Paula Matthewson: Barnaby, the last of the dinosaur wrecking crew_1

Seemingly not content with spoiling the day that was meant to be dedicated to the victims and heroes of the nation’s bushfire crisis, Barnaby Joyce ended this week as he began – trying to make it all about him.

It wasn’t enough for the last of the old school wreckers to force a leadership spill on Monday, when the Nationals only had to replace its deputy leader after Bridget McKenzie finally fell on her sword over the #sportsrorts affair. By getting two of his few loyalists to call for a spill of the leader’s position as well, the disgraced former leader fancied himself as the obvious victor.

Then, having miserably failed in that endeavour, and initially giving the impression that he would gracefully retreat to the backbench to focus on serving his electorate, the MP fell back to his default position of being a hollow extortionist who’d blow up the joint if he didn’t get his way.

Is it any wonder the majority of Nationals MPs declined to return Mr Joyce to the leadership role?

Apparently the victorious Nationals leader, Michael McCormack, who in fact chooses his party’s ministers (rather than Scott Morrison), should have done the Biblical thing and returned Senator Canavan to the ministry – so that he was well positioned to resign again when Mr Joyce was ready to make his next move.

For let’s not kid ourselves that this is over; just like that other old school wrecker, Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce will not rest until he is leader again.

The question for other Nationals MPs, particularly the younger generation, is whether they are willing to stand by and watch a narcissist dinosaur destroy their party to assuage his delusions of grandeur.