The Revenge of Pistol and Boo
Had Barnaby Joyce been a politician in the era of Xenophon of Athens (rather than Xenophon of SA-Best), his current woes could easily be explained away as a Grecian tragedy. From his citizenship woes, which have their origins in Pericles of Athens, to his adultery, which was punishable by death (i.e. the back bench), it appears that from the moment Barnabas crossed paths with two Yorkshire terriers bearing hipster names his life has never been the same. It’s a shame that he never consulted Michaelia Cash (posing as the Delphic Oracle) on that fateful day in May 2015, as she may have saved him from fouling his own boat by portending the dire consequences of threatening to sacrifice Pistol and Boo to the God of Agriculture.
Why the Minister of Agriculture felt the need to get involved in the case of two little dogs flouting the quarantine laws seems quite bizarre – isn’t that the job of Customs? Was he seeking instant fame to impress his young lover? Or could he see a fledging industry in sending puppies off to China?
Pistol and Boo are not the only four-legged friends that Barnaby Joyce has been harassing. The spotlight may be focused on the hypocrisy of a married man who sees nothing wrong with having sex with a co-worker while promoting a Catholic, pro-family, anti-gay, anti-abortion moral stance, but his crimes against animals in the form of live export have been conveniently and hypocritically overlooked by the masses and a media obsessed with jobs and growth at the expense of furry creatures.
Remember the mass hysteria rightfully whipped up by the Four Corners report on live cattle export to Indonesia while Julia Gillard was PM? And the venom, which forced her government to suspend all live exports? That same venom has been retracted for the LNP government, with Barnabas extremely active in sending cattle off in boats to China and extending his plans to the live-export of donkeys to satisfy the Chinese appetite for donkey skins. The Chinese may have decimated donkey populations in Africa to near extinction but, prior to his political demise, Joyce was imploring Australians to understand the cultural requirements. “If people want edible donkey skins, Australia is going to provide them,” he lectured us.
It’s a pity Joyce couldn’t show equal concern for the cultural requirements of refugees in detention, but when it comes to China’s appetite for animals, Barnabas has been more then accommodating, excitingly mentioning horses, kangaroos, goats and llamas in his planned live-export menagerie. And that’s when Boo and Pistol stepped in.
Conservative politicians have always underestimated the sixth sense of animals, treating them as economic pawns for agriculture or financial impediments to mining and property development. It seems quite fitting that Boo and Pistol have bitten back, on behalf of all creatures, at the man who threatened their lives. Let’s hope, for the sake of the donkeys, that the hex passes on to the next Agricultural Minister. Otherwise, who will save the animals?