Dear Murdoch media — you’re really pushing it this time

Nobody asked for Barnaby Joyce to become Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister — or did they?

Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce. Credit: 9News.

Faced with the umpteenth preventable outbreak of COVID from breaches in hotel quarantine, the Coalition government is quick to react with its tried and tested management strategy: the emergency cabinet reshuffle.

And away we go! Another spin on the carousel of old white dudes, deciding amongst themselves who gets to ride next on the unicorn sled, and — oh look, it’s Barnacles Joyce, back from the dead like an extra in the Zack Snyder cut of a Zack Snyder movie. Barnacles gets another shot to flaunt his flaccidity and his entrenched corporate interests — good for him!

With the federal election looming (is it ever not looming?), Barnacles brings a name and a face that voters in Queensland love. While no one can dispute that he has done a lot of good for his local community, what he has done for the collective psyche of the nation is the equivalent of finally kicking out your handsy, xenophobic uncle from your family’s monthly Saturday brunch, only to find out that he’s going to be your new — yet so very, very old — roommate.

Why does Australia feel the need to recycle the same five old white dudes until Rupert Murdoch decides to switch one out? It’s like casting Chris Pine in every movie — sure, everyone loves him for his good looks and his kowtowing to the mining sector, but there’s just something about seeing his face on national TV again that sends chills down every coral reef on the Pacific coast.

Peter Duck-The-Refugees, Scotty the Tim Tam Salesman, and Barnacles Joyce — is this the best line-up Australia can bring to face a mid-pandemic world on an authoritarian rebound? It can’t be. It can’t be for one simple reason: everything the Three Stooges do revolves around keeping themselves in power for our collective amusement, rather than doing their actual fucking jobs.

I would love, love, love to see a politician torpedo their own career because they dare to put their name on a progressive, controversial policy, risking their entire life’s work for the values they always said they stood for.

Obama did it with the Affordable Care Act and won; Julia Gillard did it with the Carbon Tax and lost; Gough Whitlam did it with, well, everything, and lost, but changed Australia as we know it — not to say for better or worse, just changed.

If all a politician thinks about is how to win the next election, then they will resurface again and again, like turds in a clogged toilet; they will resurface and strut around as if they own the place, contributing nothing of any worth to this country, backpedalling on every statement, every issue, making sure to offend no one and appealing to everyone that gives them money. That is, until Daddy Rupert finds someone younger, more electable, and easier to wield, and then — and only then — will they retire, and become a corporate lobbyist until the day they die.

These types of politicians are always around. But they don’t last forever.

Please torpedo your own career, Barnacles. Imagine a campaign poster with your smiling face next to the declaration, ‘I saved The Great Barrier Reef’ instead of ‘I saved Adani’s quarterly profit margin’.

People will remember you then — not for the complacent mouthpiece you have become, but for the good you have done.

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Adelaide University student magazine since 1932. Edited by Grace Atta, Habibah Jaghoori, Jenny Jung & Chanel Trezise. Get in touch:

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On Dit Magazine

On Dit Magazine

Adelaide University student magazine since 1932. Edited by Grace Atta, Habibah Jaghoori, Jenny Jung & Chanel Trezise. Get in touch:

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