Strange Politics: Plain dumb acts are under attack

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton steels himself for another bout with those pesky jihadist journalists. Photo Digitally altered
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton steels himself for another bout with those pesky jihadist journalists. Photo Digitally altered Digitally altered

WHEN jihadist journalists threaten to bring a pristine government to its knees, it's time to dip into the Rambo face paint and declare all-out war.

Or switch on the mystical refrains of Enya, crack open a fresh box of three-ply tissues - the eucalyptus scented kind - and adjust your swanky tinfoil helmet.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton cried foul this week when a dodgy press release said the Australian Border Force and Victorian police would be targeting visa fraud in the Melbourne CBD.

"ABF officers will be positioned at various locations around the CBD speaking with any individual we cross paths with," ABF regional commander Don Smith said.

"You need to be aware of the conditions of your visa; if you commit visa fraud you should know it's only a matter of time before you're caught out."

MORE: Fairfax and ABC accused of plot to take down Abbott

Hang on a minute.

That sounds an awful lot like (pretty darn illegal) random visa checks would be happening in the streets of Melbourne.

Fortunately, as the Prime Minister later claimed, it was just a "very, very badly worded" press release.

Rather than rectify the ensuing maelstrom and move on, Peter Dutton accused Fairfax and the ABC of running "a bit of a jihad" and "attempting to bring the government down".

Putting aside the fact "a bit of a jihad" is one of the most Australian phrases ever uttered, having a whinge about the media repeatedly catching you doing dumb stuff is, well, dumb.

It is not unfair to have a dig because Liberal members are leaking like a Swiss cheese umbrella, or because it sounds 1940s-era Germany visa checks are coming to the streets of Melbourne.

Unfair would be to quote one Twitter user's assertion this week that Peter Dutton "looks like Paul Keating bitten by a radioactive spoon".

Seriously, once you see it you can't unsee it.

My point is this: you are in government and to constantly try shift blame for your mistakes on the media will not fly.

People will be critical. They might even make fun of you.

You have to toughen up, roll with the punches and occasionally admit when you are wrong.


Topics:  abc auspol australia current affairs fairfax jihad melbourne opinion parliament paul keating peter dutton politics satire strange politics tony abbott victoria

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