About 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.

This morning, Barnaby Joyce sensationally continued his public war against abortion. In reality, it gave him another example to defend the thing he loves most – himself.

 

 

The entirety of the Barnaby Joyce’s personal situation has moved between none of our business to very much our business. While we shouldn’t care who motivates his hips, but the taxpayer shouldn’t be asked to act as a lubricant. Since the abortion bill has been a matter of discussion (for NSW politicians) he has offered his personal opinion on something that has nothing to do with him.

 

 

Joyce again materialised to click the nation’s tongue, castigating the NSW parliament for daring to tear down the century-old abortion laws (it remains the only state where abortion is a criminal offence), believing that his child had rights long before it was born. Again, we’re discussing the cause-and-effect of his member, and again, he’s erected himself to grandstand about his business. There’s another side of the argument, sure, but that has stood for a century, and in telling women what they can and cannot do with their bodies, is about on-point.

The motivation behind writing this piece is because I see a pattern. 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 abortion example is fitting as it is opaque. He’s doing it for her, for them. Back in the time when we were discussing the issue of his paternity, 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.

Today, he was talking on behalf of what Nixon called, “the silent majority”, those noble people who require a voice. The fact that the grandparents of these people set the laws, is irrelevant. Barnaby needs to talk on behalf of his people, and in reality, himself.

In February 2018, 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. 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.

This was the same man who voted down the free provision of the drug Gardasil in 2006, a vaccine which would prevent the spread of human papillomavirus (HPV). In order for the vaccine to be effective, girls must be vaccinated before they’re sexually active. His reasoning, and I quote, “There might be an overwhelming backlash from people saying, ‘Don’t you dare put something out there that gives my 12-year-old daughter a licence to be promiscuous’.”

As Jenna Price noted, “…It’s a trick Joyce uses all the time. He pretends he’s been out there in the community discerning a backlash. He did it with same-sex marriage and he did it with Gardasil.”

While the man is ridiculous incarnate, his actions are not. We are not mere pieces to be moved around the table.