Steve McAlpine blog

Barnaby’s Choice

In refusing to out Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, for leaving his wife and family after 24 years and fathering a child with his lover, the Australian mainstream media has banded together to hold its nerve on the holy grail of consent.   Both Barnaby and his young staff member chose to enter this relationship.  So it’s all okay.

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And let’s be honest, it must have been a hard thing to do – to say nothing.  Our new media is trained to say everything.  Every nerve-end in every self-respecting journalist must have been straining to say something.  Anything!

Because let’s face it – saying something could have changed the face of Australian politics, and which media hack wouldn’t want that on their CV?

Here was a vocal opponent of same sex marriage in last year’s hotly contested debate; the man who holds the keys to Fort Australia when the Prime Minister is away;  who was involved in a recent crucial by-election, the result of which had major implications for this term of Parliament, and what did we get? Nix, nada, nothing.  

If a medium-paced half volley ever sat up on a docile pitch for anyone to crack to the boundary (cricket analogy for all you non-Commonwealth readers), this was it.  All we got was a dead bat and a mumbled “Stay there”, from the media batsmen, and shamefully, batswomen.  We didn’t get cricket, just the sound of chirping crickets.

So the media kept mum about the new mum.  Hence it took the old mum and her four children with Barnaby to announce how she feels cruelled by the whole thing, in an open statement to the media.  Natalie Joyce stated:

“I am deeply saddened by the news that my husband is now having a child with a former staff member. I understand that this has been going on for many months and started when she was a paid employee. This situation is devastating on many fronts. For my girls who are affected by the family breakdown and for me as a wife of 24 years, who placed my own career on hold to support Barnaby through his political life…. The situation for myself and the girls will be made worse by the fact that this will all be played out in public so at this time, I would ask that the girls and I are given some privacy and time to come to terms with the consequences and take steps to plan our future.

I wonder if there’s space at hashtag “me too” for scorned wives of politicians who’ve given the best years of their lives to husbands, only for them to leave them after a quarter of a century?

Maybe Natalie can take that up with the mix of progressive/conservative commentator that is Caroline Overington of The Australian newspaper who stated: First, congratulations to the happy couple. A baby is always a blessing.  And maybe Overington could send a card to his other four daughters and express how thrilled she is about it all.

To which we might add “a blessing – only if the baby is wanted”.  And if not, then who’s to say it’s even a human?  At least Overington acknowledges that the heat will now be turned up, not on Barnaby, but on the media, which at every other turn in Joyce’s life, has managed to put the boot into him.

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The questions are flying now.  Why the silence?  The common response has been “Because we don’t report on private lives.”

The deeper, more true response is that Consent – with a capital “C” – covers all sexual sins in this Sexular Culture.  It is the holy grail that we search for, and upon finding it, are satisfied. Get consent – choice – and it’s all systems go.

Consent (currently between adults, but only time will tell), makes everything okay.   So central to the Sexual Revolution is the matter of consent, that the revolutionaries are willing to forgo a variety of social and political victories along the way to ensure its promulgation.  So what if the body count includes Natalie Joyce and her four devastated daughters?

So in the culture of choice, for the champions of consent – the liberal mainstream media -, to break ranks and say otherwise? Never! That would let the genie out of the bottle. That would raise the spectre that consent is not the only variable in sex.

That would raise all sorts of uncomfortable moral issues. Barnaby had consensual sex with his young staffer, so that means its okay in the Sexular Age of consent.  The mainstream media is not allowed to say its wrong, even though it feels wrong, has done wrong, and sends a very wrong message in light of Barnaby’s stand in the same sex marriage debate.

And now of course, the charges of hypocrisy abound, and well they should.  How could Barnaby, with a straight face (or perhaps with the hint of a smirk) oppose same sex marriage, which, as we know, is built completely upon the very same philosophical framework of consent?     You can bet your bottom dollar that since it’s now out in the open, his hypocrisy will be used to flagellate issues around religious freedom. And the charges of hypocrisy abound with the media, as well they should too.

Just another reminder too, if we needed it, that the idea of a return to Christendom values without Christ’s kingship at its centre, is vacuous, hollow and not worth pursuing.

Posted: 7 February 2018

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Steve currently works as a pastor and church planter for Providence Church, and in his writing dabbles in a number of fields, notably theology and culture. He lives with his family in the eastern Hills of Perth – a vantage point just high enough to give him a good idea of how incredibly fast the city is growing.

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