If someone had told me about this Barnaby Joyce rant actually being published in what Murdoch tries to pass off as a newspaper, I would not have believed them. However, it has happened, and clearly demonstrates that Barnaby has, as they say, ‘lost it’. He is so desperate to retain his job, even as a backbencher, now that he has two families to support, that he will say anything, no matter how bizarre and almost completely devoid of any factual content it is.
He does begin this vacuous rant with something that is true, however: “the new year is going to change our nation”1. On the assumption that the Labor Party win the next federal election, Joyce’s statement is an understatement. The nation will be changed, and it will be for the better. It will not be perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it could not be worse than it is at present.
Next, Joyce says we have arrived at a space where “indoctrination has beaten logic”1. That someone from a coalition run by the ‘neoliberal’ enthusiasts club of the IPA2, could say this with a straight face beggars belief. The IPA and the Coalition parties adhere to the failed trickle-down economics, and are climate change deniers. It is that which is the ‘triumph’ of indoctrination by the wealthy over the logic of economics and science. This is also indicated by Joyce’s statement that “we want an economy that has no baseload power but does have cheap power”1. By baseload power Joyce only ever means coal, and by cheap power, he only ever means coal. This is despite the fact that new build wind power is cheaper than new build coal power3, and that our ageing fleet of coal fired power stations are regularly breaking down. Indeed, new build wind power plants and new build solar power plants are about the same cost as continuing to operate old coal power stations4. Furthermore, the conservative mantra of maintaining baseload power is based on a myth, dreamed up by the fossil fuel industry to protect its interests5. It is popular among conservative politicians for two reasons, they are impervious to evidence, and they and the IPA are dependent on the fossil fuel industry for funding. Joyce, in his frenzied article states that “the Greens want to jail people who export thermal coal”, as if this was imminent, but it has been suggested it may come into operation after 2030, and by that time thermal coal will be a thing of the past if we are to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Joyce doesn’t seem to mind that there used to be whales harpooned by Australian ships, but if someone did that today, they would most likely be sent to jail.
Joyce states that “poll after poll predicts we will vote in a Greens-Labor-Independent government that is promising payments from an economy they are closing down, so the only other place to get money for their promises is your savings”1. The polls in fact indicate that Labor alone will have a significant majority in the House of Representatives, and maybe even a majority in the Senate. If a Labor government does need more funds, they could perhaps get rid of the largesse of dividend imputation refunds6,7, cut back on negative gearing8,9, and making multinationals pay their fair share of tax10,11, something the Coalition have singularly failed to do.
According to Joyce more people from “god knows what country” are going to further congest Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, which he seems to agree are already congested. So, what has he done about it, having been in power for almost 6 years? Logic is seemingly not his strong suit.
Strangely, Joyce seems to think that saying “the words ‘son’ or ‘daughter’” will become forbidden and we will have to call our children “neuter people”1. To say this is bizarre is an understatement, and I am surprised that even the editors at The Australian let that silliness through. Then Joyce lists several things that he believes we will be mandated to do because of something he doesn’t believe in – global warming. These include farmers ‘vegetation rights’ (i.e. land-clearing); buying power only from prescribed generators (that is already happening); buying cars of a particular type (i.e. electric – already well advanced in Europe); and eating meat (yes, that is what he said)1.
There are a couple of other gems of keyboard desperation:
The Labor Party “is too cunning to be led to a hostile battlefield when it can shoot us in a clear field from its own forest”;
“The election is not about Malcolm or Morrison or Mother Teresa leading the government”1
Lastly, in a very pertinent paragraph he states “I live in a rented house, but you don’t. No brother, you are going to pay because when they get their money out of your house by taking away your buyers because of the loss of negative gearing, it will be your problem and nobody else’s”1. Barnaby Joyce lives in rented accommodation because he got his former staffer ‘up the duff’ and now has to support two families on a backbencher’s salary. To say this rant in The Australian was a bitter, desperate diatribe is characterising it mildly. Barnaby has ‘cacked in his own nest’ and come the election, a backbencher’s salary may be a relatively pleasant memory for him. Still, he should be able to apply for Newstart. Ex-Liberal Julia Banks seems to think it is a piece of cake living on $40 a day12, so the Beetrooter should be OK.