Contributed by Jim Hayes
The upsurge of false media stories has been underlined about the reported and false claim that Australia is exempt from the ban on foreign nationals. Dual nationals on an Australian passport, but who are also nationals from the listed countries, will be stopped from entering the United states.
Malcolm Turnbull issued a joint statement with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop titled, “Turnbull government secures US exemption for Australian passport holders”.
It appears the misinformation stems from a conversation between Australian representative Joe Hockey and his American counterpart. But is hard to credit that experienced politicians would be so foolish as to hang their fortunes on a conversation.
From Malcolm Turnbull down, they must have known that this required official confirmation. Either that, or the lot of them are completely incompetent.
A better explanation is that this provided an opportunity for Turnbull to hide from the fallout of his failure to say anything about Trump’s refugee crackdown. It made Turnbull and his government look bad, specially, when most heads of state around the word issued clear statements of concern or condemnation.
The Australian prime minister and government can be accused of using deliberate deceit to hoodwink the Australian public.
Even more. The occasion was used to brag over a special relationship with the United States.
“We have a very strong relationship with the United States. We work very closely with them. We have very strong relationship with the new administration and we are very engaged,” he said.
Reality has a way of catching up and Malcolm Turnbull has now been caught out – once again.
Australia is on a slippery slope of increasing government by sophistry. If the present is any indication, the rise of Trump poses the danger that we are poised to go down the same direction, at the hands of a government that shows itself only too willing to act as an obedient vassal, prepared to do just about anything, so long as it is told to by Uncle Sam.
Here we have compliance with condemning a group of Australians, not because of anything they have done, or because they are individually a risk to others, but because of where they were born. Thisis nothing short of profiling a community as the enemy and is clearly in breach of international law. It would have been unthinkable in Australia only a few years ago. Now it is different. Our political leaders have gone down a long way.
This is dangerous. We do not need it. What we do need, are leaders who have the backbone to stand up and make independent decisions, on the basis that they are right and not because they are an echo of decisions made on the other side of the world.