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Nate Jackson / January 7, 2022

Australia’s Problem Isn’t Limited to One Tennis Player

Novak Djokovic may get all the attention, but tyranny Down Under is much deeper.

In the classic movie “The Princess Bride,” the hilariously inept villain Vizzini engages in a “battle of wits” with the hero, Wesley, a.k.a. the Man in Black, over a poisoned glass of wine. As Vizzini attempts to outwit his opponent with what Wesley mockingly calls “a dizzying intellect,” he expounds on the nation of Australia. “As everyone knows,” he says, “Australia is entirely peopled with criminals, and criminals are used to having people not trust them.”

Here in our own bizarre reality, Australia is populated by untrusted criminals only because their own government has declared them to be such.

For much of the coronavirus pandemic, the people of Australia have been prisoners of their own government’s tyrannical attempts to reach “COVID zero.” Totally outrageous videos and stories abound regarding people arrested for violating mandates, even when they’re outside and pose no threat to anyone. People are forcibly detained in quarantine facilities (and heaven help them if they escape). Elective surgeries have been suspended. In at least one case, parents were denied the ability to identify their dead son’s body. We could go on and on about the dystopian nightmare that is the Land Down Under.

How’s that working out for stopping the spread? Wednesday’s Reuters headline says it all: “Australia suffers record COVID cases.”

Crikey!

So it’s little surprise to hear the story of Novak Djokovic, the world’s number-one-ranked tennis star, who has been forcibly detained upon arrival in Melbourne to defend his Australian Open title. (He’s won nine Australian Opens and his next Grand Slam title will break a three-way tie for the most men’s titles in history.) Djokovic has refused to disclose his vaccination status as required, but he obtained an exemption thanks to natural immunity from a previous infection and headed to Australia with that understanding. A day after he arrived, however, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared that Djokovic’s visa had been canceled and that he’d be sent home. He’ll be detained until the deportation question is settled on Monday in court.

Another of the world’s best tennis players, Rafael Nadal, didn’t have much sympathy. “If you are vaccinated,” he said, “you can play.” Again, Djokovic apparently chose natural immunity over vaccination. Nadal, who’s been fully vaccinated, caught COVID over Christmas anyway.

Tell us again how the rules make any sense?

As for the tennis world, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) recently stood up to China over Beijing’s treatment of Peng Shuai after her accusation of sexual assault at the hands of a ChiCom official. The WTA pulled out of China until further notice. Perhaps it’s time for other players to boycott the Australian Open — unless, that is, they’re just happy to have an easier chance of winning without Djokovic in the mix, even if an asterisk ought to apply to the eventual winner.

And as for Australia, American Democrats otherwise point to the nation as a model for gun confiscation. Many citizens there gave up their guns in a “buyback” scheme that Democrats would love to replicate here. We can blame the Australian government all day, but in the end, the people seem to have the government they want and deserve. There is, after all, a cultural zeitgeist that prevails when people are unarmed and defenseless. It allowed people to be disarmed in the first place and now to be effectively imprisoned “for their own good.”

Maybe Vizzini was right.


Update: A native Australian reader writes, “Australia was not disarmed. Australians did not give up their guns. A limited set of semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, as well as pump-action shotguns, were confiscated under the banner of the ‘buy-back’ scheme with stringent licensing requirements put in place. Many everyday Australians merely buried their weapons until things died down, and then went about making their own. There are more guns in Australia now than ever before, both legal and illegal. Aussies just don’t openly discuss it.”


Update: “Novak Djokovic won his visa appeal against the Australian government on Monday,” Fox News reports. “Australian Federal Court quashed the government’s decision to cancel the Serbian tennis star’s visa on Monday, ending his detention and appearing to clear the path for him to play in the Australian Open.”

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