Barnaby Joyce’s greatest sin is being conservative

Barnaby Joyce’s greatest sin is being conservative, by Jennifer Oriel.

The Deputy Prime Minister ­arguably misused his power as the highest-ranking conservative in government by having an extramarital affair with a staffer. He is compounding the damage by refusing to resign.

His sense of entitlement is degrading public discourse and deepening the democratic deficit as people ­question whether any politician can be trusted. …

Outside of his family, few are more disappointed than conservatives. Many feel that he has made a mockery of conservative values.

The conservative disappointment with Joyce is palpable in the media, where right-leaning journalists are holding him to account. Conservative commentators are putting the principle before the side and calling for his resignation.

However, sections of the pro­gressivist media are taking a markedly different approach. Somewhere along the line, Joyce’s midlife crisis became an excuse to bash conservatives. The Deputy PM is a bad boy for sleeping around but an appalling sod for being right-wing, so the story goes. The progs should beware the boomerang effect. …

It’s true that Joyce has a lot to answer for and the charge of hypocrisy will stick. If he had campaigned as a libertarian or a card-carrying member of the Sex Party, few would care if he crossed a moral line. But he rose to power as leader of the Nationals on a family values ticket. He defended the traditional family by arguing that monogamous marriage confers higher status upon women. …

There is less furore when left-wing politicians cross a moral line on the public purse. When Kevin Rudd admitted to hitting a strip club while representing Australia at the UN, his ratings went up. …

The extramarital affair of Labor’s longest-serving PM, Bob Hawke, with Blanche d’Alpuget posed no ­obstacle to his career. …

Perhaps the most shocking case of double standards for double-crossing politicians was the progressivist response to the allegations of sexual abuse levelled at then US president Bill Clinton. When Clinton was accused of rape and sexual assault, feminists formed a virtual protection racket around their progressive icon. Bubba couldn’t be guilty — he was a Democrat, after all.

hat-tip Stephen Neil