Barnaby: Punters Close To Saying ‘A Pox On Both Your Houses’

8 Oct

Great article in today’s Australian, ‘United States’ Of Barnaby:

Joyce is known for his catchy and wild contortions of language. He says the verbal thunderbolts are based on the knowledge he has accrued on the street, in the front bar and from family. Abbott’s present assault on Labor’s carbon tax could have been crafted in the St George pub over a pot or 10.

Listening to Joyce in his Parliament House suite recently, with his pitch-perfect recall of voices, is akin to the United States of Barnaby. He can do his dad, mother-in-law, check-out chicks, a bloke who takes his son fishing in a tinny, an angry pensioner, a Labor apparatchik. Joyce is a one-man forum.

“Just as Gillard got herself into trouble with nutty policies, we had one; it was called Work Choices,” says Joyce, who found himself defending a “bloody weird” policy that favoured big business.

“I remember talking to my old man, who is a tough old bastard,” he says, slipping into the character of Joyce Sr. “Now correct me if I’m wrong, that 16-year-old kid is now going to negotiate with me for the wages I’m going to pay him? Well, that will be interesting because I’ll tell him I’m going to pay him nothing!”

“Where did Work Choices come from?” he then asks, channelling a drinker at the St George Hotel. “What was the problem you had to solve? Not your problem philosophically, your problem with me? Because this is about me.”

“I thought shit, this is crazy,” says Senator Joyce. “People started identifying themselves with a political jumper on and it was against us. I thought, ‘We are going to get smacked here.’ And we did. Bang. Whack.”

He welcomes the input of those urging Abbott to restore parts of the old workplace regime. But a return is pure folly: “It would be the height of insanity for us to say to the Australian people that we didn’t get it, what you said to us at the [2007] election. We have to be absolutely and utterly cautious.”

The punters are close to saying “a pox on both your houses” to the political class.

Joyce blames Gillard and the Greens, who are seen by folks in the regions and outer suburbs as “rich, upper-class white boys and frustrated housewives”.

“The person sitting behind a check-out or a shearers’ cook, it unnerves them. They feel, ‘I’m doing it tough in life. I don’t need any sort of crap.’ Carbon tax, what’s this? Gay marriage, what’s all this bullshit? Shutting down the Murray-Darling Basin. Then you’re shutting down fishing.

” ‘Then I can’t go there because he, Bob Brown, says I can’t put a line in there. Who’s he, who’s he in my life? I’m doing it tough,’ and they think those people arriving on boats, whether it’s right or not, are getting a better deal than them. They say, ‘I pay my taxes, my grandaddy fought for this country, they get better than me. I can’t fix my teeth. Where’s this off to, what are you doing?’

“Sometimes I think that Julia is being advised by a 12 1/2-year-old truant. Never in my wildest dreams would I go out on a podium as prime minister of Australia with the Greens anywhere near me. I’d say, ‘I’m running the show, not them. Me. I run it. On my head lies the responsibility. Get out of my shot, get out of my sight.’ ”

Joyce is startled by the level of animosity towards the Prime Minister and has found himself defending her as a decent person. “It is really sometimes quite scary. People literally run down the street with a mouth full of profanities about a woman that they’ve never met and you think, ‘That’s a bit unnerving.’ It’s almost like a split in a marriage. When it’s going, it’s going well and everything is forgivable. But once it splits, it is just this bile. ‘If I got down there, you know what I would do to that effing c. . .? Knock her head in.’ Calm down, lady, we’re sitting outside a paper shop, you don’t need to talk like that.”

Joyce says Gillard is standing on an ant’s nest about to be eaten by her own people: blue-collar, conservative voters. He then transitions into a low-paid farm worker and concreter: “I’ve got 600 bucks in my pocket for the week. I’m going to drink 50 of it. F . . k it, 80 of it, 100 of it. Missus, or my girlfriend or my partner, she wants 300 bucks. Then we’ve got to pay the rent, then we’ve got to pay the f . . king power. How’s that work? We have no money.

“Oh shit. Bugger. Buy a case of beer and invite my mates around. Still haven’t got money to pay the power. All right, I’m starting to get pissed off. Then someone says, ‘We’re going to cool the planet and we’re going to do that by jacking up the price of power.’ And they go, ‘f . .khead’. Then it works its way around the workshop, the shopfloor; it works its way around the checkout and they get it. They say, ‘Ah and why are we doing this? We’re cooling the planet. Oh yeah, right, like the Chinese are cooling the planet, is that how it works?’ And so a policy attracts intense hate.”

A pox on both their houses?


Barnaby is right about something else too.

It IS time for the Nats to “evolve into something broader” and “broaden their appeal”:

“Over the last year or so I’ve found the National to be very democratic, they are a smaller party and very democratic,” [Angry Anderson] said.

“Particularly in the early days, talking to Fiona Nash and Barnaby, they feel it’s time for the Nationals to evolve into something broader and fiercely represent the interests of rural communities and they want to broaden their appeal and their reach.”

2 Responses to “Barnaby: Punters Close To Saying ‘A Pox On Both Your Houses’”

  1. Twodogs October 8, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    For how long have the working class been nothing more than an electoral vehicle for the fabians? At some point though, they must burn them in order to enact their agenda. I don’t think they thought out their end game very well at all, did they?

    • bushbunny October 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

      Yes, I agree two dogs, but I don’t think separating from the coalition will help? I voted Liberal in Sydney, but when I moved to the bush, I went for the country party. Then Nationals. To me they both worked for the people who live in the rural or regional areas. They knew about their social, economic environment. To separate now from the Liberal party would be a mistake I feel. But the Nationals must make it known, there is a difference between the two parties, although they both compliment each other. And get rid of these unreal Greens and Independents.

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