Forget nicey-nicey, we need more characters like Joyce

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I know we’ve pretty much had enough of politicians after the general election, but I have to say I like Australia’s Minister of Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce.

He recently came to worldwide attention when film star Johnny Depp was caught sneaking his two pet Yorkshire terriers into Australia, during filming for the new Pirates Of The Caribbean movie.

There’s no beating around the bush or any of that nauseating, nicey-nicey diplomacy rubbish

Oh, the irony of a pirate being found smuggling.

Joyce was not too happy with Depp and didn’t pull any punches in his assessment of the matter.

The gist was that if he started letting movie stars bring their pets to Oz, then everybody might as well flout the country’s strict biosecurity regulations.

Totally right. Nobody should be above the law.

But if this had happened over here, I reckon we’d have probably welcomed the mutts with open arms.

You’d have seen them taking in the sights on an open-top bus tour around London.

I much prefer the no-nonsense Aussie approach.

There’s no beating around the bush or any of that nauseating, nicey-nicey diplomacy rubbish.

With a character like Joyce, everybody knows where they stand and I find it quite refreshing in a world where so many people are frightened of upsetting someone.

Anyway, the ‘war on terrier’ rumbled on and Depp was reportedly threatened with a stretch in prison and a fine of up to $340,000.

But his dogs Boo and Pistol eventually departed Oz and headed back to California on Friday night following an ultimatum from Joyce.

He warned the actor his pets must leave Australia by Saturday morning or face being put down.

Joyce clearly doesn’t care what anyone thinks, least of all Hollywood movie stars. We could do with him here in England.

He apparently said of his threat to put down the dogs: ‘If people think that’s a bit harsh, well I’ll tell you what’s harsh. Harsh is if we let down our guard and ultimately rabies gets into the country.’

He’s absolutely right.