Barnaby Joyce

Hack asks the right questions on agricultural handouts

I have been pretty critical of Triple J in the past but today on Hack, Tom Tilley really turned the screws onto Barnaby Joyce, Federal Agricultural Minister, about the recent announcement of handouts to farmers (listen from the 24min mark):

Tilley points out the truth – that farming isn’t anything special, that they aren’t the only business with long term time frames for revenue and that they need to plan more for the future. The paucity of Joyce’s arguments is exposed when Tilley pointed out the economic truth about farming, that maybe the future is in getting bigger – he falls back to a political argument (he can’t sell it), a cultural argument (that small family farms are inherently good) and a distraction (that the ABC is exposed to the same argument, which is true). In the end, Joyce has no credible economic argument for these handouts – it is a political fix for a favoured group of constituents.

Tilley would do well to interview LDP Senator-elect for NSW, David Leyonhjelm, who slays the arguments for agricultural subsidies.

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Quote of the week

Barnaby Joyce, God’s gift to newspaper editors everywhere, provides this rather funny comment on the Federal MP Tony Windsor’s presence at the press conference announcing Labor’s carbon tax plans:

"He said, ‘and please don’t construe through my presence here that I will be actually supporting any scheme’. Well, Mr Windsor, what were you doing there? Did you get lost on the way to the toilet and just stumble across the Prime Minister doing her press conference and decide to stand in on it? Please don’t tell me that we have to go through this teeth-pulling agony as you stand at the front of the political church in the big white fluffy dress saying, ‘I don’t know how I got here and I don’t know whether I shall say I do.’ "

Put as only Barnaby could…