We’ve come a long way from the original concept of marriage being a commercial/property transaction, haven’t we? Oh, to be back in the simpler times, when the biggest problem was that women were considered to be part of those transactions, and not a party to them.
As marriage has evolved over the centuries, it’s become a monster. Weddings, divorce, even, arguably, family lawyers – there are a number of industries that only exist because of marriage. It’s now a complicated concept, and a highly contentious one, especially in Australia in 2017. The sanctity of the marriage ship has well and truly sailed.
Which is something that the former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce discovered recently, when The Daily Telegraph published a piece which essentially inferred that Joyce (as DPM) had an extra-marital affair with a staffer in his office, and that affair caused some chaos in both his personal and official camps.
Listen: Mia spoke to the woman leading the Yes campaign. (Post continues after audio.)
And about that privacy? You must be joking, Joyce.
But alas, he wasn’t. When asked whether he was thinking of his family when considering not running in the by-election, The Daily Telegraph reported he said, “You want straight answers and I want to give you straight answers, but not to go unnecessarily into my private life.”
That’s understandable; privacy is something we all treasure. And he’s got the backing of some sections of the media, who argue that Joyce’s personal decisions are not a matter of national interest. The problem is, when you’re one of the topmost officials in a democratic country, that position doesn’t afford privacy as one of its privileges.
You see, if you’re on a taxpayer-funded salary, in a taxpayer-funded office, and you potentially have an affair with another taxpayer-funded staff member, not only will the nation want to know, they have a right to know. As Trump might flippantly and insensitively tell Joyce, “he knew what he signed up for.” Because as a civil servant, you are accountable, no matter how high your office – the former deputy commissioner of the Australian Tax Office, Michael Cranston, could, and will, testify to that.