Novak Djokovic may not get a chance to win the Australian Open, but he can determine the outcome of our next federal election.
Novak Djokovic may not have a chance to win the Australian Open this year, but he may have won the Anthony Albanese federal election.
It took only one man to unleash the complex omnipotence of the Australian coronavirus response and to expose the federal government’s biggest weakness – and it was not the Leader of the Opposition.
It is not as if confusion and chaos have spread from a single source since a bat fluttered its wings.
It is now self-evident that whatever the fault of the Victorian government and tennis Australia, the Djokovic problem of the Morrison government should have been seen from a mile away.
Really, it could be seen on the pages of any daily newspaper.
The biggest problem is that now that the problem has come, the government cannot do anything that will not further embarrass it or cost some serious political skin.
The seemingly inevitable decision to send Djokovic packing The announcement was made by the government on Friday afternoon (He later sought a ban on refraining from deportation).
But it was because of Djokovic’s screw-up – it was revealed as soon as it came true – as the government did. Indeed, the government was able to squander an opportunity to tackle the problem when it was already too late.
Of course the whole failure is all good play – metaphorically, if not literally – but Mr. Morrison’s problem is that it offers its brilliant Achilles heel to both the public and the opposition.
And this is that although the Prime Minister is a supreme political warrior and a tactical strategist he is a terrible strategist.
Scott Morrison is extremely adept at manipulating the situation to his advantage but he is extremely bad at creating and constructing that situation, and both traits have been defined since before his prime ministership began.
Mr. Morrison Malcolm did not organize a coup against Turnbull, but once it became a viable option, he was able to blind both the Liberal Right and the Liberal Left and seize the leadership.
It was a work of extraordinary political skill, but he did not seem to have much idea of what to do with it after acquiring the Holy Grail.
By the time of the 2019 election, the Coalition had a policy platform that you could fit behind a beer coaster, and yet he was able to snatch victory from under the nose of Bill Shorten.
But again, after the victory, the Prime Minister did not give any real point of view to speak. Instead the situation was once again overwhelmed in the form of the devastating Black Summer Bushfire. This time his intelligence abandoned him and He has infamously left the country.
Mr. Morrison was already the recipient of a miracle, as he announced on election night. Now, he needed another.
The only thing that can erase or atone for his performance in a great national catastrophe is the opportunity to free himself in a larger international one.
And once again provided fortune.
This time Mr. Morrison’s reactive instinct was a quality. Although there seemed to be little sign of a preliminary overworking plan by the government to manage the epidemic, he responded quickly and forcefully as demands were raised, throwing both ideology and continuity into the air.
But again, when the back foot fight against Covid-19 was over and the front leg recovery phase began, the Morrison government was complacent and slow – immortalized by the glacier vaccine rollout.
And once again, when there was an explosion under public pressure, the Prime Minister abruptly pulled all the stops and turbocharged the one-time somnambulant scheme.
In this sense, Mr. Morrison is much like Winston Churchill’s famous assessment of Americans. He always does the right thing after finishing all the other options.
In fact, he shared some of the criticisms mounted against the most lucrative U.S. president, John F. Kennedy: good at dealing with crises but unable to resist them.
The pattern continues to this day. Once Australia is finally vaccinated and ready to enter the next phase of living with the virus, it has now emerged that the Prime Minister has been warned that there is no provision by the federal government for rapid antigen testing.
Here again he has resorted to another default position which is a detrimental weakness, i.e. it was someone else’s problem. A principle known as “I am a hose”.
And of course, that position was quickly reversed as well. Initially the Commonwealth would not pay RAT because it was private sector work. Then RATs will not be free. And finally, they will actually be free for discount card holders.
It is an achievement of Mr. Morrison that he is not too proud to correct his mistakes. The confusing thing is that he continues to create them.
And so Novak returned. Although the government can make the right decision, it has only done so after being dragged through a ringer made by itself.
If Mr. Albaniz wins the election later this year, as the prospect seems to be growing, his first phone call will come, acknowledging defeat from the prime minister. The second should be a trunk call to Serbia thanking a certain tennis player for his help.