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Dutton is not what this country needs, even in Opposition

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 per cent 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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  1. Consume Less

    Well said Kaye. What a dreadful portfolio of meanness and stupidity. The fallout from this election just gets crazier, as Barnaby talks about ditching net zero.

  2. Josephus

    This choice of the ex policeman locks the Coalition into abandoning its liberal past for a semi fascist present. It may perhaps serve at last to split the reactionary Nationals from the so called broad church coalition.
    Having taken part as a volunteer in many pre polling sessions I spoke to politicians and volunteers. I found that some Libs parroted the chauvinistic party line ie Australia has the ‘world record’ in Covid this or economic that, which claims Fact Check sites show to be false. Other, younger devotees said they clung to Menzies era liberal values, not the present extremist, cruel values that Dutton represents. Why they could not see how far their party had changed I could not fathom. By publicising a perhaps deliberately sent refugee boat on Election Day the party sank to a new low. Dutton will consign his party to decline if selected- if decency prevails.

  3. John Hanna

    The sky after dark crew are already lauding him as potential PM after the ALP has ‘failed’. With Ley as deputy I believe they are unelectable. God help us if i’m wrong.

  4. Douglas Pritchard

    As a socialist, what more can I ask than to have Dutton in opposition?

  5. GL

    The Spud: When only mindless jackbooted thuggery will do.
    The Spud: When your party decides that losing is the only way to go.

  6. Terence Mills

    Can you imagine a robo-call from John Howard calling on us to support Peter Dutton, to uphold the fine traditions of the Liberal party of Bob Menzies ?

    Both Howard and Dutton should realize that Australia has moved on !

    john Howard

  7. Mark Buckley

    Kaye, I think he should be encouraged because he has no filter, and every word out of his mouth will further delay the rehabilitation of the Libs. Sussan Ley should be nick-named Koala, after the creature she helped put on the endangered list. This is a master stroke from the Libs. Two unelectable fools. Albanese is set for life now.

  8. Kaye Lee

    Sussan Ley went to court to appeal the ruling that she owed a duty of care to protect young people from the harms of climate change – great person for deputy considering what happened on the weekend.

    This is the woman that changed her name to get a better result on her numerology chart. They should make her treasurer.

  9. Alasdair

    A trouble is that many of the “moderate” Libs (and I use that term in a very loose fashion) have lost their seats, and the remaining ones are the hard-line baby-eaters like Dutton, who still have the support of their electorates. This is going to make it all but impossible for them to re-invent themselves as being in any way more relevant, thoughtful, evidence-based; they will double down on their venomous rhetoric in their own echo-chamber. And they will have no trouble finding others to join their ranks. Let’s not forget that nationally, nearly 3 million voters put the Libs as their first preferences. And for all Adam Bandt’s delight in a “greenslide”, the Greens increased their first preference votes by only 1.36%, which is less than that of One Nation, who increased their first preference votes by 1.78%.

    Good sense might have won this one battle, but the war for our country’s future is by no means over, and we’ll all have to remain vigilant.

  10. Kaye Lee

    The only reason PHON increased their primary vote was because they ran more candidates. They actually went backwards in individual seats.

  11. Jim Jacobsen

    One day the wrongly and inappropriately named “Liberal” Party, will be required by truth in Political advertising laws to adopt the correct moniker. It should be called the becoming increasingly “conservative” party. Then perhaps the voters of Australia will have been warned that nor a true liberal bone exists in their bodies. This includes those who were the “moderate” faction betrayers. Those who preferred capitulation to principles, pre-selection success instead of speaking out, and not calling out their Leaders most obvious lies, mistruths, character assassinations, and dud captains picks! Now we have Dutton proposed as their new leader. If I were in opposition, I’d be screaming in opposition to his appointment. Any failure for Conservatives to do so, and they will soon have the same level of support as Clive Palmer and his merry band of tin pot economists and braggart wanna be prime minister! Surely our nation deserves better than this?

  12. Harry Lime

    It will be fascinating to watch as Benito attempts to impersonate a human…triple backwards somersault with pike and twist.No doubt he’ll get plenty of face time with the Murdoch trash and those insulting goons on Sky in the dark.The Ku Klux Klan is the obvious home for this cretin,if they’d have him,with the added public advantage of wearing a hood to shield us from his disturbing visage.The Liberals appear to be determined to administer the coup de grace…to themselves.Well done,chaps,take the rest of the century off.

  13. David Stakes

    His business interests I would guess were not acquired by being smart. In the true sense of smartness.

  14. pierre wilkinson

    Whilst I agree with the excellent article by Kaye Lee and all the comments from the contributors, I can’t help but be reminded of the mad abbot and how we all thought that no-one would vote for him

  15. Chandler Chandler

    The entire LNP were subjected to deals, I reckon. And so if this is the case, one would have to wonder if PD was on a promise thus allowing SM to step into the PM role. Lot’s of back scratching went on behind the scenes no doubt.

  16. New England Cocky

    I beg to disagree Kaye Lee. Benito Doddo is just the person to be Leader of the Opposition for all the reason listed by others above.

    Remember his fine work when a member of the Queensland Police Aboriginal Abuse Service re-locating teenagers well away form their homes. His compassion in this matter was compelling just as it was with the Biloela family where his unChristian vales shone through like a spotlight

    This extended into his work as Home Affairs Obelfuhrer then onto Defence where his careful purchases of third & fourth rate American armaments were frequently unfit for active service .. when they were ever delivered.

    So teaming this mendacious mediocrity with the SUSSAN LEY numerologist is obviously an attempt to keep up with the forensic auditors unravelling the financial mess left behind by ”the world’s best Treasurer and the even more useless Nazional$ leader who I am advised may be replaced by an even less charismatic wannabe who couldnabe

    So, look forward to three or four terms of efficient government and a return to the egalitarian principles that most Australian voters hold as sacrosanct. Albo to be Prime Minister, ably supported by the LABOR team of competent caring Ministers without the lies and corruption we have experienced too much and too often during the past nine years of Liarbral Nazional$ COALition misgovernment.

  17. Phil Pryor

    These suggested candidates for the Pre-1945 memorial NSDAP party, two quite anti-intellectual types, will smear Australia’s reputation in every utterance and performance. Ley was at a wine and food weekend a few years ago, was pointed out, and, nobody on her staff, her table, wanted to know her or listened. She finally got her own lunch, alone. As for Peter Duckwit-Futton, that gift to Boris Karloff fans, he is a skinful of moving excrement, able to utter lying rubbish without a blush or tremor, all good solid Queensland police training. He’s a Heydrich by instinct and training, loving to hate and acting big and tough. Maggot…

  18. Kaye Lee


    I just don’t think another attack dog will work for them. Dutton has whittled down media outlets that he will deal with and I don’t think 2GB, Sky After Dark, the Murdoch rags and the morning advertorials are relevant to the people who changed their vote. Plus he will have Barnaby’s baggage to deal with. Even the farmers are getting sick of Barnaby babble. Canavan can keep spruiking coal but even the coalminers know it’s a lie. They want a new job (albeit with the same exorbitant salary).

    Lies won’t work as well with such a diverse parliament. Plus the people who were kids in 2013 are voters now and angry about the climate wars. He can’t go there. Dog-whistling about race won’t impress anyone except PHON voters and won’t appeal to the outer suburban seats they are courting. And they can hardly talk about debt and deficit.

    Plus we will have a federal ICAC just to remind everyone how corrupt these bastards were in government.

  19. GL

    I wonder if they have a translator handy to translate caveman grunts and groans? After all the Thugspud hasn’t evolved enough to anythwhere near intelligible language.

    My evening freeloaders are waiting near the back door, three and a half pademelons, for the leftover duck pellets and seed.

  20. Frank Smith

    Kaye Lee, I do hope you are correct in your response to Pierre. I fear a repeat of the attacks and negativity of the Opposition led by Tony Abbott – a disgraceful blot on democracy.

    A good article but please don’t refer to Dutton as “he” or “a man”. Dutton is an “it” at best – no signs of having any humanity. But best keep that to ourselves or we may all get to be defendants in a defamation lawsuit.

  21. wam

    Matt canavan will continue his attack on emission targets and dutton will presumably continue to miss any attempt at reconciliation with teal or follow any understanding of bipartisan approaches. However I laughed my arse off at scummo saying he will change. (6 days ago — Many panellists doubted that Scott Morrison could change as he has said he will…) Dutton is way smarter than he looks and he may surprise because, if he just does more of the same the party will die. Not only by teal but under the weight of barnaby’s new agreement for a coalition.(Mr Joyce said any agreement would need to be negotiated with the new Liberal Party leader but there would be “no blank cheque.)
    PS hope the extremists have preferenced the libs before the loonies(who noticed the bandit’s clever name change??)

  22. RomeoCharlie29

    Spud will clearly only be an interim leader, there until someone better or more electable, emerges. I know some of his mates think he’s just misunderstood and is really a nice chap (Warren Entsch) but as your comprehensive litany of his nastiness shows he isn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, a good bloke. ‘Just a Queensland cop’ might be disparaging to the present force but some recent events show that pejorative term, particularly relevant to Dutton, might still apply. In the meantime I think Albanese and a few of his team have got the spud’s measure and if they can find the mongrel will neutralise him.

  23. Michael Taylor

    I too believe that Dutton will dig the political grave of the Liberals a little bit deeper, but no matter who the Leader of the Opposition is, the Murdoch media will throw their weight behind him or her.

  24. Albos Elbow

    Commander Potato Head will be a good laugh and cheer-em-up for the South Pacific nations.
    Maybe some more of his classic jokes about Pacific Islanders not being able to open their front doors, because of rising sea levels.
    Haven’t laughed so much, since I pissed myself when Scummo claimed he’s never said anything bad about Electric Vehicles.

  25. Andrew J. Smith

    According to Nikki Savva, with Laura Tingle on ABC RN LNL, Dutton can become a moderate centrist….. begs another question, why does a former Liberal Party Ministers’ assistant have such a high profile in media acting as a journalist, or informed insider?

  26. JudithW

    I am pleased to see Dutton returned in the election results.
    I look forward to the day that the incoming leader of the house says “I move that the minister be no longer heard”!

  27. Michael Taylor

    What frustrated me to no end were the number of friends or rellies who reckoned Morrison was doing a great job… because… they’d read it in the paper or heard it on talk-back radio.

    No matter who leads the Libs, they’d get the same message.

    Our fight is far from over.

  28. Mike

    The phrase ‘Poetic Justice’ comes immediately to mind.
    The oppressor shall become the oppressed.

  29. Canguro

    Andrew J. Smith @ 6.23 pm, I think your question re. Niki Savva could be framed differently.

    She was, (per Wiki) a journalist prior to working as a LNP minister’s assistant.

    Niki Savva’s career

  30. andy56

    i honestly dont know what the fuss is all about. The LNP needs a few terms in the desert to flush out the dead wood. If they want to do a Bolt and lurch right, who cares. All albo has to do is play straight and labor are in for a few terms.
    All the who haa about LNP with 36% of the vote is just a lot of hot air . If the libs are on 26% and the nats on 10%, i would have thought they would be a bit more realistic about who they dont represent.

  31. Kaye Lee

    Laura Tingle said on 7:30 report tonight that Dutton was probably the best person to bring the party and the Coalition together, being an LNPer. If he can herd those cats it will be an impressive feat since the Nats hate each others guts.

  32. Kaye Lee

    And another Dutton lowlight….

    “Defence Minister Peter Dutton has ordered his department and serving military personnel to stop pursuing a “woke agenda” after Defence held morning teas where staff wore rainbow clothing to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia…..he ordered Defence Force Chief Angus Campbell and Secretary Greg Moriarty on Friday to issue a note ending events with “particular clothes in celebration”.

  33. Albos Elbow

    Oh . . . you guys are serious, Commander Potato Head is vying for the leadership of COAL-NP . . . really?
    I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy . . . then again . . . why not?

    Wonder what he’s going to bring to his first show and tell in parliament as the new opposition leader, a dad’s army video? a dart board with a picture of Xi Jinping?, a nuclear hand grenade? Can’t wait.

  34. Florence nee Fedup

    One should keep in mind Dutton’s failure as leader of the house when judging his ability to be Opposition Leader.

  35. Terence Mills

    Listening to Warren Entsch this morning, we are apparently all totally wrong about Peter Dutton and rather than being a right-wing headkicker and warmonger we are now being told that he is a ‘softy’ who is brimming with compassion.
    Despite a track record of being hands-off and reputedly a very lazy minister who either doesn’t make decisions or delegates to others, he apparently is energetic and committed to rebuilding the Liberal party .

    If the coalition believe that with Peter Dutton as leader and Barnaby Joyce as his deputy they represent the new face of conservative politics in Australia it could take many years for the coalition (if it survives) to have much of an influence on national politics.

    One particular problem that both have is that they are not articulate and seem to have a problem in presenting and communicating a coherent vision for Australia as they see it.

    Mark McGowan was spot on about Dutton : “he’s not that smart”.

  36. Kaye Lee

    The Murdoch rags are doing a Dutton 2.0 blitz. Apparently, we just haven’t seen the nice side of Spud in the over two decades he has been in parliament because he’s had such tough jobs to do. Interestingly, even Labor seems to think he is more trustworthy (and nicer) than Morrison.

  37. GL

    Thugspud is going to use his substantial intellect and nouse to attempt to unite the moderates and conservative (RWNJ’s section) into a party of whiny little children. Scummo most likely will white ant and leak all over place while on the back bench, when he’s not busy driving the kids to school of course.

    I see the selective amnesia has already started working.

    @6.17 am


  38. Gaven

    MT, you are correct. The distorted, lies-are-facts messaging from a Bought & Paid for MSM is a major stumbling block to reasoned debate. Keep up the good work here as a balance to the so-called “Trusted News Initiative”, which coming from the likes of Murdoch is anything but trustable or factual.
    Also, be aware of moves afoot to stifle free speech in the name of protecting the public. The upcoming Aust Digital ID Bill and this weeks declaration at the WEF that “free speech needs to be recalibrated” (speech by Aus eSafety Commissioner Julian Inman Grant). If acted on, this agenda will spell the end of forums such as this – unless pushback happens. Even then . . .

  39. Pete Petrass

    The way I see it, if they don’t make Dutton leader……………who else is there??? Just have a scroll down the list of (newly) current MPs………..you would not give a single one of them the job.

  40. Cool Pete

    Dutton is also a hypocrite! He claimed that it wasn’t necessary to be “mean and nasty,” and that he “wasn’t bald by choice,” yet he ridiculed Anthony Albanese with Ray Hadley claiming that he had a combover, and Dutton has been vicious and tricky.

  41. Cool Pete

    In the 1970s, John Howard asked Malcolm Fraser if we were only saying we’d accept the boatpeople from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and was disgusted to learn that Malcolm Fraser was SERIOUS. In 1988, John Howard made disparaging remarks about Asian immigration. In 1995, John Howard achieved his Lazarus with a triple bypass moment and he walked back from what he said about Asian immigration. In 1996, the Liberal Party was elected to government, and Hanson was also elected, despite losing her endorsement as a Liberal candidate. She made her maiden speech and John Howard was silent. He allowed her free speech or so he said, but following her party winning 11 seats in Queensland, he went the other way, and said that she was “bordering on the deranged” with her comments. In 1998, he was returned, with a reduced majority, but Hanson lost her seat. In 1999, Howard copied her immigration policies.
    If Howard taught me anything, it’s not to trust a Liberal Party politician! When dutton says he’s a changed man, don’t believe him!

  42. leefe

    If Entsch is right and Duttolini is just a big ‘softy’ … well, he’s one hell of an actor to keep that so well hidden during his entire adult life.

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