Australia

‘Let me finish’: Barnaby shot down in fiery exchange

It was an episode about respect for women. but as one viewer highlighted, Q&A panellist Barnaby Joyce managed to cut off his female counterparts 12 times in two minutes on the show. “You can’t make this up,” the viewer exclaimed of Monday’s episode featuring a panel described as “lively” by host Hamish Macdonald.It was so…

It was an episode about respect for women. but as one viewer highlighted, Q&A panellist Barnaby Joyce managed to cut off his female counterparts 12 times in two minutes on the show.

“You can’t make this up,” the viewer exclaimed of Monday’s episode featuring a panel described as “lively” by host Hamish Macdonald.

It was so lively – if not downright fiery – that some viewers said they wanted to punch Mr Joyce, a Nationals MP who had a relationship with his former press secretary Vikki Campion.

One person concluded the show on the back of last week’s Four Corners national furore over sexual relationships in Canberra “would have been much better without Barnaby”.

At one point in the program when writer Jane Caro was speaking, former Labor MP Emma Husar interjected with, “Barnaby, be quiet!” to which Caro added, “It is my turn to talk” and the pair were met with resounding applause.

RELATED: ‘There are others’: Joyce’s shock sex claim

It was one of several times Ms Husar shot down Mr Joyce on the show, taking a no holds barred approach.

Ms Husar, who was forced to resign from her federal western Sydney after sexual assault allegations and bullying and harassment claims from staff, started by saying what we’d seen play out over the last week showed women were held to a completely different set of standards to men.

She immediately highlighted Mr Joyce’s case and he wasn’t happy about it.

“Obviously Barnaby’s case as well, is that women will be judged by a different set of standards. They will be told to abide by a different set of rules than the men,” she said.

She said if the Liberal Party were saying that politicians such as Mr Joyce, Alan Tudge and Christian Porter were “meritorious selection, we’ve got a problem”.

Immigration Minister Alan Tudge was forced to apologise after confessing to an extramarital affair with former senior press secretary Rachelle Miller, while Attorney-General Christian Porter has denied claims he had done anything untoward with a staffer following last week’s Four Corners episode.

“It is galling to watch these mean continue in their jobs,” she said.

“Continue to go forward and to lead our country, when – you know, in Tudge’s case – he got caught with his pant’s down, Barnaby is the same. The jury is still out on Porter. Mine was all over innuendo. There was a man that was wielding that agenda because I’d fired him.

“A man who felt privileged, who felt like he was entitled to his job, even though he was underperforming, didn’t get his way in fair work, didn’t get his way when he tried to extort me, so went down the path of – you know, getting the media to be complicit in his actions, which – you know, has had lasting ramifications on my life. And I’ve not worked since. “

She said while she wasn’t wishing anything bad for those men, she was asking “what the hell is this?”

“We can’t put a woman out there and hang her out to dry on rumour and innuendo when we have got behaviour that is clearly outside at least some standard of basic integrity going on while we allow this to happen to a woman,” she said.


Mr Joyce went on to say he was “disappointed” in Ms Husar for what she said and he was not apologetic for what happened to her because it was what the Labor Party did that was appalling.

“I think she was treated incredibly poorly,” he said.

But Ms Husar shot back, “You didn‘t call that out at the time, Barnaby. I remember your party and the government of the day weaponising what I was going through. And making it worse.”

He said he was different to Ms Husar in that he accepted he did something that was wrong.

“I would say morally wrong, in that my marriage [was] breaking down, but that is not a judgment for another politician,” he said.

“If it’s illegal, it is a judgment for police. If it is something else, it is a judgment for priest or pastor … it’s not the job of another politician or a person who’s not the police or some sort of moral guidance counsellor to be in judgment of you.

“I’m not in judgment of you, Emma. I do find it a little bit galling that you open your sort of narration with one of the meritorious selection of myself because I most certainly never, ever did that to you.”

Mr Joyce said he didn’t want anybody flushed down the toilet like he or Ms Campion were and told Ms Husar to wait for him to finish his sentence, which soon prompted a tense back and forth.

“I don’t want Christian to be treated like that. I don’t want Alan to be treated like that, or any other human being to be treated like that, because it’s outrageous,” he said.

That led to a fiery exchange that played out like this:

Ms Husar: “You didn’t deserve to be treated in any other way. This comes down to o a question of integrity. That is a value judgment.

Mr Joyce: “Why do you say that I deserved to be treated like that? I don’t want to know why you or should or shouldn’t be treated like that. I think you shouldn’t.

Ms Husar: “We’re talking about something entirely different, Barnaby. In your case, it goes to the question of integrity. You went to your electorate with Natalie (his wife) and the girls on your corflutes,” she said in reference to his campaign signs.

Mr Joyce: “It didn’t.”

Ms Husar: “You campaigned on family values.”

Mr Joyce: “You’re wrong there. In the last election – Natalie and the girls who I love dearly, were not with me. You’re wrong. I’m quite disappointed, Emma. That you would say that I deserved to be. I’m out here …”

Ms Husar: “OK. You’re allowed to be disappointed. I’m disappointed in your behaviour. And it goes to a point of integrity, Barnaby. It is different. So, you and Alan and Christian Porter – there are people, witnesses, who have come forward. And they are investigated. There is absolutely no question of doubt that you have acted with – you know, maybe a lack of integrity or a lack of judgment. You were married at the time, you’re fine.”

Mr Joyce: “It is important that you use – point out exactly what you mean by that. Because, yes, I —

Ms Husar: “I will if you let me finish!”

Mr Joyce: “My marriage broke down. I want to know where your issue is with that?”

Macdonald then moved on to another panellist.

Caro went on to say there was a “boys’ club” in Canberra and men got away with their behaviour.

“This is the boys circling the wagon, this is how it works,” she said.

“This is how women who speak up are silenced. Woman watch it. And they shut up. That is why it goes on and goes on. The problem is with agency, is if you’re a young woman in any corporate or political situation and a man with power puts the hard word on you, I can tell you exactly what goes through your head. You don’t want to do it. But if you say, ‘I don’t want to do it’, he’s going to stop your pitch for the rest of your working life.

“You have to find a way to … Do that dance where you don’t do what he wants you to do but you help him to save face because otherwise you know he will punish you for what you do. And with this will not change. Until we have as many women in positions of power as we have men. As many mediocre women in positions of power as we have mediocre men. They don’t need to be exceptional. The men aren’t.”

Mr Joyce agreed women should call in the cavalry and take them to task but that men and women should not be told how to live and be free to choose who they liked.

“This is where I am way out of line with corporate Australia,” he said.

“If we do that – where do we stop?”

Caro said it was always the woman who ended up trashed, because most of the relationships didn’t work out, noting that Mr Joyce’s was an exception.

“Most don’t. Particularly in that situation. Then, unfortunately, it seems to be always the woman that pays the price.

“I’ve heard so often people say, ‘She’s going to ruin his career’. I’m yet to see many men whose careers have actually been ruined. I have sent a hell of a lot of women who have had to leave the country, get another job, whose whole working life and ambition has been ruined.”

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