Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce says the Turnbull government must learn how to sell tax relief for the banks and big-earning CEO “bastards” or face the consequences in Queensland.
Mr Joyce says the level of voter support in the state for One Nation at last weekend’s Longman by-election shows the Coalition and Labor don’t know how to talk to Queenslanders.
“The Longman by-election was a big wake-up call – 16 per cent voted for a lady on a cruise in the Irish Sea,” he wrote in an opinion piece published in The Courier-Mail on Thursday.
“This is because Pauline Hanson is defined as Queensland, and the Labor and Liberal leaders are not.”
He cited several examples of the Turnbull government’s failure to connect with voters on key policies.
“People don’t like big banks and they think big businesses rip us off. They don’t like big power companies that have their foot on their throats. They don’t like big government – a machine that doesn’t care,” he wrote.
“Don’t tell them big businesses are all good and misunderstood. Don’t say a CEO earning 100 times their wage needs help.
“Just say, the reality is some of these people are bastards, but there are a lot of countries hungry for those bastards to go there, and to take their money with them.”
He said political leaders must understand that “people struggling to pay their power bills don’t care about the Paris (climate change) Agreement; they don’t care about your urbane southern guilt in not complying with it”.
And he said voters needed a better explanation about why Australia was giving financial support to its island neighbours, while Aussie farmers were going without and battling drought.
“There’s a good reason for that, but you need to sit down with the constituency and explain. (If we don’t help our island neighbours, China will, and you will be surrounded by a new Chinese empire. Alternatively, you can’t let kids starve to death no matter where they live.)”
The column comes a day after Mr Joyce told Sky News the Coalition would lose the next federal election unless it changed its ways.