The Liberal and National parties have a marriage contract; it's time Malcolm Turnbull reviewed the prenup, says Jim Pembroke.
“I, Malcolm Bligh Turnbull, take thee, Barnaby Thomas Gerard Joyce to be my lawful Coalition partner, to have and to hold, from this day forth...”
Whoa! Is that even legal in Australia? No, no it is not.
In any event, before National Party leader Barnaby Joyce would agree to say, “I do”, he pulled out a prenuptial agreement for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to sign — right there at the altar. Wow, what a romance killer!
Like a bride-to-be forced to accept a “prenup” three days before the wedding, the Prime Minister was put under considerable duress. But there he stood, on the brink of the most meaningful day of his life. So, like a starry-eyed sweetheart, he agreed to anything, just to win the love of his life — the prime ministership.
As is the case with many modern premarital agreements, the one the PM signed with Barnaby Joyce contained lifestyle clauses. Hollywood celebrities are notorious for including these weird conditions in their prenups. Those "love contracts" cover all types of behaviour, from drug taking to sex schedules and even limits on how much weight a partner can gain.
@Barnaby_Joyce doing the two things he loves the most: hitting the piss and ignoring Turnbull.#auspol #carp #pisspot pic.twitter.com/HmZnPSsK9g— Daniel Best (@20thCenturyDan) December 26, 2016
Bizarrely, the Coalition agreement contains a particularly queer infidelity clause. According to this contract, Malcolm Turnbull is not allowed to marry anyone in the LBGTQIA+ community. Well, at least not until he's conducted a half a billion dollar plebiscite.
Most of the crazy lifestyle clauses A-list power couples sign up to are unenforceable in Australia. So, no, you can't be fined for not having sex with your partner multiple times a week. Not so with the Coalition's own lifestyle clause. Malcolm desperately needs his union with the National Party to work. If Barnaby Joyce says a section of the Australian community can't be betrothed, then the Prime Minister will have to enforce that for as long as he can.
Unfortunately, prenup regret is all too common. For starters, where's the trust? It assumes things will go wrong. And if you have no faith in the relationship, they usually do.
Recently, the situation started to unravel for Malcolm and Barnaby. News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt, playing a shady, divorce detective who gave up doing the right thing a long time ago, obtained a tape, revealing possible evidence of infidelity. On the secret recording, Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne is caught allegedly “bragging” about a parlimentary vote on same-sex marriage — a direct defiance of the agreement.
"It might even be sooner than everyone thinks,” he said.
#EXCLUSIVE @cpyne comments on the rise of the Liberal left 'Friends, we are in the winner's circle'. MORE https://t.co/RiA1TnwtK4 pic.twitter.com/aNrhzpLzkm— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) June 26, 2017
Sensing some kind of treachery, all hell broke loose, as conservatives across the nation took turns flaying the minister.
National Party Senator John Williams reminded the Liberals about the Coalition agreement and warned Malcolm Turnbull that he signed the prenup.
“I know that it is in the Coalition agreement, a signed agreement between Nats and Liberals by Barnaby Joyce and Malcolm Turnbull,” Williams said.
Senator Williams might know what's in the agreement but the deal is a secret kept from the rest of us. So, we are left to imagine what the lifestyle clause involving same-sex marriage might look like
I, _____________________________, the undersigned, agree that: in the highly unlikely event of my gaining some moral authority over the Liberal Party, after relinquishing most of my core values and adopting as many right-wing conservative policies as is necessary to maintain the leadership of said Party, will do all that is necessary to thwart, delay or refuse any parliamentary vote that might lead to marriage equality in Australia. Notwithstanding this, I will continue my public support for a really expensive, divisive, non-binding plebiscite that will happily enable marriage equality to be kicked further along the road until the National Party can think of another delaying tactic.
#auspol Barnaby Joyce says marriage equality plebiscite is not about driving home from the pub: https://t.co/CZAGWV4iSk via @YouTube— David Marler (@Qldaah) October 13, 2016
As in the case of Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce, prenuptial agreements often allow the powerful to entrench their hold over the vulnerable. And Malcolm Turnbull's support in the electorate has been precarious for some time. The Liberals standing in the polls shows the Coalition prenup is not holding up.
Maybe, it's time the Prime Minister revised his marriage contract with the National Party. It's pretty clear that the voters think his prenup needs a postnup makeover.
Read more from Jim Pembroke on his blog jimselbow.wordpress.com, or follow him on Twitter @Jim_Pembroke.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
Barnaby doesn't support marriage equality. Meet our new Deputy PM... #NotFunnyBarnaby #auspol pic.twitter.com/zDo3InKmXp— Pat O'Neill (@pat_oneill) February 11, 2016
Stop listening to Barnaby Joyce— Nannan Nelson Bay (@NannanBay) August 30, 2016
Turnbull, don't break the nation's heart over marriage equality | Kristina Keneally https://t.co/VWRhKE9f64
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