Flat White

Is this Australia’s William Jennings Bryan moment?

21 June 2021

2:57 PM

21 June 2021

2:57 PM

William Jennings Bryan? Never heard of him? Take a look at Wikipedia: 

William Jennings Bryan (March 19, 1860 – July 26, 1925) was an American orator and politician. Beginning in 1896, he emerged as a dominant force in the Democratic Party, running three times as the party’s nominee for President of the United States in the 1896, 1900, and 1908 elections. He also served in the House of Representatives and as the Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson. Because of his faith in the wisdom of the common people, he was often called “The Great Commoner”. 

Would the description of Barnaby Joyce as Australia’s Best Retail Politician be the equivalent of being the “The Great Commoner”?  Maybe.  After all, what is a great retail politician? 

Barnaby Joyce has been in parliament since 2005, initially in the Senate, but now in the House of Representatives.  He has been a Cabinet minister for a cumulative four and a bit years.  It might have been longer had he not have to stand for re-election having discovered well into his parliamentary career that he was a New Zealand citizen.   


The portfolios Joyce held as a minister included agriculture, water resources, resources, northern Australia, infrastructure and transport.  His list of policy achievements across his time as a minister can be found here. 

As a member of the US House of Representatives, Jennings Bryan advocated for free silver, a policy of monetary stimulus and expansion.  Jennings Bryan stated: 

The people of Nebraska are for free silver and I am for free silver. I will look up the arguments later.   

In some of his first comments having regained his position as leader of the National Party: 

Mr Joyce said he would undertake a period of consultation with his colleagues on how those negotiations should proceed. 

“I will be guided by my party room. It is not Barnaby policy – it’s Nationals policy,” he said.   

Maybe residents in National Party electorates are in store for some free silver. 

Stephen Spartacus regularly writes at Sparty’s Cast.

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