Barnaby Hunts A Name For New Nationals’ Think Tank. Hilarity Ensues.


Apparently (and by ‘apparently’ we mean ‘possibly’) the Nationals are “contemplating a Think Tank and Political Activist Group” to rival GetUp!, Advance Australia and the IPA. Which, for pretty obvious reasons isn’t going to be easy. Because, you know, the words ‘Barnaby Joyce’ and ‘Think Tank’ appearing in the same sentence is almost certain to evoke fits of laughter in most quarters, and get in the way of the very thing that think tanks are supposed to promote… namely, thinking.

Ever ready to assist, the Twitterverse has exploded with suggestions to help the Member for New England find his way through the confusing maze of word thingies (and in the interests of accuracy… it’s also possible that the Twitterverse is equally responsible for creating the whole concept… but where’s the fun in fact-checking that). The batting was opened by a Mr. Philip Riley, “proud Wiradjuri man and retired schoolteacher”, whose suggestions include ‘Intellecta Nullius’, ‘All Hat No Cattle’, and ‘Happy Hour’.

Other suggestions forthcoming include Septic Tank, Lie Down (a play on GetUp!, arf arf), Drink Up!, No Flies On Us, Empty Paddocks, No-one Left, Rorting Rooters, Bourbon Bangers, All Hat No Head, and Cattlemen Up No Trails.

Some of the more ‘classy’ names included The Bull Dust Institute, The Mudguard Centre (all bright and shiny on top but filthy underneath), the Fertiliser Forum, and the Sir Les Patterson Foundation.

And in a flurry of suggestions, Greg Burch offered: Drink Tank, Gin Up!, Institute of Public Bars, Institute of Elicit Affairs, Institute of the Public Purse, and Integrous Nullius. It’s possible Mr Burch is either no fan of the Nationals, or believes them to have a drinking problem.

Judy Lloyd Dalton offered more of an interpretive artwork than a name – a photo of Barnaby Joyce sleeping through a session of parliament, prompting Mr Riley to remark, “He’s got 2 of the Seven Dwarfs covered – Sleepy and Dopey”.

Keiran Dwyer also offered up some artwork:

Lander PeterJohn went for simplicity: “’Nationals Think Tank’ is enough to keep me in giggles for a year or three.” As did Vic Maz, with “What about something catchy like ‘National Farmers Federation’.”

Whatever the name turns out to be, ‘Volt-aire’s: bastard’ has a slogan ready to go: ‘The Nationals. Putting the C*nt in the C*ntry Party since the 1920s’.

And although not technically a name, Neville Barnes has come forward with imagery that should help the process: “Surely this is what the Nationals’ “think tank” would look like – empty, full of rust & makes a lot of noise when you chuck rocks at it.”

Feel free to offer more suggestions below, or on social media.

New Matilda is independent journalism at its finest. The site has been publishing intelligent coverage of Australian and international politics, media and culture since 2004.