Inbred Tomato strikes back!

As said previously, I hold little truck with probing pollies private lives but it’s out and now a major political issue for the Inbred Tomato so I’ve little choice. Alas for the Coalition, the gallivanting nightshade has struck back:

It was more a push than a out and out putsch but whatever it was called, the frenetic activity inside the Nationals that aimed to dislodge Barnaby Joyce this week has fizzled.

For now at least.

After enduring the most uncomfortable few days of his political career, the Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister stared down those inside his party calling for him to go over the shame caused by his extramarital affair with now-former staffer Vikki Campion.

The overriding reason was that a majority of Nationals know that Mr Joyce, when unblemished by scandal, is their best political asset.


  • he is blemished, and
  • if he’s their best asset then it’s time to disband.

More from The Australian:

Barnaby Joyce has been granted a temporary leadership reprieve after colleagues agreed to “let the dust settle” following a dramatic intervention by senior party figures led by Nationals president Larry Anthony.

After a tense 48-hour standoff, senior Nationals MPs fell in behind the Deputy Prime Minister to fend off a partyroom insurgency that continues to threaten Mr Joyce’s leadership.

Nationals MPs yesterday warned that the stay of execution “does not exonerate” Mr Joyce and said he would be “cooked” if further disclosures “from left field” emerged.

Mr Joyce stood firm in the face of the crisis triggered by his ­relationship with former staffer and mother of his unborn child Vikki Campion.

The Nationals leader is expected to serve as acting prime minister when Malcolm Turnbull travels to the US next Wednesday but may still decide to take personal leave to deal with family matters.

Now, I don’t want to upset the scarlet fruit but let me tell you what is coming next from the snowflake media. A non-stop drip-feed of ceaseless rumour and scandal, a bleeding and open wound that just won’t heal. It may have no idea how to hold pollies to account for poor policy, but today’s media knows how to squash then puree a socially unacceptable tomato.

To wit, from Domainfax:

A third of voters who backed Barnaby Joyce in December’s byelection have deserted the besieged Deputy Prime Minister, according to the first poll since his affair spilled into the public and triggered a political firestorm in Canberra.

And almost 50 per cent of respondents in Mr Joyce’s electorate think their MP should move to the backbench or resign from Parliament altogether, as the repercussions from his personal crisis hit home.

But rusted-on supporters of the Nationals leader are standing by their man, with one in four New England voters telling a ReachTEL poll commissioned by Fairfax Media that they are “more likely” to vote for Mr Joyce now they know about his affair with former staffer Vikki Campion.


Grassroots Nationals members had to foot the bill to pay Barnaby Joyce a salary for six weeks after the Deputy Prime Minister was thrown out of Parliament and lost his $416,000-a-year job.

Fairfax Media can reveal the previously undisclosed arrangement involved the use of party funds to give the Nationals leader a wage while he was campaigning to win the December 2 byelection triggered by the dual citizenship crisis.


When should the personal become public? It’s a question that journalists inside Parliament House canvass constantly, and one that has dogged the Barnaby Joyce scandal.

The people who put Mr Joyce in Parliament believe reporting his affair was in the public interest. A majority of New England voters – 55.1 per cent – have told a ReachTEL poll they agree or strongly agree the media was justified in publishing details about Mr Joyce’s relationship with former staffer Vikki Campion, who is now pregnant.

Expect much, much more.

So long as the Inbred Tomato is at his side, Malcolm Turnbull will henceforth be wearing female-repellent. For a government that wants to go to the polls in six months, alienating at least half of the electorate is not sound strategy.


  1. Mining BoganMEMBER

    The Nats had to pay him for his six weeks in the wilderness because he’s too stupid to fill in a registration form correctly while his floozy was getting paid to be on ‘stress’ leave so the voters couldn’t see she has a beetroot growing inside her. He does like this money thing.

    I can’t figure out why social media is telling us to lay off young Kelly Bundy. As far as I can see she has to be well aware of how much corrupt behavior is involved in growing beetroot. Hopefully baby beetroot grows up with both parents in jail and it gets a chance to grow up to a show champion.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      Says something about his greed and grasping nature that having been paid a monthly salary based on $400k pa since the last election or longer he can’t sustain himself for 6 weeks at his own expense …..
      ……that’s a lot of pumpkin scone and lammington drive party funds he has taken ( or maybe Malcolm put a word in that the nationals could afford it given his generous contribution towards the last election campaign ) …………….either way these are further grounds for him to go

  2. St JacquesMEMBER

    “As said previously, I hold little truck with probing pollies private lives….” boo hoo. Live by the sword, then die by the sword.

  3. The media keep focusing on the affair. That is not what is pissing the public off.

    It is the hypocrisy of pontificating about traditional family while having an affair, high paid public sector jobs that were specifically created for his mistress, the inland rail rort (where Barnaby Joyce looks set to make a mint personally), a free apartment from a dodgy millionaire mate (accused of trying to bribe Joyce’s opponent, Tony Windsor, from not running) and other issues.

    Barnaby reeks of old boy networking and corruption.

    • alterbrainMEMBER

      @Bobalot. Exactly so. @Jake who knows where publicity leads. If the media then discussed doubtful behaviour and focused on the policy implications it would go badly. If it focuses on Beet bonking, then the public will just say ‘leave him alone’, ‘it’s private’, or some will even think he’s a hero (q.v. Trump).

      • Exactly. Barnaby said he couldnt vote for same sex marriage because it went against the sanctity of marriage, then he trashed his own marriage with this affair and made himself a liar and a hypocrite.

    • This. Well said Bobalot. They continue to trash whatever faith remains in the high offices they hold.

    • The headline in the New York Times nails it: “Politician’s affair puts spotlight on Australia’s crony culture”.

    • No wonder Abbott, Barnaby, and Stuart Roberts and Co do not want a Federal ICAC
      There are so many bodies buried .
      Just before the last election a friend was yarning over the back fence to his neighbour who is a plumbing contractor near the new England electorate.
      The plumber was a bit glum.
      when asked by my friend (his neighbor ) “why so glum”, the plumber said he was flat out with work for all his crews, when he got a message from Barnaby urgently requiring all his work force to go to the New England electorate to do a long list of maintainence work on schools and hospitals that had been promised and scheduled before the last election.
      “He said there was $60 grand in my back pocket if I sent my men up to New England” the plumber told my friend.

      • network map | member centre

        The power of one
        The man who says he doesn’t like Liberals could turn John Howard’s dreams into a nightmare, Jason Koutsoukis reports.

        It takes seven hours to drive the 525 kilometres west from
        But leaning back in his rural accountancy practice in the heart of this prosperous Queensland farming district, Joyce is adamant the Nationals won’t be kicked around any more.

        “If the vote on Telstra was tomorrow, would I vote for it? No way. Not a chance.”

        Looking up with pride at an autographed portrait of former Queensland premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Joyce says the Nationals have to better represent country people.

        “Why are the Liberals so shocked at what I am saying on Telstra? It’s my party’s policy, for goodness sake. Why should I represent the Liberal view? I’m in the National Party and we have an alternative view.”

        Joyce says he will take a lot of convincing to change his mind on Telstra, especially if Communications Minister Helen Coonan is doing the talking.

        “Helen is so typical of that Liberal elite from Sydney’s eastern suburbs whose main view of the world is the harbour. Just completely out of touch with working rural Australia,” he says.

        Joyce relates the last time Coonan tried to get in touch with him. “I picked up the phone the other day and this very superior sounding woman from Helen’s office told me that ‘Senator Coonan will be on the Sunshine Coast at the weekend’ and would I like to pop down and see her,” he says, his tall frame shaking with laughter.

        “Well, no, I couldn’t just ‘pop’ down. It’s a nine-hour drive from here to the Sunshine Coast. Did she think I had nothing to do for the next three days?

        “Coonan has the ministerial jet, she is on the public purse, and she wants my vote on Telstra – I don’t want anything from her – and yet here she is between sessions at the opera and her beloved French restaurants telling me to drop everything to rush to see her. The arrogance is breathtaking.”

        He’s sick of being jumped on by Liberals for expressing party policy. “They want to kick me out of the Coalition. They say I’m unsophisticated, irrelevant and they are going to wipe me out. If your wife told you that, you’d be asking for a divorce.”

        So who is this enigmatic figure who has emerged from nowhere to loom as gatekeeper to the Federal Government’s legislative agenda?

        “People say I’m a maverick. Wrong. A maverick is someone who represents himself – not a constituency… anyone who thinks I am going to become an independent like Bob Katter has completely misread me.

        “I have not joined the Nationals to tear them down. I am passionate about this party – and the conservative Coalition – and I am going to help rebuild the National Party by standing up for the things our supporters – working rural people – believe in.”

        The issues that top his list of priorities are: getting the same phone services for the same price in the country as in the cities, different tax rates for people in regional zones, ethanol in every petrol tank, and weakening the power of Coles and Woolworths.

        “That’s what the 324,000 people who voted for me want. So get used to hearing about it.”

        Joyce also wants to emphasise his different in style to other Nationals, such as fellow Queenslander Ron Boswell who he believes is a “lost cause”.

        “Bosi’s way of doing things are over, I’m afraid. We can’t afford to run around like puppy dogs panting that we get things done ‘because I’m friends with John Howard’. Country people want to see a little more muscle. You think Black Jack McEwen and Doug Anthony ran around fawning over Robert Menzies and Malcolm Fraser?”

        Barnaby Thomas Gerard Joyce, 38, grew up in the northern NSW township of Danglemah. His father, James Joyce, was a New Zealander who moved to Australia to study veterinary science at Sydney University where he met Barnaby’s mother, Marie, and they made their living as farmers.

        “My father was injured in the Second World War, and he came to Sydney on a scholarship,” Joyce says. The Joyce family has a proud history of military service. His grandfather John landed at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915, and finished World War I on the Western Front. He also fought in the Second World War, and in between the wars served as bodyguard to the future King Edward VIII. Barnaby served in the Army Reserve.

        One of six children – he has four brothers and a sister – Joyce describes his upbringing as austere and intellectually rigorous – “totally enthused by each other’s company, they ooze brains. The family home was wall-to-wall books. Every dinner time a political argument of some kind.”

        His parents’ politics are different to his own. His mother would vote for Kim Beazley before John Howard – Joyce says she believes Howard has brought Australia down – and both his parents are staunch republicans whereas he is a monarchist.

        On social issues too he is more conservative. “I’m a strong Catholic. I’m anti-abortion, I’m anti death penalty and I’m going to be standing up for conservative family values.”

        By the time he was born, Joyce’s parents could afford to send him to boarding school and they chose Riverview, the exclusive Catholic boys school in Sydney. “It helped me in many ways. I was very good at rugby, I made friends, but I knew that I was not that kind of person. I didn’t have much in common with that privileged class of people. It will help me get into the Canberra groove, but… really, the Liberals remind me of Riverview.”

        He studied accountancy at the University of New England in Armidale, where he met his wife Natalie, who is part Lebanese. Joyce’s parents were against their marriage. “I remember entering the church to be married and on her side every pew was taken by family and friends. On my side only two pews were taken. None of my family came… It was very hard to take at the time, but I always kept the door open and now that is far behind us. We are fully reconciled.”

        After graduation, Joyce moved around northern NSW and southern Queensland – working for a time as a nightclub bouncer in Moree, which earned him 26 stitches on his face, and later as a rural banker in Charleville – before settling in St George eight years ago.

        “It’s remote here, only 3000 people and 200 kilometres from the nearest town. But my wife fell in love with the place so we decided to hang out the shingle and see what happened. We had no money. My desk was a hand-me-down from St Vincent de Paul, the chair a Westpac Bank reject. But we worked hard. We’ve made a good living.”

        He and Natalie have four daughters, and live in the house they built behind his office – an old bank building.

        Joyce joined the Nationals in 1995, and has hankered for a life in politics. The 2001 election was his third as a candidate. This time he got lucky.

        “Now I just can’t wait to get my hands dirty. This is an exciting time for people in rural Queensland. I hope I can live up to their investment in me.

        “I may not succeed, but I’m going to give it everything I have.”

        Can’t imagine why his hypocrisy would be an issue either…

      • @ everyman
        “Looking up with pride at an autographed picture of Joh Bjelke-Pieterson…”
        Barnaby’s hero another great retail politician… brown paper bags and a mistresses
        strewn about the countryside.
        Unlike Joh, Barnaby may still go to prison over the Murray- Darling Water debacle.
        Keep him in place.
        I grew up in Joh’s Qld. , a very repressive/ corrupt regime.

    • Barnaby reeks of old boy networking and corruption.

      In 2007 Keating accurately described him as “Joh Junior”. This affair and associated dodgy behaviour around giving his mistress a series of well paid jobs is enough to make any future allegations stick in the minds of voters.

  4. GunnamattaMEMBER

    Taking a look at pollies private lives may be uncomfortable but we are long past the point where it is fairly obvious they trade on our disinclination to do so.

    Shunting a media advisor he is in a relationship with to another Minister (Canavan), and then another (Drum) who has already said he thought the relationship had ended, while this was agreed to by the PM’s office and was OK in view of Ministerial guidelines because she was not Barnaby’s ‘partner’ is nothing short of spurious.

    When the entire mainstream media could not bring itself to even mention the issue when Barnaby was up for re-election in the wake of his stand on ‘family values’ vis SSM and the breakdown of his marriage, or that his wife was sent a family Christmas card to approve by Barnaby’s office and replied ‘you have got to be kidding’ there is an argument that Australia’s media has become a vehicle for sheltering the lives of politicians – or are essentially just the PR outfits we know them to be.

    The real story – and this will be ugly – is that Barnaby is far from Robinson Crusoe in playing touchy feely with a staffer, and many of them do sort out little gigs for the other parties. It is also, in the age of #metoo worth thinking about Harvey Weinstein types with power over others (the ultimate aphrodisiac) and their ability (in government, in organisations of all sorts, and across the corporate world) to shelter behind that same ‘leave private lives alone’ mindset.

    Sure, looking at their lives (indeed almost anyones lives) may be ugly. But that doesnt mean there isnt some great ugliness taking place. And when these people are elected on their public narrative and make decisions affecting the public who elect them, simply looking away may not always be the best look either.

    We seem to be stepping away from private lives in the context of social welfare and the use of cards. If its for theirs and the public purses good maybe we could microchip politicians and devise an app for their families and the public to know where they are in real time.

    • “Sure, looking at their lives (indeed almost anyones lives) may be ugly” that’s not even true though – most people’s private lives are very pedestrian – just go on Instagram.

      In the 21st century it’s time we stop accepting that scum rises to top – it might, but we can scrape it off…

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        …and that for mine is about the level it all leads to.

        Does a BJ lead to the outlay of public funds?

        Does a BJ influence a decision made by a publically elected official?

        Should a BJ be identified on the gifts and perquisites register?

        Does a BJ relate in any way to a public position articulated by an elected official in relation to their voting intentions or the perception of others vis their voting intentions?

        Is the outlay of politicians entitlements related to their accessing BJs or political work? (has the public paid for the abode in which the BJ is exchanged?)

        If an elected official uses the word ‘c.nnilingus’ in a conversation with a fellow elected official, an employee of the State or a voter in an electorate which they represent, is this an attempt to gain a BJ (or other identifiable benefit on the register) or is it in the public interest (and therefore political work)

        Do we have some sort of valuation ratio?  How many BJs=a Roger Ramjjet? How many tonguies, hand holds, thigh caresses, exchanged glances, bum pats, cheek pecks = a BJ?  How many RR or BJs = a public decision influencing ability?

        We could form a Federal Commission and slap Robert Doyle onto it (he is after a new gig)

        It is ugly. But if our politicians are sexually promiscuous psychopaths with a penchant for hypocrisy, and our media is their fig leaf, what should we do?

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        “Should a BJ be identified on the gifts and perquisites register?”

        That would depend if it was any good, or even wanted,…what about returned BJs,… does that cancel the other one out?
        Or for example, says a particular mining billion, gives a Deputy Prime Minister an unwanted BJ whilst he is passed out & intoxicated at her harbour side mansion post fundraising function,….would that have to be noted on this gifts register?

        The more I think about it,…the more I think yes,…its time to demand a Royal Commission , to get the codification of proper sexual shenanigans, etiquette correct.

      • What kind of Metadata exists, in relation to Blow jobs?

        Well, according to George Brandis, nothing all that useful or intrusive is in the metadata – only who, when, where and how long for.

        The rest you’d need to use your imagination for…

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      “When the entire mainstream media could not bring itself to even mention the issue when Barnaby was up for re-election in the wake of his stand on ‘family values’”


      “there is an argument that Australia’s media has become a vehicle for sheltering the lives of politicians – or are essentially just the PR outfits we know them to be”

      “the entire mainstream media could not bring itself to even mention the issue ”
      Well,..this is the case with Myriad policy issues also, often do we hear the “Mainstream” talk about widespread discontent with Mass immigration or the Seizing and ReNationalisation of rentseaking utility and Essential services, cartels and monolopies.
      Corporate PR propagandists the lot of them,…both from the Right and the PC “Left”.

      I deal with 100s of customers per year, across wide a demographic diversity, and always talk politics, it’s almost universal, the feeling of being unrepresented, by both Politicians and the Media.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        Last night I went around to a guy about my wifes computer. While he reloaded a corrupted windows 10 we had a yack about the state of the world – triggered when he mentioned he had had an upsurge in computer issues coming to him after a power blackout down here a few weeks ago, and he observed about how utterly stupid it is that with gas resources like Australia should have the worlds most expensive electricity. While putting him onto MB I mentioned how the gas gouge worked, and then we drifted onto house prices and he started first with the observation about immigration, and I added thoughts about the banks and debt expansion and how the worlds most indebted people have created the worlds most expensive houses. From there it was ‘what are we leaving for our kids’.

        It isnt isolated. It isnt just a few cranks here at Macrobusiness. There may not be much thought about what the appropriate answers may be, but everyone I come into contact with is generally pretty aware of much the same issues which get chewed over weekly here, and perfectly aware that our politicians are as pernicious a pack of arseholes which has ever run a nation into the ground anywhere.

        ……we concluded by sharing the escape plans we were half crafting for our kids. I’ve pretty much made sure mine speak another language and can go and live elsewhere with relative ease. When the time comes I will send them offshore (and probably go with them) and tell them not to look back. For them Australia represents a choice of being a lifetime patsy, and crafting themselves into being the biggest arseholes in the valley to try and get above the patsies.

        ….and as a Russian mate once observed ‘A dictatorship is pretty easy to live in if you know you can get out at any time and know that you have a few options on the other side of the exit door’.

        Thats what Australia has become – a dictatorship of dullards

  5. Reprieve but not status quo ante. Joyce breathed the publicity and has been thrilled with his media profile. It’s to be seen – and hoped- that the media and public reaction destroys him in every possible way so he is destitute.

  6. As the wonderful Andrew Elder points out, the hypercritical handringing by the media over the Barnaby case is pretty nauseating.
    And the fact they waited until after the by election is a complete failure in their job and you could argue even somewhat corrupt.

    Press gallery journalists have screwed up sitting on this until after he was reelected, causing an massive waste of time and money.

  7. pyjamasbeforechristMEMBER

    When did BJ end it with his wife exactly? (When did she know it was over)
    And when did BJ start it with his staffer exactly?

    Was there an overlap? If so for how long?

    If it’s none or very minimal I can give him a ‘lifes complicated’ pass

    But if it was going on for months and he was lying to his wife and kids about it, then that goes to his honesty in general and should not be leading us (as he is probably cheating on us too).

      • People who have affairs on their partners irritate the hell out of me.

        Have the guts to finish one relationship before you start another. Not doing so makes them a cheat, a liar and a coward.

  8. The response of Drum saying he thought it had ended, if true, reads like this may have only been the last of many cases of staffers getting shuffled around to keep everyone quiet and happy.

  9. proofreadersMEMBER

    “So long as the Inbred Tomato is at his side, Malcolm Turnbull will henceforth be wearing female-repellent.”

    And the lingering whiff of a soiled baby nappy?

  10. I like the way they want him as they think he’s the best retail salesman, ie the best at lying to dumb voters

  11. I am not fan of Barnaby Joyce, but the “inbred tomato” name you have given him is really really lame. It takes away from the professionalism of the site, and I cringe every time I read it.

    Someone on Twitter called him the “Beetrooter”, which has been picked up by SMH, and if you want to run with something more appropriate but which still pokes fun, go with that.

  12. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Rubbish! He’s just proven to the people that he is a real Aussie bloke who loves to get a bit of extra on the side. He’s not a nerdy softc0ck politician as one would expect, he’s a champ. Good on him!

  13. Here I stand, in over crowded trained, traveling to a place of work that has not awarded a pay rise, to a company that pays no tax but demands to pay less. Reading about beetrooter and his $416000 gifted salary and cronyism. The politicians disconnect from the great unwashed is massive.

    • Yep, gonna be great to enter the election cycle with this lame duck Nats leader with all the as yet undiscussed scandals in his wake.

  14. Time to turn the life support off! Postmortem on whose call it was to withhold information from his electorate before they voted. Probe Canavans veracity. Extensively probe the whole nepotist/crony rabbit burrow for that matter!

  15. Terror Australis

    He can have a conga line of pregnant 18 year old girlfriends for all I care.
    Makes not one iota of difference to my life.
    Of course there is the contradiction of behavior vs rhetoric from the so-called “family values” party leader,
    but it’s common knowledge that Conservatives are generally Moral Hypocrites. So quel surprise.

    The ONLY thing worth spilling digital ink on is whether taxpayer money was abused in creating highly paid “make work” positions for the woman.

    I also doubt that this has much impact on the Nats women vote.
    As white ladies in the US who voted for the Pussy-Grabber-in-Chief demonstrated clearly in 2016, cognitive dissonance is alive and well in polarized modern politics.

  16. The Liberals must be hanging their heads in despair at this. The Nats have always been like an annoying little brother to them and they would rather be rid of them if they could. I bet there are more then a few planning on redoing the coalition agreement post-next election.

  17. Whenever and wherever he makes a public appearance, voters should be flinging condoms at him. (still packaged please. show a little class).

    • Has Dictator Flawse approached you for his PR director? You’re coming up with some good tacics – Effective without brutality!

      • Not yet.
        I wait in anticipation.
        Footage of condoms (in their packaging) flying around and hitting the Tomato/Beet would be lapped up by the media and shown on all the news.

        I might email Ansell to propose they make a commemorative condom for all National Party voters.

        It will be pale white in colour but will turn red once rolled on and have a neatly punched out hole at the business end.
        The base rim will be etched with “For those about to be shafted”.

  18. Examination of politicians private lives is fair enough when politicians use their families and even homes as props for electoral success. When you campaign against gay marriage because it will undermine conservative values which seem to espouse but are a lying, philandering hypocrite using public money to stay in Canberra where your second partner lives then it is a failure of the mainstream press not to report it. A photo of your pregnant new partner on the front page is no worse than a mock up of a PM as a Nazi. Julia Gillards private life was subject to lots of conservative politician talk and press. Barnaby’s coverage is no worse. He will be the acting PM next week. He was deputy PM and had been deputy PM before. He is the leader of the Nationals. His character as a philanderer is relevant to making a choice of whether he is a person you would vote for. The problem will probably get worse as his place of residence during his taxpayer stays in Canberra and his and her travel expenses are examined.

    • adelaide_economist

      Yep. According to barnaby he was living in an ‘apartment’ and definitely not luxury. I suggest that the details of this apartment are already available online and the words luxury and townhouse would be very apt descriptors. Yes he wants us to think he’s slumming it post marriage breakdown but that’s (surprise) a very distorted perspective. Then again, he hangs with Gina a lot so maybe his idea of luxury is pretty distorted to begin with.

  19. Big cheques from Gina, water rort cover ups for the mates, dodgy land acquisition, salaries from party members . This is all totally unacceptable. Dastyari had to go for showing poor judgement but Barnaby is somehow exempt. it’s different for the Coalition because they are born to rule obviously. As for the affair thats a non event, the media need to focus on the corruption we are seeing displayed here. Squash the tomato

  20. Corman to be acting PM. Joyce takes the pay but not the job of Deputy. Well he needs a break to work out his nefarious life.