Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was not inebriated at any stage during the four sitting days of federal parliament this week, a snap poll has found.
A majority of the respondents to the poll have poo-pooed claims across social media that the Member for New England’s confused speech patterns and highly animated theatrics during Question Time proved he had to be, as some on Twitter claimed, “Completely shit-faced”, “About to do an Engadine Maccas re-enactment” and “As legless as a Burton’s lizard”.
The telephone poll of more than 150 people was conducted by The Bug over the last 24 hours among Country Women’s Association members at the CWA’s Tamworth and Armidale sub-branches.
Honorary secretary of the Tamworth sub-branch Vera Thornton-Myers told us: “I’ve known Barnaby for a long time and I know for a fact the dearheart sometimes gets far too excited for his own good.
“It’s just the way Barnaby is. He is passionate about his beliefs, knows exactly what he wants and he goes at things like a bull at a gate. I’ve seen him in action sometimes when he doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going.
“Oh, dear, that takes me back a long, long time.”
Mrs Thorton-Myers then sounded quite emotional over the phone and added quietly, her voice quavering: “Now if you’ll excuse me, I want to get back to applying the melted chocolate onto these freshly baked sponges. Lamingtons don’t make themselves, you know.”
A life member and long-time former president of the CWA’s Armidale sub-branch, Thora Thacklewaite, echoed Vera’s views.
“Look, we all know Barnaby’s a bit of a lad who likes a cold beer on a hot day or a tot of rum on a cold night but there’s no way he’d turn up to work other than stone, cold sober.
“The accusations that he was sloshed in the chamber are absolutely despicable.
“He’s the finest member we’ve ever had and we all love Barnaby for the salt-of-the-earth, devoted Christian man that he is.
“He’s kind and he’s charismatic and most of our members have been rooting for him from the day they first met him.
“And, my, oh my, those large calloused farmer’s hands… ooooh, I’m sorry, but I’ve got to go…I think I can hear someone coming.”