Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was clearly and severely inebriated during his 7.30 interview with Leigh Sales on Tuesday night, an exclusive Bug poll has found.
In the exclusive poll of 1250 people around Australia through a mixture of direct calls and on-line canvassing, the results came back as follows:
Tired and emotional: 22 per cent
Pissed as a fart: 44 per cent
Full as a goog: 14 per cent
Drunk as a skunk: 15 per cent
Those canvassed too pissed to respond: 5 per cent.
The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 double rum and cokes.
To Leigh’s first question – how negotiations on a climate-change policy agreement between the Liberals and the Nationals were going – Joyce responded: “Well, Leigh, it really ….(appears frustrated or about to burp).. I keep saying this to people… I’m not (word indecipherable) negotiator…”
And soon after: “A plan will come to the Nationals’ party room on Sunday… I know that’s going to get out … (suppresses burp)…”
And: “… not everyone in the room will came to the same position.”
And a later highlight, if that’s the word: “We wanna make sure that … ah…what… where we end up … is a position that if it’s going forward that takes our people …ah … not backwards …that takes them, takes them forward.”
Joyce’s performance garnered both support and criticism from experts on alcoholism.
Former cultural attache to the Court of St James Sir Les Patterson said Mr Joyce should not fear being marked down politically for being shown “more than three sheets to the wind”.
“Sure, he stumbled and he mumbled and didn’t make much sense but that has never harmed Pauline Hanson.”
The former internationally acclaimed diplomat added: “Australians love politicians who display a little bit of honest larrikinism in their execution of their public duties.
“Barnaby was clearly stewed to the gills and you’d think that his red-faced performance would hurt him, but politics is a high-pressure game and voters accept that pollies need some form of wind-down mechanism after each day to cope with that.
“As I’ve always said: A man under pressure needs the odd refresher.”
But The Bug’s best-known in-house alcoholic, finance adviser Morrie Bezzle, said people in the public eye had to be able to come across as cool as a cucumber and cold stone sober when the need arose.
“I’ve had some brisk business lunches at my local gentlemen’s club that haven’t finished up to 7pm … the next day. And my business associates and I have put away enough piss to kill Sir John Kerr,” Mr Bezzle said.
“But at any stage, if I got a call from someone I’d been trying for yonks to finance some business scam… sorry scheme … that I’ve been hatching, you’ve simply got to be able to flick the switch to vaudeville.
“You’ve got to ready and able – be it on a phone video call or if you have to hop in your car and rush into the city for a crucial face-to-face meeting – to take a deep breath and come across as sober as a judge to get your scam … sorry scheme … over the line.
“Barnaby clearly didn’t do that so he gets a thumbs down from me.
“It’s really a matter of training but if you want to be taken seriously you’ve got to look as if you’re not about to go the technicolour yawn.”
Below: Sir Les Patterson (left) and The Bug‘s financial adviser Morrie Bezzle.