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Despite, or perhaps because of, his blithe defiance of the need to make any sense, Dutton almost got away with it. Actually, he did get away with it on Sky News when he first said it, and make of that what you will.

But not long after his warnings hit the outside world it became clear the Minister was actually stranded and left straddling in the most painful of positions. Sir Joh himself could have warned him to take care - in a famous missive with almost eerie pertinence to Dutton's current role, the master of the Queensland word salad once advised:.

Indeed you cannot, and nor should you try to dance on one, as Dutton is learning after his frolic along the wire last night. Not that he is one to be deterred easily. He is, after all, a one-time northern copper, a determined bunch. Not for nothing was the young Dutton, aged just over 30, sent in on the frontline of that election. Like many of his Queensland brethren - Sir Joh actually looked like a peanut, Peter Beattie like a plump tomato, Campbell Newman an overripe asparagus - Dutton came blessed with a certain farm-fresh visage.

In his case, it was like a Brussels sprout had been cross-bred with Donny Osmond - and it was from those formidable teeth that one deduced he meant business. And so it has proven, though taking care of business has made him perhaps even more prone than others to the pitfalls of public focus.

His most famous how-to-wreck-a-photo-op moment came when a hovering microphone caught him cracking wise about rising sea levels swamping our Pacific neighbours. Prior to last night, this was his most notable contribution to comedy folklore, alongside his aborted stand-up experiment with Operation Border Force at Flinders Street station. But critics may come to consider this latest gust of enthusiasm the Minister's best work yet, coming as it does a precise days before the 15th anniversary of the Tampa crisis - the event that sealed the election result for John Howard, and therefore Dutton's political career.

Within those weeks lies the origin story for the politics of today - right up to that Dutton interview last night. Only the dog whistle was missing. But he's always shown signs he didn't much see the need of it when you could just say things right out loud. In his maiden speech , this much was clear. He spoke of crime "causing older Australians to barricade themselves in their homes"; of "the boisterous minority and the politically correct" with their outsized influence; of the "silent majority Refugee Action Collective".

As a police officer, I have seen the best and the worst that society has to offer. I have seen the wonderful, kind nature of people willing to offer any assistance to those in their worst hour, and I have seen the sickening behaviour displayed by people who, frankly, barely justify their existence in our sometimes over-tolerant society. Now there's a sentence to ponder, and ponder again. Or you could just take the advice Sir Joh would give once he'd laid down the law : don't you worry about that.

Neil McMahon is a freelance writer. Topics: government-and-politics , immigration , federal-election. First posted May 18, Like so many others claiming to have seen the best and worst of society, he could begin by looking in the mirror first of all. Alert moderator. No cataract. The clear unmistakable image of a dog whistling grime merchant is staring back from the mirror at this bloke.

Peter Dutton, in his comments, reveals the true heart of the LNP and its ultra-conservatism which inevitably leads to xenophobia. To say on the one hand that refugees will simultaneously suck resources and take peoples jobs is a contradiction in itself, not to mention an openly nasty and cruel statement for political gain. If this is the best the Abbott government can deliver as a minister, I question their capacity to run a country. Gutter trash comes to mind.

And for those who might think I slipped up when I said "Abbot Government", rather than a "Turnbull Government", think again. The Abbott-Turnbull "Government" is truly the worst we have ever endured. Their economic, social and environmental incompetence were bad enough. But Dutton and Turnbull have reminded us theat they are based on bigotrt and xenophobia.

These people do not deserve to be in Parliament, let alone run the country. We must remove them from office on July 2. I am not sure whether you are old enough to remember the disintegration of Menzies' "ancien regime" in the 's, but it was a disaster for the country. While the senior players waited for Ming's retirement and jostled for position in the bitter brawl over the succession, our manaufacturing capacity withered on the vine, our research sector virtually disappeared and, thanks to the treachery of Billy McMahon, we were locked into iron ore contracts with Japan that were heavily tilted in Japan's favour, and for which we are still paying dearly.

And then we have the Howard regime. Not content with launching a fresh assault on Australia's manufacturers, innovators and entrepreneurs and getting us involved in two unwinnable wars, Howard managed to re-open old wounds that had been partially healed by 21 years of bi-partisan support for multiculturalism, turning Australians against each other and causing blood to flow in our streets.

But I still think that the champion of champions when it comes to bad government it is still the Hughes Nationalist government. Hughes was the champion dog-whistler and worked with Keith Murdoch Rupert's dad to create a dangerous national myth the ANZAC myth and divide Australia down the middle on sectarian lines by turning protestants against catholics and vice-versa.

These wounds were still evident when I first entered the workforce in the mid's. I didn't feel the effects personally because I came from a protestant background, but several of my catholic friends were knocked back for jobs as a result of their catholic background. The Abbott-Turnbull medicine show has the capacity to eclipse Howard, the imploding Menzies regime and the Hughes populist express, but their efforts to sink lower than the lowest have been somewhat hampered by the Senate jumping in and rescuing them from themselves on a number of occasions.

V, Your experience has taught you wisdom. That is a rare commodity these days, even among those of us with a few too many years on the log. I disagree, as awful as the liberal party are, I think it will be a long time before any party sinks to the depths of the ALP under Gillard and Rudd, what a bloody shambles that was. The Gillard governmnet led the most successful parliament since Federation, despite enjoying a majority in neither house.

It produced more legislation in its first year than Howard or Abbott-Turnbull produced in their entire first terms,a nd some of this was the most important nation-building legislation in our history, like the establishment of carbon trading, the Gonski reforms and the NDID, not to mention the roll-out of the NBN. What on earth are you rabbitting on about? It will be a cold day in hell before we see the like from a Tory, crony government. I am astounded that you think success is measured by how many more bits of controlling legislation a government introduces is a measure of a good government, I don't want the government controlling every aspect of my life thanks, it's not like any of them are that good at it, smaller government, less taxes and fewer thought police thank you, I love democracy and we need to protect it, not legislate it out of existence by stealth Hi Chrisso, I disagree.

I can't tell the difference and they both seem to be made up of people with limited to no moral compass. Over the years, the political game has become more "professional" and as things become more professional, the people involved become more morally bankrupt. This is the case in any industry and sports too. The modern concept of "professionalism" seems to be a modern code for promoting the worst of us into positions they don't deserve and should never hold.

And, in particular, Turnbull who's ambition has seen him turn from someone with promise to a pale reflection of Tony Abbott. I have never seen a person so willing to sell themselves out so quickly and completely. The worst Australian government had to be Howard, followed by Abbott, then Rudd. Absolutely useless. But there are a few other shockers that you failed to mention, including the UAP government led by Robert Menzies that completely imploded in a massive corruption scandal, just as the Japanese were massed on our borders and we had been abandoned to "stew in our own juice" Chruchill's words by our British "allies".

When Menzies fled the country, he left a nation ill-prepared for war, with virtually no industrial or heavy engineering capacity and most of its best troops and military assests stuck in North Africa and Mesopotamia. The other real howler was Menzies' post-war government - which trashed the industrial capacity established by Labor during the war, blew our retirement savings on covering up a hole in the budget, attempted to destroy freedom of speech and association by trying to ban the Communist Party, turned ASIO into a secret police force charged with terrorising loyal Australian's whose views contrasted with Menzies', and spent its last decade in office brawling over who was to replace Menzies, while our economy went to hell in a handbasket.

As for the worst PM ever, I think that it is a tie between Menzies and Hughes, with Howard and Abbott snapping at their heels and Turnbull bringing up the rear, but looking like he is eyeing off a rails run to pip them at the post. The least worst Tory MP was "Black Jack" McEwen, who briefly took over after Holt's untimely death - but only because he was replaced before he could do much damage.

Very observant comment Andrew. And once again, Malcolm Turnbull, by his support for Peter Dutton, has reduced himself to Dutton's low level. Some remedial teaching is in order - such as time out in Opposition Trouble is Rhonda the Australian public more or less agree with him. We have become so xenophobic we cant see the wood for the trees.

Well, we have already seen what he has been prepared to do to become PM. That indeed surprises me Tombei. I plugged for Turnbull on the basis he could not be as bad as Abbott. I do not regret harbouring those false hopes, but have come to realise that as far as Turnbull is concerned he is more interested in the job than the welfare of all Australians. It is indeed a pity that we could have had, from first appearances, a Liberal Prime Minister that was good for the Coalition, and at least acceptable to the opposition.

Now the only real hope is Labor, but they will find it difficult to overcome the dog whistling Abbott, Dutton and Co learned from the Howard school of xenophobia. Turnbull is your classic medicine-show fraudster and he knows how to sell snake oil. When it suited him he was all moderation and reasonableness. He promoted an entirely false image of himself as a successful businessman and innovator that is definitely not backed up by his record, which looks more like the road to Baghdad littered with smoking wrecks than a record of stellar achievement. Of course, Turnbull has been greatly assisted in this by the monopoly media in Australia.

He entered public life as the darling of the Sydney elite and the "golden haired boy" of the Fairfax press, and has used the "connections" of the "old boy network" to rise through the "big end of town". Turnbull is the product of cronyism. He is a worthy inheritor of the murky record of the Rum Corps and Squatocracy - Bjelke-Petersen with a neat hairdo, or a slim Bob Askin. But we have seen the "real Malcom" since the bloody coup that brought him to power.

We have seen the mean and sneaking double-speak, the pandering to base instincts, the dog-whistles, the scare campaigns, the character attacks, the lies, the excuses Turnbull is just another Tory. I am sorry that you are disappointed, but that's all you will ever get for trusting a Tory. You've hit the nail on the head TombieThe Mist the public more or less does agree with the minister. We're just a little bit sick of the lefty demonisation of anyone who disagrees with their sanctimonious version of what is "correct thinking".

I mean just stop and think for a moment, the use of terms like "dog whistling" "xenophobic"," racist"," bigot" etc towards those who do not share your sanctified views. Are they meant to shame people into agreement despite the evidence of eg the catastrophe in Europe or are they just to polish your own halo? Spot on. Dutton was talking about uninvited arrivals claiming asylum and permanent residency. The left know that most do not speak english and have little in the way of skills bit to say that is somehow demonising the poor dears. Loved the stuff that the ABC put out yesterday saying that most refugees had degrees.

I guess the goat herder from Sri Lanka was one of the few without a degree. Most Australians will not fall for this misinformation attempt and will agree with Dutton. I also know that a large percentage of nurses, doctors and allied health professionals in the Australian health services come from Somalia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Iran and even Afghanistan, and in a large number of cases they arrived in Australia as refugees.

I also know that, every time the Libs start to feel the heat, they pull out the dog-whistle and let fly at some vulnerable and marginalised group in our society. They have learnt well from Dr Goebells. It is classic neo-fascist social sabotage. Howard played the race card to get him through the election and repeated it at each subsequent election, but some of the most vicious propaganda and dog-whistling came in the campaign, when they were really feeling the heat.

People of Middle-Eastern appearance are the obvious targets for fascist dog-whistling because they are Semites and, as such, stike a chord with the traditional anti-Semitism of our European culture.

Here is my interview with Ian Ayris

What you need to remember is that the main vicitms of dictatorial regimes are the intellectuals and the well-educated professional classes, so people from these backgrounds make up the bulk of our refugee intake. And exactly the same effect was experienced after the post-WW2 refugee intake. Have you ever wondered where the stereotypical cartoon image of a scientist - with their white hair, lab coat and strong German accent comes from? That's right, the refugee intake into the US after the war created a situation where a considerable percentage of all the US' top scientists spoke German and had limited English language skills.

But the US would never have put a man on the Moon without them. The tripe that is paraded out here on this subject is ridiculous. Australians in general are not at all xenophobic. We welcome any race, any religion, any gender into our nation, but in general, we have some basic common sense provisos and concerns! There are millions seeking to join us. Where should we draw the line? Peter Dutton was spot on with his "inconvenient truths" that any thinking Australians too would be concerned about. Given Australia has the highest immigrant population of any country that you would like to live in, this is a curious use of 'xenophobia.

If refugee intakes inevitably improved a country, Lebanon would be an economic powerhouse. It isn't. For all the media attention, the refugee demonisation is actually a distraction from large issues that the LNP are not dealing with. That is Australia's place in the world and our part in the future, this vision is currently lacking. The LNP's scattergun tactics of scorched earth wherever it politically suits them are designed to ensure no-one else is likely to be electable, yet in the end those that pay the price of it is ultimately us. While other countries are investing and developing clean energy US and throughout EU , state of the art food processing plants and solar energy China , emerging from developing economies and driven by urbanisation All countries in SE Asia except N Korea , here we are languishing in a state of malaise with a collapsing manufacturing sector, resources in the doldrums, and even our prime industries like agriculture are now being outbidded and non-competitive due to inefficiency.

All the LNP can drum up in terms of rescuing our economy is continually talking about submarines and some ships, all of which are actually not investments as they do not increase our productivity. How's this for a plan: Aggressive restructure of our power sector to get clean and free energy off the ground so we can be competitive in our production, get the NBN back on track as a minimum, start pushing as hard as we can our Environmental Science and Agriculture industries and knowledge towards SE Asia food science is the next big thing in SE Asia , invest in upgrades of ports, not ships, so exports are much more efficient, and get our rail network back online, but this time to Northern Australian ports to service SE Asia.

Come on guys, it has to happen and happen quickly if we are to survive. Or we could build 10 subs instead of 12 and use the few billion we save to take over the auto plants that are closing and change them over to building economy electric cars. The tech is there and the only real difference is in the power plant and the fuel storage so all of those companies supplying auto parts can continue as is or retool to make electric components. Jobs saved, growth taken care of and economic churn to dream about. On refugees, just take 30k or 50k and take less immigrants but take the refugees from the camps [you still get to pick who you let in Mr Dutton] and keep the current policies that prevent people from drowning on dangerous ocean crossings.

He was effectively saying "Oh! Look at that interesting thing over there! I can juggle cats! Not to mention the reduced company tax policy for American corporations, that would still have the company paying the same amount of Tax, just moving it from Australia to the USA they have a minimum tax rate that American companies have to pay oversea;s, if they dont pay that minimum there, then they have to in the states.

So this policy, basically does nothing to encourage investment as the tax bill for the corporate entity will be the same , but removes the tax from Australian tax revenue. I dont understand how you could ever come out in public with a policy this idiotic. Yep about time to give the ALP the chequebook again. They can then repeat the folly of the 6 years they had 3 years ago. Oh they are no gunna collect tax from tax avoiders and make the rich pay more tax.

What great brand new policies. Makes on wonder why they did not do these things 3 years ago when they had the chequebook. Governments do not have "checquebooks".

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Governments do not have "credit cards". A nation is not a household and it is certainly not a "business". There is much more to government and much more to running and building an economy, than accountancy. Labor governments get on with the business of running the country and building the economy. They do the accountancy, but it is not all that they do.

They also do all the other stuff required to successfully build a nation and an independent, flexible and adaptable economy, and this is the major difference between Labor and the Tories. Now, I suppose you could argue that the Tories just do one thing but they do it well.

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But the problem is that they don't - do it well, that is. They are very poor accountants and even worse financial managers. Under their watch both the deficit and the debt have more than doubled and our credit rating is in danger of being downgraded. They can't even get that simple thing right, so why would anybody expect them to be any good at all the other stuff that governments do? Governments build nations. That is their job. Accountants paw over ledger books and make numbers in one column match numbers in other columns. While the Tories concentrate solely on accountancy and still manage to stuff it up, Labor governments govern.

They do the stuff that governments are supposed to do, like planning sustainable industries, ensuring that we can defend ourselves, ensuring that the industries of tomorrow will have the skilled labour that they need, ensuring that all Australians have access to high-quality, affordable healthcare, ensuring that the average Australian can realistically look forward to owning a home All the stuff that the Tories fail to do. Refugees can both take jobs AND drain public resources. Migrants, especially low skilled and increasingly in the 'sharing' uber economy, displace other low skill workers.

We have seen this with student workers, as a recent report found. Refugees can also be a drain. If no-one in a family works, with trauma and high-needs children, there will be a huge cost to the public purse. A family of 14 with one breadwinner can even be both low-skill workforce disruptor AND drain at the same time.

Finally, rather than a nasty claim, being honest about how much accepting refugees will cost is part of a transparent government. Interestingly the people criticising the Liberals for maintaining secrecy in terms of border operations are probably the same people complaining that the Liberals are NOT being secretive now. Double standards, not. We might think spending a lot of money on refugees is a great use of the money, or we might think that shortening hospital waiting lists might be a better use of the money. But we can't have this discussion without actually toting up the costs.

Either way, we should be brave enough to 'fess up to the financial costs of further refugee intakes - if it such a wonderful idea, why hide the realities? People can cry about us being protectionist bastards all they like - and they do that from the safety of their westernised and quite comfortable loungeroom. And to be honest, many of us are opposed to taking in asylum seekers because many of us already HAVE had to deal with them in our day-to-day lives say, moving next door, enrolling at local schools, or displacing our traditional clients with themselves , and can't say the experiences were positive at all- rather than permanently altered for the worse.

All courtesy of a few people with guilty consciences who conveniently decided to practice their morals vicariously through a different electorate they live conveniently far away from. There is a clear obvious reason why West Sydney is most staunchly opposed to taking in asylum seekers- because they're the ones being made to actually do it, and know what it's like.

That said, the fact-check about Dutton's statement speaks for itself. Only I went to my local doctor - a refugee from Iraq. He referred me to a eurologist who was a Tamil refugee from Sri Lanka. In the local hospital, where I had to go for a procedure, the anaesthetist was a Somalian refugee and his offsider, who he was training, was the daughter of Vietnamese refugees who arrived in the late 70's.

Before going into hospital, I dropped in the local library to borrow some books. I was served by a young refugee from Afghanistan. The reference librarian is a refugee from Iran who used to run the research department at the National Library in Tehran. And, of course, when I was at school, I enjoyed the hospitality of my friends' parents, many of whom had come to Australia as refugees after World War 2, or as migrants from the Lebanon in the early '60s.

I am so glad and grateful for the contribution made to my life by refugees and migrants. Not only have they cared for me when I have been ill, but they have provided me with access to cultures, music, cusine, art and literature from all around the world. I well remember the grey and stultifying place Australia had become under Menzies, and I also remember the great awakening of our culture when we dropped the White Australia Policy and adopted Multiculturalism in the early seventies.

Oh, by the way, before you embarrass yourself by repeating the lie that the White Australia Policy was introduced by a Labor government, I should point out that the White Australia Policy dates from pre-Federation times and became part of Commonwealth Law before the first Labor government had even been elected. For a start Australia is already on of the world's most multicultural societies. There are more Greeks living in Australia centred on Melbourne than any city in Greece outside Athens.

Do your homework and look at the history of the Greeks and Italians in this country and what they have done and achieved. You know those we called 'Wogs' back in the 60's and 70's. Allowing our politicians to each spend hundreds and thousands of dollars to fund their lavish lifestyles each year in the name of study etc.

Tackling the effect rather that the cause in almost everything government does. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't believe the Irish, Chinese, Greek's and Italian influxes were under the guise of humanitarian needs. Didn't immigration acceptance on humanitarian grounds begin with the Vietnamese wave? I don't know if we were selective regarding numeracy and literacy then or if has been dropped from humanitarian grounds over time. Ever since then Australia has been built by a host of foreigners with completely different cultural backgrounds. None of them could speak any of the local languages when they arrived, and, in the early years, all would have perished without the patient understanding and assistance of the local tribes.

Australia has been built by "foreigners" from every nation on earth. Our culture is a mixture of all of these cultures combined in a way that is uniquely Australian. It is a dynamic culture that is constantly growing and enriching itself as new arrivals add new layers to our music, our food, our ways of doing business, our sports, our arts, our research efforts.

Australia is a land of people for whom there was no place in their country of birth. The original European setters were the cast-offs from both ends of British society. The victims of the "industrial revolution" who were now "surplus to requirement" became the convict labour force adn the dregs from the decaying British aristocracy were sent over here by their families, predominantly just to get rid of them. Without a "host of foreigner[s] with completely different cultural backgrounds" there would be no Australia because Australia has always been populated by a "host of foreigner[s] with completely different cultural backgrounds".

Most of us still don't know ANY of the local languages and most of us have no idea to whom the land on which we live belongs. I think that our school curriculum should work harder on "integrating" we foreigners into the local culture and society. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm even less a fan of the Libs than I am of Labor. Still, I'm completely appalled at the way Dutton's quote was abridged and taken out of context for the purpose of this article. The author and editor should both be ashamed of themselves. In polite company, when you shorten a sentence, you at least add " You don't capitalise the first word if it's not the first word of the sentence.

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When you cut a whole sentence in the middle of what he said, you should show that too. With the length of this article, there was no reason to cut the first two words and the middle sentence unless you're actively trying to introduce bias in favour of your point of view. Utterly disgraceful! Being a freelancer does not excuse him from the reasonable practices of fairness in journalism. How's that for a cataract? If you show even greater contempt for factual journalism by not publishing this then you've crossed a major line and I will never comment again.

I am sorry Andrew M. Peter Dutton was scaremongering. Anybody who plays on the politics of fear should be discounted as a buffoon. To vilify refugees is unacceptable. They are unable to defend themselves against such accusations. Shooting the messenger as you have done puts you in the same boat as Peter Dutton. He is an embarrasment to Australia. Talk about completely missing the point. I don't care about Dutton. The sooner he's out of politics the better. What I resent is people being taken out of context and misquoted. It's easy enough to hang Dutton with his own words, why not maintain basic standards of journalism when doing it?

Since my first response seems to have gone missing, I'll rephrase: Andrew T - "Shooting the messenger as you have done puts you in the same boat as Peter Dutton". I'm sorry, but how so? I have scolded what I see as sloppy journalism and nothing more. Any suggestions that I belong in the same boat as Dutton would only make sense to a big fan of McCarthyism.

As McCarthy's detractors made clear, the civilised individual can defend another person against unfair treatment without sharing their philosophy. It is easy to defend the fair treatment of someone you agree with, it is right to defend the treatment of someone you disagree with. Tabanus - yes sadly I know the nature of infotainment means that stories are often poorly fact- checked or manipulated. I was surprised to see it on the ABC which tends to be better than most though. Dear Andrew M Unlike many here, I was reluctant to comment earlier as I had not heard the comments and had only seen extracts.

What I had seen seemed quite extreme, but I am well aware of the predilection of the media to cut and paste to achieve its own desired ends. Which is always to make a story, if possible one that supports the "right" way of thinking. Which is of course, an open borders policy on refugees. Imagine my surprise when I found that Minister Dutton was not making a statement, but replying to a question.

He had been asked about the fact that a huge percentage of refugees remain on welfare for years, with little or no likelihood of ever being independent of government assistance. To which the Minister replied that most were illiterate etc. He was actually defending the refugees, pointing out that to expect them to be self supporting was unrealistic, that they had many problems to overcome. That by accepting refugees we must accept that they will take "Australian jobs", that taking refugees was expensive.

He could have expressed it better, and in writing it appears more heartless than in speech. Few people nowadays have been trained to think and speak at the same time. Some posters here cannot apparently think and type at the same time. When looked at in context, one gets a very different view of the issue.

Which is why, of course, the author of the article does not want us to read it in context. How can he push his barrow if the full story doesn't fit? Easy - cut out a few bits, put in your own context and "Shazaam! It reminds me of the edited video showing Rodney King being belted by police whom he had just tried to kill in his murderous rage. Or similarly edited video of the death of journalists embedded with terrorists trying to escape the building from which they had been firing at US troops.

Whoever said a photo never lies was an idiot, and an edited transcript is far less reliable than a photo. Did you speak out in Ms Gillard's defence then, or is this a 'one-off'? Might I point out, that Peter Dutton hasn't chosen to set the record straight if that was indeed the case, nor did the PM today, when he was injudiciously defending Dutton. It's not so long ago that Dutton was caught out or set up? Coupled with his intolerant attitude shown previously towards asylum seekers, I'd say it would take more than a claim of being taken out of context to exonerate Peter Dutton.

Dear Rhonda I did indeed go and check Ms Gillard's statement not the tiny extract used by her supporters and it is quite clear what she meant to say. Just as clear that she later broke that promise in order to become PM. The need to deal with refugees and asylum seekers is a sad indictment of humanity. History shows we have done this in the past and in current times. We have become picky, xenophobic and down right racist in our views on this much of it from a political viewpoint has been a LNP weapon for years. Mr Dutton is a buffoon, a party lackey more or less of the right wing mould.

His comments were tactless meant to be because he knew his target audience. Interestingly the comments about lack of education etc are an indictment of our failure to educate and assimilate these people. Mind you according to the experts we cant teach our own to read and write so a bunch of refugees have no chance do they? The millions wasted on off sure detention could in fact have been better spent.

As it happens we take in many migrants, we are, save the first Australians, all linked to somewhere else. This type of side issue and it is a side issue is why the LNP were elected in the first place. It masked their real agenda which as recent history tells you cost them a first term PM and the real chance that they may loose office 1 term in.

They wedged the population over a whole raft of minor issues that have had little positive or negative impact on our BIG picture. From Stop the Boats, ditch the bitch, repeal carbon and mining taxes to their inability to negotiate policy with the cross benches, the senate and anyone else who got in their way.

They have been a clear dud. How easily will they manipulate the voters with this type of trash talk again? Good on you Tabanus for breaking the cycle of this commentary. In this dialogue, no one seemed to want to recognise that there is also significant stress and strain on our current infrastructure and health services with the introduction of large numbers of new Australians in short time frames.

There must be proper preparation to take in refugees to optimise their ability to become productive and integrated citizens of our great Country. There are many instances, in similar forums, where complaints have been registered around waiting lists at hospitals, overloaded trains, insufficient housing leading to high prices beyond the reach of first home buyers, clogged roads etc.

Dissent over funding 'within our means', however, would not be found here but rather in another commentary probably including some of the same authors. Just as you have pointed to the shortcomings of truncated journalism, so it also applies to the truncation of the facts within our debates.

Freedom of placing our opinions on such forums will be greatly enhanced by everyone giving deep thought to the broad set of related issues. This may then profoundly effect our ability to reach reasonable and relevant conclusions in the debates. Daniel D. Unfortunately you have skirted around the real problem here, although you have had the decency to call them "New Australians" Dutton is obviously referring to the same unchristian type that Howard stirred this all up with in his comment,"We will decide" Abbott was a good student, and Dutton is following in his footprints, and is the hope of his side.

I agree we do not want any more weird religions here, we have enough of our own, who for decades, even centuries have considered children priest fodder. We have only just decided that practice is unacceptable. However let us be up front here, and let xenophobic arguments stand on their own, instead of trawling around, fore some other seemingly more acceptable way to condemn new comers to this country, including boat people. In other words take the politics out of it, and stop pandering to any religion, and considering it sacrosanct to the point of allowing expensive structures to be built all over the place to facilitate weird beliefs.

No tab, what dutton and his clingers on - bishop, etc, want to make crystal clear to the australian public to borrow an expression from that suppository of wisdom , that it's a bad thing to take immigrants. As for 'they would be taking australian jobs' It's pretty simple when you talk about it in terms of the capitalism the rightwing bogans bang on about.

What are you scared of, tab? More people purchasing australian products in australia - or is your job security threatened by people you think are illiterate? Dear bonzono I am afraid your reference to "the church" confused me. Are you thinking of someone else? I have not been a member of a church since I was a child. Perhaps you think my defence of some who have been slandered and used as scapegoats by the anti-religion zealots indicates some leaning towards religion? Not so - in fact were I in charge all funding for religious institutions including schools would be cut.

I just don't like attacks for political purposes, whether they involve bombs or lies. But to return to the point, did you read my post? As I pointed out, the Minister's words were in reply to a direct question about the huge number of Afghan refugees who, in some cases after 15 years, were still unemployed or on other benefits. It is not a matter of using context to disguise meaning, it is a clear case of the comments only making sense when seen as part of the conversation.

Mr Dutton was saying that those refugees faced difficulties, that there were high costs associated with our generous resettlement program. But you are probably well aware of the context and what Mr Dutton was saying. You just don't want to admit it, having more fun with accusations of racism and boganism. You really don't like your fellow Australians do you? Your latest post is just a reahash of your original - it completely fails to address the facts I raised. The concerns of the above ar completely valid, idiot dutton utterly botched his reply. He wasn't defending anyone, except australians who think they have some kind of special contribution to make to australia.

They will contribute, and cost our society, but then again, so do australians. If you're worried about illiterate refugees stealing your job - up your game. He was not trying to defend them, he was trying to demonise them. A society costs money mate. User pays. That is the function of immigration - to keep wages down. Immigration is ruining Australia. Tabanus, I do agree with you on what u had to say. I am a very recent refugee from a war torn country and I've made a successful life for myself.

However, some in my family and relatives are still struggling to adjust to life even after more than 10 years of living in Australia. There are many out there who are like that. The Minister could have put it lot better, but because the media and the left are always looking for political correctness, the Minister's view has become something for them to cry about.

The Minister is right what these people need is the skills to work and make a contribution to the society. The left way of keeping them on welfare is actually not helping these people recover from the traumas they have endured in the past. Work is better than welfare not just for the money, but it offers a sense of belonging and connections to ones own ability.

So to me the Minister's views are not bigotry or xenophobic as the left portrayed, but he could have articulated it much better. PoliticalBorgan, Did you mean political bogan? You had so many little grammatical errors there you almost came across as believable. Until i read the last sentence. Even better than most. Including myself. You are not a really a real 'refugee' poster are you.. You are a party hack of some description pretending to be one?

Your firm grasp though of, and repeating of the word 'left' is a bit of a giveaway also. Dear black belt I know you hate to be corrected, but pretending that anyone who disagrees with you is a hoaxer is a little weak. Especially when it is based on someone's correct use of grammar. Is that the giveaway: being able to write a correct English sentence is evidence one is a fascist, racist, misogynist and doubtless devil worshipping danger to humanity?

In this case, I can set your mind at rest. The last sentence, on which your conspiracy theory rests, is not a correct English sentence. As you should know, in English a conjunction such as "or" cannot be used to link linguistic constituents that are of different grammatical classes. To be correct, the sentence should have read " Also, the use of "but" to introduce the subordinate clause is inappropriate: I would have used "although" as the clause presents not a contradiction but an alternative. In addition, the word "articulated" should probably be "expressed", but that is perhaps the pedant in me.

I don't normally correct grammar or spelling, but as you seem to place great importance on this matter, I thought it best to put your mind at rest. PoliticalBorgan, who has said that English is his second language, is to be praised for his command and vocabulary. Not accused of lying. PS "little" grammatical errors? Surely you mean "small". Are you sure you are who you say you are? And I do mean "who": as a copula the verb "to be" does not take an accusative. PPS Dear moderator: can I not defend a poster who is being called a hoaxer on evidence that is not only risible but also obviously incorrect?

PPPS Oh dear. Can it be true that the ABC allows baseless accusations of a poster being a sock puppet, and denies anyone the ability to respond? Or is it just a blip in the internet? Peter Dutton is like many right wing alleged Liberals is a racist muckraker. Nothing else could explain this. Howard and Abbott are racists by their actions. Dutton would let the most criminal Chinese money launderer into Australia with a smile. The most decent refugee, not so much.

Scum is the only word I can think of which os not obscene. The last 24 hours are beyond a joke. The statistics are available. Dutton is correct. The lefties on this forum don't like it, so they're swinging on the chandeliers and losing their collective gourds. It's just like what happens whenever there's a terrorist attack. They spend months saying it'll never happen. Then reality slaps them in the face. But rather than admit they were wrong, they just get nasty and angry. Then a few days later, they'll act like it never happened and they're still somehow right about everything.

Sheer lunacy. And they wonder why people dismiss them. Zing, Can you not see what the rest of us are doing? We are discrediting your 'brand' and promoting a better one instead. You are the self proclaimed advertising guru.

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  5. Though, I often wonder who would bother to pay you for that, as you do not seam to be very good at it. You must wonder why 'people' so often 'dismiss' you. Well, wonder no more, its because you are just not as good at it as you think you are You're dismissing the facts and Dear rockpicker "Nothing else could explain this". Let me try Minister Dutton was asked why an extraordinarily high percentage of Afghan refugees were, even after 15 years, still unemployed and reliant on the Australian taxpayer.

    He replied by pointing out that many were illiterate and innumerate, that if they did get jobs they would be taking them from Australians and that helping refugees by resettlement was expensive, and it was a long term expense. That seems to me a reasonable explanation. It may not fit your world view, in which all Coalition politicians are racists who enjoy nothing better than torturing poor brown people, but it is still a reasonable explanation.

    Dutton's comments were an attempt to distract us from the very important issues being debated in this election campaign. Dutton chose to use the most vulneralbe and disenfranchised people he could find as the targets of his small-minded, racist attack. Dutton's comments are not supported by the facts.

    Having listened to the entire interview many times, I honestly cannot see how the quote misrepresents the substance and tone of Dutton's comment. Personally, I am very grateful to previous governments who have honoured our obligations with regard to refugees. My local GP practice has four GPs. Three are available Monday-Friday and two are on duty on Saturday mornings.

    The other is semi-retired, works two days per week and does not bulk-bill. I can't imagine what our medical services would be like in our neck of the woods if it weren't for refugees. For Mr Dutton's information, they have doctors in Somalia, Bangladesh, Syria, Afghanistan and so on, and it is usually the case that the bulk of refugees come from the professional "classes" as they are better educated and more likely to be politically active.

    His implied assumption that dark-skinned people are all uneducated wasters who would be a burden on our social security system is not just wrong, it is just about as racist an assertion as anyone could make. Dutton's comments have not been taken out of context, and the quote to which you refer accurately reflects the content and tone of the comments made by Dutton.

    The Writing Desk: Guest Post by Mickey Mayhew, Author of The Little Book of Mary, Queen of Scots

    It makes him look bad, but only because he is bad. Desperate fear campaigns are all the LNP has left. Well to be fair it was all they had in the first place. I wonder how many languages Dutton is numeric in? I cam to this country some 47 years ago. I spoke two languages but not English. I have never been on any government hand-out or safety net Given a chance - refuges would do the same. What is he afraid off? So Mary, if we are not to give any arrivals succour or welfare, how on earth are they expected to survive? Beg in the streets. Did you? It is difficult to know what Dutton is afraid of, and the majority of Australians who favour restricted population inflows also have a variety of concerns, I suspect.

    Avoiding the agony and trauma which accumulates in Europe as they fail to manage population swamping in the million range is one concern. Understanding that the transmigration pressure is increasing yearly, due to the extra 80 million hungry mouths added to the biosphere-consuming masses each year can only increase the desire for firm management of the problem here.

    That extra thousand million consumers every 12 years is enough to devastate our planetary ecosystem. It reduces the overpopulated countries to abject poverty, and our excess population is beginning to reduce our living standards too. OK, such concern will widely be perceived as alarmist, but that is only because understanding the looming population crunch requires numeracy. I am strongly against the massive and unsustainable immigration intake that we currently have. It is a sign of the failure of both major parties that they can not comprehend an economic system that does not rely on cancerous growth.

    I would double the refugee intake and halve the immigration intake. Then I would do the same thing in another five years. Asylum seekers are merely the scapegoats used to distract from the stresses caused by jamming ever more rats into the same cage. I suppose they need someone to fill all those enormous high rises and new expressways destroying communities all over the place. And the other thing that we should get serious about is cracking down on the illegal immigrants who arrive on aeroplanes with student and tourist visas, carrying backpacks or briefcases, and simply disappear into the population where they take jobs, drive down wages and conditions, and make it more difficult for us to help those who genuinely need somewhere else to live.

    Comments (507)

    But the Tories will never let go of business migration because business migrants are more likely to donate to the Liberal Party, especially if they need the rules bent or someone to look the other way in order to qualify for a visa. Just think of how the Liberal Party benefitted from the largesse of the Calabrian mafia when a minister was replaced so that the rules could be bent to allow their godfather into Australia. We should have a simple triage system that follows the same principles as triage in a hospital - the cases most in need of attention get seen first, and the people most in need of somewhere else to live should be admitted first.

    If there are any places left for other categories of migration, that is good. If not, too bad. But refugees MUST come first because their need is most urgent and the consequences of us failing to help most dire. I agree with you. No one should resettle refugees. Our humanitarian effort should be directed towards giving women in undeveloped countries the education and access to contraceptive technology they both need and want. But Sarah Hanson-Young and Helen Szoke can't see past the able bodied men who aren't satisfied with safety but want a western level of consumption, without first achieving a western level of reproductive restraint.

    They are both devoid of compassion. All over the undeveloped world women are dying in childbirth or suffering fistula injuries, and they don't have the power to decide when or if they have sex. Hanson-Young and Szoke couldn't care less. They would rather solve the world's problems by shifting everyone into Australia. It is completely unreasonable for people in undeveloped countries to try to establish security for themselves by having four or more children, then demand that those who have reproduced more responsibly, give their large families better lives.

    I agree with you earthfan. For the first time in my life I'll be voting Liberal in the upcoming election, based entirely on this existential issue. I would be out campaigning for the Liberals if they'd offer as a policy the complete stopping of refugee resettling and start showing the world that this is the cause of too many problems. Instead, I'd like to see the money wasted on the current programme redeployed to the places where people could most use the helping hand to ensure basic needs where desperately required. A cap on Australia's population would be a great addition to this, with all immigration limited to less than 10, per year instead of the many hundreds of thousands coming in now.

    Have a look at the Sustainable Australia Party website. They are fielding 4 Senate candidates. My first preference will be to any anti-immigration party that I can find, no matter how loony. Nothing can be as loony as the major parties' dedication to turning Australia into an ageing population of 36 million.

    You won't get that with the Coalition, Aussie Sutra. They love immigration, especially visa immigration, it puts downward pressure on wages. The tiny number of refugees is merely their distraction they can point at to blame for all the ills of too much immigration. They will never wind back visas, though.

    Nor will they consider reducing regular immigration. Now, tell us how, exactly, you protect yourself from a US drone-strike with a condom or a pill. How do you use a tube of spermicide to protect your daughter from being gang-raped by the "local lads"? Does the "rythmn method" prevent your house from being raided at three AM by masked goons and your husband from being interned in a concentration camp?

    You don't seem to realise that the emergency we face at the moment will be studied by history students around the world in decades to come. By the time it is over, the world will be very different. National borders will have changed. Whole nations will have disappeared and new nations established. And a significant portion of the world's population will be living in a different place to their forebears.

    We have plenty of room in Australia and are in a much better position to exploit this opportunity than just about every other nation on earth. We have the stable, inclusive, multicultural civil society. We have the land. We have the rudiments of an industrial economy. We have a shortage of skilled labour. We have an oversupply of housing stock. We have a small domestic market that would be much stronger if it were larger. We have entire regional areas that are dying from lack of population.

    In other words, we have both the needs and the capacity to accomodate the solutions. Austraia's development and econmic health has always been tied to openess and inclusiveness. In times when we turn our minds inward and attempt to close our borders, we go backwards both as a civil society and as an economy. Our greatest booms are all associated with large migrant intakes and we should learn a lesson from this. Not sure about our ability to feed 60 million, unless you assume we export very little or change our diets. None of the major parties and I include the Greens are willing to even talk about population.

    But it will be the main issue I take into account when I cast my vote. Yes only a futile gesture but better that than nothing. It's frightening really; even though I wont be around I worry about this. Jim Morrison: poet: What have they done to the earth? What have they done to our fair sister?

    Ravaged and plundered and ripped her and bit her. I can see a revolution coming from the right. In short, we couild find ways of becoming more efficient with our food production. We could start by stopping residential subdivisions, mining and mining exploration from eating up or degrading our best farmlands. And then we could look into intensive horticulture and place more emphasis on efficient methods of production while de-emphasising wasteful and inefficient practices like broadacre cultivation. Australia already produces more than enough food to feed 60 million, but we waste a hell of a lot of it and export the rest.

    This is not even a consideration when discussing imigration. Losing the election. Fear of refugees has been a big vote winner for the LNP in the past and might well save their bacon now. They have nothing else to offer. Sweet nothing is the answer. That's a good point Terence. And that's why it is an imperative to lower company tax and middle class income to stimulate the economy and create a cycle of circulating cash and opportunities.

    One area of revenue that should be nurtured is tourism. Qld is doing well in this regard, however would Benefit from daylight saving and modifying the "Penalty Rates", so that there is a fair go for all, not just those that want the Sunday pickings. All designs so far going with my vision but please read full description and give me something different to compare with. Recent reviewer described it as "East Enders with a supernatural edge" Book cover template attached. Working in a swank City firm, this modern man hails from a long line of hunky barrow boys.

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