Good to see a sense of humour here

Just as background, to be an Australian politician you have to be an Oz citizen. Fair enough – but you cannot have any dual nationality either. Which has led to a few re#signing just recently as unknown or even unsuspected other passport rights come to light.

At which point:

Australia’s highest profile New Zealander, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, has received the second-most nominations for 2018 New Zealander of the Year.

Nominations officially close next month, at which stage the awards office said it would “assess Mr Joyce’s eligibility based on his citizenship and other criteria”.

The Deputy Prime Minister’s links to the Land of the Long White Cloud have been thrust into the spotlight in recent weeks, amid Federal Parliament’s dual citizenship crisis.

Mr Joyce found he was a dual citizen of Australia and New Zealand because his father was born there, which has led to his eligibility to sit in Parliament being questioned in the High Court.

Mr Joyce was seemingly left speechless when told about the nomination.

“Ha ha ha,” he said sarcastically to reporters in Warwick, Queensland.

OK, that’s a sense of humour failure there but well done to the Kiwis there, well done.

25 thoughts on “Good to see a sense of humour here”

  1. That’s not the funniest part of the joke. The leading contender for NZ’er of the year is Metiria Turei, who is single handily responsible for destroying the electoral chances of the NZ Green Party.

  2. The leading contender for Kiwi of the year is Metiria Turei, who is responsible for destroying the electoral chances of the NZ Green Party which is why she has been nominated.

  3. I reckon Australia’s rules here are a mistake. That NZ nomination strikes me as rather … British in its sense of humour (which despite the protests of my browser’s spellcheck, incidentally neither Australians nor Kiwis would spell as “humor”). There is something of a cultural continuum throughout the Commonwealth and a blanket ban on politicians with foreign citizenship seems deliberately designed to deny that, as an unnecessary assertion of Oz “independence”.

    If your political circles are exhibiting a talent deficit, it may not be the worst of ideas to import some. I reckon the UK got a good deal with the contributions of Bryan Gould from NZ. If only he had beaten John Smith to the Labour leadership, he’d likely have been PM instead of Blair
    – though that’s a big if, given he failed by 91% to 9%. Suspect his views on the EU would be popular in these quarters. Not quite convinced we did so well out of the New Brunswicker Bonar Law, who actually did become PM. In the Czech republic, Karel, Prince of Schwarzenberg, Duke of Krumlov was a highly internationally respected foreign minister in the 2000s (a role he had previously been considered for in Austria, where he had been active in politics before the Iron Curtain fell and he could return to Prague) and he had both Czech and Swiss citizenship from birth.

    The ban on accidentally acquired ones (a feat that is easy enough when considering the labyrinth of global citizenship rules) seems particularly harsh.

  4. MBE, Kiwis would indeed spell it humour, which is after all, the correct spelling. Australians, maybe not so much, after all their mainstream “left” party is named “Labor”.

  5. I’m not so bothered about their nationality, but wouldn’t it be great if a politician could be debarred from office for being a complete and utter cvnt? This would have the benefit of making the whole place a heck of a lot cheaper to run …

  6. Kiwis have an excellent sense of humour, at least where Australians are involved. Australians tend to have a robust sense of humour except when Australia is involved, when they suddenly become thin-skinned.

    I speak with all the authority of someone who was once mistaken for a Queensland “bushy” at the Brizzie Ekka.

  7. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    MBE,
    I was a great fan of Karl Schwarzenberg, he sounded like Donald Sinden and spoke a lot of sense. Should have been Czech president instead of that drunken buffoon that they have now. He was always being interviewed on the Austrian wireless when they wanted a (sane) Eurosceptic/pragmatist voice..

  8. Metiria Turei will be hard to beat, as she has two distinct groups of supporters for the title. The first group are her Green Party loyalists, applauding her bold stand against oppression and colonialism by rorting the welfare system.
    The second , much larger, group are those delighted that her shameless troughing and sense of entitlement has torpedoed the Green Party below the waterline. There isn’t much overlap between the two groups…

  9. @ MBE
    AFAIK Winston Spencer Churchill and Maurice Harold MacMillan could have had dual English/US citizenship as they has American mothers..

  10. @john77

    Was it possible to inherit US citizenship through one’s mother at the time? Not sure that it was (thought there was a paternal rather than parental route to inheritance, though I’m not expert in the thing.

  11. The logic behind the ruling is that dual nationality means divided loyalty. What would a pollie do if he or she was asked to vote on something detrimental to their other country?

    Aussie homegrown humour is plain awful. Their standup comedians are all of the “isn’t Trump a cunt?” variety and their sitcoms are as funny as dysentery. Being the blindly patriotic people that they are, they feel obliged to support and laugh at any manifestation of supposed Aussie humour. Thankfully, this is quite easy as, just like US sitcoms, the jokes are signposted long before they are laboriously delivered and then painfully flogged to death.

  12. @Alex
    Makes sense.

    @DocBud
    The logic behind the ruling is that dual nationality means divided loyalty. What would a pollie do if he or she was asked to vote on something detrimental to their other country?

    I appreciate this is the underlying logic, but it’s such a blunt instrument that it’s silly. In cases of citizenships acquired without the person even realising that they were eligible for it, it seems like overkill. But if someone genuinely does have split loyalties, what good does it do for them to renounce their legal association with that country if they still possess cultural, social, linguistic, family, friendship and business ties to their ancestral motherland, and quite likely a political relationship with other migrants from that country? Are we going to impose “can’t stand for parliament til the 3rd generation” rules on migrants? “Can’t vote til the 3rd gen”? Where does it end?

    Australia banning Kiwis, and to some extent Brits, strikes me as particularly posturing – as if they need to say out loud “we’re different/independent of you” because they’re worried .nobody would think that it if they didn’t. Obviously the strategic interests of those nations are not always aligned, but the ties are very deep.

    My rather liberal position on this is rather biased by being British, I suspect – I’m used to the idea that Commonwealth citizens in the UK have a right to vote for British MPs, or that when an MP with Canadian nationality speaks in the House of Commons on Canadian issues, his words might be treated with more weight because of closer knowledge and connections to the situation, rather than less weight because he is under suspicion as some kind of double-agent. I suppose a contrary view is that these things are relics of Empire and should go. But it just wouldn’t be very British for the British parliament to declare its supreme Britishness and force every MP to stand up and legally demonstrate they are “100% British” too – and I take that as a sign of us being a grown-up nation, not self-conscious about having to prove we are a country apart in our own right.

  13. Singapore – can’t be a citizen unless you renounce all others. Can’t run for President unless you have held office or have run a company with equity capital of S$500m.

    Wouldn’t have kept Blair out but it’s a start and stops amateur hour demagoguery.

    But given you can be an Aus/other dual national then why have a different rule for politicians? As MyBurningEars says.. what about voting in Parliament? What about voting at all?

  14. Andrew again said:
    “Singapore – can’t be a citizen unless you renounce all others. Can’t run for President unless you have held office or have run a company with equity capital of S$500m. Wouldn’t have kept Blair out”

    How would Blair have qualified if we’d had that rule? He wasn’t even an MP until 1983, so there wasn’t a Labour government for him to be in office under. And he didn’t have that much money until he was PM.

  15. @MBE: “Was it possible to inherit US citizenship through one’s mother at the time?” Irrelevant at the time, I think: the US didn’t allow dual citizenship In The Old Days.

  16. Ho hum. I’ve often been told what I said just above, but looking at WKPD it seems that the issue is pretty complicated. Maybe it was simpler in Olden Times but now I’m not so sure.

  17. one problem is that -if the politicians are not really or completely Australian – where does the leave the thousands of migrants who have been through the citizenship ceremony etc. Are they partly Australian?

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