Barnaby Joyce disgraces his new country with a threat to his old one, says Liberty Victoria

The breathtaking simplicity and callousness of the recently resuscitated Deputy Prime Minister lays bare the attempt to use human lives for votes, Liberty Victoria said today.

“Barnaby Joyce bounces back into Parliament saying control borders or lose votes," said Jessie Taylor, President of the human rights group. “Forget compassion, disregard any duty to one’s fellow human beings, focus on the votes, that is the message.

“He ignores the sickening contradiction by which it’s perfectly fine to send refugees from Manus lsland to the U.S., but not to New Zealand. If the refugees became Kiwis would they want to flock here? Unlikely after their cruel treatment.”

She said Mr Joyce, who has just renounced his New Zealand citizenship, also falls back on the shop-worn invective that to do otherwise is to let criminals control immigration policy.

“Given international court proceedings are under way over Australia’s disregard for refugees’ human rights, it could well be politicians and others who will wear the stigma of criminality.

“And voters will decide whether they want major parties that show contempt for decency, a trend already seen in a swing to the Greens. So when Mr Joyce talks of losing votes, he is on the wrong track.”

She said Mr Joyce also unleashed a barely disguised threat to New Zealand after its new Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, expressed concern over the refugees.

“It is not for him to tell the Kiwis to 'stay away from another country’s business' or else there will be revenge. That is a disgrace and he should be called out by the Prime Minister on it.”