The World

Mar 15, 2018

Dutton fundamentally misunderstands the ‘plight’ of white farmers in South Africa

White farmers in South Africa have been pretty bemused by Peter Dutton's recent comments. Here's why.

Greg Barns — Barrister and writer

Greg Barns

Barrister and writer

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s sudden interest in the plight of white South African farmers is nothing more than an exercise in shoring up hard-right voters. It is clear from Dutton’s statements on the issue -- of a recent move by the South African Parliament to recommend an amendment to that nation’s constitution to allow for expropriation of agricultural land without compensation -- that he knows nothing about the complexity of the issue, or the fact that the prospects of it becoming a reality are far from certain.

It is telling that the major group representing South African white farmers, AfriForum SA, is not keen on Dutton’s uncharacteristic generosity towards individuals who want to come to Australia. "Our future is in Africa, not elsewhere," the lobby group’s chief executive Kallie Kriel said. White farmers -- who, by the way, hold a staggering 73% of agricultural land despite apartheid ending more than two decades ago -- know that it is one thing for the legislators to pass a resolution seeking an amendment to the constitution, and quite something else for that desire to be translated into a legal reality.

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31 comments

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31 thoughts on “Dutton fundamentally misunderstands the ‘plight’ of white farmers in South Africa

  1. Marcus Hicks

    What Gestapotato knows about *any* subject can be fit on the back of a postage stamp…..even if you left the edges empty.

    1. Karen Hutchinson

      Thank you Marcus, ‘Gestapotato’ is as perfect a descriptor and appeal to my obvious leanings as the ‘Beetrooter’ has been (or more apropos has-been!)

  2. swimming the Hellespont

    Never let the facts get in the way of a juicy headline – J. Edgar Tuber

  3. Richard Thompson

    It would be a good thing for Dutton to be raided by 20 odd police and border force officials at 5.00am and forced to abandon his family and be shipped off to his racist mates in South Africa!

  4. Graeski

    I’d suggest that South African farmers (black or white) would be welcome to plow Dutton in for fertiliser (he’s full of it), but that would just poison their crops.

  5. Steve777

    An interesting thought experiment: for white South African farmers, substitute Rohingya and consider how Dutton might react differently.

    1. klewso

      Then Tamils? ….. Black South Africans, considering their representation among those murder statistics there?
      Sadly, a few years late for Eugène Terre’Blanche?

    2. Sue Miills

      You know he is itching to call Rohingyas ‘ economic migrants”. Which genius negotiated a possible return to Myanmar I wonder?

    3. Sue Miills

      You know he is itching to call Rohingyas ‘ economic migrants”. Which genius negotiated a possible return to Myanmar I wonder?

  6. Lee Tinson

    Doesn’t Dutton fundamentally misunderstand pretty much everything? That’s what racist psychopaths tend to do.

  7. je ba

    Leaving aside the facts – farmer murders are high but not exceptionally so in a high murder rate country; many of those Dutton wants to encourage to migrate have a long and ongoing history of abuse and exploitation of ‘their’ black workers; hundreds of thousands of black people living on ‘white’ farms were evicted in the aftermath of apartheid and now live, unemployed, in small towns in rural areas; etc etc. leaving that aside there is an emerging pattern from the Liberal right who will be pushing to replace Turnbull. To the narrative of African gangs rampaging through Melbourne is added the narrative of poor white Christian farmers. Sadly we are seeing the re- emergence of racist dog whistles.

    1. swimming the Hellespont

      Maybe some of these lines from Crosseyed and Painless by Talking Heads will help the tuber recognise a fact when next he trips one:
      Facts are simple and facts are straight
      Facts are lazy and facts are late
      Facts all come with points of view
      Facts don’t do what I want them to
      Facts just twist the truth around
      Facts are living turned inside out
      Facts are getting the best of them
      Facts are nothing on the face of things
      Facts don’t stain the furniture
      Facts go out and slam the door
      Facts are written all over your face
      Facts continue to change their shape

      1. kyle Hargraves

        If this “dittie” is the best of what rap can offer I’d be distressed to encounter what might be considered worse. Apart from it being meaningless drivel compare any three lines with page of a standard text on agriculture, anatomy or astronomy [three examples from “A”] or Physics, Statistics or Zoology [three from the end of the alphabet] and the ‘penny will drop’.

        1. mikeb

          Rap!!?? Wash your mouth out.

        2. Howard

          ‘Rap’! Are you serious? Do you even know who ‘Talking Heads’ are?

          1. kyle Hargraves

            The name “rings a distant-sounding bell”. To refresh my memory I’ve had a brief look at Wikipedia. Referring to the mid 70s I was more inclined to SuperTramp (until ’78 when that dreadful composition appeared), Pink Floyd, L.Zep., The Doors, The Stones and Deep Purple; particularly their “jamming” with some of the philharmonic orchestras in the UK & US. Less so Genesis etc. At the end : Kansas and The Eagles. As to where Talking Heads fits I haven’t a clue but I suspect towards the “end”. Ask me a question concerning Jazz or Classical music.

            As to a description of facts, thus posted, the “artist” hasn’t a clue and I am motivated to the conjecture that the “ditty” was composed having ingested a prohibited substance.

  8. kyle Hargraves

    Articles such as these justify my subscription to Crikey. Given the length the essence has been covered.

    “[IT] is one thing for the legislators to pass a resolution seeking an amendment to the constitution, and quite something else for that desire to be translated into a legal reality.”

    There are also the practices in Botswana, Mozambique and the lessons learned from Zim. to consider. As for Mr Dutton we don’t have to look too far to find other examples of other knee-jerk popularism uttered for the sake of expediency (alone).

    “many of those Dutton wants to encourage to migrate have a long and ongoing history of abuse and exploitation of ‘their’ black workers;”

    how many ? As pointed out in the article the entire the matter amounts to FUD; at least for the present. In any event immigration ought to be based “case-by-case”.

    “hundreds of thousands of black people living on ‘white’ farms were evicted in the aftermath of apartheid and now live, unemployed”

    There have been a number of books recently published concerning the Boer War. The two that I have read provided a very comprehensive treatment of the (social, political & racial) issues from the Cape to the Transvaal from the early 1800s (and before) to the present. For what it is worth aboriginal workers on farms (stations) were employed on a food & board basis only; i.e. no wages. Then when that era came to an end the livelihoods of many were “lost” also. In fact the (farming) history of both countries possess some striking similarities.

  9. klewso

    “Dutton fundamentally misunderstands” says it all really, why do we need yet one more example?

  10. AR

    Miracles happen – the outpouring of compassion for the racially-oppressed Boor..sorry, Boer on HateRadio during Dunnuttin’s weekly tongue bath with RAT Hately this morning meant that all was well with the world and cockled the warmth of my heart.

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