the balls to ditch the backward Nats as a partner and run quality modern candidates in their seats.
        I know many people in regional and coastal NSW who despair at having to choose between Labor and a National Party nutter.

    2. bref

      Gees, don’t hold back Jack. Been building up a while has it? I agree with your sentiments though 🙂

      1. Jack Robertson

        Yeah about thirty years or so bref

    3. Bob the builder

      Well said.
      Crikey readership again supplying comments superior to the article!

    4. AR

      I poured an extra large snifter to read this. Well worth it.

    5. John Robertson

      Shit Jack, I only got half way through.

      1. Jack Robertson

        Yeah acquired taste I’m afraid, yon clansman. Take a leaf out of AR’s book – booze helps.

    6. Karen Hutchinson

      Jack….you are beautiful!

      1. Jack Robertson

        Man, bob, that’ll get you a few arguments round here…but chrs.

      2. Jack Robertson

        …ah, how I wish KH…(Tell AR I’ve still got a whole bottle waiting Harbourside for him, btw…if you can make the party too I might even shave…:-)

        1. gerald butler

          And when all this kerfuffle has blown over the Nats will still be kissing liberal arses and smugly talking about ‘ getting on with the job.’ Joyce is bearable till he opens his big gob and reveals what we’ve all known: he’s nothing more than a freeloader, a bush spiv with the balls to demand his cut.

          1. Jack Robertson

            Yeah, very probably just so, GB. As many many others have pointed out Joyce is, really, no bushies’ champion. Forgive: there’s as much mere sentimental instinct in my (comparative) defence of him here, as anything else. That, and a contemptuous refusal to cop Turnbull’s selective, expedient, deeply condescending throwing of him under the bus – at exactly the time when a conviction Lib would likely do the opposite. Libs like Turnbull claim ‘til their face turns blue to be the party of individual liberty, personal choice, eschewed imposed private morality, all that. Turnbull’s fatuous fart that it’s simply a matter of updating ‘workplace standards’ is cynical do-gooder cherry-picking, moral forked-tonguery that would make even a Hyacinth Bucket blush. Moot point, but my hunch is that Joyce would have actually got a lot more personal moral ‘elbow room’ from a Tony Abbott…interesting thought exercise, at least. (Though not very!)

            But every time these Lib-Nat fissures are opened, and however they are rubbed publicly raw, it forces regional and rural voters to look hard at what exactly being in coalition with a gang of Economic Hustlers has really meant for their ‘rural family values’. Joyce’s personal flaws have done them a favour, really: it’s good that it’s been a ‘morals/sex/social ishoo’ provoked tiff, driven by his personal hypocrisy. The Spivs have cynically leveraged rural Australia’s (supposed) social conservatism to self-serving economic advantage for decades. Knock away the (supposedly) shared ‘family values’ elements of the Coalition framework and there’s really just nothing else the two parties have in proper ideological common.

            The sooner Australia recognises that the only electoral issue of any real importance is economic inequality – let’s call it what is been, the rank theft by the few, to the cost of the many – the better.

    7. Duncan Gilbey

      Joyce is a grubby buffoon, but the spiv Turnbull and his ilk will be the ruin of this country.

      Wonderful stuff, Jack, you abso-bloody-lutely nailed it.

      1. Jack Robertson

        Exhausting though, ain’t it DG…you just want to weep…they are all better than this, surely? Surely…

        1. gjb

          Excellent commentary… Remote, Rural and Regional Australia is being strangled to death by economic short sightedness and instant $ gratification… I’m afraid it will not be revived by the current crop of Nationals and Katter ruins his credibility every time a camera is on him.

    8. Wallywonga

      Not sure that I would consider the Joyce faction of the Nationals of any greater moral integrity than the Woolhara/ Toorak tossers of the Libs; Joyce and co have taken every opportunity in the past to try and influence on issues, lecture the country about morality, even when it may have no relevance to their supposed National base.
      Joyce has been playing a dangerous political game for some time, the apparent farmer’s friend actually only interested in sponsoring vested interests, white collar crims, cavorting with our burgeoning landed gentry glitterati,
      His best mate Canavan also has shown several times that truth is on his low list of priorities.
      The anti Joyce camp may have old fashioned National party integrity at heart; we already have abundant evidence that Joyce does not.

      1. Jack Robertson

        Yep, fair enough point.

        Though the Nat brand of spiv – the lush run got by massacre/Rum Rebellion corruption, value-added across generations by taxpayer handout/subsidy, overseen now by gimlet-eyed accountants in Honkers, via Guernsey, via KPMG – generally still produce…um, food. And their chinless moleskinned sons get the shit kicked out of them as boarders at Cranbrook or Iggy’s before they get to take up their Bunyip Lords seat.

        1. Wallywonga

          Agree that food production is a noble and wondrous thing, and probably seen by the average urbanised punter in those terms.
          But the genuine primary producer these days not only has to stave off nature’s bitchery, but two legged parasites such as miners, developers, futures players, hedge fund wolves.
          Methinks that the new National party has been seeing itself more and more as feeding those two legged parasites instead of helping to exterminate them.
          And when politicians lose sight of their original mantra, the dark side just becomes so alluring and hard to resist.

          1. Jack Robertson

            So true man. So heartbreakingly, thus.

  9. Draco Houston

    “…suggested journalists were placing his life at risk by showing the free townhouse he is currently living in as a gift from his friend Greg Maguire.”
    Hmm, now why would he think that? Is he projecting his guilt upon these imaginary assassins?

    1. MJM

      Yes indeed. It’s as if people around town did not know where Natalie Joyce and the four daughters lived all the time he was away?

  10. brian crooks

    The government is revolting, in fact its probably the most revolting government Australia has ever suffered under.

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