Last night, Barnaby Joyce and pregnant partner Vikki Campion gave their first interview since this entire scandal broke, right from the home of the very rent-free apartment they’ll soon have to vacate.
It was an exclusive interview given to Fairfax media, during Joyce’s “week off” from being Deputy Prime Minister of the country. The whole thing was mostly an exercise in imploring the Australian public to back off with the scrutiny for the sake of his unborn child, rather than addressing the very real complaints that he misused ministerial power in securing a – again – rent-free apartment, a high paying job for his mistress, and failed to declare the mother of his child as his “partner” thanks to a technicality.
“This should be a very simple story – a bloke whose marriage broke down is in a relationship with another person and they are having a child,” he said. “Now it seems to have gone into some sort of morality discussion. That’s between me and my God. I can understand how [my wife] Natalie can be angry, absolutely, but how it’s other people’s business, I don’t know.”
Casual reminder that Barnaby Joyce strongly supported the postal survey which made other people’s relationships and children the business of the ENTIRE FUCKING COUNTRY, but moving on.
Anyway, the piece was accompanied by a number of shots of Joyce of Barnaby being a homebody in his self-described “bachelor pad” (Campion refused to be photographed), and it raised an important question: what the blithering hell was with the tea towels?
Here he is, posing in the kitchen, shirt rolled up and tea towel at the ready, looking like he’s about to dry some dishes that aren’t even there.
And here he is again, standing by the very same window behind him, posing with the SAME TEA TOWEL only this time it’s wrapped around his neck.
“Oh, when will my husband return from war? Can he not see that the dishes have been dried?”
I’m not convinced Barnaby knows what he’s doing with this tea towel. pic.twitter.com/jTlNW7RwHf— Sarah Martin (@msmarto) February 21, 2018
The absolute absurdity of his tea towel props in this empty apartment – which Joyce says he’s stayed in for no more than 14 nights – has of course caught the attention of Twitter.
should we move the tea towel? nah pic.twitter.com/yegJ0vslpm— A Busy Dad (@mtats) February 21, 2018
Someone tell Barnaby he needs more than a tea towel to clean up his mess. pic.twitter.com/uHlHp7sUWg— Jenny Noyes (@jennynoise) February 21, 2018
Okay … here is the star pic IMO.— Coalition Tea Lady (@ItsBouquet) February 21, 2018
Imagine how it went – "righto Barnaby, you're playing the victim remember – hows about you stand there looking like a blockhead and drape the tea towel over your shoulders for effect?"
Perfect … CLICK! pic.twitter.com/r5y6GF6tCW
Have you noticed in TV drama series and movies, men cooking for their family are always depicted with a tea towel thrown over their shoulder..— Kate Robbins (@KateRobbins) February 21, 2018
Compare and contrast. pic.twitter.com/2b2JXecuYM— Stephanie Peatling (@srpeatling) February 21, 2018
It’s not quite up there with the single greatest parliamentarian photoshoot of all time… but it’s up there.
I think I love Barnaby and his tea towel more than I love George Christianson and his whip pic.twitter.com/TzaPS0zIZl— Katie Burgess (@katie_b_burgess) February 21, 2018
Honestly, it’s baffling, and smacks of being entirely designed to elicit sympathy for Joyce. Judging by the comments section of literally any article on Joyce, it’s not bloody working. Then again, at the moment, neither is he.