The storm around Barnaby Joyce has left many questions about the future.
The storm around Barnaby Joyce has left many questions about the future. LUKAS COCH

OPINION: Be careful what you wish for in Barnaby case

BARNABY Joyce's resignation should put the brakes on a story which has dominated the media landscape for the past fortnight, at least for awhile.

However questions will continue to linger for a long time. Foremost, of course, is where is the line between public and private lives in the media?

Unfortunately, it seems like there is no clear cut answer.

While there is a legitimate question to be asked about digging through people's personal relationships, the other side of this coin is in this case it raised serious questions about the jobs which Vikki Campion occupied in other offices.

How would the story have played in reverse? That an investigation into "jobs for mates” was reported, and their relationship was then discovered? Would that be more palatable?

Though she is well qualified to work in Federal Government, there's a reason the line "image is everything” resonates so well among PR firms. And if there's one thing modern day politics revolves around it is image.

Perhaps more intriguing, however, is how saintly do we need our political leaders and public figures to be? Cheating on your wife is not good, to be sure, but how many people can throw that stone without risk of being cut by glass?

Here's a hint: one American study reported up to 60 per cent of men and 55 per cent of women would end up in the sack with someone else during their marriage.

There's no doubt a statistical difference between American and Australian cultures, but it is suggestive.

But this puritanical streak we demand from others doesn't end there, either.

Are you worried by the continued dragging up of old "controversial” tweets or comments from decades ago, and people being publicly keel-hauled or required to scourge themselves by resigning? You should be.

We should be very careful when we demand people we put in power must abide by the strictest set of rules we can imagine.

Because rather than winding up with the best person for the job, instead we'll be stuck with the only person on the planet we deem clean enough to do it.

Gympie Times


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