Gay Mackie

Barnaby’s long game: Giving women the short end

Yesterday, Barnaby Joyce sensationally claimed that the question of paternity was unanswered. What this statement reveals, is a rather obvious pattern.



The entirety of the Barnaby Joyce situation has moved between none of our business to very much our business. No, we shouldn’t care who motivates his hips, but the taxpayer shouldn’t be asked to act as a lubricant. Easy peasy, we all understand that. However, yesterday it morphed into something else entirely. Very bad business indeed.

On the Sabbath, Joyce again materialised to click the nation’s tongue, as he castigated the media for not respecting his relationship with Vikki Campion, but soon thereafter admitting that the bundle in question might not actually be a Joyce, stating that the question of paternity was “a bit of a grey area”.

Right. So, no, we shouldn’t judge, or be interested in whoever moves his appendage, but, conversely, don’t be a dick.



The motivation behind writing this piece is because I see a pattern. Those women in Barnaby’s life are seemingly a mere means to his end. His true goal obfuscated, as he claims it’s in the name of something else. The Campion example is fitting as it is opaque. He’s doing it for her. He railed against the media “who gave him no choice but to tell the story” but then dropped, if true, the dirty paternity bomb. What I’d imagine is a rather private issue, and if I was Vikki, in her position, I’d rather not be hearing that as the days dwindled down to the big one.

So, Barnaby’s plan to shut the media up was to bait them further. I mean, there’s clearly a ploy here, as the surface logic of it makes no sense. Maybe it is to steer direction away from the current investigation into the use of expenses. Maybe not. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. The push is more important than the actual reason why. Barnaby has form in this regard, he’s a man aware of the angles, a pool shark using his appendage to chase the balls around the table, making us believe that he’s snookered himself.

Back in February, in the height of the “Beetrooter” furore, news broke that the office of Barnaby had asked his already estranged wife, Natalie, to approve a Christmas Card that depicted the Joyce family as something it wasn’t, complete. To her endless credit, Natalie flatly refused. We all rolled our eyes in unison at the gall of Barnaby, which, again, was really none of our business, but the narrative through-line of this kind of behaviour is obvious, and it becomes important when the dose is repeated. Seemingly he’ll advance his public persona, or whatever it is that he’s trying to achieve by flying himself directly into the spotlight, wings flapped by any means necessary. The question of questionable paternity is a statement for Barn. The heels have again turned, and dug into the dirt. We might not understand his goals, but his intent is clear.

The thing that Barnaby wants to advance most, is Barnaby.

I’m not entirely sure how much danger his lesson can pose, because, to the grown, the man cannot be taken seriously. However, the danger lies in influencing those who don’t have the benefit of experience, the men of tomorrow. While the man is ridiculous incarnate, his actions are not. We are not mere pieces to be moved around the table.






Gay Mackie

Gay Mackie is a retired print journalist, who spends her time at yoghurt (yoga), tap dancing and asleep between the hours of 2-4pm. She'd also like to make it clear that the Editor-in-Chief of The Big Smoke is her grandson.

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