So many thoughts have been popping around in my head since Kate Langbroek slammed Vikki Campion for allegedly shagging Barnaby Joyce while he was still married.
Those thoughts became so intense that I’ve decided to write a second blog post for the day. I haven’t done that since I was in the throws of ACP PTSD.
You’d expect me to be the last person to wave a flag for BJ and his girlfriend, but I’ve been feeling really conflicted after reading the news reports.
“It’s horrible, it’s hideous, it’s terrible,” Langbroek said on radio yesterday.
Yes, she’s right, it is.
“Stop f-ing married men. Just don’t do it. Stop doing it,” she added.
Yes, she’s right, don’t.
“You might think that you’re getting something out of it, but you’re not. You’re getting so much pain and misery and bad juju from that,” she went on.
Yep, bad juju.
“If you want to sleep with him, then he’s got a choice to split up with his family and split up with his wife and then he can come to you unencumbered, that’s fine, people fall in love all the time and relationships are complicated,” she said.
“But when you sleep with a married man, you’re a bad person. You can put whatever spin on it you want, but you’re a rotten person. So is the rotten man you’ve slept with, but I am not talking about the men.”
This is where Kate and I diverge.
You are not a bad person. Well, not necessarily. You’ve just done a bad thing.
You’re not a rotten person. Well, not necessarily. You’ve just done a rotten thing.
And I wouldn’t want that bad juju in my life, but I’m not you. I don’t know what lead you down that path, though I do know it would be better not to have take a single step on it in the first place.
I also have empathy for Barnaby’s wife and her distress. She released a statement saying “this situation is devastating on many fronts”.
She’s right to be angry that she put her own career on hold to support Barnaby through his political life and through 24 years of marriage, only to be cast aside because her husband had an office affair and fell in love.
“Naturally we also feel deceived and hurt by the actions of Barnaby and the staff member involved,” she said.
Yep, naturally it hurts.
Like Kate said, the decent thing to do is leave your wife before you have sex with – and in Barnaby’s case impregnate – another woman.
But human beings are deeply flawed creatures who do stupid things and make awful mistakes. And despite Dave “Hughesy” Hughes claim that “men have desires” and need “to contain them”, I don’t think affairs are always about sex.
Sometimes they’re about loneliness. Being unhappily married can be very lonely.
I don’t know if Barnaby was unhappily married.
I do know it’s better to try and sort out that unhappily married business than to simply move on. But humans also tend to be a bit lairy about doing the hard yards.
And that’s my long, round about way of saying that what makes me angry about the Barnaby Joyce situation isn’t him getting a colleague pregnant. I’m just disappointed in him for doing that.
What I am angry at him for is being such an appalling hypocrite. Furious, actually.
How dare he stand in the way of same-sex marriage with the reasoning that it fundamentally degrade an institution founded on traditional notions of love and partnership. How dare he address an anti-marriage equality rally in 2011 and say that same-sex marriage would negatively affect his four daughters.
“We know that the best protection for those girls is that they get themselves into a secure relationship with a loving husband,” he said, “and I want that to happen for them. I don’t want any legislator to take that right away from me.”
Pffft, secure relationship with a loving husband … tell that to your deserted wife and distressed kids.
If you believe so strongly in your ideals, bloody stand by them.
I might not agree with you, but at least you are walking the walk.
Barnaby Joyce did not walk the walk. He just talked the talk.
And that’s far worse in my mind than his adultery because he stood in the way of the happiness of others and contributed to that ridiculously expensive same-sex marriage vote.
I am also deeply angry about the huge amount of money we spent on that damn vote instead of using it for health and education and other many other far more needed things.
What’s your view?