Barnaby Joyce

Joyce: to the world

When Barnaby Joyce wasn’t making a complete turkey of himself with his stance on Student Unions today he was reinventing the conservative movement in a speech to the National Press Gallery.

Given that my political bias is in the conservative direction (who’d have thunk it…) I was interested in what he had to say. It was intelligent and articulate – unlike his education efforts.

I’ve mentioned before (I think) that I have tremendous respect for Joyce based largely on an interview I did with him in my uni student days.

Here are some highlights, it’s a long speech and worth a read.

On the nature of politics

Playing only to the centre however has its dangers. In the desire to be opaque, lukewarm, inoffensive and passionately politically tepid, there are flanks that open up to the left and to the right of the centre.

The Labor Party strategy is very adroit in that their flank is covered by their able lieutenant, the Greens, who orchestrate political pas de deuxs on issues where it is inconceivable that the right could outflank them on the far left. “

On Climate Change

Let’s look at a current issue that clearly shines a spotlight on this problem. I believe there is a paradox that the conservatives can represent a voter who in the same breath could be skeptical without ruling out the role of the Government being responsible for bringing about moral good, so coherently believes in small tax and small government, yet also believes in a social program tax, such as the emissions trading scheme to haunt us all with its battalions of bureaucratic tin gods on the quest for Australia to cool the planet.

While conservative voters will care for the environment, they may divide on how to best achieve that outcome. Many conservatives question whether an ETS, a tax, should be placed on businesses regardless of whether they are profitable or not, and regardless of whether the proposition put forward has any efficacy on what it wishes to achieve, global cooling.

On the budget/debt

I have never seen anything so peculiar as the exit strategy that was handed forth in the little orange book by Mr Swan in the last stimulus package. Basically what we had was two bullet points that said when things get better we will pay the money back. I never knew it was so easy. If I have to go back to accountancy I will try this out on sundry bank managers. I will sit on behalf of my client on the other side of the bank manager’s desk and say “you see Mr Smith of the bank, Mrs Jones will pay you back that $2m she owes you when things get better”. In the past I have always found this slightly more difficult than what was proposed to me by the Treasurer. Paying back debt should be the absolute primary motivation for this current government.

On crossing the floor

You know, it doesn’t make the news in the United States when some senator crosses the floor, but you know, you’d think the sky would fall in which case, in my case, it must have fallen 28 times.
But life goes on and I think a great sort of – you know, if we could just – the source of this problem was that the Labor Party with Fisher, decided the one-in, all-in approach so they emasculated the process of the Senate.

Young Socialists United

Barnaby Joyce is a funny guy. Most of the time. Like today. He told this seriously funny joke about the proposal to reintroduce compulsory uni fees… he’s fine with it. Provided the universities can only spend the money on sport. Because heaven forbid anybody on university campuses being politically aware. Perhaps, just perhaps, he should talk to Peter Costello and others on his side of the fence who had their political appetite’s whetted by campus activism.

Here’s his problem with the current proposal:

“There’s nothing to stop those with a political bent setting up a club or setting up an institution and using that as a mechanism of sorts for ciphering funds to themselves,” he said.

Being opposed to the “ciphering of funds” for political purposes is one thing – but his objections simply create a loophole where every politically motivated student on campus will either start, or join, a team of like minded individuals in one of these new fangled sporting teams.

The best bit about that will be when young Labor play the young libs on the football field. It’ll be like the Cripps and the Bloods all over again.

Joyce on Lateline

I fluctuate between being mildly annoyed by Barnaby Joyce and admiring him. I interviewed him as a journalism student for a story on a topic that I can’t remember – possibly VSU and its potential effect on campus life – and he gave me about 15 minutes of his time – for an interview being broadcast on community radio 4EB – a bulletin only parents of journalism students listen to.

He seems pretty down to earth – and is quite genuine about his Christian faith. His maiden speech to parliament is worth a read.

Joyce was on Lateline last night. Hot on the heels of the launch of his Liberal colleague’s Godwin’s Law breaking efforts yesterday.

Tony Jones challenged him on his “denier” status and Turnbull’s stance on increasing the target for carbon reduction.

Here’s my one of my favourite Joyce moments on the Emissions Trading Scheme white paper:

Well, what I see is the – something that looks like the Magna Carta, the Old Testament and ‘War and Peace’, wrapped up in a piece of policy called the white paper. I know that that’s gonna cost about 50,000 mining jobs in Queensland, 165,000 other associated workers. I can’t accept that Queensland and Australia shouldn’t accept that. Malcolm Turnbull’s put forward a process of trying to design a way so that we don’t toss these people out onto the street. And that’s what it’s gonna do. If people have a moral position that they believe in an ETS, that’s fine: let their job be the first one to go.

Preach it brother.

It’s a great interview – and well worth a read, it covers a wide range of topics and Joyce is forthright in his answers.

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