Flat White

Tanya Plibersek's dark lord, Peter Dutton

26 May 2022

9:00 AM

26 May 2022

9:00 AM

Almost ten years in the wilderness, and Labor have learned nothing.

Newly elected Prime Minister Anthony Albanese promised on Sunday to unite the country and to end the politics of division.

Three days later, key Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek launched a graceless attack on the physical appearance of likely Liberal leader Peter Dutton.

Ms Plibersek was asked on Brisbane radio station 4BC yesterday what she thought about Mr Dutton.

She replied:

‘Well, I think there will be a lot of children who have watched a lot of Harry Potter films who will be very frightened of what they will see at night, that’s for sure.’

When asked what she meant by that, she continued:

I am saying he looks a bit like Voldemort.’

This is adulting, Labor style.

As far as put-downs go, it was neither clever nor original. People, particularly on the internet, have been mocking Mr Dutton’s perceived resemblance to the Harry Potter villain for years.

It is no idle villain slur either. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has said on numerous occasions that Lord Voldemort was meant to represent a mix of Stalin and Hitler.

No doubt if a Liberal had casually dropped into a radio conversation that a member of the Labor Party looked like a Nazi, they’d be shouted down by the outrage mob for hate speech, toxic masculinity, patriarchal oppression, and whatever else is trending these days.

Then double that outrage if it had been directed at a Labor woman.

…or are we to assume that it’s now open slather on Ms Plibersek’s appearance, given she threw the first stone?

Former Liberal Prime Minister Tony Abbott once spoke to a crowd while, unbeknownst to him, someone held a sign calling Julia Gillard a ‘witch’. The Left never forgave him.

What’s that old political axiom? If the Left didn’t have double standards, they would have no standards at all.

Just two days ago, Ms Plibersek told the Seven Network’s Sunrise program:

This election victory has very clearly shown that people have voted for decency. They voted for an end to the bickering.’

She was so proud of herself that she tweeted a clip of the comment.

When does the decency start? Next week? Next year?

The Labor Party promises better politics and then, not 72 hours into their three-year term, serves up the same old garbage.

No wonder people are deserting the major parties in droves.

Prior to the election, three of Labor’s most senior senators – Penny Wong, Katy Gallagher and Kristina Keneally – had been dubbed the ‘Mean Girls’ for their alleged bullying of late Labor senator Kimberley Kitching.

Ms Keneally failed to win a Parliamentary seat on Saturday, but Labor appears to have opened auditions for a replacement to the ‘Mean Girls’ club straight away.

As for Mr Dutton, he will likely take the sledge as an encouragement. From the moment it became apparent he was likely to lead the Liberal Opposition, he has been the subject of personal abuse.

Western Australia’s Labor Premier Mark McGowan said at the weekend that Mr Dutton was ‘an extremist’.

I actually don’t think he’s that smart,’ Mr McGowan said.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews attacked Mr Dutton on Tuesday for remarks he once made about gang violence in Victoria.

And now Tanya Plibersek reckons Mr Dutton looks like the Dark Lord.

If that’s the best they’ve got, and if they feel compelled to use their infantile barbs before Mr Dutton has even taken up the Liberal leadership role, it’s an indication Labor believes he will make a formidable opponent.

In the Harry Potter series, Lord Voldemort famously tells his enemies:

I’m going to destroy you. After tonight, no one will ever again question my power. After tonight if they speak of you, they’ll only speak of how you begged for death. And how I being a merciful Lord… obliged.’

We’ll see if Labor really do have something to be scared of.

You can follow James on Twitter. You can order his new book Notes from Woketopia here.

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