HOME Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has never been known as a champion of civil liberties.
Given that it is probably no surprise to most people that he believes those on public welfare that protest against the federal government should have their benefits cut.
Mr Dutton was speaking in the context of climate change agitators, Extinction Rebellion, who have disrupted cities with their road blockades.
"People should take these names and the photos of these people and distribute them as far and wide as they can so that we shame these people," he said of the protesters.
Those comments sound more like the views you would expect to hear from a henchman in a dictatorship.
They do not befit a minister in a democracy where dissent should be an accepted part of life.
For Mr Dutton to also say welfare recipients should be docked their payments shows little regard for the freedoms that Australians enjoy and that have been fought for in wars.
His colleague Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie when quizzed about Mr Dutton's stance by The Border Mail on Monday was more moderate in her approach to demonstrators on benefits.
Senator McKenzie declared the first priority for dole recipients protesting should be finding a job rather than rallying.
Most taxpayers would probably accept that as a reasonable position.
But if Mr Dutton's position was taken to its extreme, those on Newstart should not be allowed to protest in favour of a rise in the dole.
His comments follow Prime Minister Scott Morrison having objected to school students taking part in rallies against climate change, arguing they should stay in class.
Mr Morrison who praised 'Quiet Australians' for supporting him, after winning this year's federal election, does not appear to be comfortable with those that speak out against his politics.
Yes protests can be disruptive, but we are not China where muzzling is the reflex action to objectors.