Neil Prakash was born in Australia, he is an Australian citizen, he is not the citizen of another country and whatever legal advice Peter Dutton claims to have been given, nothing will change those two facts.
Therefore, any attempt by Dutton to strip him of his citizenship would be illegal and frankly, a waste of time. However, when one reads between the blurry lines of political games, one suspects that impediment has not entered Dutton’s mind. Stripping Prakash of his citizenship is not Dutton’s intention.
Don’t be fooled. This sudden burst of strong-man bravado by Peter Dutton is just a warm-up tactic. He is testing the waters. He is trying to find a galvanising issue with which to pursue, in the lead up to the election in, March? April? May?
He is fighting for his political life. Not just is his government facing an electoral wipe-out, his own future in the seat of Dickson is under serious threat. If an election were held today, he would lose it and along with it, his ambitions to lead the country.
So, what we have here, with the attack on Neil Prakash, is an attempt to find something, anything, that can corral the good people of Dickson and convince them to let him keep his job.
Dutton’s games have begun. This is just the first salvo. There will be many more. To the majority of voters, the intention will be crystal clear, but for the people of Dickson, it might not be.
This is an early example of what we can expect to see fired out of the conservative cannons in the coming weeks and months from the Liberal party brains’ trust. They will try anything. Like a cornered animal, they will grab at anything as long as they have breath.
Their desperation to remain in government knows no bounds. That, as it happens, has been their undoing. They exist for one reason and one reason only. To perpetuate their own narcissism.
And do not underestimate the spin that their media friends will apply. Whether it be the economy, immigration, border control or, more likely, something they haven’t yet dreamed up, the desperation they will display will be something to behold.
Bill Shorten will be the focal point of their plans. His perceived lack of popular support is pretty much all they have. Their own lack of popular support, however, will be their downfall. So determined will they be to run a negative campaign, their lack of policy, lack of vision, their hypocrisy, their inept economic management, their pathetic attempts to create decoys that persuade us to look the other way, will ensure that they fail miserably.
Whatever they hurl at Shorten, they overlook the fact that we have witnessed Bill at the helm of the Opposition for over five years now. We know what we are getting. More importantly, we know what we are getting rid of.
Labor are ready. It’s their election to lose. But they will win, not just on policies that have been scrutinised and put to the test, but also their stability, their egalitarianism and their social platform. The question is, by how much?
Historically, their majorities have not been great. Even when Gough Whitlam ended 23 years of conservative rule, they were always vulnerable. Bob Hawke, Paul Keating, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard all ran it close. That, in some ways has been their Achilles heal. Governing while looking over one’s shoulder is not conducive to getting the balance right.
This time, however, all that might change. Let the games begin.