Politics

Barnaby Joyce Is Still Blaming Everyone Else For His Affair

On one hand, fair enough. On the other, don't fuck your staffers.

Barnaby Joyce

The first week after your baby has arrived is a joyous time. It’s your first chance to meet the little one who’s about to change your life, it’s a time to bond, and, in the case of our former Deputy Prime Minister, it’s a chance to go on national TV to whine about how hard your life is.

In case you missed the news, Barnaby Joyce and his partner Vikki Campion welcomed little baby Sebastian into the world last week. He’s Joyce’s fifth child and Campion’s first, and he’s already been on more front pages than anyone should be in a lifetime.

And Joyce — who is definitely still not mad about being forced to resign — decided to celebrate by going on the ABC last night to complain about how hard his life is.

The former Deputy Prime Minister reckons politicians should be allowed to hire their partners to work for them, in order to make life a little easier. He said it’s “insane” that MPs can’t hire their loved ones if they’re qualified to do the job.

“Canberra is a weird place,” he said. “It’s like a big old boarding school up on a hill in the middle of Canberra… and we should be allowing partners as much as possible to be there as well. Otherwise you have this dysfunctional dichotomy where you have one life in Canberra, another life at home…[and] after a decade it just does not work and things fall apart. I don’t want that to happen again.”

It’s currently against the rules for politicians to hire partners or close relatives. Some MPs skirt this rule by having their partners work in the offices of colleagues. Campion, for example, worked as a media advisor in the offices of two of Joyce’s colleagues while their affair was ongoing.

But look, Joyce is probably right about some of the unique challenges faced by interstate politicians and their families. They’re constantly flying to Canberra from their home states or travelling around the country, they face a lot of public pressure and often receive a lot of unwanted attention from the media.

But on the other hand, don’t fuck your staffers.

There are plenty of options open to politicians who want to keep their marriages from falling apart.

They already receive generous allowances which mean they’re not out of pocket when travelling interstate. They also receive a family reunion allowance to help them spend time with their families and balance their work and family responsibilities.

A backbencher’s salary is just shy of $200,000 a year, which means there should be enough cash left over to fly the family to Canberra every now and then. At the time Joyce began his affair with Campion, he was earning $400,000 a year.

And if you’re really, really struggling, you’re always able to give politics away altogether. But Barnaby made his choices.