Australia’s political throne has a new contender – one Mr Peter Dutton. But if you’re one of those mumbling “Peter who?” – you’re not alone.
As a contender for both Most Boring and Most Offensive MP in Australian Parliament, when Peter Dutton does stand in front of a camera, many people either find their eyes glazing over or their noses scrunching up in disgust without actually taking in a lot of what he is saying.
So here’s a quick guide to the many different personas of Australia’s chief contender for the PM’s throne…
PDuddy – the Dudster
In 2015, PDuddy proved that his ‘Dudster’ name is well earned when Australian doctors voted him the worst Health Minister in living memory.
Clearly pleased with PDuddy’s ability to outdud all that had come before him, then-Prime-Minister Tony Abbott moved him to Immigration and Border Protection in late 2014. It wasn’t long before the Dudster proved that it isn’t only in Health that he is capable of undershining all others.
In fact, since taking over this portfolio, Dutton appears to have struggled with understanding what seem to be fairly fundamental concepts – things like:
- Where Australia’s borders are
Being an island, you’d think that border identification would be an easy task. However, in late 2015, PDuddy’s Borderforce famously announced they were going to check people’s visas by randomly roaming the streets of Melbourne.
- What is and isn’t illegal
Having started life as a policeman, you’d hope PDuddy had received training in identifying what is and isn’t illegal. But after four years in his role, he still refers to asylum seekers as ‘illegal immigrants,’ even though there is nothing illegal about seeking asylum in Australia – no matter how you get here.
- When someone is or isn’t employed
This would seem to be an important thing for the man in charge of Australia’s Work Visas to grasp. But in an interview last year, PDuddy argued that refugees shouldn’t be allowed to come here because they would both take Australian jobs AND languish in unemployment queues.
PDiddums – the sensitive petal
Despite being happy to dish it out – once calling a female journalist a ‘mad f*ing witch’ and telling CEO’s like Alan Joyce to ‘stick to their knitting’ – when it comes to being on the receiving end of anything negative, Dutton is clearly a bit of a sensitive petal.
Over the past few years, PDiddums has claimed to have been:
- Bullied by Amnesty International – a charity that protects human rights.
- Betrayed by Save the Children – a charity that looks after kids.
- Persecuted by the United Nations – a global peacekeeping body.
- Subjected to a ‘jihad’ by Fairfax media; and
- Conspired against by the ABC.
Despite his sensitive nature, PDiddums does try to put on a brave face – regularly claiming to be the man on Australia’s borders ‘staring down’ the terrorist threats that face our nation. However given PDiddum’s inability to cope with remonstrations from the world’s largest peace-keeping force and the fact that he considers articles by Fairfax to be the equivalent of a murderous jihad – it’s hard to imagine him staring down a group of marauding kittens, let alone terrorists.
PDaddy – the big spender
The LNP’s we-have-to-live-within-our-means and it’s-the-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement mantras apparently haven’t reached PDaddy’s sensitive ears. Indeed, he and his department appear to throw money around as though they were in charge of organising Bronwyn Bishop’s travel arrangements.
In fact, while the rest of government is busy cutting pensions and freezing Medicare, PDaddy’s department is spending up big, splashing out on:
- Up to $55 million given to Cambodia to take just four refugees – two of whom subsequently returned home to Iran;
- 3 billion to look after just 1600 refugees on Nauru and Manus Island. By way of contrast, over the same period, the UN spent just $157 million to look after 200,000 refugees in South East Asia;
- $15,000 on BorderForce ‘plush toys’ as corporate gifts – who doesn’t need an expensive plush toy?
- At least $30,000 on people smugglers – clearly doing his bit to put them out of business. Heh – wait a minute…
And it’s not just at work that PDaddy likes to flash the dosh around. A few years ago, he spent over $2.3 Million on a waterside mansion so that he could take what he evidently believes is his rightful place on Queensland’s ‘Millionaire’s Row.’
Then there’s the $5.6 million in public funding received by a childcare company operated by PDaddy’s family trust recently – and it’s not hard to see where PDaddy got his name.
PDouchebag – the dick move meister
Peter Dutton may not be good at taking criticism – but there’s one thing he is an expert at, and that’s dick moves. In fact, Peter Dutton’s douchery skill levels are so great, that he could give Donald Trump – who, let’s face it, is probably PDouchebag’s hero – a run for his money.
Here are some highlights from PDouchebag’s time in parliament:
- Walking out on Parliament during the apology to the stolen generation;
- Joking about the fact that some of our Pacific Island neighbours may go underwater due to climate change;
- As Minister for Immigration, presiding over an Immigration policy that has:
- Been criticised by 110 nations at the UN including Axis of Evil member North Korea for being too violent;
- Led to the UN saying that Australia has breached the UN Convention against torture;
- Encouraged refugees to return to potential death in a war zone and/or torture; and
- Seen the sexual assault of children in detention – to which Peter Dutton once responded with the sort of sensitivity you’d expect of the Dick Move Meister: “people have paid money to people smugglers, and they want to come to our country.”
- Fought sending a 10-year-old refugee boy to Australia for medical treatment;
Clearly being a douchebag is one skill that Peter Dutton is not a dud at.
PotatoD – you’ll never look at a potato the same way again
No review of the Dudster would be complete without looking at his uncanny resemblance to the simple potato.
In fact, if you search for images of someone, Google helpfully suggests the most popular categories of images other people have been interested in. For PotatoD this includes things like ‘wife,’ ‘young’ and of course, ‘potato’.
It used to be that a country’s leader saw themselves as leading the whole country – and not just those who support them. But in the spirit of another toddleresque world leader – Donald J Trump – PDivider has already made it very clear that those whose views are not aligned with his are “dead to him”. In fact, he literally referred to those who lean to the left as “crazy” and said, “They don’t realise how completely dead they are to me.”
So if you lean left – the Dudster has disowned you, so feel free to do likewise.
Still to come: PDictator?
When you consider the many faces of Peter Dutton, you have to admit that this man is indeed versatile. Now that the party that brought us onion-eating carbon-tax hating Tony Abbott is considering making Peter Dutton it’s King – which version of the Dudster will we see? One of his existing personas?
Or will a new Dutton emerge? PDictator perhaps? I guess we’ll have to wait and see…
This article was first published on ProgressiveConversation.