So, Australia, famous tennis player Novak Djokovic, has been granted a medical exemption to come and play Tennis in Australia, he then arrived with Border Force officials rejecting his paperwork, which then publicly engaged his father, the Serbian President, the CEO of Tennis Australia, the acting Dictator of Victoria and the PM. Ultimately, his visa has been rejected and he has now launched a court appeal against his ordered deportation. At the writing of this blog his is under guard in a Melbourne Motel. There are two sides to this issue for Aussies. Those who think Djokovic is a hero for standing his ground and those who think Djokovic was given special treatment because he is not one of the little people. I get both sides. There are other sides to the issue.
Here is what I think
1) So many Australians have applied for medical exemptions. We have all heard the emotionally harrowing stories of people simply wanting to cross state borders to see dying loved ones or just return home, with those exemptions mostly being denied, or taking weeks to even see the light of day. I remember the story of an elderly man who died 50k’s south of the Queensland border, waiting to go and live with his son, he died because he froze to death in his caravan. (Let me digress for a moment….this is Australia and we are shutting out people across our state borders….Aren’t Aussies Australian?, or have each state become their own nation?) The fact that a medical exemption was granted to a famous tennis player, seemingly in a very short space of time, has ticked the ire of Australians. As a Queenslander, we were certainly ticked when Queen Anna, let in footy players and their family’s whilst Queensland residents were shut out. Aussie’s like fair. I like fair. But we are not seeing fair with the way our state and national leaders are treating us. Oh I want to sing Advance Australia Fair. The problem is, I would choke on our National Anthem at the moment. And for someone who is passionately patriotic, the pain I feel as my love for Australia wanes is real.
Well that escalated quickly.
2) People applauded the fact that Djokovic stood his ground and won. And there is a fair bit in me that agrees with this, as I too am ticked at the control of vaccine mandates etc. But there shouldn’t be different rules for different people. This is my bug bear, the government, both state and federal, as well as officials like Tennis Australia or the NRL board, seem to be inconsistent, providing leadership on the run, or are they just plain incompetent.
3) Bruce Jenner was allowed in to Australia to go into Celebrity Big Brother. Apparently, he was given a special exemption when no one was allowed into Australia. Sorry, I meant Caitlin. And shouldn’t it be Celebrity Big Sister???
4) The fact that Djokovic was granted a medical exemption polarised Australia. But then the CEO of Tennis Australia came out and said that the process of granting medical exemptions was ‘robust’ and that Djokovic received ‘no special treatment’. Apparently, there were two separate independent boards, who were involved in the process. The fact that he arrived and couldn’t provide the right paper work that proved his medical exemption, shows that the process is not robust and that clearly Djokovic received preferential treatment.
5) Who keeps those two Independent Boards accountable? Clearly, they have stuffed up monumentally. So, who is sacked? Who is issuing the public statement? Oh wait….they will wait it out for 3 days. The media and Australia will rage and then they will forget about it, more interested in the new political coup in PNG. Sadly, Australian’s have the media attention span of a gold fish. Oh wait, I have gold fish….which is the pic on this blog.
6) I think that the PM touting his record as Immigration Minister, (on Channel 10 News on Thursday night), who ‘stopped the boats’ in spruiking his border control credentials, is totally unhelpful. Djokovic is not a person who paid people smugglers to get on a dodgy boat to travel to northern Australian, border control has different contexts and this was a dumb parallel.
My fish is called Stephanie.
Anyway, that’s what I think.