Australia: Shorten’s rhetoric on Dutton is dangerous

Australia: Shorten’s rhetoric on Dutton is dangerous, by Dennis Shanahan.

Bill Shorten’s political dissembling, deceit and distraction know no bounds but his efforts to exaggerate Peter Dutton’s unremarkable view that Malcolm Fraser made a mistake in relaxing normal immigration protocols in the 1970s are downright dangerous. …

The Immigration Minister last week said Fraser had made some mistakes letting some people into Australia in the 70s. The mistakes, acknowledged by the ­Fraser cabinet, were that requirements on character and skills were relaxed so far to allow Lebanese Muslims escaping the civil war that they laid the foundation for unemployment and poor education for following generations.

In 1976, the Fraser government identified the potential problem and reimposed stricter criteria. Thirty years later, Fraser conceded the generational problems but blamed the “education system and the community” for not making special efforts. Demographer Bob Birrell said at that time the relatively depressed nature of the Muslim communities could be linked to a lack of skills of Lebanese refugees.

Labor chose to whip up a frenzy among migrant groups, building on its demonisation of the minister and suggesting ­Dutton’s identification of the high percentage of Lebanese Muslims facing terrorist charges was a threat to national security and slur on every migrant. There was a toxic and misinformed reaction.

PC at its worst. Shorten is aping the failing strategy of the Democrats in the US, building a coaliton of the fringes — while repelling middle Australia but trying to keep it in line by shaming and misinforming them. How Labor has fallen.