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I’m a politician and you’re not so shut up – the weirdness of Peter Dutton

It takes a pretty screwed up world for there to even be rumours of Peter Dutton being touted as a future leader.

We could talk about his dismal failure as a Health Minister, rated by the industry as the worst ever, or his failure as Immigration Minister to find any solution for the poor souls stuck on Manus and Nauru.

We could talk about his many gaffes, joking about islands being inundated or misdirecting a profane text supporting a disgraced minister to the journalist he was abusing.

We could talk about him sending a pregnant rape victim back to Nauru without counselling.

We could talk about his abuse of Sarah Hansen-Young about her claim that she was spied on, which turned out to be true, or his vilification of Gillian Triggs for doing her job.

We could talk about his statement that “Illiterate and innumerate” refugees would take Australian jobs at the same time as saying they would “languish” on the dole and use free health services provided by Medicare.

Or how he told parliament that Fraser made a mistake allowing Lebanese people to come here in the 70s as most terrorist-related offences are committed by their kids and grandkids.

We could talk about how he walked out of the chamber during the Stolen Generations Apology.

But today, I want to discuss his views on political correctness.

Dutton, like so many others of his ilk, talks repeatedly about “political correctness gone mad”. He seems to feel that people’s right to be critical is being curtailed, but only if they agree with him. People who disagree should hush.

As part of his annual pre-Christmas rant about carols being banned in schools – they haven’t been – he lambasted the political correctness of “left wing teachers.”

When teachers in NSW and Victoria wore t-shirts protesting Australia’s offshore detention camps for asylum seekers, Dutton said “If they want to conduct these sort of campaigns, do it online or do it in your spare time. Don’t bring these sort of views into the minds of young kids.”

A teacher’s job is to foster critical thinking. It is crucial that the next generation be encouraged to consider the issues that they will soon be facing both as voters and as our future leaders. To suggest that political issues should never be discussed is ridiculous. I am certain Dutton would be more than happy for us to spend months talking about Menzies.

Teachers see first-hand the damage done by the divisive rhetoric of politicians like Dutton, Hanson and Christensen. They understand the importance of inclusion and a feeling of self-worth, of safety, of hope for the future. If Dutton thinks his words and actions, and the hatred they have unleashed, aren’t already in “the minds of young kids”, he is badly mistaken.

The same applies to the marriage equality debate and the Safe Schools program.

The message being sent to young people is that homosexuality is perverted.

The hysteria about the Safe Schools anti-bullying program sent a clear message that gender and sexuality are not issues that should ever be discussed in schools and anyone who did not conform with the “traditional” norms was indulging in deviant thoughts and behaviour which must be ignored.

This ostrich approach completely ignores the bullying and terrible suicide rate of young people which led teachers to ask for resources to be developed to help them deal with the tragedy they were witnessing.

The debate about marriage equality has hit the farcical position where Peter Dutton, that warrior against political correctness, is now telling us that, if we want to express a view about marriage equality, we should go into politics.

When more than 30 high-profile company executives joined together to sign a letter publicly urging the government to legislate for same-sex marriage, Dutton responded by saying publicly listed companies shouldn’t take political stances and business leaders should not prioritise debating moral issues over running their companies.

He said if chief executives want to debate moral issues they should quit business and seek election.

“If you want to become a politician, resign your job at $5 million a year, come on to $250,000, if they can tolerate that, and enter the political debate.”

“Become a politician.”

“This is a big problem for our country because if you have people who are afraid to speak out or afraid to remain neutral and I suspect some of these business leaders… are in that category,” Mr Dutton said.

The executives who signed the letter included Business Council of Australia chair Jennifer Westacott, Qantas boss Alan Joyce, Deloitte’s Cindy Hook, Commonwealth Bank chief Ian Narev, Australian Super chair Heather Ridout and KPMG’s Peter Nash. Somehow I doubt these people have been intimidated into expressing their view.

“Some of these businesses are concerned that if they don’t sign up that they will be subject to a campaign which will be run online by GetUp! and others… and that is going to impact on their business. I don’t know how we can tolerate that position.”

Or perhaps they think that this discrimination is detrimental to their employees and business. Or maybe they are using their public profile to right a wrong. Did that ever occur to you Peter?

According to Dutton, anyone who disagrees with his opinion must have been coerced, or, at the very least, they should just keep their opinions to themselves because they aren’t politicians.


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  1. longwhitekid

    A bunch of effing clowns still describing Medicare as ‘free’ and ‘unaffordable.’ I pay for it, we all do. It’s called the ‘Medicare levy.’ It’s only affordable if we DON’T pay for it, which isn’t exactly optional. Is there anyone with an IQ over 50 points in parliament?

  2. Kaye Lee

    Dutton gives me a headache. In the midst of this tirade about business people speaking up he said

    “We need to have the ability for both sides to be heard and we’re in a politically correct age it seems, which I can’t tolerate, and I think a lot of Australians are of the same view.”

    He doesn’t want both sides to be heard at all. He wants to whinge about anyone else expressing a different view. It’s hardly like he’s been muzzled in any way but he wants anyone with a differing opinion to just be quiet.

  3. bellissimo111

    There are no words for ‘politicians’ like Peter Dutton – he personifies The Peter Principle.

  4. Harquebus

    Yeah but, Peter Dutton is the perfect stooge. He is gullible and will do as he is told.

  5. Gangey1959

    Pissy petey DUD-ONE. It’s all in the name.

  6. Vikingduk

    Of course, Kaye, the way of all despots, stifle dissenting opinion, anti-protest laws, an IPA and a repulsive rupert to reinforce the rightness of the born to rule right and, as Kronomex said, the choir of the insane go on their merry way.

    As for dutton the mutton dressed as lamb, one of my little imaginings has this poor excuse of a human, this travesty of a man, being introduced to the cods wallop, whereby a large cod is frozen and used to slap this evil little shit out of the public arena. He’s a rotten potato with the compassion to match a dead cane toad, I’m sure a frozen fish slap would do him the world of good.

  7. Kaye Lee

    In his maiden speech in parliament, Dutton said “I have seen the sickening behaviour displayed by people who, frankly, barely justify their existence in our sometimes over-tolerant society.”

    So have we Peter, so have we…and what’s more, we are paying you.

  8. John Lord

    Conservatives, together with the church believe they have an ownership of morality and self righteousness. They are wrong.

  9. Dave

    Potato head! Would be unemployable in the real world. Yet he says “come on to $250,000”, well you try and get that anywhere else, WE PAY YOU, FFS wake up to yourself you spoiled moron.

  10. Kaye Lee

    With the purchase of an investment property in sunny Townsville, Mr Dutton and his wife Kirilly now have five places for rent, including a $2.3-million, four-bedder on Queensland’s Palm Beach, known as “Millionaire’s Row”. The Duttons have two other properties in the Sunshine State and another in Canberra. Their home is on a two-hectare block at Camp Mountain, north-west of Brisbane.

    Dutton was a policeman for 9 years and his wife is a childcare worker. He’s done pretty well sucking off the public teat from the age of 30. Poor diddums having to get by on only $250,000 (plus entitlements). Perhaps if he had to pay for anything himself, or if his employment depended on actually achieving something other than interviews with Ray Hadley and Andrew Bolt, he might understand the rest of us a bit better.

  11. brickbob

    Make no mistake this bloke is a monster, to say what he said in his maiden speech about people barely having the right to exsist is a chilling statement, and i believe it is code for eliminating people who dont ” measure up” to his and his twisted version of ” society”.

    We were performing at a ”Mens Shed” just a couple of years ago and Dutton called in as it was in his electorate,and he was mates with the boss of that particular Mens Shed,who by the way made Dutton look like Martin Luther King ] and my ute was plastered with anti Liberal stickers and what not, and left no one with any doubt which side of the political fence i was on.

    As he was leaving i was standing near my ute on a break,he first saw all my anti Liberal stickers,then he gave me the most chilling evil look i can remember, and the stare said to me that if he could,he would be popping me into the gas chamber and then into the oven,and if anyone thinks i am being over dramatic or delusional then so be it……. But i know what i saw,and believe me it was’nt pretty,in fact it was frightening.

  12. Terry2

    Today, it’s Back to the Future with Spud Dutton : he is actually trying to revive the marriage equality plebiscite which even with a De Lorean at full throttle and a flux-capacitator is dead, buried and cremated.

  13. bats1

    Thank you Kaye, for another great (and very chilling!) piece. Dutton is evil, I can’t imagine what Australia would be like…I can’t even write it! He has way, way too much power already over people who already damaged are (in many cases) are systematically being psychologically destroyed every day.

  14. Elizabeth Pritchard

    Don’t know what else to say about this bloke. He certainly doesn’t belong in a position of power as he is and the sooner he is removed and sent to an asylum where he belongs the better. The strangest remark that he makes is that “if you want to debate, become a politician” To tell you the truth I have yet to see he or any of his mob participate in an honest to goodness debate. Their main behavior seems to be who can scream the loudest and produce the most insults and lies. I wonder about his ancestry at times. Like to know what it is. He actually could be descended from Attilla The Hun.

    He is the most inhumane, vicious, unprincipled individual I have ever had the misfortune to see. God help us if he ever becomes PM he is doing enough damage where he is. It is amazing how he managed to amass such a property portfolio on such a meagre wage. He must have lived very frugally or perhaps he inherited it. You can get lucky.

  15. Peter F

    He will never be a leader, even if he makes it to the ‘top’

  16. Deanna Jones

    His statements reek of sociopathy, particularly that maiden speech, as brick bob points out. He is at heart a tyrannical bad cop and apparently he sees his current role simply as an extension of that. An enforcer of the status quo. Spudley must be a real dumbo to try to paint politicians as low income earners. It tells us how he sees the world, who he thinks count as human beings. I find this statement very telling as well: “become a politician”. He has a very twisted view of his position to be talking about it in those terms.

  17. metadatalata

    Kaye, it is a difficult choice to make: whether to write about the idiots in the Liberal party or not. On one hand, one can argue that any mention of the idiot is featuring him. But on the other hand, it seems that the average Australian does need constant reminders of just how bad a job they are doing. It is true that Dutton and his ilk would be unemployable in any other job if it weren’t for the Liberal Party embracing anyone more stupid than Abbott or Fizza. It seems that the party ranking depends on just how useless you can be to society.
    Let’s hope that the average Australian can make some better choices at the next federal elections, whenever they may be.

  18. randalstella

    Yes, and to think the alternative is the Adani Labor Party.

  19. Kipling Kear

    So, surely he should quit in his role as well then, because clearly, he is no politician either, despite the pay cheque and title…

  20. Roswell

    He’s competing with Trump to see how many people he can offend.

    Unbelievably he’s trailing Trump.

  21. Kaye Lee

    Trump has a lot more reach than P Duddy. He tweeted not long ago ““North Korea is behaving very badly. They have been ‘playing’ the United States for years. China has done little to help!” just as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was in South Korea, was about to move on to China to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping. That should be interesting now.

  22. MichaelW

    Oh dear, Dutton insulting heads of big companies. I wonder where the coalition’s donations will come from next election?

  23. Roswell

    Kaye, my use of the word “unbelievably” was not to show how bad Trump is, but to show how bad Dutton is. ?

  24. Terry2

    Dutton, has warned the Prime Minister against ditching the plebiscite and embracing a free vote. He said this morning
    “The party went to an election with a policy, we’re not going to deviate from that position. We aren’t going to be bullied into action or non-action by CEOs or anyone else.”

    Turnbull is going to have to pull Dutton into line or lose what remaining authority he has in the Liberal party.

  25. Roswell

    Turnbull pull Dutton into line! Not bloody likely.

    He’d agree with him before he does that.

    He’d agree with anybody in the Party if it means he can stay gutless.

  26. Florence nee Fedup

    We can talk about not asking one question as shadow minister for health for many years. Can talk about every question time attacking Tanya Plibersek every question time when health minister but she no longer shadow for health. His hatred for her holds no bounds

  27. Florence nee Fedup

    The most sensible thing the PM could do next week is announce SSM vote is going ahead. Would earn him some brownie points. Give those who control his government one lest stick to whip him with.

  28. Kronomex

    I notice that Dunderhead, who seems to getting fatter and fatter and reminds me of a budding Kim Jong-Un, seems to be making his comments while in Parliament where he has parliamentary privilege. Will this vicious little prick do the same outside that protection? Nope, he is a political coward.

    He can pig down meals (you can bet it doesn’t come out of his 1/4 million dollar pay packet) that would feed a family of four for several days everyday and I hate to think how many people his booze bill would feed. Elitist wanker!

  29. Kaye Lee

    Four government ministers billed taxpayers almost $7000 to attend Malcolm Turnbull’s private harbourside New Year’s Eve reception in 2015

    The guests were served Chermoula spiced quail breasts with pomegranate molasses and Sydney rock oysters with chardonnay vinegar dressing, at the glitzy 185-person celebration that cost taxpayers almost $10,000.

    Immigration Minister Peter Dutton flew from Brisbane on December 31st, returning on January 1st, and claimed flights, COMCAR costs and a $468 travel allowance to attend.

    Attorney General George Brandis was in Sydney between December 30th and January 1st, and claimed flights, COMCAR and travel allowance for two days.

    Communications Minister Mitch Fifield claimed COMCAR costs and flights for himself and a family member to fly to and from Melbourne for the evening, flying to Sydney on December 31 and back on the 1st.

    Education Minister Simon Birmingham claimed only a single taxpayer-funded Cabcharge for the visit, totalling $62.53.

    Of the 22 ministers who were invited to the Prime Minister’s New Year’s Eve reception, the majority did not claim any expenses for attending.

  30. jimhaz

    They were completely in love with mining CEO’s using their company influence via a massive anti-carbon tax ad campaign. A social issue affecting all people.

    Left authoritarianism is rather debilitating, but these right wingers always end up “trumping” them in the bigotry stakes on the big ticket issues.

  31. Terry2

    If the invitees included the opposition leader and shadow ministers and cross benchers then it could be called a parliamentary gathering – just.
    But if it did not include these opposition members then it was just an LNP piss-up and should have been paid for by the individuals or by the Liberal and National Parties.

  32. Kaye Lee


    One man’s “private function” is another man’s “official business”. P Duddy has a lot of properties to pay off after all. I am sure it was all “within the rules”.

  33. Rossleigh

    I think Peter Dutton is onto something. People who aren’t politicians shouldn’t express opinions…
    I guess he’ll be telling us that the opinion pieces by Amanda Vanstone, Peter Reith and all should just be stopped if they’re earning income from any other source. Like being on the audit committee or company director or working for a lobby group!

  34. Kaye Lee

    The lapses in Peter Dutton’s logic are just too hard to bridge.

    He wants all sides to have a voice – but business execs can’t talk, public servants can’t talk, unions can’t talk, GetUp! scares the hell out of him and should be banned, people who work in detention centres can’t talk, teachers can’t talk, the Human Rights Commission can’t talk, Muslims can’t talk because none of those job-stealing freeloaders can speak English, environmentalists can’t talk, Border Force can talk provided there is a backdrop of flags and plenty of cameras but they can’t answer any questions (I remember with fondness Scott Morrison’s press conference to tell the press he wasn’t telling them anything and because he wasn’t telling them anything that meant nothing was happening (other than another boat interception and people detained on vessels before being sent back to their tormentors).

    If Labor or the Greens talk, call them liars and ridicule them.

    But if Pauline talks you better listen to her and treat her with respect.

  35. helvityni

    Yes, but, why do people like Dutton and Hanson et others get voted in, in the first place…? That’s the question.

  36. paulwalter

    How are they voted in? I often wonder that also.

    Kaye Lee, I thought pity for the poor woman. Don’t do yourself the mischief of trying to fathom his thought processes..risk of neurological harm, first symptom is a severe headache, nausea and uncontrollable bowel movements.

    Would you contemplate a potato as being capable of thinking?


    Therefore, adopt this approach when an LNP minister blathers, save yourself grief.

  37. Jack Midotochi McBride

    So let me get this straight…a man on a policeman’s wage for nine years, and on a politician’s wage for the last what? ten years or so, has amassed a property portfolio of some $20million? Their wages can’t possibly afford that sort of expense, plus taxes, food, phones, electrical bills, council rates, fuel costs, school costs, entertainment expenses, medical, insurance and other miscellaneous items such as birthdays, Christmas and holiday travel…something in the math doesn’t add up…maybe an in depth investigation is needed…just the $2,000,000 mortgage over 25 years would need $6153 per week to service it, and that doesn’t include interest…at a wage of $250,000, that’s only $4807 per week, and that doesn’t include the payment of taxes, which at that rate of pay, attract the current 49.5% that Fat Joe labelled on the well heeled in the 2014 budget, which would only leave $127,000 per annum or $2451 per week…just my observation…

  38. Gary Johnson.

    Last week Shorten referred to this creature as a fascist. It sort of shocked me at the time, despite having always thought it myself about the man. Just imagine being in Berlin with Dutton, around 1932, which side of the barricade do you think he would on?

  39. silkworm

    “… the glitzy 185-person celebration … cost taxpayers almost $10,000.”

    But it cost pensioners, students and the unemployed nothing, so why should they care?

  40. John Burnett

    Is Peter Potato Head crazy? Honestly big business asking the government to do their job? “It’s called lobbying Potato Head you know like the Christian lobby do with you guys. To think this guy is supposed to be their only hope when they turf Trumble out. Hahahaha!!!!!!

  41. Kaye Lee

    Every consumer is a taxpayer through the GST

  42. Terry2


    Following your argument, 36% of the largest companies operating in Australia paid no tax in the 2014-15 financial year so we should not care about this.

    These entities were either Australian public companies and multinationals with an income of more than $100m, or Australian-owned resident private entities with total income of $200m or more.

    A group of politicians have a piss-up and charge it to somebody else without their permission ?

    It’s about community standards of what is right and wrong ; it is fundamental to our democracy.

  43. Johno

    It could be called superiority syndrome. Sometimes people forget / or don’t understand that everyone is equal regardless of ones station in life. There seems to be quite a few pollies suffering from superiority syndrome. I feel sorry for them.

  44. Kyran

    Being lectured by this thing, on any subject, is a prospect so galling it renders me near speechless. And physically sick.

    “The debate about marriage equality has hit the farcical position where Peter Dutton, that warrior against political correctness, is now telling us that, if we want to express a view about marriage equality, we should go into politics.”

    Does that mean that, if you go into politics, your choices should be subject to scrutiny before your lecturing becomes acceptable?

    There was an article on archiearchive which included details of this things past.
    Did this thing marry in 1992? Only to have it ended a few months later?
    It would appear there was another relationship, from which he had a child.
    Then he re-married in 2003 to his current wife, and they have two children.
    These details, if accurate, are nothing more than reflections of an average Australians circumstance. But they raise the obvious question. How can that be one person’s experience whilst that same person attempts to dictate that anyone else in the community should be deprived of the right to make those same choices?
    It beggars belief, and it is galling.

    This thing wants to make comment, to lecture (albeit infrequently), about fiscal and financial responsibility. This, from the thing whose own department spends, literally, billions of dollars whilst ignoring their own rules of financial oversight and due process.
    It beggars belief, and it is galling.

    This thing wants to lecture about the morality of those seeking asylum, whilst ignoring his immoral contempt of international laws and treaties. Let alone his complete and utter ignorance of the circumstance of those whose only crime is to seek asylum.
    It beggars belief, and it is galling.

    As to this thing’s integrity, perhaps he would allow his previous employers (the Police and NCA) to release his employment files to dispel any question as to his past.
    “He is referring to a suggestion, made during the campaign by Kernot, who’d won the seat in 1998 by just 176 votes, that journalists should question why Dutton quit the police force when he did. The insinuation, in the wake of the police corruption inquiry, was obvious: that Dutton might be hiding a blemished record. Dutton labelled the innuendo “offensive and preposterous” and managed to produce glowing references from the National Crime Authority. Still, he was worried some mud would stick and that her comments would hijack media coverage of his campaign.”

    Peter Dutton; Under the Radar

    It beggars belief, and it is galling.

    Whilst his ‘belief’s’ on a woman’s right to choice are well known, his very existence is compelling evidence that family planning is not taken seriously enough.
    This is the man from whom we’re supposed to take lectures about ‘moral standards’?
    I, for one, will not be lectured by this thing. Not on any subject.
    It beggars belief, and it is galling.
    Thank you Ms Lee and commenters. Take care

  45. helvityni

    …he’s a personification of all things distasteful; a hopeless Minister for Health, inhumane Minister for Immigration, punishing, heartless, opinionated, dominating… old-fashioned, overly harsh Queensland cop….

  46. crypt0

    You sure summarised dutton to a tee, Kaye.
    But then Oz is a pretty screwed up place, so its quite possible that the LieNP could be considering such a jerk for P.M. …
    First abbott, then turnbull, and then maybe dutton …
    Nothing out of sync there.

  47. Kaye Lee

    Dutton first ran for Queensland parliament in 1989, a month after his 19th birthday. He lost.

    “In April 1990, Dutton joined the police service, in large part because he’d always wanted to but also because he needed to keep himself busy until another political opportunity arose.

    Between shifts, he worked in a building business he’d developed with his father. Over the years, the pair had bought a block of land at Acacia Ridge, south of Brisbane, and then another at Waterford in Logan. A third location came later, at Bald Hills on the city’s northern outskirts. Father and son owned the land, buildings and childcare businesses that operated from them, later selling two of them and retaining only the freehold and building at Bald Hills.

    In 1999, after almost a decade in the police force and with his heart still set on a career in politics, Dutton quit. “I’d decided that I was going to run at the next [2001] federal election,” he says.”

  48. Delia Morris

    I know it has been said hundreds of times, but I do wonder how Peter Dutton lives with himself. He is a walking, talking poster man for intolerance.

  49. win jeavons

    Do we also hold those who voted him into this position of great responsibility themselves responsible for foisting such a monster onto the general public? This would also include those of his party who pre-selected him . Perhaps he is touted as future PM to assure MT’s retaining the role ,for this would surely be bridge/nutcase too far!

  50. Mercurial

    That ostrich approach works just fine – until it’s their kids who are being bullied.

  51. Kaye Lee

    The big argument from the anti-marriage equality faction is “what about the children”

    A quick look at parliament shows that many of them, like Turnbull, grew up in single parent households and that many of them, like Dutton, have been divorced or had children out of wedlock.

    What then to make of Cory Bernardi’s assertion….

    “Children in families without a married mother and father… are more likely to suffer poorer health outcomes, such as higher rates of mental health disorders, mortality rates and long-standing illnesses, and are more likely to be exposed to abuse and neglect… Why then the levels of criminality among boys and promiscuity among girls who are brought up in single parent families..?”

    Is Turnbull a criminal? Is Dutton’s daughter mentally ill or promiscuous? Were they neglected or abused? Do poor outcomes have more to do with poverty?

  52. Rossleigh

    Of course, Kaye Lee, there are many children being raised by gay couples as it is. What the anti-marriage equality faction is arguing seems to be that it’s better that these children are raised by people who aren’t in a legal, committed relationship.

  53. Kaye Lee


    They are forcing them to “live in sin”. When Turnbull wanted to marry Lucy, the local priest said no because he wasn’t Catholic. Turnbull told him he would be forcing them to live in sin if he refused to marry them. The priest relented.

    Remember those days? When the church said Catholics couldn’t marry non-Catholics?

    Or the days when the government said that blacks couldn’t marry whites?

  54. Florence nee Fedup

    My mother a Catholic was to marry my father a Presbyterian in Catholic Church. All went well until my father was asked to sign a document promising to raise any children as Catholics. I believe also then one wasn’t allow to marry before the altar. This was 1939. My father refused. They were married by a Methodist minister.

    My father was a wheat and sheep cocky in the central west. He lost a stand of wheat, called the police in. They asked him if he wanted to press charges, which he did. Appears the local priest had agreement to take load of wheat from paddocks of Catholic parishioners.

    Dad would have regular visits from the priest, telling him he wasn’t married, living in sin. That was until one day, dad told him that was good, as he was sick of mum and meant he could leave her. Shut the priest up.

    My father was forty at the time, and far as I know never had any interested in any church. We were educated in Catholic, even boarding schools. This continued even after my mother died.

    My father just objected to be ordered what to do by any church. Standing his ground was out of character for him. Her was a man that usually went with the flow.

    Yes, he allowed the priest to take annually a stand of wheat.

    I forgot, he did refuse to give me away in a Catholic Church.

  55. Kaye Lee

    Dutton is going mad. He told Alan Joyce, the gay boss of Qantas, to “get back to his knitting”.

  56. MichaelW

    Dutton told Joyce to get back to his knitting.
    Maybe Dutton should go back to playing with his truncheon, then again maybe he’s still playing with it.

  57. Kronomex

    This horrid little man is trying to set himself up to take Turnbull’s place one way or another and I’ll bet that the Mad Monk is whispering in his ear.

  58. Hettie Lynch

    That’s better. Jennifer Wilson’s piece appeared to swallow whole and implicitly accept the embedded misogyny of Dutton’s spew. This condemns Dutton as ge richly deserves, before moving to the substance of his outrageous rant. Well done.

  59. Zivan

    Kay Lee, your quote:”When teachers in NSW and Victoria wore t-shirts protesting Australia’s offshore detention camps for asylum seekers, Dutton said “If they want to conduct these sort of campaigns, do it online or do it in your spare time. Don’t bring these sort of views into the minds of young kids.”A teacher’s job is to foster critical thinking. It is crucial that the next generation be encouraged to consider the issues that they will soon be facing both as voters and as our future leaders. To suggest that political issues should never be discussed is ridiculous” got to me. You think a 4,5, or 6yr old child should be subjected to political stuff instead of learning the 3 “R”s, and I guess sexual discovery would be alright with you as well. I am appalled that a grown adult would even contemplate subjecting our children to such things. I discovered politics, sexuality and ‘grown up’ stuff, when I was ‘grown up’. Influencing such young children about topics that will only confuse, not enlighten is out of bounds, allow children to be children, for ‘pity’s sake’, let them grow up as I did, your comment is out of order, they are much too young. How was your childhood, did you play outside and talk politics with you peers when you were 6yrs old?

  60. Roswell

    Zivan, teenagers go to school too. I think it’d be appalling if they weren’t taught about the issues that confront them in post-school life.

  61. Zivan

    Hi Roswell, I didn’t mention teenagers, did I? I mentioned the very young children at school, the very malleable, the ones starting to try and learn the basics.The problem in posting comments is that some people do not read them through. I feel that normal teaching of mostly used subjects, repeat, mostly, like maths, english,etc. should be the priority and politics and adult issues can be discussed nearer the end of highschool. If you read my post carefully, you would have seen that I’m concerned about the very young being influenced by teachers with one point of view who would certainly not have the alternate solution on the back of the t-shirts to show both sides of the story. Please understand that teachers have no right to force their political view on children of any age in their charge.

  62. Roswell

    No, you didn’t mention teenagers. But I must have missed where Kay mention 5 and 6 year olds.

  63. Kaye Lee

    “You think a 4,5, or 6yr old child should be subjected to political stuff instead of learning the 3 “R”s, and I guess sexual discovery would be alright with you as well.”

    Teachers are professionals who understand about age appropriate learning. The hysteria about the Safe Schools program came from people who failed to understand this.

    Perhaps you are unaware that English is compulsory for all students right through to the end of school. Mathematics, which entails so much more than arithmetic, is compulsory for all students for 11 years.

    Sexual discovery wasn’t invented by an anti-bullying program a couple of years ago.

    I am not sure I would agree with wearing the t-shirts at school but I think it is absolutely crucial that the issue be discussed. When Dutton said “Don’t bring these sort of views into the minds of young kids” I completely disagree. Ethics, discrimination, immigration, multicuturalism, diversity, climate change, sustainability, philosophy, critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, communication and yes, politics, are all important discussions to have with children.

  64. Zivan

    She didn’t, but I’m sure you know that all teachers, primary and secondary, wore the t-shirts. If you agree that teachers are allowed to flaunt their political views in class, then that’s you perogative, I happen to disgree.

  65. Kaye Lee

    “I’m sure you know that all teachers, primary and secondary, wore the t-shirts.”

    That is not true.

    Secondly, many teachers have refugees in their classes. Some schools have seen asylum seeker children dragged off in the middle of the night. That is very traumatic for all concerned with the school community. It cannot be ignored. The cruel and inhumane incarceration of children in detention camps cannot be ignored. The violence and degradation occurring in our juvenile detention centres cannot be ignored. Child protection is a teacher’s duty.

  66. Roswell

    I don’t happen to agree that 5 and 6 year olds should have the political views of their teacher shoved down their throat.

    But if the teachers wore a T-shirt one day, I don’t really care.

  67. Kaye Lee

    Is wearing a t-shirt saying “Close the camps. Bring them here” really about politics?

    Is wearing a white ribbon in solidarity with victims of domestic violence political?

    Should school chaplains be able to thrust their religious views on young children?

  68. Matters Not

    Zivan, perhaps you have a particular (and peculiar) view of the concept of ‘politics’.

    At its most fundamental – politics is about power. Quite appropriate then to talk to children of relatively young age about the concept of ‘power’ – how it’s distributed and employed in a very wide range of social situations. Did it with my grandchildren all the time (and still do).

    It’s from those discussions that the notion of ‘party politics’ evolves.

    As KL points out above – ‘political’ action is part of everyday life. But not all understand that.

    Always helpful when terms are defined in some way or other.

  69. jimhaz

    [Dutton, like so many others of his ilk, talks repeatedly about “political correctness gone mad” ]

    It has gone mad in universities and in some political areas.

    Teachers no longer need an above average IQ. I can imagine some of the university crap being transported to schools – actually I do not have to imagine this, as it is clearly already happening.

    Here is quite a good argument for 18C being changed – ie to stop professional “offense takers” of which this AIMN site has many.

  70. Matters Not

    Ah jimhaz, always keen to put your university (crap) experiences on display. Surely, you learnt somewhere along the way that there are dangers in generalising from just your individual experience.

  71. Rossleigh

    By “professional offense takers”, jimhaz, did you mean someone like Bill Leak who got all upset because his cartoon was criticised? Or those delicate souls that complain when anyone suggests that they’re “homophobic” or “racist”?

  72. Kaye Lee

    And don’t call Cory Bernardi a “denier”. He gets really huffy.

  73. Kaye Lee

    Student teachers are now all forced to take a literacy and numeracy test (at their own expense) before they can begin work. Imagine if politicians actually had to pass a test to take on their very high-paying, no-results-necessary, job.

    I agree some university lecturers are over-the-top on some issues which is why we must teach our children to be critical thinkers. But so it was in my day as well. I remember very heated discussions about the misogyny in religion. And the moratorium marches when I was even younger. The reconciliation march across the Harbour Bridge was amazing – truly uplifting. Young people have passion undiluted by weary years of struggle and the weight of responsibility and cynicism.

    I recall Tony Abbott kicking in a door because he lost a student election. Uni in the 70s was much more radical than now, in my opinion.

  74. Freethinker

    I detest Dutton and quite few others but I have to say that they are doing a very good job towards their agenda that it is having an “elite class” above an uneducated and divided population to serve them for many years to come if they are in power or not.

  75. Matters Not

    some university lecturers are over-the-top on some issues

    And that’s often a very good thing! ‘Education’, particularly at that level, isn’t about blind, unthinking ‘acceptance’. Rather, it’s about ‘understanding’ and developing your point of view and, most importantly, then being prepared and able to defend same. Sometimes the best courses are the ones you don’t ‘like’.

    I am all for such an ‘education’.

  76. Mick Byron

    “ie to stop professional “offense takers” of which this AIMN site has many.”

    maybe the offense takers would be less noticable if you expanded your vocabulary and dropped the need to call women “sluts” or one woman in particular.
    I believe the number of professional “offense takers” may drop off if there was less to get offended by.
    That may be something you need to consider, and yes I took offense and did complain to IMN about your previous comments on Annastacia Palaszczuk

  77. Freethinker

    Kaye Lee, I am part of the generation of the 1950’/60′ when students even at high school level were well informed and also involved in current affairs and specially politics.
    IMHO that have very little to do with what it is teach in schools or advanced studies it have to do in a society that lived very well and are experiencing the severe decline in their standards of living which = suffering.
    We have long to go here to get to that stage, to see students unions and workers unions united to protect their rights.

  78. Harquebus

    “You think a 4,5, or 6yr old child should be subjected to political stuff instead of learning the 3 “R”s”
    Why not? They are subjected to religious stuff and that’s okay.

  79. Michael Taylor

    I for one am pleased that in high school we had teachers who were prepared to talk to us about politics, world events, the environment (yes, even way back then) human rights etc.

  80. Michael Taylor

    PS, I was in my second year of primary school when JFK was assassinated. The teacher walked into the classroom in tears and told us. The whole class knew who he was.

  81. Kaye Lee

    Who could forget the year 9 students from Newtown High School grilling Tony Abbott.

    “Why not go ahead with the carbon tax?”
    “Why are you so against legalising gay marriage?”

    Tony stops the students’ cheers for legalising gay marriage by saying: “Let’s have a bloke’s question.”

    Which he realises was perhaps not the segue out of the tricky questions he was hoping for when that “bloke” asks: “Why do you think that following Howard’s footsteps with the Tampa and turning back asylum seekers is a good idea?”

    His argument that the government’s asylum seeker policy stops drownings is questioned by a kid asking: “But why are you towing them back into international waters, then?”

    “Did you know it’s a human right to seek asylum in another country?” He then refuses to answer the question by saying: “That’s the same question as before.”

    “If people are so desperate to risk their lives to come to Australia, why are they pushed out when there’s so much to share?”

    “Why is a man the Minister for Women?”

    His statement that “people are either male or female” is refuted by one of the kids who says: “No, there are actual intersex people.”

    He tells the girls concerned about female representation in government to “join the Liberal Party”.

    Now tell me kids aren’t interested in politics.

  82. '

    Missing the point, if you’d only read my post, it’s the primary school children that are being influenced that I’m concerned about and any amount of rhetoric about robust discussions at school cannot apply to under 12s and I used ‘all teachers’ in the context of both primary and highschool teachers, not every single teacher, surely a learned person as yourself realised that. It’s all about developing the young mind for future learning.

  83. Matters Not

    I would think that in every Primary school, every class from let’s say Year 5 (circa 10 years) there would be time devoted to ‘Current Events’ (broadly defined) on a daily basis. That was my experience and that of my children and now their children.

    Not sure you can discuss Current Events and omit any reference to ‘politics’, – again broadly defined..

  84. '

    “Bill Leak ‘singled out’ for racial discrimination investigation after cartoon prompts complaints”, and “The following is Bill Leak’s full submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights into Freedom of Speech in Australia.” Where the hell did you get “did you mean someone like Bill Leak who got all upset because his cartoon was criticised?” He was called up on 18c, wow, goodbye Rossleigh….

  85. '

    I don’t agree with the religious stuff either, it’s not okay.

  86. Michael Taylor

    I must admit to being a bit amused by people who say things like “if you read my post correctly” or “if you’d only read my post” yet don’t clearly grasp what other people have written.

    Just sayin’.

  87. Rossleigh

    I think that there’s someone who’s taken offence, but I’m not sure who because they just have a * where there pseudonym should be….

    Personally, I never read what anyone writes, including myself. I don’t want to have to think and I make sure that I never include politics whenever I’m teaching. Come ANZAC Day, I’m going to tell the kids that this is political and I’m going to boycott it because I don’t believe in preaching politics and you should just make up your own mind about things…

    Apart from uniform… You all need to be in uniform….

  88. Rossleigh

    But I’m ok to teach, because I have a higher than average IQ…

    Just in case, anyone is wondering.

    As for all those who want to suggest that:

    a) IQ has long been questioned as a measure of intelligence
    b) There are no teachers out there with a lower than AVERAGE IQ, as opposed to a ATAR score
    c) That geniuses don’t always make the best teachers

    Well, I’m not going to change my mind because that would be politics!

  89. Roswell

    I would have liked to have had you as a teacher, Rossleigh. School would have been a hoot.

    And who knows, some of your wit might have filtered down to me.

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