I’ve always suspected that India, our friendly neighbourhood superpower, would be more likely to act if China, for example, were to commence hostilities against Australia. Why would the US (especially under pact-wrecker Trump) come to our aid? Now I see another suspicion (that India would collapse under the pandemic) coming true.
And there’s nothing I can do.
For the 9000+ Australians stranded in India, our hand-wringing government first threatened to gaol them if they came home. As recently as 9 May, our Prime Minister stated “I don’t see an appetite for that at the moment,” he said, referring to international borders reopening with India. “We have to be careful not to exchange [our] way of life for what everyone else has.“
I wish that was just the opinion of some lone bigot, but it’s not. The infamous “pub test” of public opinion overwhelmingly proves that many Australians don’t give a shit about Aussies stranded in India, unless they happen to be hot white girls from North Sydney or cricket playes. For the rest, it’s “their fault for not coming home sooner.”
We’re told that Howard Springs is Australia’s ‘gold standard quarrantine facility’. In a media release on 7 May, the PM said “repatriation flights into Howard Springs will resume on May 15 with one flight per 7-9 days, with an estimated 1,000 Australians returning by the end of June.” Which only leave 8000+ Aussies stranded in India.
My maths may be shit, but at a thousand per six weeks it will take until June 2022 to get the rest home. Of course, by then we won’t need to bring all of them home. Or we could take two flights per 7-9 days and halve the risk to our nationals — but that isn’t the PM’s plan. The charred remains of hundreds of unlucky Australians will be dumped into the Ganges along with everyone else.
But this is okay for millions of Australians once again enjoying their social lives and weekend sport. The footy’s back, and we’re taking the kids to Byron. The prawns are back on the barbie and there’s plenty of tinnies in the esky for everyone. But they’re also hypervigilant, because all it takes is one brown bastard and we’re in lockdown again.
Of course, things are different if you play sport. Cricket Australia did not seek exemptions for our IPL players, coaches, match officials and commentators to jump the quarrantine queue. No, they just quietly chartered flights to the Maldives so Shane Warne can get a real tan while ordinary Aussies were left choking among the burning dead.