Poor old Barnaby Joyce. Some journo has had a wee casual chat with his parents who obviously were feeling quite relaxed...
BEFORE Barnaby Joyce makes a final decision on whether he should challenge popular federal independent Tony Windsor for the seat of New England, he might want to give his parents a quick call.
"I think he would be ill-advised to run against Tony Windsor," Senator Joyce's mother, Marie, told The Weekend Australian yesterday.
His father agrees, dismissing his son's claim that he could win New England at the next federal election as "bluff".
Hmm. Well. There goes that plan.
But don't fret Barney (as they call him), there's still some real positive imagery that will assist your rise to leader.
While not supporting their son for a run in New England, the Joyces believe he would make a good Nationals leader, and they would welcome him moving from the Senate to the House of Representatives.
"Being somebody's father -- you know, you've seen them in nappies," Mr Joyce said.
"You find it hard to imagine them achieving something like that. But the more I hear him speak, the more I can tell he's been learning about politics -- its nuances and pressure points. He's smart to have worked all that out.
And look! Dad's even said you're 'smart'! And you'se bin 'learnin'! Who's a clever boy den, eh!
Mrs Joyce ...said she would be happy for him to become Nationals leader "as long as he didn't take it too seriously".
Uh. No chance of that being encouraged.
Mrs Joyce also 'described her fourth son as "a man for others"' ...perhaps adding sotto voce, 'and not so much a man for us. *ahem* ...Would you like another cup of tea dear?'