Barnaby Joyce will probably never again be as powerful as he does now in his trade with Scott Morrison over supporting a zero target by 2050.
However, these are negotiations imposed on him for the sake of a goal that he does not believe in and which, he fears, may cost him and his party in the elections.
Joyce never agreed to relinquish leadership of the Nationals, never gave up his quest to get his job back. He and his supporters undermined Michael McCormack, effectively calling him Morrison’s rag and insisting that the prime minister bypass him as part of climate change policy.
Now Joyce has found he needs to get Morrison to Glasgow, although not as much as the prime minister wanted – the citizens wouldn’t be considering a larger target for 2030 – but enough to embarrass the party in some of its seats. …
For all his wild style, Joyce doesn’t want the Nationals to blow up Morrison or the government. But at the same time, he does not want to self-destruct, losing space.
He used zero-sum opposition as a weapon in overthrowing McCormack. Not too long ago, Joyce was as vehemently opposed to it as his close friend Senator Matt Canavan, who would never sign to him, no matter what deal the citizens got from Morrison. Canavan says, “Over the past decade, countering radical action to combat climate change has brought us workers’ support and saved citizens from the ashes.”
In the congestion he found himself in, Joyce decided to lead by following him. From the very beginning, he stated that the position of citizens would be determined by the party room, and not by him or even by the leadership. One National describes him as “the main facilitator.”
Morrison is holding back, but must be apoplectic. When it comes to governance, the preferred style of the prime minister can be described as “we are me”. He is all about control, discipline, he speaks in words to his troops, but denies their real influence.
More: Joyce Says Citizens Don’t Want Bigger Climate Target For 2030 As Party Room Worries Regional Protection
Now here Joyce not only gives voice to his party, but the front-runners also run freely and madly.
That brings us to National Senate Leader Bridget Mackenzie, the woman Morrison had to fall on his sword when the sports case got dangerously hot.
In the Senate, Mackenzie was asked if she agreed with Canavan that it would be “ugly” if Morrison accepted zero net income without citizen support, and did Joyce agree?
“I think it will be ugly. I agree with Senator Canavan, ”Mackenzie said. “You will need to ask Barnaby if he knows.”
This followed several interviews where McKenzie said the Nationals lacked promises in the past and this should not happen again.
Citizens have been anarchic for the past few years, but in another irony, in this confusion, they have shown order and, despite their inner differences, a certain degree of solidity in their relationship with Morrison.
Of course, if Joyce was not a leader, he would be destabilizing. Indeed, this week McCormack made a poignant call for the party room to show decency and avoid leaks, as it did when he was leader.
The committee has put together the demands of citizens to be presented to Morrison; it included Mackenzie, Deputy Chief Executive David Littleproud, Resource Secretary Keith Pitt and Kevin Hogan, Assistant Secretary Joyce. Now Joyce is left to make a deal with Morrison before he returns to the party room on Sunday.
The party sees itself at a decisive moment when it must receive guarantees. Citizens said their focus was on supporting and securing regional industries and jobs, rather than a series of specific projects funded by big buckets of money (“that’s not about 30 silver coins,” McKenzie says), although that would be surprising. unless good funding is involved.
Read more: Australia undermines the Paris Agreement, no matter what Morrison says – we need new laws to stop it
Money is one thing, and it doesn’t hurt so much to give it now that the government doesn’t say “debts and deficits.” Requirements, for example, for changes in environmental legislation, can be more stringent because they can create new arguments in favor of the government.
Compromises are important in the sales challenge ahead, but this is not a flying carpet. Morrison may have a variety of lobbying groups and the News Corp tabloid campaign, but there is a lot of concern in the Queensland Nationals base and among some well-known conservative commentators (such as Sky’s Peta Credlin) who appeal to that base.
On the electoral level, citizens’ fears are concentrated in central Queensland, where they occupy three seats: Flynn, Cosernia and Dawson. The first two are mine seats; Dawson is also economically and in other ways associated with mining.
According to Nationals sources, polls in downtown Queensland show strong opposition to zero score among their ardent supporters.
All three seats seem to have a very safe headroom. But that can be deceiving.
Flynn is now 8.7% but entered the 2019 election by 1%. Capricorn sits at 12.4%; before the last elections it was 0.6%. Dawson’s buffer is 14.6%, up from 3.4% in 2019. Queensland is a state of great hesitation.
Ken O’Dowd and George Christensen respectively retire as members of Flynn and Dawson.
Flynn is the most vulnerable of the three, with Labor nominating a strong candidate, Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett.
Citizens are worried about the declining right-wing vote in Queensland. One Nation will be active and Clive Palmer will spend big bucks on advertising.
Read more: View from the hill: a small step for everyone – a big leap for citizens
Joyce has always marketed himself as an effective retail politician. But he is politically stronger when he attacks, than he defends politics – let alone one that he doesn’t really believe in.
There is a lot of controversy in Joyce. The government will resort to modeling to convince doubters that a net zero will not harm jobs, but will help create them. But this week in Parliament, Joyce questioned her modeling career in general. “Modeling is not a letter from God. This is nothing more than the opinion of people. “
After Morrison flies away next week with a zero net in the bag for the Glasgow climate conference, Joyce will become acting prime minister, looking at cameras and microphones, promoting what the citizens got under the deal, and doing his best. to achieve the 2050 target.
Both he and his prime minister will be nervous about how he will go in those early days when he is in the spotlight.