CANDID: Barnaby Joyce caught eyeing off former staffer and current partner Vikki Campion back at a summit in 2016.
CANDID: Barnaby Joyce caught eyeing off former staffer and current partner Vikki Campion back at a summit in 2016. Daily Telegraph

Um... can you just not?

I SAW a spot of early morning shoplifting at the supermarket.

I'm pretty sure the young boy in front of me snaffled a fidget spinner from a pile next to the check out.

He popped it quickly and quietly into his pocket and sauntered out of the shop.

I shuffled forward in the queue thinking 'did that really happen?'

In case I was being a bit dim, I asked my workmates if they thought shoplifting was common.

Every one said yes.

A few added enthusiastically 'it's rampant!'

They then regaled me with stories about things they had seen.

Years ago I had a flatmate who was a proud shoplifter.

She would pinch anything and everything.

Things that made no sense, like shoes that didn't fit, clothes for babies (she didn't have any), make-up she never used, food she didn't like.

Incidentally, she was having a relationship with a married man at the time.

I was young then and her bravado and complete lack of shame impressed me.

I didn't dare pinch a packet of gum.

It had been drummed into me so strongly that thieving was wrong.

Eventually and perhaps predictably she started 'borrowing' things from me and never returning them and finally she left the house owing money.

She was completely unrepentant as she sailed off.

I felt stupid.

I was so easily taken advantage of.

It's taken years to learn when to trust and when to not be a fool and I can't say I am terribly successful, because I still do both - trust and then get taken for a ride.


But I don't want to lose my faith that the good guys will win the end.

I don't want to end up cynical and embittered and nursing a beer while I mutter about what a mean old world it is.

It can be quite hard when our government is full of tales of infidelity, and there is much posturing and hypocrisy is exposed.

Can you not (as my daughters would say)?

I think that applies to the shoplifters and adulterers and maybe as a general rule when you might think of taking a shortcut on something when you really know you shouldn't.

Can you just not?

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