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"Let me finish": Tense argument on Q&A between Barnaby Joyce and Emma Husar

"Let me finish": Tense argument on Q&A between Barnaby Joyce and Emma Husar

ABC's Q&A was tense last night with Barnaby Joyce and former Labor MP Emma Husar speaking about respect for women.

However, as one viewer pointed out, Joyce cut off his female counterparts 12 times in 2 minutes.

The panel was described as "lively" by host Hamish Macdonald who tried to keep things together as the talks descended.

At one point in the program when writer Jane Caro was speaking, former Labor MP Emma Husar interjected with, “Barnaby, be quiet!” to which Caro added, “It is my turn to talk” and the pair were met with resounding applause.

Labor MP Husar was forced to resign after sexual assault allegeations and bullying and harrassment claims from staff, saying that over the last week women were held to different standards to men.

She then pointed out Joyce's case, which he wasn't happy with.

“Obviously Barnaby’s case as well, is that women will be judged by a different set of standards. They will be told to abide by a different set of rules than the men,” she said.

She said if the Liberal Party were saying that politicians such as Mr Joyce, Alan Tudge and Christian Porter were “meritorious selection, we’ve got a problem”.

“It is galling to watch these men continue in their jobs,” she said.

“Continue to go forward and to lead our country, when – you know, in Tudge’s case – he got caught with his pant’s down, Barnaby is the same. Mine was all over innuendo. There was a man that was wielding that agenda because I’d fired him.

“A man who felt privileged, who felt like he was entitled to his job, even though he was underperforming, didn’t get his way in fair work, didn’t get his way when he tried to extort me, so went down the path of – you know, getting the media to be complicit in his actions, which – you know, has had lasting ramifications on my life. And I’ve not worked since. “

She said while she wasn’t wishing anything bad for those men, she was asking “what the hell is this?”

“We can’t put a woman out there and hang her out to dry on rumour and innuendo when we have got behaviour that is clearly outside at least some standard of basic integrity going on while we allow this to happen to a woman,” she said.

Mr Joyce went on to say he was “disappointed” in Ms Husar for what she said and he was not apologetic for what happened to her because it was what the Labor Party did that was appalling.

“I think she was treated incredibly poorly,” he said.

But Ms Husar shot back, “You didn‘t call that out at the time, Barnaby. I remember your party and the government of the day weaponising what I was going through. And making it worse.”

He said he was different to Ms Husar in that he accepted he did something that was wrong.

“I would say morally wrong, in that my marriage [was] breaking down, but that is not a judgment for another politician,” he said.

“If it’s illegal, it is a judgment for police. If it is something else, it is a judgment for priest or pastor … it’s not the job of another politician or a person who’s not the police or some sort of moral guidance counsellor to be in judgment of you.

“I’m not in judgment of you, Emma. I do find it a little bit galling that you open your sort of narration with one of the meritorious selection of myself because I most certainly never, ever did that to you.”

Fans of the show weren't impressed by Macdonald's lack of moderation during the tense discussion.

"Great topic, but there's too much on-screen axe grinding," one fan griped.

Another agreed.

"Come on Hamish, step on here and do some moderating. I can't believe Jane Caro has been so patient with Barnaby Joyce, second time he's talked over the top of someone and not let them speak," another fan wrote.