The beetroot is certainly living high on the hog, what with free accommodation from businessman friend in Armidale, now we find that the National party was chipping in for his salary after he was tossed out in Parliament for not declaring that he was a Kiwi. So he wasn’t short of a buck, given his salary was $416,000 a year. For a guy who seems absolutely talentless, the Beetrooter seems to lead a charmed life.
The Age reports Fairfax Media can reveal the previously undisclosed arrangement involved the use of party funds to give the Nationals leader a wage while he was campaigning to win the December 2 byelection triggered by the dual citizenship crisis
And then there was a question of “the donation of free accommodation from Greg Maguire, a friend of Mr Joyce”
But the worm is beginning to turn.
The Age reports A third of voters who backed Barnaby Joyce in December’s byelection have deserted the besieged Deputy Prime Minister, according to the first poll since his affair spilled into the public and triggered a political firestorm in Canberra.
And almost 50 per cent of respondents in Mr Joyce’s electorate think their MP should move to the backbench or resign from Parliament altogether, as the repercussions from his personal crisis hit home.
His primary vote has now slipped from 65% to 43%. He would probably hold onto his seat if an election would be held but he would need to do so with preferences.
They are loyal people up in Tamworth and Armidale and don’t have much truck for city slickers and their fancy notions.
So we are probably stuck with the Beetrooter quite some time because the National party doesn’t have the guts to get rid of him and Malcolm Turnbull certainly doesn’t.
But the rest of the nation probably thinks he should go and the Coalition has done itself no good in leaving him as the Deputy Prime Minister.
They certainly have done nothing towards resolving the embarrassing situation of having a national and international embarrassment as Acting Prime Minister next week.
Having him go on some form of leave and have Julie Bishop act in his place would only be an admission of how bad the situation really is.
It’s a lose-lose situation for Malcolm Turnbull and his government.
And serve them bloody right.