‘The Australian’ Has Run A Story On Peter Dutton’s “Friends”, None Of Whom Would Speak On Record

Peter Dutton has friends, says friends who will only speak on the condition of anonymity.

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Opposition Leader Peter Dutton is attempting to rebrand as a likeable guy following his promotion to party leader after the Coalition’s defeat at the last Federal Election. However, his efforts are not being helped by the fact that his so-called friends aren’t willing to vouch for him on the record.

In a new editorial in The Australian, which serves as his best character reference since that time his wife needed to confirm that he is “not a monster” back in 2019, Dutton’s supporters have now bragged about how “well-grounded” and “pragmatic” he is.

The piece, titled ‘Dutton’s power networks: Mix of mates ‘the real Peter’ keeps close’repeatedly reminds readers that the Opposition Leader definitely has friends.

“Forget what you may think you know about Peter Dutton, say his friends. The Liberal leader is not what he may appear,” writes The Australian‘s Simon Benson, as if his 20-odd years in politics isn’t enough time for us to have a decent gauge on his character.

His friends were quick to lend a hand to Dutton’s rebrand as a normal guy who loves to have a backyard BBQ with his mates, but they weren’t as quick to put a name to the quote.

“Peter’s well-grounded. He’s got a great group of old school mates who catch up regularly. He’s as at ease with them as he is with his parliamentary colleagues in the Parliament, just as he is in the corporate boardrooms or family barbecues,” a source close to Dutton told The Australian.

“His old network includes a plumber, a few IT guys, a car fleet manager — just genuine, hardworking, small business people. That helps him to understand what small business people and families encounter on a day-to-day basis, as the engine room of the economy, and as local employers.”

Multiple sources close to Dutton — including one named as a “friend and colleague” — praised the Opposition Leader throughout the lengthy piece, which also lists his “network of corporate contacts” in what seems like a desperate attempt to prove that he does, in fact, have friends.

While high-profile names including Alan Joyce, Gina Rinehart, Paul Murray, and Ray Hadley are all listed as contacts in his orbit, those who actually vouched for his character did so on the condition of anonymity.

Throughout the article, which feels like a way to hard-launch his rebrand as a Good Guy™, we hear about Dutton’s love of meditation and organic farming, but not about the time he called the Murugappan children “anchor babies“, or his boycotting of the apology to the Stolen Generations.

Social media users have been quick to mock Dutton for not having any friends willing to publicly vouch for him with attribution.

Junkee does not assert that Dutton has no friends.

Photo credit: Martin Ollman/Getty Images