“It’s Full Of Merchant Bankers”: Barnaby

17 Mar

One of the actions that has endeared Barnaby Joyce to many thinking people, is his proven track record of going against the party machines and indeed, crossing the floor to vote against the Coalition, on matters he strongly believes in.

He has done it “about 28” times.

He is doing it again.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

"Senator Joyce said the review board should have rejected the takeover of the AWB's commodity trading business by the multinational Cargill, and of Sunrice by the Spanish company Ebro Foods, which was ultimately scuttled by shareholders". Photo: Stefan Postles

Barnaby breaks ranks over foreign ownership of farmland

THE Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce is pushing for even tougher restrictions on foreign ownership of farmland and agribusinesses than those advocated by his party, fuelling Liberal anger at Tony Abbott’s failure to rein in National Party ”freelancing” on sensitive economic issues.

Senator Joyce told the Herald a Coalition government should impose a ”much more definitive test” of the national interest when the Foreign Investment Review Board considered foreign purchases of farmland and agribusinesses. ”There has to be a more definitive test … because right now we are not tripping the tripwire for things that are quite obviously against the national interest,” he said.

Senator Joyce said the review board should have rejected the takeover of the AWB’s commodity trading business by the multinational Cargill, and of Sunrice by the Spanish company Ebro Foods, which was ultimately scuttled by shareholders.

Citing ”palpable” concern in rural communities about foreign acquisitions, Senator Joyce advocated a shake-up of the review board to include people with agribusiness expertise.

It’s full of merchant bankers, which might explain why the only time we have seen it say no is with the takeover of the Australian Stock Exchange, because that would have meant a lot of merchant bankers in Sydney would be out of a jobeven some of my Liberal colleagues were encouraging me to speak up about that, even though we are supposed to be nasty, backward agrarian socialists,” he said.

[And why didn’t these “Liberal colleagues” speak up about it themselves, ‘eh? Food for thought. More below]

The Nationals leader, Warren Truss, has advocated lowering the threshold for review board scrutiny from $244 million to $20 million but has not specifically suggested the board use a tougher national interest test.

Last week Mr Abbott, the Coalition leader, appeared to back Mr Truss’s position, saying he was ”looking at a very significant reduction in the threshold” for scrutiny by the review board.

He did not nominate a new threshold.

Many Liberals, opposed to any big change in foreign investment rules, are furious at apparent policy announcements before decisions have been made.

One Liberal MP said it was ”yet another example of National Party freelancing on economic issues, without clear repudiation from the leadership, despite the fact that there has not been a decision and the party room has not yet discussed it”.

Another said: ”The Nats are being allowed to say whatever they like, even though it is not policy.”

Quelle horror!

They’re “being allowed” to “say whatever they like”?

“Even though it is not policy”?

Just as they should.

As everyone should.

Party politics, the silencing of individual MPs, the enforcement of party policy even where contrary to the will of an MP’s local electorate and/or his own conscience, is a vile, despicable, morally (1) and intellectually (2) unjustifiable blight on so-called “democracy”.

It is WRONG.

I for one am stoked that Barnaby is making waves with his stance on foreign ownership of Australian farmland.

Your humble blogger has written on the topic of our governments selling the farm before.

Consider this – Try Asking 1.3 Billion Stomachs Armed With Nukes To Give Our Food Back.

Barnaby is right.


h/t Twitterer @LyndsayFarlow

6 Responses to ““It’s Full Of Merchant Bankers”: Barnaby”

  1. The Old and Unimproved Dave March 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    I wonder if anyone is familiar with the 1944 Alfred Hitchcock movie “Lifeboat”

    Survivors from a torpedoed WW2 ship wind up in the same lifeboat as the German U-boat Captain who sunk it before losing his own vessel.

    Australia’s farmland in foreign hands…..particularly with countries whose values and outlook are diametrically opposed to our own…..is a bit like entrusting the lifeboat’s food and water to the care of that U-boat Captain.

  2. Craig March 17, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    It’s not just farmland. In Australia, everything is up for sale to foreigners and always has been. The FIRB is absolutely useless; a bunch of doctrinaire econocrats spouting the Treasury Line. These are people, just like the rest of the governing class actually, who have no sense at all of the national interest. Patriotism is a dirty word for them. I’m not surprised the Liberals couldn’t give a toss about selling off the farm. When Lenin once observed that if the Bolsheviks starting hanging some of the bourgoisie, the others would compete among themselves to sell them the rope, he had people like the members of the Liberal Party in mind.

    What a dreadful choice we Australians are left with; between a bunch of socialist incompetents on the one hand and money-grubbing traitors on the other.

    • The Blissful Ignoramus March 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

      Superb comment Craig, I might just reference / quote you in Monday’s post on % foreign ownership of our public debt.

  3. JMD March 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    You’d be silly to miss Doug Noland’s latest;


    The meat of the article starts at paragraph 10, though the Flow of Funds does give good background. He describes the power of, as he calls it; Washington “money”, but it applies here, as does its corrupting influence.

  4. Kevin Moore March 17, 2012 at 7:50 pm #



    What follows is the complete explanation of the contempt by all Political Parties of the;

    Australian Constitution Chapter One, Part IV. — Both Houses of the Parliament.

    Section 44 and Section 46;

    Item (9).
    44. Any person who–
    (i. ) Is under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power,
    or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a
    foreign power:

    (v. ) Has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service
    of the Commonwealth otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members
    of an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty-five persons:

    shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting,
    as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

    46. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, any person declared by this Constitution to be
    incapable of sitting as a senator or as a member of the House of Representatives shall, for every day
    on which he so sits, be liable to pay the sum of one hundred pounds to any person who sues for it in
    any court of competent jurisdiction.
    All political Parties and the United Nations are Non Government Organisations and as such would be
    the opposite to Section 44. (i. ) are under acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to
    a foreign power by sending armed forces to Afghanistan and Iraq and;

    What right has the Prime Minister to replace the Governor-General as the command in chief of the
    naval and military forces of the Commonwealth that is vested in the Governor-General as the
    Queen’s representative. Chapter 2. Section 68?

    Section 44. (v. ) in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting of more
    than twenty-five persons;

    The Parliament of Australia has more than 150 persons.
    COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA registered in the

    CIK (0000805157)
    SIC: 8880 – American Depositary Receipts
    State location: DC | Fiscal Year End: 0630

    Business Address

    Constitutional Commonwealth of Australia
    There is much trickery in the word usage itself.

  5. Kevin Moore March 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    “Goldman Banker Goes Rogue Amid Fed’s Recent Stress Tests Amid w/Naked Capitalism”

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