In a rare fly-on-the-wall audio recording, Barnaby Joyce shares with IA his daily struggle to keep up with daily financial pressures.
BARNABY: Vikki? Vikki, can you come here, please?
VIKKI: Be there in a jiffy. Little Tommy has pooped his nappy.
BARNABY: You’re kidding me. That’s the third one he’s soiled today already. Plus Seb’s. Do these boys think I’m made of money? Maybe we could use the manure they create to fertilise a money tree in the backyard.
Wait till they see how hard it is to earn a quid, just to have some little bugger literally shit it all away.
VIKKI: You do go on Barnaby. They’re babies. That’s what babies do. I’ve got something to tell you when I’m finished.
BARNABY: That can wait. The lawn mower’s playing up again. Yet another thing I’ve got to fix. It’s never-ending.
[Vikki enters holding baby Thomas.]
VIKKI: He is a busy little boy. I’ve got something you need to know.
BARNABY: Yes, like why did you go with the higher quote for the automatic front gate? The other quote was $800 cheaper.
VIKKI: It was better, that’s why. Is that all you can think about? Money? I’ve got some big news for you.
BARNABY: And so have one for you. Look at these bills.
[Barnaby holds up several bills and shakes them at Vikki.]
Look. Power bill. Up $160 over last month’s. Your bank card. What have you been buying to get it up so high? And don’t forget the increasing costs of our health funds.
VIKKI: You need to listen. I have some important news.
BARNABY: I bet you have. You’ll be telling me you need some new tyres for your car, no doubt because of some flashy ad you saw on TV when you were watching the midday movie.
If only I could get rid of these bills as easily as we got rid of Bill Shorten. Seriously, I need a fucking pay rise to meet all our costs.
Remember the days when I was on $350,000 a year? Then you came into my life and bingo! Down to $210,000 a year.
VIKKI: Not that old chestnut again.
BARNABY: Chestnut! Bullshit. It’s a fact. Imagine what I could do with that extra $140,000 a year.
VIKKI: For one, maybe you’d let me buy some choc-coated Teddy Bear biscuits for a change, rather than the plain ones? And I could get less generic brands than I have of late.
BARNABY: Have a go at me, why don’t you? Don’t forget about Natalie and the girls. They still want a piece of me. Because of you, I’ve got a third more mouths to feed just as I lose a third of my income.
No more mouths to feed, thank you. No more kids. I can’t afford it.
VIKKI: Yes, that’s what I need to tell you...
BARNABY: No more hanky panky for creation. From now on it’s only for recreation. Seriously, if I couldn’t fall back on the occasional parliamentarian perk, we’d be flying economy class for our next holiday!
VIKKI: Holiday?! It’s alright for you. Every time you’re off on some political junket, you have a holiday. What about me? Stuck here with two screaming little boys still in nappies. Anyway, enough of that for the moment. I have to tell you something.
BARNABY: Before you do. Take back that rubbish about me going off on junkets. If our expenses aren’t reined in, junket will be all we’ll be able to afford to eat.
VIKKI: My news.
BARNABY: Hang on. I haven’t finished. You know what I was doing on my last trip to America? I was hard at work studying the Alabama anti-abortion legislation, hoping we can implement something like that here.
VIKKI: That’s what I want to tell you. Babies.
BARNABY: Vikki. I’ve told you. No more. Enough is enough. I‘ve sired six of them already. On the seventh day, God rested. And so shall I. No number seven for me. From now on, it’s purely for recreation, not population. People who have children and can’t afford it, and live off the public purse are irresponsible and selfish.
I mean it. We can’t afford it. I’m serious. If necessary we’d have to do the unthinkable.
Well. What is it? Tell me your news.
VIKKI: I’m pregnant.
Support independent journalism Subscribe to IA.