1 It goes without saying that there has been no Australian politician less popular in recent times than Peter Dutton. Yes, even less popular than both Scott Morrison and Barnaby Joyce.
After receiving a resounding defeat in which Australia said all that needed to be said about the Coalition’s governance, the Liberal Party on Monday chose this creepy individual as its leader.
Breathtaking in its audacity would be one observation. A second would be that nobody else wanted the job. Some jokingly say he is just a spud who wants to change and become a sweet potato.
Mike Long on Facebook made this comment reasonably representative of public opinion.
“I can’t think of a name to call Dutton that wouldn’t be insulting to someone else; if you call him an arsehole, that’s insulting an absolute arsehole.”
I know I have written much about this character post-election, but I needed to say more about him and his party’s breathtaking appointment without labouring the point.
Barrie Cassidy tweeted:
“… tell me how someone who walks out of Parliament during the apology to indigenous Australians and the stolen generations and says he was against changing the law around same-sex marriage is the next generation leadership?”
Conversely, Stephanie Dalzel writing for ABC News, said that New South Wales Liberal senator Hollie Hughes echoed those comments.
“Peter Dutton, I think is going to make an outstanding leader for the Liberal Party, and he is someone who is going to bring us back to that centre-right perspective as we look to rebuild into the future.”
I was genuinely shocked when I went to his Wikipedia page and fully digested a litany of his uncouth racist remarks and their longevity. I thought to myself; “How is it possible? Why is it that the Liberal Party harbours people of this ilk, and why do they promote them to leadership?” It is a mystery.
It’s all well and good for people to project an image of him that is different, kinder and more appealing, but why can’t people go to Canberra as themselves? They said the same of Morrison and Abbott, of course.
At this stage, you would have concluded that I am not exactly enamoured with the personality that is Peter Dutton. You would be correct – all those years of treating his fellow humans as unworthy of our ministrations.
Let us be honest here; the election was unfortunate for the Liberals, forcing them to face a painful reality. Their moderate faction was decimated by teal independents and rejected by Chinese Australian voters, turned off by deplorable diplomacy that handed seats like Bennelong and Chisholm to Labor.
One can only look at the evidence of what people say and do, allowing for the fact that when new evidence surfaces, they might change their minds, but when you look through the timeline of the Wikipedia summary, it’s almost impossible to give him the benefit of the doubt. (To give my article relevance, please read the link provided.)
Here is a small sample:
“In 2016, News Corp Sunday political editor Samantha Maiden wrote a column critical of Jamie Briggs. Dutton drafted a text message to Briggs describing Maiden as a “mad fucking witch” but inadvertently sent it to Maiden. Maiden accepted an apology from Dutton.”
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”. Turnbull defended Dutton by stating he is an “outstanding Immigration Minister”.
“Dutton denied claims made by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young that she was spied on during a visit to Nauru.”
“The spying claims were later confirmed by the Immigration Department and Wilson Security who carried out the spying operation.”
I can only conclude that the man is undeserving of any leadership role anywhere. He is a rudimentary man of little world acumen, loudmouthed, offensive, and nauseous. The Liberal Party of Menzies would not have tolerated a man of the reputation of Morrison, much less Dutton.
“Character is a combination of traits that etch the outlines of a life, governing moral choices and infusing personal and professional conduct. It’s an elusive thing, easily cloaked or submerged by the theatrics of politics. But unexpected moments can sometimes reveal the fibres from which it is woven” (Cynthia Tucker).
After watching his press conference on Monday, I’m convinced he will be the same negative Peter we have come to know over a long period. His narrative was the same as Morrison’s, condemning Labor for all manner of failures he thought would happen. He was a clone of the former PM but with a slower way of saying the same thing. “We will have a huge mess to clean up in three years,” he said (paraphrased). He gave every indication they would continue to oppose Labor’s climate change policy, and there was much explaining about the Peter we have not met yet.
He was vague on an Indigenous voice to Parliament as he was on an integrity commission. There wasn’t any noticeable change but rather an opportunity to explain the science of political chameleons.
2 The Liberal’s partner, the Nationals, also on Monday, at last, gave Barnaby Joyce his just deserts. David Littleproud was elected after a lengthy party meeting, “with NSW Senator Perin Davey as his deputy.” Joyce, a man who represented the past, can now be put out to pasture and disappear amongst retiring stallions. If renewal is now the purpose of the Coalition, I am yet to see any.
My thought for the day
We all toy with the idea of changing the world but never consider changing ourselves.
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