People have already taken sides on the Djokovic matter and it is clear that the bulk of Australians will support the decision to deport.
That is hardly surprising since any objective observation would clearly establish that there has been, on this matter, a massive hate campaign against the tennis player.
It has rarely been pointed out that much of this campaign has been based on misinformation.
As I have said before, Djokovic filled out all the forms he was asked to fill out – exemption and visa.
He did not grant the exemption or issue the visa. Australian officials did that.
Djokovic lives in Spain. If what has been established tonight is true and if Australian officials were doing their job, Djokovic should never have been allowed to get on the plane in Spain; and in the federal government appeal to overturn Judge Kelly’s decision last Monday to allow Djokovic to stay, the Hawke submission to the court acknowledged that Djokovic had done all the right things.
So, the decision tonight is based on health and national security risks.Here is Djokovic, who has had the virus, entering a country where over 90 percent are double-vaxxed and this one man, who would have lived in a private home and been driven to the tennis to play in the open air, is now a “health risk”.
You would need a fertile imagination to believe that.Secondly, national security. The government argued, and the court apparently agreed, that Djokovic staying in Australia would encourage the anti-vax movement, and we would see that movement escalating into protests and riots.
There is no proof of that. But what protests and riots might now escalate around the world as a result of this decision?
Forget the vaccination or non-vaccination argument, and it is true that none of this would have happened if Djokovic were vaccinated, though the Australian Prime Minister himself has said that vaccination is not compulsory. In the light of this, can you see would-be tourists racing to travel agents to get a visa to come to Australia when it is now clear that if, as Minister Hawke has said, you do all the right things, you can still be turned away when you arrive in Australia.
This should never have reached this point had government’s ever-changing policy been applied to Novak Djokovic in Spain.
But now consider this. Not all countries have the same view about vaccination as we do; and we are always looking to host major international events in this country. What is to happen when some countries will want to bring teams to Australia with no possible likelihood that all their players will be vaccinated?
Those tourism dollars will go somewhere else.
This is not about vaccination. This is about rank government incompetence. Everyone around the sporting world knew when the Australian Open was on. Everyone knew Djokovic was aiming to win his 21st Grand Slam. Everyone knew he was not vaccinated.
The Australian Government issues visas. What the hell were they doing in Spain when Djokovic was allowed onto the plane?
And now Australia are looking foolish and indecisive in the international world. Their visa policy which applied in Spain now, suddenly, does not apply in Melbourne.
If that is not bureaucratic incompetence, words have lost their meaning.