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.