Our deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce bangs one of his staffers, knocks her up, wrecks his marriage, hides the affair, re-employs the staffer in other MPs’ offices, blames “whisper campaign” when the story comes out, calls it a private matter, gets our prime minister Malcolm Turnbull to investigate it, and has Turnbull say there is nothing wrong with anything that happened.
Joyce is the leader of conservative National Party which is the coalition partner to Turnbull’s Liberal Party, and the government has a thin majority in the parliament. If this is how the government thinks they will retain the power at the next election, they are fools who take us for fools.
There are many dimensions to this story; failure of moral standards, for Joyce represents the party of family values; failure of ministerial standards, for he is not supposed to be employing a partner in his or someone else’s office; and, of course, the double standards, for any person on welfare who has the kind of relationship our deputy PM had will have their benefit cut instead of getting re-employed with $190.000 salary as was the case with Joyce’s lover.
As to whether it is OK for politicians to have the kind of affair that a certain Weinstein had with his employees, let’s not go there. It is not like politicians choose their staffers on their good looks alone; they must have other talents!
I regret cheering Barnaby Joyce’s win at the by-election last year after the infamous citizenship saga. He was the first and only conservative whose electoral victory I applauded because he was treated harshly by the High Court.
Now we get to judge him too: do the right thing and resign now, you lying cheating bastard.