Peter Dutton has used his preferred diplomatic channel, 2GB, to mightily piss off our biggest trading partner by saying that the policies of the Communist Party of China are “inconsistent with those of Australia.”
Further wading into the mire, he proclaimed that “Australia is not going to allow university students to be unduly influenced by China, the theft of intellectual property or the hacking of government or non-government organisations.”
The reaction from the Chinese was predictable, calling his comments “irrational”, “shocking” and “baseless”.
“We strongly condemn his malicious slur on the Communist Party of China, which constitutes an outright provocation to the Chinese people,” it said in a statement. “Such ridiculous rhetoric severely harms the mutual trust between China and Australia and betrays the common interests of the two peoples.”
The only surprising thing here is that anyone is surprised by Dutton’s comments. He seems to be on a mission to offend as many people as he can.
In 2008, he chose not to be present in the chamber during the apology to the Stolen Generations because it would do nothing for “kids who are being raped and tortured in communities in the 21st century.”
On 11 September 2015, Dutton was overheard on an open microphone, before a community meeting on Syrian refugees, joking about rising sea levels in the Pacific Islands. He said, “time doesn’t mean anything when you’re about to have water lapping at your door”.
The foreign minister of the Marshall Islands at the time, Tony deBrum, responded by writing the “insensitivity knows no bounds in the big polluting island down [south]” and the “Next time waves are battering my home [and] my kids are scared, I’ll ask Peter Dutton to come over, and he is still probably laughing.”
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”.
Then In November 2016, Dutton said it was a mistake by the Malcolm Fraser administration to have admitted Lebanese Muslim immigrants because second and third-generation descendants were terrorists.
In March 2018 Dutton made calls to treat white South African farmers as refugees, stating that “they need help from a civilised country.” The Australian High Commissioner was subsequently summoned by the South African foreign ministry, which expressed its offence at Dutton’s statements, and demanded a “full retraction.”
Dutton was roundly ridiculed when he said that people in Melbourne were too scared to go out to dinner because of “African gang violence”.
One could be forgiven for dismissing Dutton as an oafish lout who has no empathy, no respect, no communication skills, and no fucking idea how to win co-operation – but the reality is probably much more sinister,
Peter Dutton is a political animal who seems to think that being racist will appeal to us.
Considering his vote went up in the last election despite his appalling performance, he may be right.
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