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Peter Dutton's Character Test

Peter Dutton was born and raised in Brisbane. After graduating from the Queensland Police Academy in 1990, Dutton served as a police officer in the Drug Squad, the Sex Offenders Squad and the National Crime Authority. During the nine years he was in the Queensland Police Force, Peter Dutton did not achieve one single thing that was considered worth mentioning in his parliamentary biography, his maiden speech or any other public record.

From 1993 Dutton also served as a company director in his father’s building business.

Dutton won the federal seat of Dickson from Cheryl Kernott in 2001. Dutton promised to work hard for his electorate improving services which, sixteen years later, remain unimproved. In 2009 Dutton made an unsuccessful attempt to switch to the safer neighbouring electorate of McPherson.

In his maiden speech to parliament, Dutton spoke of “unacceptable crime rates, causing older Australians to barricade themselves in their homes” and “households where up to three generations—in many cases by choice—have never worked in their lives”. All this he blamed on “the boisterous minority and the politically correct” and suggested people “are fed up with bodies like the Civil Liberties Council and the Refugee Action Collective, and certainly the dictatorship of the trade union movement”. Dutton also argued that when it came to law enforcement, people should have less right to privacy.

So what did Dutton have to offer?

“It is my aim to use my experience both in small business and in law enforcement to provide perhaps a more practical view on some of the issues and problems experienced in these areas.”

Here’s how that practical view worked out:

From 2004 to 2007 Dutton served as a junior minister without distinction.

In 2008 he was the only member of the Opposition front bench to walk out during Kevin Rudd’s apology to the Stolen Generation.

After a brief stint as shadow Finance Minister, Dutton was made shadow minister for Health from 2008 to 2013. During that time he made no announcements, asked no questions in parliament and didn’t bother visiting any hospitals until the 2013 election.

After the election of the Abbott government, Dutton became Federal Health minister. During that time he attempted to introduce a $7 GP co-payment and was voted worst health minister in living memory by a poll of 1,100 readers of the politically conservative ‘Australian Doctor’ magazine.

In December 2014 Peter Dutton became Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, a portfolio he has handled with equal measures of malice and incompetence.

He has paid bribes to people smugglers, lied about the intentions of a woman who was raped on Nauru and forcefully returned there while waiting for an abortion necessitated by that rape. He has made false claims that refugee advocates are responsible for the self-harm of immigration detainees and mislead parliament about spying on Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

He was responsible for a bungled Border Force operation to check visas in the Melbourne CBD. He has attacked and denigrated the president of the Australian Human Rights commission for investigating the abuse of children in detention, ignored criticism from the UN, Amnesty International and Oxfam, and introduced laws to gaol immigration detention whistle-blowers who report abuse.

He has seen Australia's border protection policies become a full blown litany of human rights abuses including, but not limited to, murder, rape, torture, and child abuse.

Peter Dutton has accused refugees of being illiterate job stealers and welfare cheats. He thinks immigrants from Lebanon and their descendants are a mistake. He calls his fellow Australians “Lebanese” Australians, “Sudanese” Australians, “Muslim” Australians, instead of just Australians, and any group he isn’t part of he sees as a threat.

The people of Australia (including those with Lebanese heritage) pay Peter Dutton nearly $400,000 per year plus expenses, which last year topped $700,000. In all that time he has not said one nice thing about us. What do you make of that character?

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