Keating urges voters to ‘drive a political stake’ through Dutton’s ‘dark political heart’

Updated

May 14, 2019 12:21:23

Former prime minister Paul Keating has launched a scathing attack on Peter Dutton, urging voters in the Home Affairs Minister’s electorate to “drive a political stake through his dark political heart”.

Key points:

  • Paul Keating says Peter Dutton is one of the most “mean-spirited” politicians he’s encountered
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he would not be distracted by Mr Keating’s comments
  • Labor leader Bill Shorten said: “Dutton is Dutton, and I think that everyone knows that.”

Mr Keating dubbed the Queenslander one of the meanest politicians he had witnessed in the five decades since he entered federal politics.

“In those 50 years I’ve never seen any public figure as mean or as mean spirited as Peter Dutton,” he told ABC Melbourne.

“At this election, those electors in Dickson have a chance to drive a political stake through his dark political heart.

“And I hope they do.”

When asked to comment on Mr Keating’s attack, Labor leader Bill Shorten said: “I actually think that the meanest commentary that I’ve seen in this election is actually the proposition that gay people are going to go to hell.

“Dutton is Dutton, and I think that everyone knows that.

“But you know, I cannot believe in this election that there is a discussion even underway that gay people go to hell.”

Mr Dutton is in a battle against Labor’s Ali France to retain the Brisbane electorate of Dickson, which he holds with a margin of 1.7 per cent.

Mr Keating’s comments were made in Melbourne, a city where Labor has heavily promoted Mr Dutton’s role in toppling former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Mr Dutton has also faced Labor attacks in Melbourne for comments he previously made about African gangs, in which he suggested people in the city were too afraid to go out at night.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, when asked about his predecessor’s comments, refused to be drawn into the debate.

“I’m not going to be distracted by Paul Keating,” Mr Morrison said.

The ABC has contacted the Coalition’s headquarters to seek a comment from Mr Dutton.

Keating says ‘nutters’ comment was a code

Mr Keating has made his mark on the election campaign in the last week, when he accused security agencies including ASIO and ASIS of running Australia’s foreign policy and called for Mr Shorten to “clean them out” if he wins the election.

“The nutters are in charge,” Mr Keating told the ABC after Labor’s campaign launch.

“They’ve lost their strategic bearings, these organisations.”

Today, Mr Keating repeated his view that intelligence agencies had too much power over foreign policy.

“The foreign policy of Australia should be made in relation to the tectonic plates of power in our world and not some sort of university dormitory chit-chat, which intelligence agencies pick up in their signals intelligence and then that goes into the cabinet room informing foreign policy,” Mr Keating said.

Topics:

government-and-politics,

federal-elections,

australia

First posted

May 14, 2019 11:51:49

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