ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

The Member for New England Barnaby Joyce prefaced his presser this morning by telling journalists that he was a patriot and that he loved his party.

He also said he had nothing to do with the slow trickle leak of information coming out of The Nationals party room, which was the original purpose of the press conference this morning.

“Look, I love my party. I’ve got a picture of Ralph Hunt on my wall. John Anderson and Mark Vaile were great inspirations to me. Sir Joh, too. Not to mention Ian Sinclair. Doug Anthony and I used to talk for hours on end. Tim Fischer got me onto The Vatican tour for free once. It’s stuff like that, guys,”

“I bet if Old Ralphy, the second last King Of Gwydir, was here today, he’d say, ‘Look Barnaby, you’re not perfect. In fact, some of the time you act like a bit of a dumb cunt. But I know your heart is in the right place. You’re doing good, son. Don’t let the bastards put shit on you.’ and that’s why I love my party.”

By now, most of the younger journalists were looking at each other and sharing confused looks. Some of the older ones nodded and pursed their lips.

“The country, like the bush country not the country country, deserves a great party and they have one. The Nationals serve their community. They bring jobs and um, new hospitals. Mobile reception and more dams. We don’t care what jobs they are, just as long as there’s jobs for people. What was I talking about again?”

Andrew Probyn put his hand up and said something about the leaks and Barnaby smiled and nodded back at him.

“Ah yes, thank you, Andrew. While it might seem like I’ve got a big motive to destabilise this party, I can assure you that you’re barking up the wrong ghost gum. I’ve got no idea.”

Mr Joyce then said he needed to get ready for his noon reformer pilates class and drew the presser to a close.

More to come.


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