It was a big day yesterday for our newly minted Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton.
Firstly, Dutton’s hand-picked choice to head his paramilitary Border Force, a colleague from his days as a Queensland copper, was finally sacked for using his position to get his girlfriend a job and for not disclosing the relationship. Roman Quaedvlieg is obviously held to a higher standard than Barnaby Joyce who just took a self-imposed temporary demotion for the same thing.
Then we hear that, after meeting with Bob Katter’s son-in-law, who happens to be one of the largest gun importers in the country, Dutton is considering forming an advisory board where the gun lobbyists decide on the suitability of legislation.
That’s like letting the aluminium smelters advise us on emissions reduction or the cotton farmers advise us on water management. Or letting the mining companies devise a mining tax that costs them nothing.
But this is about more guns in our society – a move that could change Australia forever because once the dam is broken, there is no going back.
And then to round off a big day for a little man, we witnessed the ridiculous farce of the Minister, purely on the basis of a television show he watched, offering to rescue “white” South African farmers from the “horrific circumstances” and “persecution” they are facing in their country.
“I do think, on the information that I’ve seen, people do need help and they need help from a civilised country like ours,” Mr Dutton said.
Except no-one asked for his help. The farmers responded by saying that, surprisingly, they don’t want to walk away from their homes and livelihoods.
The South African government were furious. Who are you calling uncivilised?
They hauled in Canberra’s High Commissioner for a diplomatic ticking off, demanding that Dutton retract his comments.
And that doesn’t even address the blatant racism in Dutton’s stupid comments.
Dutton was voted worst health minister ever by people in the industry. As Immigration Minister, he has been singularly unable to find a solution for the resettlement of refugees trapped on Manus and Nauru. The deal with the US was negotiated by Turnbull, not Dutton.
He is a proven liar, telling us that a disturbance on Manus Island was caused by locals reacting to asylum seekers luring their children away for evil purposes, when, in fact, the asylum seekers gave the child some fruit and it was drunken military arguing over a football pitch who started shooting at the refugees.
There have been countless scathing reports and reviews on the dysfunction in the DIBP detailing the lack of management and due process.
Dutton walked out on Kevin Rudd’s Apology to the Stolen Generation. He has made innumerable gaffes – joking about islands in the Pacific being inundated, calling a journalist a mad fucking witch in a text in support of a sexual harasser, which he then sent to the journalist by mistake.
The list of ineptitude is long. In fact, I cannot think of one achievement, one positive contribution, that Dutton has made in over 16 years suckling on the public teat, other than expanding his property portfolio.
So why has this inadequate politician been made the most powerful man in the country? Why is he touted as a future leader for the Liberal Party?
It’s got me beat.