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What’s More Likely? (A Post Concerning Unicorns, Shark Attacks And Peter Dutton’s Leadership)

It’s easy to get carried away with the present moment. We all know this, yet we often forget it because the present moment seems so compelling and urgent.

You’ve probably seen one of those memes showing the likelihood of being killed in a shark attack is much lower than the chances of you dying by slipping in the shower. Of course, nobody ever stops to consider things like: most people have a shower every day but only go to the beach a few times in summer. Whatever, it seems safer to avoid any activities involving water…

And while statistics can be twisted to demonstrate support for a politician’s cause, I usually try to ask myself a simple question: What’s more likely?

So when politicians propose solutions to problems which – so far – have never touched me personally, it’s always worth wondering if they’re selling you insurance against sharks or unicorns. In other words, is it something that’s a slight chance of happening or is it something that has no chance of happening. And then, of course, the follow-up question is: Is it worth the cost?

To illustrate my point: After the attacks on the World Trade Centre, governments introduced a raft of changes to make it “easier to catch terrorists”, arguing that some erosion of our rights and freedoms was necessary to protect us from the terrorists. Of course, if you look at history, you’ll notice that more people have been killed or tortured by governments with too much power than by random acts of political violence by terrorists. But hey, this time it’s different because we’re a nice government taking away your rights and we’ll only ever use these against terrorists… Or maybe child pornographers… Or enemies of the state… And that may include people who release information that embarrasses us… Oh and let’s not forget people illegally downloading movies.

Ok, that last one hasn’t happened… Or at least I don’t think it’s happened. Under Australian legislation, if you’re questioned by certain people on certain matters, it’s illegal to tell anyone.

Which brings me to Peter Dutton.

Present moment: Dutton is presented as a Minister who has run his portfolio so well that he’s considered leadership material. His portfolio has grown from one where he didn’t comment about on-water matters to one where it’s now his job to not comment on a whole variety of things. Of course, he does comment on Melbourne people not going out because they’re fearful of “African” gangs. I don’t know whether I should infer from this that we’d all be ok being robbed by “Australian” gangs or whether he singled out a group of identifiable immigrant background because it fits into his portfolio.

Past: Peter Dutton was once Shadow Health Minister. He distinguished himself by not asking any questions on Health Policy during Question Time, so it’s clear that a portfolio where he says nothing suits him. Once he became actual Health Minister, he started saying things. While Greg Hunt won an award as “Best Minister in The World”, there was no actual award for the worst. If there was, Dutton would have won convincingly. as he was considered the Worst Health Minister ever, by the medical profession, the media, his own party and just about everybody except for the Peter Dutton fan club, which at the time, had a membership of one.

So, are the Liberals really silly enough to get swept up in the present moment and forget what a fool Dutton makes of himself if he has to say other than his two stand-by lines: “We don’t comment on this sort of thing” or “Let’s all get angry at unions/Bill Shorten/African gangs/tribunals/the courts/foreigners/unicorns!”. As PM, he’d occasionally have to say something nice and smile. No, it’s not true that he can’t smile. We all remember his grin when making that joke about rising waters and climate change. Ok, it was unfortunate that he did in front of a microphone because he hadn’t worked out that those things actually picked up sound.

Surely the Liberals couldn’t be silly enough to think that Dutton would be capable of being anything more than a head kicker? Surely, they’d remember how Abbott was such a great Opposition Leader that he continued being Opposition Leader even after he made it to the Lodge.

Oh wait, it was being renovated and he had to stay with a group of men in some police thing. Anyway, that may explain Abbot’s concern about not reducing emissions.

So, I leave you with the question. What’s more likely? Will the Liberals stick with Malcolm Turnbull because to change leaders again makes them look inept? Or will they all get behind someone with a terrible track record and ensure a wipeout at the next election simply because the NEG doesn’t have a section specifically demanding that we all install a coal-fired power station in our living room?

Mm, might be time to buy that unicorn insurance…


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  1. diannaart

    If memory serves (which is asking a great deal), Dutton holds his seat in FNQ by a very slim margin?

  2. Pilot

    The libs certainly are silly enough to drop The Dud into the PMship..

    Oh wait!! What a great idea! We all love him, such a jolly, forthright fellow Mr Dutton is, always ready to share a joke or 2, honest, very chatty, loves multicultural Australia, really cares about the working class and pensioners. Did you know he was a policeman?

    What a great PM he would make, as long as he is PM for the next election.


  3. Kaye Lee

    Point of order…..on weirdness

  4. Jagger

    I don’t think Dead Eyes will want to lose the power his present position gives him, to take the Jellybacks spot as PM would be a step down for him.

  5. Peter Coom

    All this talk of leadership change is bull as we all know Malcolm by his generous financial bailout of the Liberals has purchased the leadership in perpetuity.

  6. Pierre Wilkinson

    Dutton is the worst thing that could happen to our country.

  7. lawrence winder

    Watching “Insiders” this morning I was interested to note that amongst the criticisms (almost total) of the feckless, dysfunctional incompetence of this ruling rabble no-one mentioned the extent to which the nation had “gone-to-the-dogs” since 2013…. and that the ludicrous prospect of Oberststurmfuhrer Dodo becoming another scale model prime miniature was treated with an alarming degree of sanguine forbearance.
    Has the “culture” of this place been so bowdlerized that the very idea of Dutton ever being foisted on the nation could not be laughed out of court?

  8. New England Cocky

    “While Greg Hunt won an award as “Best Minister in The World”, there was no actual award for the worst. If there was Dutton would have won convincingly. as he was considered the Worst Health Minister ever, by the medical profession, the media, his own party and just about everybody except for the Peter Dutton fan club, which at the time, had a membership of one.”

    The more things change the more they stay the same.

    Personally, I think Benito Dutto is exactly what the Liarbral National$ misgovernment need after the dereliction of duty by Muddles Turdball. No more vacillation, procrastination, obfuscation, prevarication and gutlessness. Australia needs a leader who the people can look up to, who takes all the hard decisions, who protects the vested interests of the embedded 19th century unthinkers, who tells it like it is, who is sympathetic and empathetic to the human rights issues that Australia has ratified in international treaties. The present policies of the Department for Xenophobia, Fascism, Racism, Inhumane Treatment and nearly everything else may not be “the White Australia Policy” by name but it has exactly the same effect, denigration of persons just like Tony Abbott who are not boat refugees from 1950s unreconstructed England and Europe ….

    There is little doubt that Muddles Turdball lacks the Gorton style courage to resign and retire from politics over a little matter of principle, having abandoned all of his own to be Prim Monster.

    So, off with his head and let a really dynamic politician take charge and implement everything that the 19th century unthinkers want, hereditary titles for the Bunyip Aristocracy landholders, freedom from local government rates ad nauseum, no taxation on corporate profits and more subsidies for third rate private education by institutions supporting pedophile priests. Don’t worry about the loss of the $1.75 MILLION personal donation to the Liarbral Election Funds, there will be another rich person to provide such largesse for adequate commercial compensation.

    Naturally there is no responsibility for any of these parties to maintain the peaceful business environment in which they extract their profits, that is the responsibility of everybody else.

  9. Shogan

    You’re right about the slim margin diannaart, but Dutton holds Dickson which is in the northern suburbs of Brisbane & while some people from the southern suburbs of Brisbane might think of Dickson as FNQ, it’s about 1,200km short of being so.

  10. Bird Brain

    It’s true! His seat is marginal. Let’s make sure he doesn’t win it back next election. I’m sure GetUp will be mounting a large campaign, if he doesn’t have us all locked up before then.

  11. Jon Chesterson

    Good question Rossleigh, although I would substitute unicorns for monsters, thus my satire rhyme about Dutton inspired by Edward Leah’s ‘the owl and pussycat’, published in: Fractured Poetics: A Poetry Anthology, June 2018, Kevin Watt (eds) – Titled, ‘Monster for Home ‘n ‘Inhuman’ Affairs (Song of the Deadz)’, an earlier version of which was published here on the AIM Network.–Song-of-the-Deadz–by-Barddylbach

  12. diannaart


    please forgive this Mexican from Melbourne, anything north of Sydney is FN to me.

  13. Matters Not

    Re Dutton and his seat of Dixon – while the efforts of GetUp and others will be notable, Dutton also has an impressive re-election committee headed by Geoff Greene who has long been a good back-room operator and organiser going back to the Howard years.

    Dixon will be a challenge but here’s hopin …

  14. Max Gross

    I used to laugh at Dutton until I remembered that good Germans once laughed at parading Brown Shirts…

  15. Matters Not

    Luke Howarth (Petrie) and Peter Dutton (Dixon) are in winnable seats for Labor. The neighbouring seats of Lilley and Longman are already in Labor hands. Lilley sees the retirement of Swan with his replacement Anika Wells likely to be successful and so should Lamb in Longman..

    Howarth won last time after blitzing the electorate with advertising and Dutton spent much as well – including a personal $50 000 donation to central funds. Hopefully both will have seats in the departure lounge in the foreseeable future.

  16. Rossleigh

    Ok, Abbott will move for a spill. There won’t be an empty chair because Dutton will argue it’s necessary to remove speculation. Ya di ya di yah…
    You know how it goes…

  17. Stephengb

    Nice work Mr Rossliegh

    I think there could be a spill and I think dutton would make it happen, reason? Well, I think dutton, knows he might be ousted at the next election no matter who is leader, therefore if I were him I would, get to be leader to change my seat to a safe seat, and at the same time piss in the pocket of every voter to secure another term. Politics is not rocket science!

    Voters are fickle, it doesn’t take much, merely the promise of a few dollars more will secure a vote.

  18. totaram

    Bird brain: as a GetUp! subscriber, I will be hoping along with you. And I’m sure they (GetUp!) will have a special fundraising for their work in Dickson for which I will be happy to throw in a few hundred dollars of my meagre pension. Hmmm.. Dickson? Is that son of a Dick? Never mind, what’s in a name?

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