Anthony Albanese’s reaction to Barnaby Joyce rolling around on the ground on a Canberra footpath after falling off a planter box has been slammed as “sexist” and just more evidence that parliament is a “private school boys club.”
Independent Senator Lidia Thorpe has unleashed over the Prime Minister’s very different reaction to the incident after he previously dished out some free advice to her after she was involved in a verbal clash outside a Melbourne strip club.
Mr Joyce was caught on tape by bystanders lying on the ground during an upside-down phone call to his wife on Wednesday night before the Prime Minister brushed it off.
The bizarre footage, first obtained by Daily Mail Australia, records the Nationals frontbencher lying on the footpath in Canberra late at night while mumbling “dead f**king c***” into his phone.
“That’s a matter for Barnaby Joyce to explain. I think that’s a matter for him,’’ Mr Albanese said in response on Friday.
“I don’t intend to comment on what are clearly difficult circumstances for Barnaby Joyce.”
But when Senator Thorpe was involved in a verbal clash at a strip club while standing upright, the Prime Minister suggested her actions were “quite clearly unacceptable.”
“These are not the actions of anyone who should be participating in society in a normal way, let alone a senator,” Mr Albanese said.
“Lidia needs to be very conscious of the way in which this behaviour has been seen. They are repeat exercises now.”
Senator Thorpe said the double standard at play was clear.
“It’s no surprise that Albanese laughs off this behaviour when it comes from one of his male colleagues, but has demonstrated his willingness to make condescending, inaccurate comments about his female colleagues, myself included,’’ Senator Thorpe told news.com.au.
“Parliament is still a private school boys club, and this is the latest example of the double standards we see from men in power.
“Sexism, misogyny and racism still plague our politics, and it’s clear the Prime Minister plays a role in that.”
Independent senator Lidia Thorpe was banned for life from the strip club in Melbourne’s inner north last year after she was filmed yelling profanities at a group of men outside the venue in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The Prime Minister also questioned the senator’s behaviour last year including her protest during Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian mardi gras Parade that saw her escorted away by police.
“Lidia needs to be very conscious of the way in which this behaviour has been seen,” Mr Albanese said.
Senator Thorpe said that Mr Albanese should “consider carefully the message he is sending to young women around the country who may wish to enter politics. “
“He is supposed to be a leader, he needs to do better,’’ she said.
“I would add that it’s disappointing to see further delays to establishing the independent Parliamentary Standards Commission.
“This needs to happen as a matter of urgency so we can hold politicians to account for their behaviour in the workplace.
And I hope that Mr. Joyce is doing okay.”
Barnaby Joyce has said he was ashamed and “embarrassed” after a video showed him appearing tired and emotional after a night out.
Mr Albanese has been contacted for comment.
Mr Joyce’s wife Vikki Campion said that he was on the phone with her at the time and the harsh words were not directed at her.
“No I think he was calling himself one, he likes to self flagellate,” she told news.com.au.
Ms Campion said she was disappointed someone filmed the incident rather than render assistance.
“I’ve been with Barnaby when we have found a man in the same state on the street and rather than take a video and sell it to the media, he picked the guy up and took him home, we later found out there had been problems with his medication and if he hadn’t helped him back he could have been in a very bad situation,” she said.
“On another occasion he picked up a hospital patient who was walking around disoriented and took him back to the hospital.
“Both of them were Canberra residents who he went out of his way to help after a sitting. It’s disgusting that when he was in need they could not even check he was ok.”
Ms Campion said her husband did hurt himself, but observed that like most farmers he never complained. “He did hurt his back but he hasn’t made a big deal of it,” she said. “The guy who took the video witnessed him fall off the pot plant and confirmed that to the Daily Mail, and instead of checking if he was ok, whipped his phone out, took a video and kept walking. Lovely.”
In a statement, Mr Joyce said he was embarrassed and confirmed he had fallen off the inner-city planter box.
“I was walking back to my accommodation after parliament rose at 10pm,” he said.
“While on the phone I sat on the edge of a plant box, fell over, kept talking on the phone, and very animatedly was referring to myself for having fallen over.”
Originally published as “Sexist”: PM slammed by Lidia Thorpe over Barnaby Joyce escapade