Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

The Fine Art of Being in Power

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

The Fine Art of Being in Power

Article excerpt

Owen Jacques

APN NEWSDESK

BARNABY Joyce is a dung worker, a cog in a gearbox, a servant not a lord and he's the Deputy Leader of the Nationals.

Mr Joyce is also a country boy from Danglemah, about an hour's drive north-east of Tamworth in New South Wales.

In opposition, the 46-year-old accountant was a loud, sharp-talking attack dog in the Senate and a regular mouthpiece for the National Party.

His profile now surpasses that of party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss.

Having successfully walked the tightrope from the Senate into the House of Representatives seat left by retiring New England independent Tony Windsor, Joyce must convert to playing defence, after years of being on the offensive.

"You're banging on doors and screaming at them (in opposition)," Joyce said.

"You don't have to yell down the phone at yourself."

The Agriculture Minister talks about "the art of government" - a behavioural guide-rope to help him in the corridors of power.

"It is your capacity not to do anything that will cause your country damage," he said.

"That you understand the hard work of the mundane.

"And that you always respect you are a servant, not a lord; so respect your boss - which is the Australian people."

He sees the often humdrum toil as critical, a burden shared by his department.

Despite public fury over allegations of Australian spying on Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Mr Joyce quietly dined with the Indonesian vice-president Boediono in an attempt to rebuild Australia's devastated live export industry.

"I just talked business, I didn't talk politics," Mr Joyce said.

"I said we have a good product and you have a great market. Your involvement in the market gives us capacity to give respect to our farmers to give them a standard of living.

"It reduces the cost of living for your people in the big city.

"Let's build on that relationship."

It is a clear and understated tone from one of the key Coalition fighters who earned the nickname "Barnyard" by some, and was even suggested to be loopy by an ABC presenter unaware she was still on live television. …

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