Time Up For Barnaby Joyce

21 February, 2018

At the present time, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is going through the horrors. But it is not just his affair with a staff member that has caught media and public attention, it is his history as a National Party member and party leader, and his antagonism to anything “environmental”. This history exposes what the National Party stands for. 

This letter is all about how My Joyce has broken his oath (his contract) with the Australian people, has ignored the public interest, and has ignored his duty as an elected official.

“To well and truly serve the people of Australia …"

Barnaby Joyce MP                                                                                                                     21 February 2018
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives 
Parliament House
Canberra    ACT 2600

Mr Joyce

I have often suggested to my friends to write to politicians if they are aggrieved by an action, an utterance, a policy, or just plain stupidity. They don’t do it. Maybe because it takes a bit of effort, and a postage stamp. Maybe because they know their letters will most likely not be read by the adressee. And that’s the problem. Lip service to “we are listening to you”. Trust has gone.

You are 50, I am 68. So here’s my letter to you, and if you don’t see it with your eyes, then this is why it will be placed on LetterstoLeaders.com.au. Posterity is a good thing. 

So, for years I have been watching your behaviour and comments on television, or hearing a quick grab on radio. Some people like this sort of rubbish and insincerity. Obviously a number in your party do. I do not. I have been appalled at the stance you have taken on so many issues. An environmental wrecking-ball.

I don’t give two hoots about your relationship with a former staffer. But I do care a lot about how my country is continually being assaulted by mad ideological policies designed to favour the wealthy, the greedy, and the powerful. I reject totally your contempt for anything “environmental”. You know what I mean. Here are a few examples to refresh your memory;

  • your and your party’s rejection of climate science is the rotten core of Australia’s environment
  • your and your party’s incomprehensible and illogical support for Galilee Basin coal mining, knowing that this activity is so destructive, not only to Australia’s environment but to the people of the countries where this coal is destined
  • endorsement of the NAIF loan to Adani, an organisation exposed of corruption, destruction, and criminal activity (ref. https://adanifiles.com.au/)
  • support for logging of native forests that destroyed habitat of the critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possum, and further pushing the species on the road to extinction
  • your resistance of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, and your disdain for “greenies” (whatever that mob is) via your Shepparton pronouncement to stop “greenies running the show”.
  • your scorn about environmental flows for the Murray-Darling system 
  • your absurd statement that charitable status of environmental groups is destroying the economy
  • your love affair with “big, yellow things pushing dirt around”, in reference to the construction of illegal and massive water storages for cotton farming

And the list goes on. Policy failure on all fronts.

Other reported incidents, all on the public record, tell yet another story. For example, a Rinehart “prize” of  $40,000 for being a “champion of industry” (returned by yourself of course), or a rent-free apartment, or multiple false claims of travel “entitlements”, false “overseas study” claims, or whatever other benefit of which there are many. And then there’s your absurd unilateral decision to relocate Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) to Armidale. And again, the list goes on. We, the taxpayer, fund all this, and you don’t give two hoots.

But there is one truth. An oath is a quid pro quo contract. It is a promise, and you made a promise to the people of Australia with your hand on the Bible.

You have broken your contract with the people of Australia. 

You have broken your oath of office, where you swore to “well and truly serve the people of Australia”. Your record demonstrates that you have not well and truly served in your office as Deputy Prime Minister, nor in your ministerial portfolios. This has been demonstrated. You have been very selective about who receives favours, which wealthy person gets access to whatever, which corporation gets an easy path for greater profits. All at the expense of the environment, a word so toxic that its utterance in the National Party and in the Liberal Party curls up the lips of the sayer. A word rarely, if ever, mentioned in a National Party policy. This is your responsibility.

The public interest has been ignored by yourself, dismissed as a nuisance, a thorn in the side of “growth”. Look at section 6.1 in the Statement of Ministerial Standards. Perhaps you feel you are immune from that. But here it is;

6.1. Ministers are expected to conduct all official business on the basis that they may be expected to demonstrate publicly that their actions and decisions in conducting public business were taken with the sole objective of advancing the public interest.

Sure, there’s that bureaucratic term “may”, an excuse to avoid accepted and expected norms, but look again at “… the sole objective of advancing the public interest”. Whilst the general media is transfixed on your private life, the other side of the public interest issue is ignored. This is the side that involves the environment and climate change, which have become victims of resistance to law and ego-ideological paradigms about “jobs and growth”. Never a more spurious mantra has emanated from the curled lips of politicians. 

Your version of public interest that favours a few is not my version, which is about all of us, the general public, the environment, our grandchildren, the future. Yours, and your government’s, is a poisonous “public interest".

Your totally contrary statements about the prosecution of Murray-Darling water thieves on the one hand and “giving water back to irrigators to stop greenies” on the other, is either political hackery or blatant hypocrisy. Maybe both. 

Thank goodness NSW’s ICAC is now investigating the actions of two former National Party water ministers in that state. 

What is more frightening and galling is the coterie of favoured people, the elites, the capitalists, the greedy, that have but one purpose. Money. And the environment gets trashed. To hell with the future. And you are a part of this. Remember, wherever capitalism goes, environmental destruction follows.

Now, you might think that here’s another ‘green leftie’, but you do not know me, and what a ridiculous tag to give someone who really cares about the environment we live in, who for decades has lived a true sustainable life, who rejects destructive political ideology. 

Australia has a list of neglected environmental issues and stupid decisions stretching back decades. Labor, Liberal, National, now One Nation, and sometimes the Greens … all responsible, each irresponsible. Whilst people in political parties toy around with personal advantage and point-scoring, all-consuming as it surely must be, the REAL work about repair of Australia’s degraded landscapes and declining biodiversity, and poor inland water condition, is not funded, all forgotten as expendable and extractive resources. This is the great tragedy.

I have witnessed enough political clap-trap in the past 10 years to last a life-time. I, like so many others, shake my head and wonder who we have put into parliament to represent us, to uphold the public interest, and to well and truly serve us. We are all looking for so much better, but it never comes. So, we will go to where we will be honestly and truly served in the name of the public interest. 

Australian politics is like the inner core of an apple affected by codling moth; the grub enters from outside, the rot starts on the inside, and it stays there hidden away, until it is opened up. Parliament has to undergo the same opening up to expose the rot. Political parties likewise. Our democracy is at stake, and you have been a part of it.

Mr Joyce, it’s time to go. You have had your time, the nation does not need you. 

Here’s what you can do.

Become a martyr, be the first and achieve great fame not infamy. 

Say you’re profoundly sorry to the Australian people for not well and truly serving them. Apologise for breaking their trust and for not advancing the public interest as a sole objective. Announce that for your remaining days on this planet you will do everything you possibly can to reverse the destructive decisions you have participated in and to restore Australia’s degraded landscapes and biodiversity condition. 
And finally, announce to your National Party that environmental values and good development can go hand-in-hand and that change must happen if the party is to be relevant in the 21st century. 

Will you become a martyr? Will a new Barnaby Joyce emerge as the great repairer of Australia’s environment?

I look forward to your reply.

A very concerned citizen

Des Menz

© Des Menz 2014-18
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