Barnaby’s bundle of joy quashes barnies
BARNABY Joyce has finally climbed the hill and met his father-in-law.
The former deputy prime minister and Vikki Campion visited Tolga on Sunday to introduce baby Sebastian to his grandfather for the first time.
Peter Campion, a voracious producer of Cairns Post letters to the editor who famously suggested Mr Joyce should "give himself an uppercut", instantly fell in love with the five-month-old.
"Mate, he's the brightest and most cheerful bub I've met in a long time," he said.
"(My wife) Tracey was a family daycare provider for 28 years, so I've met a lot of bubs.
"A pretty good genetic mix, by the look of it.
"I just hope he never grows mutton chops when he's grown up - it'd be too ironic."
It was the first time Mr Campion and his daughter Vikki had seen each other after a falling-out several years ago.
"Cute kid fixed the rift; great work Seb!" the former firefighter said.
"Motherhood suits Vikki. It's taken the sharp edges off her.
"Let's hope Seb doesn't inherit my looks."
Ms Campion was Mr Joyce's media adviser when she fell pregnant, triggering a very public scandal that led to the former Nationals leader's split with his wife Natalie and his eventual resignation to the backbench.
The media circus that followed was like nothing Australian politics had seen.
Mr Campion found 15 minutes of international fame after his Cairns Post interview, with his "uppercut" comments being broadcast to millions of people worldwide on US comedian John Oliver's Last Week Tonight program.
The unlikely media personality still finds humour in the New Zealand dual citizenship shemozzle that forced the all-Aussie Mr Joyce to stand for a by-election shortly before his extramarital affair was outed.
He made several references to sheep in his most recent written statement to the Cairns Post - hence the previous "mutton chops" remark and the ensuing onomatopoeic tweaks to Barnaby's name.
"I am gushing a bit," he said.
"Even we sceptics can be emotional when it comes to cute little grandsons!"
Of course, no meeting with Mr Campion would be complete without touching on the current state of climate politics, and Mr Joyce copped an earful.
"Baanyard stoically endured a lengthy dissertation on atmospheric and radiative physics and the impossibility of CO2-induced catastrophic man-made global warming and associated subjects," Mr Campion said.
"These included the origin of the climate hoax with Maurice Strong and the Club of Rome and its purpose of introducing a socialist world government to respond to the pretend crisis.
"Also plant and reef biology.
"He listened attentively, which was nice."
Still, the Member for New England's lack of pugilistic skills was a bone of contention.
"It's still a shame Baany never gave Turnbull that uppercut he so desperately needed before he buggered off to New York to hover around UN HQ like the rent-seeking socialist crony-capitalist he is," Mr Campion said.
"Agrarian socialists have a better grasp of practical (classical) economics than do the regulation-promoting Keynesians of the carpet-bagging Turnbull-ite elitists.
"It was refreshing to discuss issues with him. We need more Baanabys and fewer Mao-colms in our central swamp."