Value Zero

Image is a cartoon of a rat who is holding a sign , written in dripping red paint that reads – BECAUSE I’M WORTHLESS

He was a proud little boy. Just six years old and he got his Covid vaccination today. He stood proudly for a photo showing the certificate they had given him, replete with his tiger face mask. Super brave read his certificate, and indeed he was. He has some health issues so it is important that he is vaccinated. He knows this, so he rolled up his sleeve. It’s also important that his family and everyone around him are vaccinated so as to lessen the risk that he catches Covid. Unsurprisingly, his family have zero tolerance of people who refuse to get vaccinated.

At the other end of the spectrum is The Joker, Novak Djokovic. He is perhaps the worlds most prominent anti-vaxxer. He refuses to get vaccinated, presumably because he is one of those individuals that believe that it is his right to refuse. This is the guy who believes that “positive thoughts” will cleanse polluted water because, “..Molecules in water react to our emotions.” He also tells the tale of his nutritionist pressing a piece of bread down on his arm and feeling much weaker as a result. He believes that this is evidence that he is gluten intolerant. Whatever his reason for not wanting to vaccinate, given the above, I really don’t want to know. (For more on Novak’s weird beliefs, click HERE. )

You would have had to be in the Antarctic, with no access to any technology at all, to not have heard about Novak this week. He landed in Australia and had his visa revoked. This is because he is not vaccinated. Novak claims that he had an exemption because he was diagnosed with Covid on the 16th December. Apparently, he was photographed at various events on the 17th and 18th December. Clearly, he didn’t care about passing Covid on to anyone. He didn’t care that he could have placed the life of a little boy like my friends at risk. He is just a self entitled jerk that does what he wants.

We know that today the court said that revoking Novak’s visa was wrong. He had an exemption from some eminent doctor. He had done everything right. The court said that legally Border Control were wrong to revoke his visa. Apparently, Novak had until December the 10th to declare his exemption to Tennis Australia, he didn’t. You see, he wasn’t diagnosed until the 16th December. So he broke the rules, shouldn’t have been allowed in. But hey, he has a zillion dollars to hire the best lawyers around to argue his case. To add insult to injury, the court has ruled the Australian Government erred and have to pay his costs.

I am no fan of the Federal Government. I am even less a fan of Novak. What a whiny bastard he is. In detention all he did was moan. The food was crap, the place was dirty, there were maggots in his food. He was being treated like a common criminal. In that same hotel were asylum seekers who have been detained there for a number of years. They are being detained for no other reason than that they were fleeing violence and oppression in their own countries. They don’t have access to millions of dollars to fight their cause. They don’t have access to the media who lap up their every word. They don’t have the President of their country fighting their corner, nor do they have their countries Ambassador pleading for them to be placed in more suitable accommodation.

Yet, this rich and super fit man who has had the privilege of playing tennis for fun and getting rich from it, who won’t get vaccinated, who thinks he can clean water through his positive thoughts and who refuses vaccination is treated like a king. I am sorry, I have no sympathy for him. I just wish he would get on the next plane and fuck off back to Serbia.

It’s not because I am jealous, its because the treatment that he is getting is an absolute insult to so many people, particularly people with a disability. Consider this quote from my friend Suresh,

” .. For all of you who are mortified by the Govt’s treatment of Novak Djokovic, can I simply note that we routinely deport members of a family who happen to have a person with disability in their midst. If you want to be hurt and offended by our abrogation of human rights, spare a thought for the families of and the people with disability that we do this to. And we also routinely place people whose visas we cancel into Immigration Detention and not at the Park Hotel in Carlton… “

Did you hear about Kayaan Katyal, the six year old with cerebral palsy who Australia tried to deport after his family had resided in Australia for 8 years. Yes, 8 years, you read that right. He was, in fact, born in Australia but they wanted rid of him because Australia did not want to bear his medical costs. The family were about to open a restaurant here and had paid taxes for 8 years. They were awaiting permanent residency but the moment that their child was diagnosed with a disability the Australian Government wanted them out. This was 9 months ago.

Or Siyat Abdi, a blind Doctor, who had lived in Australia for ten years but was asked to leave because under the law his ‘condition’ would “… be likely to require health care or community services”. He was eventually allowed to stay after having spent thousands of dollars in appeals and having to lobby to the Minister to allow him to stay.

The Government also tried to be rid of Kinley Wangyel Wangchuk, a Bhutanese adult with a hearing loss and learning disability, who had been in Australia for 7 years. The reason that Australia wanted him out? “It is an objective assessment to determine whether the care of the individual during their stay in Australia would likely result in significant costs to the Australian community or prejudice the access of Australian citizens and permanent residents to services in short supply.”

Apparently, up to 15 families a year face this predicament. Unlike Novak they don’t have millions to fall back on to appeal their case. They cannot afford the best lawyers. People don’t line up outside of their hotels protesting on their behalf. The Presidents and Ambassadors of their countries don’t scream and complain asking that they be given a personal chef and a better hotel. They are left to their own devices to fight their corner, with minimal resources to help them. Many lose and are sent packing.

So, excuse me if I would rather this entitled millionaire sports person who lacks nothing, who thinks he can clean water with his mind and refuses vaccination because he is like a child throwing their toys out of the pram, be sent packing and hopefully banned from returning to Australia for three years. It is just an affront to the dignity of these people who want to come to Australia for a safer and better life and are refused. It shows that these people and people with a disability in Australia have ZERO VALUE!

Look, I get it, immigration mucked up. Look I get it, Novak applied for an exemption that was seemingly granted. Look I get it, The PM spoke publicly to garner populism on the back of an outraged Australian population. I get it, legally Novak has grounds to stay.

But, I don’t care. In October last year Dan Andrews publicly stated that unvaccinated players are unlikely to be allowed to play at the Australian Open. Said Andrews, “Professional sport is part of that authorised worker list and they have to be double dose vaccinated.” He did say that the visa issue was a Federal Government responsibility as a caveat, but his view was clear. His silence this week has been deafening.

I have all sympathy for a tennis player who may not be able to vaccinate for health reasons such as allergies and so on. Novak is not one of them. He is just an entitled brat who thinks he can do what he wants. Chuck him out I say. He is just an insult to all those genuine asylum seekers and refugees, particularly people with disability, who have been denied entry and the vast resources that he has to fight his corner. It is a disgrace and it makes me sick to my core!

That is all!!

For more information about the cases described in this article, click on the following links.




Dan Andrews Comment