Barnaby’s affair isn’t in the public interest because he’s a public person who deserves a private life? What the bloody hell is this noise?
Imagine if you will if Malcolm Turnbull had a questionable affair with a media advisor in the PMO. He got her pregnant and was estranged and later divorced from Lucy. Now imagine that Turnbull was against same-sex marriage because he believed it would violate the sanctity of marriage. Would this series of events, the leader of this country doing wrong and destroying his relationship with his wife after very publicly talking about the holiness of marriage, be in the public interest? Yes. It would. It’s not nice to think of this, but in this scenario the PM has used his position of power over the advisor for his own hedonism and in doing so violated the sanctity of his own marriage and would likely fall as a result of scandal.
Joyce is the deputy leader of this country. One bad heart beat on Turnbull’s part and he’ll be (at least temporarily) the new Prime Minister. Being that he’s only one step down, at what level on the org-chart does this kind of misconduct become a private matter?
This whole affair is purely in the public interest because people like Barnaby run on platforms of moral authority. In the above story, Joyce abstained from the vote on same-sex marriage recognition because – his words – men can’t have babies and women can and thus not legalising gay marriage isn’t discrimination.
It is this kind of platform that is why a Republican anti-gay US State lawmaker having a gay affair in his office goes viral. The hypocrisy of a high-level politician is definitely in the public interest. It all boils down to this: Why should people vote for him and his party’s platform of true family values if he doesn’t even seem to value his own wife?
This doesn’t mean politicians can’t have private lives: but if they make a value set involving their private life their platform, they can’t complain when they are called into question when they break it.