It’s pretty clear even to those not in the media per say that the issue with Barnaby Joyce is not just going to go away. But the whole situation took another bizarre turn over the weekend, when Mr Joyce told Fairfax Media that he’s not sure if he’s the father of his partner’s unborn child. A “grey area” he said.
He had “no choice” he went on, but to come out with it. Opinions will differ on that one.
Then on Monday it was a completely different story.
At a press conference – along with Tamworth mayor Col Murray and Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson (both who looked like they would rather be somewhere else) – the former Deputy PM went back to saying his private life was his private life and basically there was no need to discuss it further.
How can a man in such a public position think he can get away with dropping a bombshell like that on the weekend and then on Monday have nothing more to say.
There have been questions throughout this whole affair – and that’s no pun – about whether the media had crossed the line in reporting such a personal matter.
We’ve seen the community divided on whether the man at the centre of this fiasco deserved to be left alone to get on with his life with his new partner and impending arrival.
For a while (at least a week) that even looked like it might happen – bar the arrival of the baby in April of course. But alas it wasn’t to be.
Since this latest turn of events, Mr Joyce has been accused of “throwing his new partner under the bus”.
Not a very nice turn of phrase, agreed, but pretty appropriate in the circumstances.
Given nobody can get an answer from Mr Joyce about why he chose to speak out about this latest revelation at all, we’re left to ponder what on earth he hoped to achieve by it.
Only time will tell on that one, but calling out questions over his personal life as “no-one else’s business” is not going to make it go away. Not now, not ever.
It’s also had an impact on the approval ratings for the government, who have now had 28 consecutive poor results in the opinion polls.
Many pundits are now wondering what will happen when that figure reaches 30, the magic number that saw Tony Abbott replaced by Malcolm Turnbull.