If you were to plot the spectrum of how good it is to be Barnaby Joyce on a scale from ‘on a high from threatening to murder Johnny Depp‘s dogs’ to ‘kicked out of parliament because you’re a secret Kiwi‘, you would probably have to make more room on the scale for how shithouse things have been going for him over the last few weeks.
The double revelation that his public split with his wife in November of last year was due to a long-term affair with staffer Vikki Campion and also that Campion is currently heavily pregnant with Barnabus’ child could well have been enough to fuck up his career, but it sure didn’t stop there. It turned out Barnaby had been staying rent-free in the apartment of a millionaire mate, after telling millennials their housing affordability woes were essentially of their own choosing. It also turned out that Barnaby had potentially breached the ministerial code of conduct by overseeing Campion’s appointment to a role that had seemingly been created for her. The added scrutiny of his conduct unearthed some very fishy expense scandals, including charging taxpayers for a $6,440 RAAF chartered flight to return home from an AFL game last year (not his first expense scandal, would you believe).
If all that wasn’t enough, he’s also the sole catalyst for Malcolm Turnbull‘s decision to put an explicit fuck-ban into the ministerial code of conduct, which was announced in a damage control press conference where Turnbull spent a good 5 minutes dragging Joyce for his affair – which was apparently done without consulting Joyce at all. It has been a whirlwind.
Despite all this, Joyce is digging his heels in, telling Fairfax that he’s “not going anywhere” in an interview published this morning, which might surprise the WA Nationals, who today issued a statement urging him to step down from his position as leader of the federal National Party. Issued by WA Nationals leader Mia Davies, the statement says that he’s cocking things up for the party too much to continue:
I have today contacted Barnaby Joyce to inform him he no longer has the support of the Parliamentary National Party of Western Australia as the Leader of the Federal National Party.
Mr Joyce’s actions have caused pain for his family but it is the ongoing damage Mr Joyce is causing The Nationals organisation that is of greatest concern to me as WA Leader.
The Nationals brand across regional Western Australia has suffered as a result of Mr Joyce’s actions and he has become a distraction at both Federal and State level.
My Parliamentary colleagues and I have urged Mr Joyce to consider his position as Leader in the best interests of the Federal Party and State branches.
It is the view of the Parliamentary National Party of Western Australia that Mr Joyce’s position as Federal Leader is no longer tenable.
I recognise Mr Joyce for his service to the party over many years and acknowledge his work dedicated to the people of regional Australia.
So far the allegations of misconduct levied against him have been too nebulous to provide a definitive reason for why he should leave – just generally being a dickhead is apparently not enough to get you out of parliament, which is demonstrably true if you look at who is in parliament – and, as much as it is embarrassing the Coalition, it’s not up to Turnbull to make executive decisions in Nationals affairs, so it doesn’t seem hugely likely that he’ll go as things currently stand. With pretty much every major media power in Australia working furiously to dig up more dirt on him, though, who knows what the next few weeks hold.