Insights from Quadrant

The world laughs

My son, who lives in New York and covers sport for a US free-to-air television network, called the other day with a simple question: ‘What the hell sort of madness is raging over there?’

He was speaking, of course, about the Djokovic debacle, also wondering if Australians realise ‘how you are now global laughingstocks’?

Ned is a dual citizen and has spent large slices of his 32 years visiting, living and working in Australia, so he can appreciate the land of his father through both a local’s eye and an international one, courtesy of his American mum. As someone with one foot on either side of the Pacific he is aware of the cultural differences, especially the Australian trait, perhaps exceeded only by the Germans of stereotype and history, to do as authority demands.

Americans, he notes, have never and would never surrender so many traditional liberties to chief health officers and politicians with their minds on focus groups, polls and the ‘experts’ who have so often proven to be anything but and whose advice relieves those same politicians at state and federal levels of the obligation to, you know, actually lead.

The latest news will only confirm the impression that Australia deserves to be the object of the world’s derisive mirth. It comes from court filings that include an email detailing Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s (above) reasons for seeking to protect Australians from what the Morrison Government perceives to be Djokovic’s malign influence (emphasis added) on lumpen Australians:

“I have given consideration to the fact that Mr Djokovic is a high profile unvaccinated individual who has indicated publicly that he is opposed to becoming vaccinated against COVID-19,” Mr Hawke writes.

“In addition, I consider that Mr Djokovic’s ongoing presence in Australia may lead to an increase in anti-vaccination sentiment generated in the Australian community, potentially leading to an increase in civil unrest of the kind previously experienced in Australia with rallies and protests which may themselves be a source of community transmission.”

As to the actual threat to public health posed by an uninfected individual who happens to be in superb physical condition and can be assumed to have a degree of immunity as a result of a recent COVID infection, Minister Hawke has the good grace to concede it is below negligble.

But the real infection — the mere possibility that Australians might dare to question officialdom’s COVID policies — well that is the genuine peril as far as Mr Hawke is concerned.

Who knows where it might lead if Djokovic were to be permitted the right to knock balls about Rod Laver Arena? By Mr Hawke’s account, there might be an upswelling of resentment at two years lost to contradictory policies, hollow assurances, closed-border chaos, curfews, lockdowns, fines, false promises, closed schools, shuttered businesses, ruined lives and, especially in Victoria, unrestrained and officially encouraged police thuggery.

And what politician wants all that and worse on voters’ minds when heading towards an election?

–roger franklin

1 comment
  • Lewis P Buckingham

    ‘ To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’
    The best precept known to man.
    So some thousands marching in Sydney agree with this tennis player.
    Clearly he represents a clear and present danger to the Australian way of life.
    In the Hawke discussion [did he really write this stuff?] the player has never falsified any document on numerous trips to Australia.
    He, allowed some one else to fill in a form whom he trusted and was severely let down.
    Its never happened before.
    He, along with Boris Johnson and Joe Biden has been photographed without a mask on.
    Clearly the latter two should be immediately declared persona non grata to Australia and forbidden entry for three years.
    To suggest that this tennis player is a mover and shaker of the antivaxxer mob and will somehow swell their numbers and change minds is simply a cabal fantastique.
    The ones I know are inured in their belief system.
    The last time I checked, Australian sport was above politics.
    You know the line, we don’t like what the PRC do when they enslave millions and subject them to ….,but its OK to compete as ”sport is above politics.
    Australia is a showcase of what it can be like to be fair and free.
    In Australia we are allowed to dissent.
    In our DNA, we did not boycott even the most heinous regimes when holding our successful 2000 Olympics, feted as the best ever.
    Now I could understand it if this player were an international bikie and just busted by Anonymous.
    That’s the sort of person that should be forbidden entry.
    He has broken no Australian Law.
    He is prepared to assist those in Australia suffering the ravages of bushfire conflagration.
    He came here to play tennis and was invited as part of the international sporting community.
    The tennis world will watch him in Australia.
    So will lot of Australians wanting a break from the drudgery and existential fear of the last years.
    As such the anxiety rate will fall and our sense of renewed excitement and wellbeing will be greatly enhanced, by watching the best men’s tennis player in the world compete in our own backyard.
    I hope Djokovic appeals.
    At least we still have the High Court.

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