Barnaby Joyce has taken aim at federal Liberals, telling his Coalition partners they need to drop ‘‘bulls*** arguments’’ and concentrate on things that matter to voters.
Those things don’t include a parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage and arguing about renewable energy targets and historic views about conservatism.
‘‘In north Queensland, they have 20 per cent unemployment. You know the only thing they want to hear? How you are going to get them a job,’’ the Nationals’ leader told Guardian Australia on Friday.
He said voters in regional areas were aggravated about the state of federal politics, and more debate about issues that had nothing to do with their lives would only benefit Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party.
‘‘(They’ve) become hypersensitive about bulls*** arguments,’’ Mr Joyce said.
‘‘They look at political candidates and say, ‘have you ever actually lived, mate?’’’
Mr Joyce questioned whether Liberal MPs knew what it was like not to have money in your pocket.
‘‘Do you know what it’s like to think, ‘sh**, I want a life with dignity and I’m on the pension, and I can’t actually afford food, so how do I do this and keep my dignity in this town?’’’
The Deputy Prime Minister warns the war of words between Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott will hurt the Liberal-Nationals party in Queensland.
‘‘The message going back to punterville is, ‘it’s like a philosophers’ club down there’,’’ he said, alluding to recent speeches by Mr Turnbull and his predecessor over who the Liberal Party represents.