If Peter Dutton is the best the Liberals can offer as an alternative Prime Minister, then they are destined to become irrelevant in modern day Australia.
As Australians voted overwhelmingly for greater action on climate change, a move welcomed around the world, we look set to get an Opposition leader who cracks jokes about Pacific Islands being inundated by rising seas.
As momentum grows for Indigenous recognition, they look set to elect a leader who boycotted the Apology to the Stolen Generation.
With violence against women and children a major focus, we will be lumbered with a man who suggested that female refugees were “trying it on” by making claims they had been raped. A man who said he didn’t know the “she said, he said” details of Brittany Higgins’ allegation of rape. A man who lied about the cause of riots on Manus, incorrectly implying asylum seekers may have molested a young local boy. A man who texted his support to a colleague stood down for sexual harassment describing a female journalist as a “mad fucking witch”.
Before the 2016 election Dutton said of refugees “many … won’t be numerate or literate in their own language let alone English”, and “These people would be taking Australian jobs”. He went on to say that Malcolm Fraser was wrong to allow Lebanese Muslims to migrate to Australia because it was their grandchildren committing terrorist acts in Australia.
Changing targets, Dutton then said that people in Melbourne were scared of going out because of “gang violence” involving African Australians. He bought into the white genocide conspiracy by declaring Afrikaners required refugee status in Australia because of the “the horrific circumstances they face” in South Africa, offering fast-track visas to white South African farmers, claiming they needed help from a “civilised” country.
With Scott Morrison suggesting that he should have shown more empathy as PM, we are now being offered a man who described the children of the Biloela family as “anchor babies” and blamed the family for the millions that have been spent by the government to continue their persecution.
Dutton also said that climate protesters that disrupted traffic should have their names and photos distributed widely “so that we shame these people”, that they should receive mandatory sentences, be cut off from any form of social security and be forced to pay for the police response.
Dutton’s MO is to belittle as in his attack on Queensland Deputy Premier Stephen Miles.
“On a daily basis now, Mr Miles goes out and frankly makes a fool of himself in front of the press. He’s done it again today. It is like watching a juvenile go out there on a university campus and engage in university politics. He is supposed to be the Health Minister and Deputy Treasurer – Deputy Premier of this state and he is acting like a school child.”
When 31 CEOs signed a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull calling for a free vote in the Australian Parliament on same-sex marriage, Dutton responded by saying that the CEOs “shouldn’t shove their views down our throats” and that CEOs who were “doing the wrong thing” should “be publicly shamed” and that they should “stick to their knitting”.
In a 2015 poll by Australian Doctor magazine, based on votes from over 1,100 doctors, Dutton was voted the worst health minister in the last 35 years by 46 percent of respondents. His departments of Home Affairs and Defence have been the subject of countless damning reviews from the Auditor General, often citing a lack of leadership.
Despite his demonstrated incompetence, Peter has done very well for himself accumulating a large property portfolio which no doubt contributes to his opposition to reining in property tax concessions like negative gearing.
He likes being able to help his mates out too, as we saw with his decision to ignore departmental advice and override immigration laws to get their illegally arrived au pairs out of detention.
In recent times, Dutton has shown he is willing to jeopardise our national security for domestic political gain.
On China, WA Premier Mark McGowan said “All this rhetoric by Mr Dutton is just politics, and his language around war and ‘we’ve got to be prepared to fight’, all this sort of stuff that’s gone on for the last year, is highly dangerous. It’s against the national interest, and it’s actually inflammatory and unnecessary, and I just think he’s the biggest threat to national security.”
Dutton is a mean-spirited man with no vision beyond his own self-interest. As McGowan also observed, he’s not that smart.
It seems hard to believe that a party trying to regain the votes they lost in this election rout would think Dutton the man for the job. I can only presume that he is being set up as an interim fall guy. If not. the Liberal party has truly lost the plot.
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