BARNABY Joyce's private life is private, until it suits him.
When rumours of his affair with former staffer Vikki Campion swirled, Joyce made it clear to journalists and the public that discussion about his family was utterly off limits.
The affair raised questions for many voters. Not only was it a workplace relationship between a boss and an employee, it involved an MP who'd been a vocal opponent of marriage equality in the name of protecting its sanctity.
Joyce's reputation was founded on the electorate's belief in his strong family values.
Whether that made the affair a matter of public interest will likely be the subject of journalism university assignments for years to come.
But let's not go reopening old wounds.
In the past week, Joyce has wielded his private life to push his political agenda more than once.
The family he refused to discuss when asked about his affair are the same people he now says he struggles to support on a $200,000 salary.
The man is spread so thin he can barely afford a cup of coffee, so how on Earth could Newstart recipients get by?
Joyce argued he wasn't crying poor, he only discussed his personal struggles because politicians should probably raise Newstart.
I was convinced we'd stopped sharing our private lives until Thursday afternoon, as I packed up for the day and decided the state of my desk was a problem for future me.
The ping of another mainstream political diary entry from Joyce hit my computer in the form of an article on The New Daily.
Joyce had shared again.
This time using his newborn son, Tom, as a rebuttal to the NSW abortion bill.
There's nothing wrong with using your personal life to make a point, but once the lines between public and private are blurred, Joyce shouldn't be surprised when people walk through the open door.
That's just what I think, as long as we're sharing.
- Madeline Link is an ACM journalist