For those not in Victoria right now, here’s a quick catch up: Conservative Liberal politicians and conservative media are on an absolute war-path at the moment, railing against both Victoria Police and Labor Premier Daniel Andrews over what they claim to be an “African gang” crisis. Today the issue went Federal, thanks to human towball Peter Dutton and some remarkably racially-charged dialogue.

The short version of the story is that small pockets of Melbourne’s Sudanese population have been involved in a series of incidents and run-ins with the police that all occurred within a reasonably short amount of time.

Conservative geniuses have leapt all over this, and are now using overt fear-mongering and flat-out racism to pour more pressure onto the already-struggling Andrews ahead of the planned State Election later this year.

According to Victorian Liberals, the Herald Sun, and now Peter Dutton, Melbourne is being helplessly overrun by gangs of unruly foreigners, terrorising ordinary citizens on an almost minute-by-minute basis, with police utterly powerless to do anything about it thanks to the accursed shackles of PC culture.

That’s pretty much the sum of the bullshit they’re currently peddling.

And that isn’t hyperbole either. Dutton today appeared on 2GB to make his turgid thoughts on the issue clear, bizarrely claiming that as a result of this extremely real and not-at-all gratuitous act of weaponising fear in a callous and morally bankrupt bid to grab votes, Melburnians across the city are now too scared to go out at night and eat at restaurants; comments that can only be interpreted as an attempt to take this issue from a relative non-event to an extremely spenno, racially-charged shitfight.

People are scared to go out to restaurants of a night time because they are followed home by these gangs.

You look at some of the jokes of sentences that are being handed down, there’s no deterrence at the moment. And the state government’s wrapped its police force up in this politically correct conversation – which I think they’re trying to break out of and they are trying to do the right thing – but I think the state government’s really been caught flat-footed.

There’s a permanent 75-minute line outside Chin Chin that completely obliterates that first utterly inane point.

The kind of fortified moral panic being used here by Conservative elected officials and the right-wing media scarily echoes the kind of unchecked bullshit that fuel the god-awful and infamous Cronulla race riots well over ten years ago.

Both the Victorian Police minister and acting police chief commissioner severely downplayed the idea that Victoria is being “overrun” by anyone at the moment, but nevertheless vowed to stamp out what proportionately little violence is being enacted by street “gangs.”

For what it’s worth, the amount of youth crime and violence perpetrated by white kids born in Australia far, far, far outstrips that recorded by any other ethnicity.

GetUp has made the frankly genius suggestion of sending a photo of your restaurant meal to Dutton should you choose to be so utterly brave and head out tonight.

We can’t think of anything more fitting.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Image: Getty Images / Stefan Postles