Barnaby Joyce again mispronounced Anthony Albanese’s name when he listed five reasons why Australians should vote ‘no’ to an Indigenous vote in parliament.
The Nationals MP has a long history of mispronouncing Mr Albanese’s surname as ‘Alba-nays’ as if it rhymed with mayonnaise.
The former deputy prime minister made another blunder on Sunday when he demanded more clarity about what residents would vote for in the referendum for The Voice.
“Mr Alba-nays needs to be honest and tell us what it is,” he told Sky News.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (right) is pictured with his partner Jodie Haydon
Mr Joyce had made the same blunder last year when he blasted Labour’s climate and resources policies during the campaign trail in May 2022.
Last November, the Nationals became the first major party to announce they would not support a constitutionally enshrined Voice, and were joined by the Liberals earlier this week.
Mr Joyce denounced the vote as ‘dangerous’ as he went through the reasons why he and his party opposed it.
He said his main reason for being against the Voice is because it “defines people by race, it defines people by DNA.”
Mr Joyce backed that up by saying that ‘the first article of the UN Convention on Human Rights is that everyone shall be treated with equal dignity and equal rights’.
Barnaby Joyce vs Pronouncing Anthony Albanese’s Name
The Prime Minister’s name is not difficult to pronounce. It’s All-ban-e-zee.
But Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce consistently pronounces it “Alba-nays,” as if it rhymes with mayonnaise.
Speaking to the National Press Club in Canberra ahead of the May 2022 federal election, Mr Joyce referred to the prime minister-elect as ‘Alba-nays’ more than a dozen times.
This even went against the coalition’s own policies.
The liberal-national election slogan ‘It won’t be easy among Albanians’ was based on the correct pronunciation of the then opposition leader’s name.
Mr Joyce is by no means the only one who mispronounces Mr Albanian.
The ABC’s election guru, Antony Green, constantly pronounces the Prime Minister’s surname “Alba-nees” as if it rhymes with knees.
Although he got the name slightly wrong – it’s called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – he got the gist of the first article right.
It reads, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
“They are endowed with reason and conscience and ought to act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
Mr Joyce added that the violence seen recently in Alice Springs ‘is not determined by the color of people’s skin but is determined by the conditions in which they live’.
The second point of his opposition to the Voice was one made time and time again by Coalition MPs, that ‘we haven’t been given all the details.
“The advice of the Solicitor General, the independent legal advice to the government, is hidden,” he said.
He added that ‘people don’t know what the legislation is, but apparently it’s going to happen after the referendum.
So voting on the Voice is like voting for a car whose make, model and price you don’t know. It’s a very dangerous thing to do.’
The former Nationals leader’s third point was that if the Voice succeeds but then proves “inefficient (or) inadequate,” the country will be stuck with it.
“We can’t get rid of it, it’s in the Constitution (if passed by referendum).”
On his fourth point, Mr Joyce denounced the “extensive powers of the executive branch” which he said would affect everything from decisions of the cabinet and reserve bench to the selection of Supreme Court judges.
His fifth objection to the Voice was that if passed it would amount to “an active cell of another political party that has not been elected, it has been selected, and everything with that much power should be elected, not selected.”
Mr Albanese had a very different take on how The Voice operates when he spoke to Sky News on Sunday.
He started by saying that he still believes the referendum will succeed.
“I have hope and confidence in the generosity of the Australian people and that when Australians go to the polls, they will vote ‘yes’,” he said.
Anthony Albanese referred to Barnaby Joyce’s (pictured) two spells as deputy prime minister as a ‘show that shouldn’t have been followed up, but it did’
“They will say yes to constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and they will say yes to consultation on issues that affect them so that we can close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia in so many areas such as life expectancy, education , healthcare and housing,” he said.
The Prime Minister acknowledged that most referendums in Australia have failed.
‘We know that referenda are difficult to achieve. It’s like eight out of 48 passed. But the time has come,” he said.
And as the Uluru Declaration of the Heart (which led to the referendum to be held in the second half of 2023) said: “In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we want to be heard”.
And I think it’s time to recognize First Nations people in our Constitution. And Australians will wonder, if not now, when?’
Mr Albanese also addressed what Mr Joyce said on the advice of the Solicitor General not to be ‘hidden’.
‘Well, the advice of the Solicitor General, as Barnaby Joyce knows – he was a fellow who was Deputy Prime Minister twice…
And he knows that while he served, they did not release his cabinet advice to the cabinet. But the views of the Advocate General are very clear about support for this change, that it is legally justified.
“And I’m sure he’ll take the opportunity at trial through the Attorney General to make that point clear.”
Mr Albanese also referred to Mr Joyce’s two stints as deputy prime minister as a “show that shouldn’t have been followed up, but it did”.