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Who does this political thug Barnaby Joyce think he is?

Fresh from 13 years of defrauding the public purse by masquerading as an MP, he waltzes through the by-election he was responsible for, hops back into parliament (his visage glowing with all the rosy complexion of a bible-belt red-neck) and — oops! — it comes out that he’s pregnant, a delicate condition that I am certain he was fully aware of in December when he was on the hustings wooing the gormless voters of New England.

And there he was again this morning, outside Federal Parliament, strong-voiced, apologising for being a bastard to his wife, to his children and to his new partner (and clearly expecting to be forgiven), at the same time accusing others of spreading “porkies” about him — porkies that our gutless parliamentary press gallery have been secretly whispering about among themselves for the better part of a year.

None of this would I care about if Joyce were just another also-ran MP snoozing on the backbench. But, damn-it-all, he’s not! He’s our bloody deputy prime minister — and when you are a deputy PM, or a PM, or an Opposition Leader, you should bloody-well behave yourselves, because none of you is part of us, the contemptible hoi polloi.

I don’t mind anyone who hops in and out of beds with whoever will have them — but only as long as they aren’t top-of-the pile “leaders” of our country.

I’m an atheist who, possibly pathetically, tries to live by the Christian principles I was brought up to respect (principles that many other cults preach). What it is that I cannot get my head around is accepting as normal the idea that a man who cheats on his wife will not cheat on his nation (if he hasn’t already done so — none should forget the millions he took from the public coffers as an illegal MP over 13 years or so).

Barnaby, why don’t you just bugger off, take your ill-gotten superannuation and learn how to look after a baby? You’re certainly not wanted as a leader of my kind of Australia.

*Bob Hawkins, in the final — liberatingly subjective — stages of a 63-year journalistic career.

ABC: Barnaby Joyce corrects Army Reserve record after claiming he served for longer than he did