Many outstanding politicians are remembered for doing something special for the country, or perhaps for a sort of lifetime of sustained effort for the country’s benefit. Barnaby Joyce was named “Australia’s best retail politician” by another politician – Tony Abbott. Now that does muddy the waters somewhat, but let’s see where this takes us.
Take a long hard look at Barnaby’s career and one struggles to find the signature ‘big’ achievement. It can’t be moving the pesticides regulator from Canberra to his own electorate, because that has no upside, at all. How about his run-in with Pistol and Boo. They were Johnny Depp’s adorable dogs, which Barnaby threatened to euthanase, if they didn’t leave the country immediately.
These examples could be used to illustrate his continuing efforts to set um standards, over a sustained period, but we would prefer positive outcomes, rather than embarrassing failures.
One achievement is singular, however, and it might just have led to an improvement in parliamentary standards, and also to the hope that we can all sleep soundly at night. That would be the ‘bonking ban’. I for one am absurdly grateful that the image of Barnaby, or one of his colleagues from the National Party actually bonking, is less likely to upset my sleep.
Lately Barnaby has expressed his belief that he is the popularly elected Deputy Prime Minister, notwithstanding his never having been elected to the role, but appointed, by his party. And there is the small matter of his having been deposed from that role. However, I hope and pray, every day, that Barnaby Joyce is never elected Prime Minister.