Strange Politics: Immigration Minister Peter Dutton makes an awful neighbour.
Strange Politics: Immigration Minister Peter Dutton makes an awful neighbour. Digitally altered

Strange Politics: Peter Dutton treats refugees like rubbish

OPINION:  If my reclusive and more than slightly barmy old neighbour with piercing phobia of his own rubbish bin is reading this: feel lonesome no longer, dear boy.

Blast forth to Canberra, where your kindred spirit awaits.

It was several years ago - best not be specific - and I lived beside a gentleman who bore a faint pong of decay and an unremitting and biting reek of bargain basement whisky.

As we all did, of course.

For all intents and purposes he was an affable chap, albeit slightly pervy, with one lazily wandering eye he liked to wink at passing young mothers.

But that low down, dirty mongrel had no idea about boundaries - the very basis of community!

Charity bin thief gets caught: Karma comes into play as charity bin thief gets stick.
Charity bin thief gets caught: Karma comes into play as charity bin thief gets stick.

At least twice weekly, usually a few hours after I trundled it out for an early morning emptying, up he snuck with bags of ant-riddled baked bean cans, drained bottles of Scotch and a baffling number of spent double-A batteries.

Unknotted and upturned bags, mind you.

My housemate and I endured for a time, but finally tired of our bin reaching critical mass three days before the council's ever-punctual garbologists made pick-up.

So we borrowed a drill and attached a chain and a padlock, bolting the source of our frustrations tighter than a tourniquet.

I have since been warned such action amounts to destruction of council property, but I digress.

We set up watch on bin day, soon after emptying time, like a couple of sleep-deprived detectives on a sting operation.

Up he snuck maybe an hour later, bags swinging silently by his sides.

Finally, our moment of retribution.

That hatchet-faced grimace betrayed his horror at our cunning plan and he trundled back home, utterly defeated.

But no, the grizzly old miser bypassed the gate and crept up the driveway of his neighbours beyond, a young couple with a prize-winning labradoodle that slept at the foot of their bed.

He popped his sacks of detritus in their bin and tiptoed home as delicately as his arthritic ankles would permit.

And so began a new era for our trash can bandit.

But back to the point of hand: old man, if you are reading this, I have found your soul mate.

This Peter Dutton fellow has blown your own measure of deviousness to smithereens.

Sacks of depleted batteries and ham-flavoured legumes are just the beginning - the man we call Immigration Minister is tossing actual humans about instead.


Of course Papua New Guinea has finally wised to his guile, its Supreme Court effectively padlocking his Manus Island dumping ground.

New Zealand, the most pleasant neighbour one could ask for, has already offered to take Dutton's asylum seekers but he is deathly scared they might crawl back into his unsullied receptacle.

Cambodia graciously accepted $55 million to resettle hundreds of refugees in 2014, then pocketed the money and refused to take in more than four, and left those few poor wretches to fend for themselves with no support.

Only one neighbour's rubbish bin remains: Nauru.

Mr Dutton could teach you so much, oh former bane of my residential bliss.


STRANGE POLITICS with Chris Calcino
STRANGE POLITICS with Chris Calcino