Flat White

Welcome to Australia, mate! Jab or jail?

13 January 2022

9:00 AM

13 January 2022

9:00 AM

Novak Djokovic would not have had a problem entering Australia if he had just got jabbed, according to a senior sports journalist at The Australian newspaper.

Well of course! Why didn’t Novak think of that?

It is easy to solve problems. If we all vote Labor, there will be no arguments; if we all become atheists, there will be no religious differences; and if we all go vegan, there will be no climate wars.

Novak should have just rolled up his sleeve. Problem solved!

What is it about champions and their stubborn refusal to roll over and do what everyone else is doing?

Most of us have been coerced, and so Novak should be coerced too. It’s (now) the Australian way.

And, of course, when everyone has been coerced, it’s much easier to imagine that no one has been coerced.

Wasn’t Novak told that ‘we’re all in this together’ (except for the 10 per cent of Australians who are not in this with all of us together)? Apart from those 2.5 million unvaccinated Australians (whom we shall never speak of again), the rest of us have agreed, ‘no jab, no job’ – and so should the Serb.

Respect is a two-way street, you see. Novak should respect Australians by dropping this nonsense about human rights and bodily autonomy. And we’d respect him in return if he played along with our demands. That’s how respect works.

As for all the mumbo jumbo about ‘informed consent’ – does Novak want to hit tennis balls or not? Informed consent is for medical ethicists and debt-ridden philosophy students.


Get the vaccine or spend the rest of your life under police guard in one of our refugee camps watching Nadal win the championship. There’s your choice. Oh, and welcome to Australia, mate!

No one was forcing the tennis world Number One to do anything against his will. If Novak didn’t want to compete – well that’s his choice. He could have stayed in Serbia and we could have staged a tennis tournament for all the best players in the world (except for the best player in the world), which would have made it a tournament for the best vaccinated players in the world.

The AVP (Association of Vaccinated Professionals) Grand (socially-distanced) Slam?

Why not? It’s the way of the future, and tennis must move with the times. Next year we could seed players according to their social credit score. If you’re a thrice-vaxxed, hybrid Prius driving LGBTQ ally, you could get a wildcard entry regardless of your tennis prowess.

The real issue is that we’ve already got half a million cases of Covid thanks to fully vaccinated travellers who arrived here from overseas. And that’s precisely why Novak should have been fully vaccinated when he arrived here from overseas.

Don’t complain that the last paragraph makes no sense. Nothing has made much sense for the past two years, so why would you start expecting logic now? Like vaccination, cognitive dissonance should be a condition of entry into Australia.

But here’s the other point made by The Australian’s columnist: allowing an unvaccinated Novak to play at the Australian Open endangers lives. (Yes, he really said that.)

With more than 37,000 new Covid cases in 90 per cent vaccinated Victoria just yesterday, it is hard to argue that an unvaccinated tennis player is a threat to public health. But that doesn’t mean we won’t.

What if a supremely fit and healthy Novak was to transmit the virus he doesn’t have to fully vaccinated and recently boosted masked people sitting at a safe distance in the stands?

Well, we’d all be astonished.

Then the government would tell those affected to spend a few days at home with some Panadol. That’s literally what would happen.

And that’s why having one unvaccinated player watched by 20,000 fully vaccinated spectators is a risk we simply cannot afford to take in this happy-go-lucky country.

(Other risks we cannot allow include children playing on swings, people swinging golf clubs, and anyone protesting about anything other than Lefty ‘social justice’ issues.)

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that the universally vaccinated BBL cricket teams are all having Covid outbreaks at the moment, and so the claim that an unvaccinated player represents a significant added risk is not really scientific at all.

And you’re probably thinking that this is especially the case with Novak, given that prior infection confers immunity at least as effective as vaccination, according to most research. Indeed, this is why some places overseas now recognise prior infection as equivalent to vaccination.

Well exactly!

Whatever the legal issues of the Novak case, it should be obvious that this crisis has zero to do with a proportionate response to a genuine health risk. It is about political appearances and the promotion of compliance with rules for their own sake as a virtue of the highest order.

In other words, Novak should have just got jabbed like he was supposed to and this whole nasty business could have been avoided.

Oh, and one more thing. The Novak controversy has wasted valuable time that our political leaders could have otherwise used to focus on important things. If it wasn’t for the distraction of an unvaccinated Novak arriving on our shores last week, our leaders could have used the past two years to fix the health system. You know it makes sense.

You can follow James on Twitter. You can order his new book Notes from Woketopia here.

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