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The villain takes centre stage

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:

That email:

“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”.

And this:

“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.”

Oops. Embarrassing.

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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  1. pierre wilkinson

    he has no idea how dead to us he actually is lol

  2. New England Cocky

    The election of Voldemort Duddo to be Leader of the Opposition appears to be a direction from Murdoch media-ocrity to provide the next generation of useless easily manipulated self-serving politicians for manipulation, grooming and misrepresenting in the RAbbott style of propaganda.

    In the failed state of the USA (United States of Apartheid) we see that the departure of Trumpery has caused little change for the average American citizen. The daily school massacre, the exporting of inadequate military arms to distant wars killing citizens of other nationalities without the back-lash at home, the grid-lock in Congress as vested interests blatantly pursue their pecuniary interests.

    It is time for our thinkers to sit down and discuss, plan, and advocate for abetter egalitarian Australia, where ‘nobody gets left behind” is THE POLICY rather than empty words. Undoing all the damage especially the undermining of Australian democracy may not be easy, but it is essential if our grandkids are to have a decent future.

    Perhaps John Lord could chair the meetings and lead the discussion. We all will have to plan and advocate the outcomes.

  3. leefe

    If only he’d done a reasonable job of keeping the previous misgovernment accountable.

  4. Steve Davis

    As someone smarter than me once said – past actions are indicative of future actions.

    He will try to keep his nasty side under control for a while, but under pressure the habits of a lifetime will surface.

  5. Albos Elbow

    What a gift Commander Voldemort Potato Head is to Australian politics.

    With his self-proclaimed majesty as leader of COAL-NP, it will guarantee that they will remain in opposition for a very long time.

  6. Ken

    A leopard cant change it’s spots

  7. Phil Pryor

    The bottom line here is that Peter Duckwit-Futton is a product of his past, all planks and beams, and his future is doomed to assured mediocrity, irritablity of criticism, low intellectual concepts, failure to grasp essentials, an anti-social navigation in life, suppressed delusions of grandeur (once a Queensland Copper, soon a reincarnation of Caesar or Napoleon.). Having once observed, long ago, the gentlemany ways of Menzies, Hasluck, Casey, Spender and even Fadden among the conservative ranks, one can only see Dutton as a ballboy, not fit to be there in real action. Can he spell? Tie his shoes? Comb his…? But he is safe in that his deputy is as empty as any vacuum can be, and quietly nasty of inaction, incomprehension, non ability and as charmless as a used nappy. The country party team is actually worse off, but glad to be relieved of the fornicating pisspottery liar…In a smashing, much of it self inflicted, the local conservatives are down to the disgusting Merde Dog maggots and Misfits…

  8. Harry Lime

    It’s obvious that Murdoch’s utter trash mouthpieces are still smarting from the trouncing of their preferred arsehole.Sorry boys and girls,you’re shouting into the void.I hope an integrity commission is front of mind for Albanese,because it will lay bare the hollow claims and ridiculous lies spewed by those pathetic enablers.Truth is to lance corporal Kipfler and his ilk as kryptonite is to the bloke who wears his undies on the outside of his leotards.With the (temporary) ascension of this mean spirited dickhead,what’s left of the centre of Liberals will be stampeding for the exits.

  9. Keitha Granville

    The major upside is that the LNP have zero chance of regaining any of the lost eats in the parliament for a long time. We will have the joy of our Labor government for years and years, and a chance to actually make some decent progress.

  10. wam

    A good warming effort today, lord. The dutton press conference was re-affirmation of another rabbottian era.
    This time it will be too boring and, unless Albo is not serious enough about labor reforms to bring the people with him, such crude tactics will not work. What did you think of his ‘labor lite’, remorse for the ‘stolen generation’, his offer to talk on the constitution and his ‘sensible’ climate action?
    I hesitate to believe he understands ‘bi-partisan’ because he is steeped in the power culture of ‘service personnel’. However, not many retired coppers are multimillionaires so he is different and that may be progress?
    Is littleproud, zero emissions, not progress over barnabyebye?
    What about the deputies, Perin and Susson, tokens or real??? Perin sounded odd when commenting on keanu reeves and Suss loves real estate.
    We shall see?

  11. Terence Mills

    It is quite clear that all of the Murdoch tabloids plus the Australian and his Sky after Dark were under instruction to boost the Liberal party and disparage the labor party and its leader – i.e. it can’t be a coincidence can it ?

    Young Murdoch (Lachlan) has just flown into Australia on a private Gulfstream jet that we are told is worth $90million and has taken delivery in Sydney of his yacht, worth $30 million. It seems unlikely that he has the nous or ideological commitment his old man has to political interference so we must assume that it is Roop calling the editorial shots.

    Having failed to get his boy Trump in the US a second term and now failing to get Morrison up in Australia, maybe he should get the message that his day as kingmaker is over.

  12. calculus witherspoon.

    Terence Mills, always good to read your stuff. Also noted your comment re Quiggin at the Conversation.

    I agree with you that there are reasons for price gouging in light of the Russia Ukraine proxy war, but to me it is what ‘s to be done about it.

    Surely the ALP right-faction is not so infatuated of neolib economics that they back up their assent for FTA’s by sitting on their hands during the latest power price fluctuations?

    Ok, so the regulator can impose a ceilng of sorts, but I find Chalmers assertion that nothing can be done pitiful.

    If his LIFE depended on solving it, would the response be different?

    Might it not have been as useful for the ALP to have only won 75 seats, so that the right -faction overlords in Labor could be challenged more by the Greens and Teals?

  13. Jack sprat

    “All politics is local”, Dutton always plays the race card to shore up the votes of the large white South African community which resides in his once marginal seat of Dickson. Local call one part of his electorate little Johannesburg and they are very active in the local branch of the liberal party. There for it is not surprising when Dutton comes out with statements such as ” black gangs making Melbourne unsafe at night” and that white South African farmers be preferred for migration to Australia.

  14. totaram

    “..“… many won’t be numerate or literate in their own language let alone English”, and “These people would be taking Australian jobs”.

    If these people are so illiterate and innumerate, how can they take Australian jobs? Are there Australian jobs that can be done by innumerate and English-illiterate people? If so, then how does it matter that they are illiterate and innumerate?

    I find it amazing that the press allow people to get away with nonsense like this. Are they ALL so unable to think?

    Calculus: Keeping gas prices “artificially” low by regulation is a double-edged sword. It reduces the attractiveness of renewables. Quite like the subsidies given to fossil-fuel companies.

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