Everyone’s calling Barnaby Joyce a hypocrite – again – today. So am I; but not for the obvious reasons.
Who can forget how in 2017, Joyce revealed himself to be a hypocrite when he banged (pun intended) on about the sanctity of marriage while arguing against marriage equality… while having an affair?
When he was being paid as the Deputy Prime Minister of the fairest country on earth, while he was canoodling with a government staff member whom he met through his office…When he plead for privacy as story of the affair broke, while wanting to dictate the freedom of all consenting adults who were not him…?
Fast forward seven months and one strange Christmas card request later, everyone’s calling Joyce a hypocrite, again. It’s been revealed that Joyce has signed a deal with Channel 7 to sell/tell the story of his affair with Vikki Campion, and the recent birth of their son, Sebastian.
Considering what we know about Joyce’s character, this really shouldn’t be surprising news.
At its core, Joyce is within his rights to make such a (desperate) deal, I suppose. It’s an individual’s prerogative to share whatever personal information they want to with the world, and t0 choose how and when they do that: to some extent.
If I wholly believed in that sentence, I wouldn’t have a job. There are exceptions; when a person is in public office, for example, and having it on with someone else who’s on the government’s clock. Those kind of shenanigans are everyone’s business.
But, in this fair country of ours, Joyce also has the right to shape his story by selling it, and his son, to the highest bidder. It’s utterly, unfathomably, morally bankrupt, but he nevertheless has a right to do it.
He’s allowed to say, “I want to tell my own story.”
But here’s the place where my former-lawyer brain’s reasonableness finds its limit: because of the other remarkable move he’s making at the same time.
The Daily Telegraph journalist Sharri Markson has revealed this morning that while Joyce is rubbing his hands at the thought of $150k hitting tiny Sebastian’s trust account (the existence of which is highly dubious), he and Campion are also formally requesting the Australian Press Council to censure that newspaper for exposing their relationship.
The basis of their claim is that their privacy was breached when it exposed Joyce for doing things with Campion that no one ever wanted to imagine him doing with anyone – and which resulted in him expecting his first son.
Barnaby Joyce and Vikki Campion will take $150k to sell their love story while formally asking the Press Council to censure us at @dailytelegraph for exposing their relationship, claiming it was a breach of privacy. MPs accuse Joyce of “sheer hypocrisy.” https://t.co/T1CFjEoqmk pic.twitter.com/96VHUMaR5I
— Sharri Markson (@SharriMarkson) May 27, 2018
The Daily Telegraph has today reported that Campion filed a complaint with the APC in March, claiming the revelation of the pregnancy was a breach of privacy.
At this point in the tale, you will be excused if you’d like to quote Elsa from Frozen by asking, “Wait, what?”
Let’s try to get this straight in our minds: isn’t the couple now capitalising on the very revelation that is the basis of the complaint?
Hasn’t the couple relied on the media to help create the drama of this story – to the tune of $150,000, which they claim is being earned in Sebastian’s name?
This goes way beyond “he wants to shape his own story.”
This is biting the hand they are begging to be fed by.
Joyce, no doubt, is under financial pressure. He’s grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle since entering the Senate in 2005. He now has five children he’s legally required to provide for. His current salary is $203,000, which sounds, you know, like he could learn to make do, but let’s remember that as deputy PM, he made $400,000.
So, I see where Joyce has gone wrong with his thinking. He’s like, “Why shouldn’t I make money off this baby? It’s his fault I’m in this position in the first place.”
To which I must advise, although he’s father of five and I am merely a mother of one:
“Barnaby. Mate. Joycey. Blaming the media for doing its job whilst selling your kid’s story for $150 grand because you lost yours is a move that’s destined to fail.
“Buddy. Dude. No.
“How are you not getting this?”