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.

Photo: Peter Hardin / Fairfax.

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?”

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.

It’s not quite up there with the single greatest parliamentarian photoshoot of all time… but it’s up there.

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.

Image: Peter Hardin / Fairfax