Oh No, Not You Again – Barnaby Eyes Nationals Leadership

Barnaby Joyce - coal

Barnaby Joyce – (they say the eyes are the mirror of the soul)

The Nationals are at it again and there’s a chance by the end of today Barnaby Joyce may be the party’s leader (again) – and Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister.

UPDATE: 9.15AM – Well, that was quick. ABC is reporting Michael McCormack will remains as National Party leader and David Littleproud is the new deputy; taking over from Bridget McKenzie.

Barnaby Thomas Gerard Joyce, currently the Nationals Member For New England, was leader of the National Party from February 2016 to February 2018. He was also Deputy Prime Minister of Australia from February 2016 to October 2017 and from December 2017 to February 2018.  He quit as deputy prime minister and Nationals leader in February 2018 as a result of stuff that really doesn’t need to be mentioned here.

Now he’s taking another crack at both roles. Just briefly, here’s where things are at:

Early yesterday, Barnaby Joyce said he would challenge for the Nationals leadership if there was a spill. Later in the day, Queensland backbencher Llew O’Brien said he would call for a spill of the leadership at today’s partyroom meeting.  Last night, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan called Nationals leader Michael McCormack offering his resignation from the frontbench and said he would back Mr Joyce’s push.

Here’s just a reminder of what we could expect from Mr. Joyce if he is successful in his efforts.

Barnaby Likes Coal

Mr. Joyce makes no secret of his affection for coal and coal-fired power generation. He was among those fondling the lacquered lump of coal Scott Morrison brought into Parliament in 2017.

During that year, he stated as coal fired power stations retire, they should be replaced by “better” coal power plants – or there should be substantial refurbishment of existing generators to extend their life.

In the lead-up to the Federal election last year, he called for a government-subsidised coal-fired power station in central Queensland. Then in September, Mr. Joyce reportedly auctioned off a lump of coal and a “Start Adani” t-shirt at the executive dinner held at the end of the Nationals Federal Council conference in Canberra.

Barnaby On Climate Change

With regard to climate change, Mr. Joyce imparted his wisdom on the topic in his 2019 Xmas message, which was a little different to the Queen’s – and not just because it had cows in it.

Barnaby On Wind Power

Mr. Joyce was one of the many politicians who said silly things about South Australia’s major blackout back in 2016; commenting that wind power didn’t work too well during the event. Neither did fossil-fuel powered electricity generation.

While Barnaby Joyce has provided token support for renewable energy from time to time, it always seems to be accompanied by stronger support for coal – or more recently, nuclear energy.

Australia has had its fair share of colourful politicians over the years and Barnaby Joyce is certainly among them. While these characters make for more interesting politics, we’re at a point now where clowning about just doesn’t cut it. The Nationals (again) tearing itself apart is just another distraction from more urgent matters.

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