The end of incompetence: Dutton's last days

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PM Turnbull has little option but to sack or stand down Peter Dutton, allow Ayban's abortion and let her stay in in Australia, writes Bob Ellis.

VOTED BY DOCTORS as the worst health minister in living memory, Peter Dutton has plumbed new depths in immigration, where he is currently denying a rape victim an abortion and claiming her plight was part of a "racket" he was not going to be tricked by. This is evidence not just of stupidity but of mental illness.

For it is stupid – stupid politically – to leave Abyan alive and pregnant, and her pregnancy, growing on an island about the size of Marrickville where her rapist still walks free. This allows the media to complain daily of her mental suffering till the day of the birth of the child on April 1 or 10 next year, around the time of the double dissolution. During that time, the female vote for Turnbull – presently Dutton’s edgy supporter – will dwindle and Dutton’s record as a Queensland cop investigating sex crimes in the post-Bjelke-Petersen era, the era of the Moonlight State, and how he conducted himself when young, as a long, dim Ipswich copper learning the ropes in a time of tremendous crookedness, and when later he ran against Cheryl Kernot and called her an unpunished pederast.

An unhappy coincidence for Turnbull is that Abyan’s lawyer is George Newhouse, his Labor opponent in 2004, when he first made his run for Wentworth. It was thought back then that Newhouse might well beat him — and he came close. It is probable his old foe will be now doubly keen to do him damage, or even bring him down.

None of the above scenario, though, is likely to happen. Turnbull has little option but to sack or stand down Dutton, to allow the abortion and let Abyan stay in in Australia — or settle in New Zealand where she will be perhaps more welcome.

In a series of knife-thrusts to his own neck Dutton told Fran Kelly "the lady’s privacy was paramount" and it was wrong of others to politicise her tragedy. He then — politicising her tragedy — said he was rightly forcing her to have her rapist’s child because this would stop people drowning on their way here as they drown on their way to Lampedusa, a linkage Fran found bizarre. He said Newhouse was lying and Abyan’s decision so private he couldn’t even talk about it. Fran asked if Abyan really, truly wanted an abortion he would let her come back and Dutton implied, with a sigh, he would.

Will Turnbull sack him now? Or will he align himself with the Morrison-Dutton "dark side" who persecute the innocent with acts of piracy, kidnap, mental torture, unpunished child buggery and the bribing of people smugglers to dump their weeping captives on reefs near Indonesia?

He will sack him, I suspect. Or he will drop himself in excrement if he thinks that brave, brief, tactical chess move wise.

Either way, it is probable his honeymoon has peaked, and the women’s vote, on which all turns, is bleeding away from him as we speak and, on every day that Abyan stays pregnant, will not come back.

Or perhaps you disagree.

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