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Border Force Farce And The Abbott Government!

Well, the Border Force in Melbourne sort of confirmed it.

Either they have no idea, or else they think that they’re writers who believe that anything Clark and Dawe can do they can do better.

When Peter Dutton refused an interview with the ABC because it was an “operational matter”, the whole idea I had for a piece had been stolen by the minister himself.

And if you can’t laugh at something like this, you have to take it seriously.

We were assured by the head of Australian Border FORCE that this was a low level press release. Mm, it was quoting the regional commander for Victoria and Tasmania, which means that either what he was saying wasn’t meant for public consumption or else the person writing the press release was simply making it up. Sort of like Godwin Grech and utegate.

Either way, Don Smith’s statement had a lot of people making unfair comparison with Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. Let’s break down the most controversial part of Commandant Smith’s – sorry, I mean Commander, bloody autocorrect – statement.

“ABF officers will be positioned at various locations around the CBD speaking with any individual we cross paths with.”

Well, it certainly is clumsily worded. I mean, everyone knows that you shouldn’t use a prepostion to end a sentence with. But hey, it only says speaking with. It doesn’t say that they’ll be asking to see papers and taking into custody anyone who can’t produce their visa, does it? People who’ve lost their wallet won’t be taken to a detention centre until they can prove their bona fides, will they? So what’s the big deal. Who wouldn’t like a little chat with men in such spiffy black uniforms.

Secondly, I infer that the use of the word “individual” means that they won’t be talking to anyone in a group. And, as we all know, anyone travelling by themselves in the CBD is just asking for trouble. The message was clear, if you’re someone who’s overstayed their visa or snuck in by boat before Abbott was elected and you needed to go to the CBD this weekend, make sure you take friends with you. Or better yet, go to St Kilda where you won’t have to speak to anyone liable to remind you that your days in the world’s most livable city are numbered.

And, while “positioned” makes them sound like snipers, and the words “cross paths” does have a potentially threatening sound, as in the phrase, “You better not cross my path today”, this is mitigated by the full reading of the sentence. As the officers will be “positioned at various locations” it means that they’re not going anywhere and therefore don’t have a path to cross.

Which I guess means that they weren’t going to speak to anyone. Which makes it a rather pointless exercise and a waste of money.

So it’s really great that it’s been called off. I’m surprised that Joe hasn’t been trumpeting it as another example of them saving money, like when they dumped their Paid Parental Leave scheme – it’s savings like that which have enabled them to get spending back under control, so that we have the money to drop bombs costing upwards of $100,000 each on Syria. Yes, I know some of you lefties think that there should be something in place which mandated every time our government drops a bomb that they’re obliged to pick a school or hospital in Australia and drop the cost of the bomb into its bank account. Ridiculous, we’d go broke if we spent money with that sort of gay abandon.

(“Gay abandon” now there’s a phrase you don’t hear much any more, unless you’re talking about the Same Sex Marriage Plebiscite after the next election, when Abbott argues that it’s unnecessary because the people knew his policy when they re-elected him. Yes, I’m being ridiculous. As if Abbott is going to be re-elected. As if he’s going to be PM if he doesn’t hold the next election before Christmas.)

Ah, I’m glad it’s all been cleared up. The AFB wasn’t going to randomly stop people, and they weren’t going to use racial profiling to identify people who were worth “speaking” to. The latter being of particular concern to me because my physical appearance does resemble that of a New Zealander or an American who are amongst the highest countries when it comes to overstaying your visa.

Which sort of does leave one with the question of what exactly were they going to do?

Apart from be involved in “operational matters”, and we have no right to be told what they are . . .

 

30 comments

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  1. Kyran

    Can’t help but think the clumsy wording came straight from the top. Yep, tiny himself. He clearly meant it to be an exercise in marital law with the intention of garnering support for his antiquated belief, devoid of ‘gay abandon’. In a fit of dyslexic exuberance, he issued a decree for martial law. The ABC timeline on the debacle underscores the farce
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-28/timeline-of-how-operation-fortitude-unravelled/6733252?WT.ac=localnews_melbourne
    Thankyou Rossleigh, for making sense of their ineptitude. Take care

  2. David Stephens

    Among other statements by one boofhead in uniform or other yesterday were these: ‘we need to ensure that people are behaving appropriately’ and ‘There is a lot of truth to the saying that there is strength in numbers’. Damn right, I thought. Honest History (honesthistory.net.au) immediately researched and came up with some appropriate material for Twitter (Keystone cops, the Lumberjack song, Nelson Eddy singing ‘Give me some men who are stout hearted men’). Look them up and you’ll see how appropriate they are. And that was without delving into the trove of blokes in black shirts looking serious. ABF provided those themselves later. We did, however, go to the trusty anagram generator Wordsmith and found that an anagram for ‘Australian Border Force’ is ‘A foul barricade snorter’. Says it all, really. Carry On. folks.

  3. Sir ScotchMistery

    I adore spoiling errors. In fact as far back as I can remember, I loved the opportunity to look at something and try to sort out in my own head, WTF the person who said whatever it was meant by saying it in the way they did. Like this for example. Be brave – click it, you won’t lose your place in the story.

    So when I first heard about the operation border farce in Melbourne, I thought no, Dutton wouldn’t do that, because he had a life before politics. It wasn’t much of a life, since he was a Queensland cop, but it was an experience, and he earned his position as most cops do, unlike Adolph, sorry Tony, who has never had a real life. He was hatched, and moved on. No, I thought, this was Tony at his english language best.

    Well done, Australia, I think. Only here can we go backwards 70 years, and people don’t rip down the statues of the dear leader.

    There was a tweet somewhere yesterday about Tones getting a stiffie, standing around with real men in real uniforms, even if they were BlackShirts.

  4. juliefarthing

    I was imagining a more party-like atmosphere myself, with loudspeakers on every corner playing ‘We are the men in black’ while said Border Farce officers selected people to take part in a dance-off. That’s as good a way as any to decide who stays and who goes isn’t it?

  5. Rossleigh

    Just to get the party started, Julie:

  6. kathysutherland2013

    Good to know the whole show has been called off. I was worried cos I haven’t got a visa – I only live here.

  7. Matthew Oborne

    With their imposing uniforms and the head of ABF apparently getting 3 medals that came with the Smart looking uniform the fascistonistas presence was apparently misrepresented. Bogans getting to see the fascistonistas harrassing people who look different from them had nothing to do with it apparently, coincidences abound ……last year a terrible budget and soldiers were sent out to protect people going to the grand final and now in the lead up to the grand final we have the same. All we have heard was excuses for the inexcusable.

  8. mars08

    What truly frightens we is the mindless overreach, crudeness and insensitivity of this latest brainfart!

    Do the powers-that-be really believe that ALL Australians have lost their minds to the asylum seeker hysteria? Do they imaging that NOBODY would object? Do they assume that the entire electorate will fall for the fear-mongering? Do they think that nobody has an interest in preserving human rights? Do they have nothing beyond bluff and bluster?

    Clearly these Authoritarian Lumbering Oafs aren’t aware that many Australian are still capable of thinking for themselves.

  9. my say

    This government is getting more desperate every day ,their motto is now divide and conquor, thank you Melbourne, for standing up and saying enough is enough, we aren’t going to be governed by a dictator,
    Which state is next ,he is going to pull a stunt like this every week up until the election
    with each one getting more desperate,
    this government is banking on getting back into government,by spreading hate and fear, I hope yesterday proves to many what this government is prepared to do to gain power

  10. Stoo1970

    Could they have been testing the waters? Setting up Operation Fortitude to see if we would accept such overreach like docile sheep? Or were they distracting us from something?

    They may not be a collection of geniuses but they are rat cunning and believe we are dumber than themselves.

  11. mars08

    Stoo1970:

    Could they have been testing the waters? Setting up Operation Fortitude to see if we would accept such overreach like docile sheep? Or were they distracting us from something?

    Very good questions. This latest brain-fart was primitive even for this mob of hopeless clowns.

    And the irony is just mind-boggling!!! Operation Fortitude?

    Surely someone is playing a joke…. http://www.dcmilitary.com/article/20130613/NEWS12/130619991/d-day-deception-operation-fortitude

  12. Keitha Granville

    Straight from the PMs mouth – “…routinely if the Victorian Police found anyone with a visa issue they would refer it immediately to the Border Force who would then deal with it in the proper manner”.
    “People will never ever be stopped randomly in the street and asked for their visa details”.
    He said it.
    If you are, just tell the men the PM said it.

    What country am I living in ? I seem to have forgotten.

  13. Stoo1970

    mars08

    I was aware of the Allies mounting decoy, or deceptive operations prior to D-Day, but I didn’t know it was called “Operation Fortitude”.

    “Surely someone is playing a joke…” – Hmmm, this government isn’t famous for its sense of humour.

  14. stephengb2014

    Indeed it was a case of “testing the waters”,
    And that was my first reaction, because no one could be that stupid?
    Then I started to see that a number of Right wingers were making comments to the effect that the proposed operation was perfectly reasonable!
    Then my thoughts that no one could be that stupid, became reality!

    oh my – Yes some people are in fact THAT STUPID

  15. crypt0

    Thank you Rossleigh … that was moat reassuring … but then …
    Tony Windsor has been awake up to phony tony for a very long time … including today.
    “Mr Windsor said the Border Force operation was no mistake, but a “deliberate agenda to create fear in the community”.
    Mr Windsor said: “I’ve got no doubt that some of these people in Abbott’s
    government hope that something goes wrong domestically. That they can
    taunt a Muslim into doing something so that they can say that we’re the
    only ones that can protect you, the Labor party are too weak to protect
    you, vote for us,” he said, adding, “I think that’s an extraordinary
    agenda to go to an election on.”
    http://www.cessnockadvertiser….
    Anyone out there still wondering what is going on?

  16. crypt0

    Operation Fortitude?
    Hopefully it won’t be followed up by Operation Mincemeat …
    I wonder who would get to play the corpse ?

  17. corvus boreus

    Operation Fortitude was just a small step in the grander scheme; the ongoing execution of Operation Turpitude.

  18. Rossleigh

    I suspect that it was intended to be followed up by “Operation Overload”, but there are rumours that an “Operation Overabbott” is being planned after the Canning byelection.

  19. Florence nee Fedup

    Bigger worry, is they were only routine.

    What is routine? How long has this routine been in place? What rights do people on the streets have? Do they have to cooperate? Why? What type visa’s being targeted?

    Has government outsourced Border Force, meaning minister is no longer accountable.

    Will the people employed, thinking they are PS no longer be pestered with writing ministerials, explaining what they are or not doing for the minister, as he is no longer interested.

    Not his responsibility.

  20. Terry2

    two things you won’t hear :

    Abbott : Heads must roll, I repeat heads must roll !

    Dutton : I sincerely apologize to the people of Melbourne for this stuff up on my watch and I have tendered my resignation to the Prime Minister.

  21. brickbob

    May the farce be with you.”

  22. Florence nee Fedup

    Keep in mind, ages ago, Morrison use to scream from the roof tops, any refugee on a Bridging visa who broke any law or social norm , would be deported immediately.

    Yes, he expected their behaviour to be perfect.

    Is Abbott saying, yesterday was routine in as much that local police who pick up some for being a public nuisance on a visa, must immediately inform Border Force.

    That can be the only explanation for the announcement saying that visas come with strict conditions.

    Whatever their motives, it is about time they took the Australian community into their confidence.

  23. olddavey

    They had to do something to keep the terrorism scare simmering away. People were starting to forget and, hey, they need something negative to scream and squeal about at the imminent election.

    And the racists were out again today in Melbourne helping them along.

    Of course what they really need is a “real” terrorist event, and no doubt there is one waiting to be unleashed at the appropriate time.

    The up side is that some numpty will probably announce the event in advance, as everything this rabble tries to organise end up being a stuff-up.

  24. iggy648

    Don’t want to start a conspiracy theory, but why choose Victoria for this bizarre adventure? Were they intending to embarrass themselves or somebody else? Remember the Victoria Police famously used taxpayers money to send a carload of Police from Victoria to the NSW Central Coast to arrest Craig Thomson, and by a lucky coincidence, they just happened to arrive at his office for the arrest at exactly the same time that Tony Abbott was delivering a speech to the Press Club in Canberra. (Probability of this happening by chance 0.006). By another lucky coincidence, there just happened to be a group of reporters and news cameras passing his office at exactly the moment of the arrest. Could the Victoria Police and the ABF both be tools of the Liberal Party? I’m with Tony Windsor. I don’t believe anything these evil people do is a mistake.

  25. corvus boreus

    I am regurgitating my own cud from another thread as a lazy form of answer:

    I think the announcement of deploying ‘Border Force’ personnel in the Melbourne CBD was part litmus test, part provocation.

    Melbourne federal electorate is the only lower house seat held by a Greens member (Adam Brandt); in the current paradigm, it is seen as something of a hotbed of radical leftism. Floating the notion of the new men in black bailing up citizens on the street was calculated to ruffle feathers and raise some serious hackles.

    Targeting a hostile demographic with a controversial proposal is one way to gauge the upper limits in intensity of opposition.
    It has the possible bonus of provoking an extreme reaction of civil disobedience, which can be used as justification for implementing ever more repressive ’emergency measures’, particularly if the fires are fueled and fanned by a pliant media.
    (“Leftist Mob Stops Cops! [EXCLUSIVE])”.

  26. Peter F

    Now we are told that ‘the announcement was wrong’. No, the very idea was wrong, and we need to know who authorised the foray into the streets of Melbourne, not who told the world about what was to happen.

  27. Möbius Ecko

    Dutton has admitted he received the briefing on Operation Fortitude but said he didn’t read it.

    This farce is tuning into a farce.

    Straight out of the Howard book of Sgt Schultz excuses.

    And if in the very unlikelihood he didn’t read it he should go anyway for being incompetent and unfit to hold the job, as should Abbott who apparently was kept out of the loop on the whole Border Force planning and operation.

    By the way Abbott’s response has been so say Australians who are dissing Border Force over this should be a “little ashamed”.

  28. Terry2

    May the farce be with you :

  29. crypt0

    Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism
    See how many apply to Australia …
    e.g. No.1 … ” patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia.
    Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.”
    Does that ring a bell? Now read on …
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/10026432916.

  30. Florence nee Fedup

    Recall when this mob come to power, they made big noise about anyone given a TPV would have to sign a declaration that they would behave at all times. Could this be what Dutton is concerned about. Anyone the police pick up being a public nuisance be referred to Border Force for deportation. Suspect it is those on Bridging and TPV that are in their sights.

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