Barnaby Joyce has urged two former PMs to stop acting like ‘dipsticks’ and rise above politics in a heated TV interview.
Barnaby Joyce says former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull need to stop acting like “dipsticks” and rise above politics, after the two former leaders ramped up their criticism of Scott Morrison.
Both Mr Turnbull and Mr Rudd have been outspoken about the actions of Mr Morrison, especially regarding the diplomatic spat between France and Australia.
Last week while in Glasgow for the COP26 climate conference, when asked to comment on the French President’s claims that Mr Morrison had “lied” over the scrapping of a $90b submarine contract, Mr Turnbull said his successor was a known liar and had “lied (to him) on many occasions”.
“Scott has always had a reputation for telling lies,” Mr Turnbull said last week.
In the wake of escalating tensions, Mr Rudd said Mr Morrison should “take a bow for destroying the Australian brand”.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said the pair needed to rise above politics and “have some decorum”.
“Look in politics, sometimes it’s not so much how you ride the horse, but how you get off it,” he told Sunrise.
“Some people get off with grace, but some people can’t help themselves – they keep a foot in the stirrup and get dragged around in the manure.
“ (Mr Turnbull and Mr Rudd) have gone from former prime ministers to current pains the neck. What do you do?
“If I walk around your workplace or your morning tea or even the pub and call everyone a liar, you (would) just look at the person and say ‘I don’t care what your former job was mate, you’re a dipstick’.
“You can’t just go around brandishing those sorts of allegations. You’ve got to have some decorum for the office you held.
“When you leave politics, you’re supposed to rise above politics.”
Retiring federal MP Joel Fitzgibbon seconded Mr Joyce’s sentiment, but said it was “unfair” to compare Mr Rudd’s comments with that of Mr Turnbull.
“I mean sure, Kevin’s made a few comments, he called upon Scott Morrison to apologise to Emmanuel Macron, but Malcolm Turnbull has been belligerent and personal in his attacks on Scott Morrison,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“That’s not good for him, and it’s not good for the country. None of us should be running commentary like that on our international relations.
“Julia Gillard, Paul Keating, Tony Abbott, John Howard have all demonstrated a capacity to be statesmanlike in retirement.
“That’s what all of them should be doing.”