Sydney bureau chief Ross Jones, the reporter who went to Tamworth to peel back the rumours, looks at what is coming next for the Nationals and Barnaby Joyce.
For some reason, our new Deputy PM, the Hon. Michael McCormack, the Member for Riverina, has his electoral office in Wagga Wagga and his post office box in Narrarandera. These towns are 100 kilometres and an hour of legal driving apart.
"Just popping out to get the mail."
Probably makes sense, in a National Party kind of way — the kind of way colloquially referred to as "WTF".
Late last year, IA travelled to National Party heartland in New England to check out a series of rumours about our then deputy PM. Our subsequent story introduced several allegations against Barnaby Joyce to the public record.
- In early 2018, Barnaby will become a father for the fifth time and not to Mrs Joyce.
- Barnaby has had a long-standing affair with a staffer who is now working for another Nationals parliamentarian.
- Barnaby has been chucked out of home and now resides with his sister.
- Barnaby has gone the grope with women. On one occasion there were witnesses.
- A female was seen – and heard – driving down Peel Street in Barnaby’s campain ute with some sort of loud-hailer exhorting pedestrians not to vote for Barnaby. Presumably this female was close enough to Barnaby’s inner circle to get the keys.
Diligent work by some mainstream media subsequently confirmed one, two and three on this list to be true. Well, sort of true, because, in another major National Party WTF moment, Barnaby now reckons the paternity of Ms Campion’s child is a "grey area".
Rumour now has it that this grey area may be called Matt Canavan.
This speculation has not yet invaded the MSM, but when it does, expect some serious frenzy.
Evidence of Barnaby going the grope also seems to be taking a very real shape, albeit in the usual Nats WTF style.
IA’s New England enquiries determined credible sexual harassment allegations were being made against the former Nationals leader, but no-one would put their name to them as either victim or witness.
We spoke with the woman who alleges she witnessed Barnaby acting badly at a function and then had her bottom pinched by the red-faced buffoon. According to her, Barnaby then said he had plenty left for her as well.
But this woman was too intimidated by the National’s control over New England’s commercial life to risk losing all and refused to go public.
We also spoke with a male witness, who observed the woman’s distress/annoyance and told Joyce to bugger off. Instead Barnaby apparently lurked menacingly outside the venue, presumably angling for another chance.
This woman also spoke with just about every journo in Australia, but only on the grounds her identity not be exposed.
She told IA she also spilled the beans to:
- Jamison Murphy, Northern Daily Leader
- Michael Condon, ABC
- Nick Farrow, Channel 7
- Mark Reilly, Channel 7
- David Lipson, ABC
- Anna Henderson, ABC
- Shari Markson, Daily Telegraph
- Peter Hannah, Sydney Morning Herald
- James Massola, Sydney Morning Herald
- Ross Gittins, Sydney Morning Herald
- Tracey Spicer
The problem all these journos had was that without a name the allegations were unsubstantiated. Nevertheless, they clearly had legs and deserved closer scrutiny at the time.
So, Catherine Marriott’s further allegations of harassment made against Barnaby came as no surprise, but the disclosure of the complainant’s identity did.
Naturally, this disclosure was not supposed to happen and came about only because of another Nats WTF strategy.
And it was the guys in the party who blew the complainant’s cover in what appears to have been a seriously inept investigation.
There is no real explanation for this insensitive stupidity except the blokes wanted to damage WA Nats leader Mia Davies and pin the blame for Barnaby’s fall on her rather than the Beetroot Savant.
From Perth Now:
'AN internal investigation has delivered a scathing and damaging assessment of National Party leader Mia Davies’ involvement in a sexual harassment complaint against Barnaby Joyce, which ultimately cost him his leadership and deputy prime ministership.'
It is hard not to conclude the Federal Nationals are a dysfunctional mob of misogynistic dick-brains, clinging like poorly-made Velcro to a Liberal Party with 28 Newspoll losses to its name.
The Nats will come under hard scrutiny this year.
Turnbull with probably extend the election until the last possible moment in May 2019 when it will then be time for the Nats to enjoy a long enforced holiday.
But between now and then WTF rules, OK?
"It sickens me" - WA Nationals Leader Mia Davies very angry about the handling of Catherine Marriott's complaint against Barnaby Joyce, particularly the media's decision to name her #auspol pic.twitter.com/xFV5Jlt0Eo— Jane Norman (@janeenorman) March 8, 2018
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
Find out earlier. Subscribe to IA.