Peter Dutton

Peter Dutton is a Liberal member of the House of Representatives and the current Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.

Dutton is often criticised for trashing Australia’s legacy of welcoming and accepting migrants and refugees. After all, with only 3% of Australia’s population Indigenous Australians, that means 97% are migrants or descendants of migrants. During the 2016 election campaign, Dutton remarked that many refugees who arrive in Australia aren’t “numerate or literate in their own language, let alone English” and they would end up taking Australian jobs. (Many people noted that surprising claim that illiterate and innumerate refugees would somehow be able to take jobs from hard-working, honest Australians.)

Ever since 2001, when former Prime Minster John Howard told refugees fleeing persecution to get fucked, most Australians and most Australian politicians have seen it necessary to have cruel, brutal and inhumane policies to deter people fleeing for their lives. In 2016 The Guardian revealed 2000 incident reports which contained graphic reports of sexual assault, child abuse and self-harm in detention centres in Nauru, the island nation where asylum seekers are banished. Dutton said many were false claims, because refugees are noted liars and have paid people smugglers to flee persecution and to get to Australia, so how could they be believed? He also said detainees were self-immolating to get to Australia, presumably to have their ashes scattered in this sunburnt country.

In 2015, Dutton made an insensitive joke at the expense of low-lying Pacific island nations, saying “Time doesn’t mean anything when you're about to have water lapping at your door.” Also, when Liberal colleague Jamie Briggs was sacked for inappropriate sexual behaviour towards a staffer, Dutton sent a text message - intended for Jamie Briggs - calling journalist Samantha Maiden a “mad fucking witch.” Maiden, a News Corp editor, wrote about the Briggs scandal, and received Dutton’s text message first.

Dutton seems to really dislike people with vaginas. Also in 2015, Dutton called Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young an “embarrassment to the country” after she claimed staff from Wilson Security had spied on her during her trip to Nauru. The claims turned out to be true, but Dutton never retracted or apologised for the comments.

As Australia goes through serious soul-searching in light of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, there will no doubt be the same self-reflection when a royal commission inevitably investigates the offshore detention of asylum seekers. Unfortunately, for those innocents stuck in camps overseas, Peter Dutton is a Significant Arsehair.