Back To The Future, Starring Peter Dutton
For those handful of people who haven’t seen it, the plot is basically about Marty McFly whose father, George, is bullied by his boss, the odious Biff Tannen. Marty ends up going back to the year that his parents meet and fall in love and by a series of random events, he disturbs their meeting potentially leading to his non-existence because without them meeting, then he wouldn’t’ exist… which logically would mean that he wasn’t there to upset the meeting leading to the sort of time loop paradox that it’s best not to think about… particularly if you’re a Hollywood film-maker who has two more movies to make, using the same basic formula.
Now, I now that you’re thinking that I’d be casting Peter Dutton as Biff, the not very bright bully but you’d be missing the central theme of the movie which is that altering just one small thing can have enormous consequences for the future, so sometimes you just need to lie low and try to keep out of the way because if you get in the way, it can have consequences such as non-existence for either you or the party you lead. Unfortunately, neither Marty nor Dutton find that easy. In the film, every time Marty gets called chicken, he responds by getting into a fight; similarly every time Petey gets criticised, he responds by attacking someone else. While it’s usually the Labor Party, I suspect that he isn’t too fussy.
If you go back over the past and look at the way Dutton responds to things it fits into two basic patterns:
- “We were happy to work on this in a bipartisan way but the other side wouldn’t agree to everything we wanted and insisted on having an opinion so they’ve made cooperation impossible and that’s just typical of those lying, abusive types who don’t understand that this should be above politics, and why we’re the only fit party to govern and why I’m the best person to lead.”
- “There’s more to this and I’m aware of things that you don’t know about thanks to my secret information which I can’t make public so you’ll just have to trust me, but I can assure you that there is a lot of incorrect information circulating and only I have the correct information and you shouldn’t question me because you don’t know what I know.”
Examples of the latter are when he talked about the riots on Manus Island, when he talked about the Solicitor-General’s advice and when he said that Sarah Hanson-Young wasn’t followed. Examples of the former are just about everything else he says.
Like Marty, he’s now stuck in a time loop where he’s altered the future and if he doesn’t find a way to fix things, he’ll disappear. Unlike Marty, most of the audience won’t see this as a problem.
When the various political commentators are suggesting that Dutton is safe from any leadership challenge because nobody else wants the job, you have to take a deep breath and actually think about that for a moment so that you get the full implication of what they’re saying which is something like: “Look if Paul Fletcher starts counting the numbers then it’s all over for Dutton because one thing that Fletcher has all over the current leader is that nobody knows who he is.”
Of course there are a whole lot of other questions that nobody is asking like:
- Did Matt Kean decide not to stand for the NSW leadership so that he could find a safe federal seat and take over from Dutton, saving the party from complete oblivion?
- If Sussan Ley tries to mount a challenge will she fail because the party isn’t ready for a female leader or because they’re not ready for someone who has a bad hair day even when she’s wearing a wig?
- If the polls don’t improve will Dutton announce that he’s declaring Queensland is no longer part of Australia and he’s retreating there with the remnants of the LNP to become First Minister And Overlord of The Republic Of Kingsland because the Queen is dead?
- Will Scott Morrison tell everyone that he was in a shop just moments after praying for God to show him a sign when he saw one which said “Gentlemen” and he took that to me that he should challenge Dutton for the leadership?
While all of these seem far-fetched, consider what’s happened lately. Julian Leeser resigns his shadow cabinet position, but Dutton tells us that he’s in the minority because the overwhelming majority of the Liberal Party MPs support the “No” position, which is a strange argument to mount when you’re quite happy to ignore the polls which tell us that the majority of Australians are supporting a “Yes” position.
Then Dutton demands that Albanese apologise to Leeser because, apparently, it’s all the PM’s fault that the shadow attorney general decided to follow his own beliefs and resign.
And if we go back just a few short weeks when we were being told that there was no need for an Indigenous Voice because there were eleven Indigenous MPs and so they were already well represented in Parliament, but now the very same people who argued that, are telling us that the problem with the Voice is that it’ll be in Canberra. It’ll be a Canberra Voice, like the Canberra bubble and the Canberra republic. No, Canberra things are bad, say the Liberal Party. I mean, you’d never catch them in Canberra… And even if you did, it’s unlikely that the media would report it because what happens in Canberra stays in Canberra…
So, go on, tell me that I’m the one with the far-fetched scenarios, and that the photo of Peter Dutton doesn’t have him fading away by the minute…
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