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On 25 February 2021 at 11.51 pm, refugee activist Shane Bazzi published a tweet on Twitter containing the words:
“Peter Dutton is a rape apologist.”refugee activist Shane Bazzi on Twitter
This tweet contained a link to an article published online in The Guardian Newspaper on 20 June 2019. The link in that tweet showed a large photograph of Mr Dutton, the name “The Guardian” and the following words:
“Peter Dutton says women using rape and abortion claims as ploy to ge…The Guardian Newspaper on 20 June 2019
Home Affairs minister says ‘some people are trying it on’ in an attempt to get to Australia from refugee centres on Nauru.”
The first of these lines comprised part of the headline to The Guardian article. The second constituted the whole of the first sentence in the article.
Dutton sued, and Bazzi denied the tweet was defamatory, and in the alternative also relied on the statutory defence of honest opinion and the common law defence of fair comment.
Yesterday when I was out doing my shopping at Westfield Strathpine I happened across my local member Peter Dutton doing a little very low key campaigning, basically he was just chatting with constituents when I noticed a man and a woman in Blue tee shirts with Anti-Dutton slogans printed on them (they were so obvioulsy ALP people). Their purpose was obviously to harass and heckle our local member. After the ALP idiot staffer in the red bathers heckling Tony Abbott and the Warminista who tried to harass Julia Gillard yesterday this may well end up being the election campaign of the heckler.
It is surely a sign of desperation from the incumbent party that they feel the need to do such things but what can you expect from the party that the most ardent supporters are making every excuse for even though they know that they are serving nothing but spin.
ALP supporters are definitely running on an “the ends justify the means ” mindset so they will swallow any shit that is served up by way of policy even though they know that is precisely what it is that Julia is serving up to them.
I am actually very much reminded of the tactics used by the ALP way back in 1975 when they were desperate to try to get Gough back into the Lodge, Fortunately it did not work then and surely sensible people have to be hoping that it does not work this time either.
Peter Dutton is my local member and I take some pride in the fact that my vote was one of the ones that helped him avoid losing his seat when so many of his colleges suffered that fate at the last election, now despite my sadness that he is being forced by the redistribution to seek a safer seat I agree with Glen Milne that he is just the sort of MP that the Liberal party needs going forward and that if the conservative electors in Dickson have to live with the demographic betrayal I am sure that they will be as understanding as I am about him seeking a safer seat.
The decision by Dutton to quit Dickson was driven by necessity, not choice. He survived the Ruddslide, but only just, holding his seat by about 200 votes. He could have run again in Dickson but he’d lose. That’s not because Rudd is unassailable in 2010, though he probably is, but because what was left of Dickson has been pulled out from under the Liberals by the most recent redistribution.
On the party’s analysis it is now a 2per cent notional Labor seat. The redistribution carved out great swaths of the rural areas and it now takes in the hardcore Labor area of Kallangur. Despite his profile and local popularity, Dutton would not have prevailed.
The unstated consensus supporting this conclusion is that under Malcolm Turnbull there’s every likelihood the Coalition will go backwards at the next election. Dutton’s chances of being saved by an anti-Rudd swing are negligible.
He could stay and fight, of course, and become a defeated hero in much the same way former Howard minister Mal Brough did. But the hardheads in the party will not tolerate what they call the “Burke and Wills” option. Anyone serious about rebuilding the party knows Dutton cannot be left to become a noble lost cause.
That’s because he’s one of the toughest young operators on the opposition’s front bench. Despite being only 39, a recommendation in itself for a party now likely to be out of office for at least two terms, he has been hardened by government office, serving as minister for workforce participation and as assistant treasurer.
What makes me rather less than happy though is the thought of living in an electorate where the an idiot of the left holds the seat in the national parliament. Well I suppose that we will just have to hope for a miracle on that score but when a redistribution so alters a seat as to make it unwinable for either side of political spectrum then surely something is rotten in the system.