Yesterday, Peter Dutton made his return. However, his noisy reemergence (backed by media outlets) should not make us forget the questions that still hang above him.
We here in Australia love to mock America for their electing Donald Trump and Mike Pence, but the fact of the matter is our cast of characters isn’t much better. PM du jour Scott Morrison is an ignorant evangelical who, much like Clive Palmer, is imitating Donald Trump’s style in order to try and trick the population into keeping him in a job he doesn’t deserve and shouldn’t have.
Then there’s Peter Dutton. The ghoul of border security, he looms with all the grace of a pile of swamp muck. He gets out in front of microphones and sprays his lagoon water all over the press, tricking them into reporting his nonsense. He insists on spewing angry vitriol on his old boss.
The senior Federal government frontbencher cries that the former PM, who walked away from politics after being ousted by the very same frontbencher doing all the complaining, “didn’t work” to have his replacement in Wentworth, Dave Sharma, elected. Dutton, who claims that the former PM “doesn’t have a political bone in his body”, seems to believe that Turnbull is singlehandedly responsible for destroying the Liberal Party’s government due to his campaign in 2016, which Dutton called “the worst campaign in Liberal Party history”.
Arguably the only brave thing Turnbull ever did was turn face-on into Dutton’s failed coup, defeating Dutton in the first vote, only to be knifed a few days later and replaced by Morrison. Dutton said that Turnbull had “a plan” to become Prime Minister but “no plan to be Prime Minister”. Maybe that’s true, but that didn’t stop everyone – including Dutton – from supporting him and singing his praises.
We’ve heard it all before. It isn’t news. It’s drivel, a toddler’s tantrum. What matters is what he’s doing and what he’s done. Ask him real questions. Press him.
But Dutton only comes out with this sort of bluster when he’s trying to get us to forget about something terrible he’s done. And we lap it up, because gossip is tasty and we’ll lap up any spilled tea given to us.
As of right now, there is still an inquiry about Dutton’s intervention in the visa applications for two foreign au pairs, a rare time when Dutton used his intervention powers to allow someone into Australia rather than personally barring them. And let’s not forget the fact that not long after this came to light, the AFP acted in contempt of parliament by executing a raid on Labor senator Louise Pratt to “investigate” the leak.
Oh, right, and the fact that Dutton may actually be ineligible to sit in parliament. Weirdly, no, it has nothing to do with his citizenship, which seems to be the demon that plagued our pollies this past year. No, rather his family trust may have received payments directly from the government from its caring for children with special needs programme.
Let’s not forget, too, that Liberal MP Julia Banks emerged with claims of bullying within the party, saying she would rather have “quit straight away” than see Dutton become PM.
“The Liberal party has changed, largely due to the actions of the reactionary and regressive right wing who talk about and to themselves, rather than listening to the people,” Banks said.
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“The reactionary right wing,” Banks said, “aided by many MPs trading their vote for a leadership change in exchange for their individual promotion, preselection endorsement or silence”.
And Dutton is right in the middle of all of this. He has made numerous racist comments about immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, notably this year falsely claiming that people in Melbourne were afraid to go out to restaurants because of African gangs. He was also the only member of the Coalition front bench not present in 2008 when then-PM Kevin Rudd apologised to the Stolen Generations.
It shouldn’t matter what nonsense comes out of Dutton’s mouth anymore, we’ve heard it all before. It isn’t news. It’s drivel, a toddler’s tantrum. What matters is what he’s doing and what he’s done. He actively makes sure that the people stuck on Nauru and Manus are detained there indefinitely, despite their very legal right to seek asylum and refugee status. He belittles and demonises entire communities within this great, multicultural melting pot of ours.
Stop printing his quotes as headlines, they don’t matter. Ask him real questions. Press him. Dig up his dirt and throw that across the front pages of every newspaper, website and magazine that will print it. And not just him, but all of them. We deserve to know what kind of messed up secrets our pollies are trying to hide, and they deserve to be reminded of it every day – reminded that we know, and that they must face the music.
Luckily, a NewCorpse photographer happened to be on the spot to snap this typical Queensland family in holiday mood… pic.twitter.com/LBe59lXS5e
— Mike Carlton (@MikeCarlton01) December 30, 2018
Otherwise, we might as well just start wearing hats that say “MAKE AUSTRALIA GREAT AGAIN” and funding a wall around our entire coast, because that’s who we’ll be.