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Cauterising at Gate 31

By Melissa Frost

Last night I was at Hong Kong International airport, Gate 31 to be precise, dutifully lining up to board flight QF98 to Brisbane. I was standing in the marked line for passengers sitting in Economy rows 20-41. I was asked to move to this line by Qantas ground crew. The line next to me was for Economy Rows 42-60. An obedient lot we were. We quietly watched the exclusive Business Class passengers smugly saunter up to the Qantas staff, produce their 3A boarding pass and pretentiously swagger down to the aircraft and turn left.

During our extended wait I noticed a stern, no-nonsense Caucasian woman, dressed casually in black jeans, flat black shoes and a black and white checked shirt. She had a blonde bob and looked to be in her 50s. As I was watching her manoeuvre between passengers and the Qantas boarding desk, it occurred to me that she was of some authority, as the Qantas staff were not perturbed by her movements between the passengers and the computers at the boarding gate. I then noticed she had some form of ID hanging around her neck. She was not wearing the Qantas uniform.

Then to my horror she starts to racially profile these passengers in the now very long queues to board QF98. With no expression on her face she approaches the Indian couple to my left and the Korean woman standing behind them. “Passports,” she commands, extending her hand in a gesture that said; “You are an alien to Australia.” The Indian couple became confused and nervous. The man asked; “Why?” With a haughty imperious dull expression she says; “Australian Immigration.”

She then proceeds to look at the passport and – what must have felt intimidating to the passenger – holds the passport up to this man’s face. She deliberately takes her time and scrutinises him before slowly returning the passport. She then repeats the process with his partner and then the Korean woman standing behind him.

She then proceeds to slowly move down the line of QF98 passengers, racially profiling those along the way and repeating her stamp of authority on any possible ‘alien combatives.’

Ms Australian Immigration did not come near me. I must have looked ‘suitable enough stock’ to enter Australia.

After this very invasive performance from Australian authorities I became enraged, and I apologised to the rattled threesome beside me and wished them a brilliant stay in our country, however, I couldn’t help but ponder …

Australia, GET OVER YOURSELF.

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9 comments

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  1. Lantanaman

    Peter Dutton would be so, so proud of her. She probably could have a suitable uniform, jack boots that sort of thing to show that we really know how much better we are than those Asians.

    Pete Dutton probably wishes we still had the “White Australia Policy ” as official policy not just de facto.

    Put it on the to do list Peter.

  2. David Bruce

    I stopped flying on QANTAS when the CEO grounded the fleet. This year, in May, I was in Hong Kong for a wedding. While waiting for my return flight on Cathay (my former co-pilot became a senior check captain for Cathay, so I get benefits) I was recharging my phone near the EL AL check in. Two Hong Police sauntered up to the desk and spoke briefly with EL AL staff. What surprised me was the fact they were both carrying automatic sub machine guns and wore full ammunition belts. They moved over to where I was standing and turned to watch the check in counter. Shortly after a breathless family arrived at the EL AL check in and quickly checked their bags to SYD and picked up their boarding passes. Then there was a short PA announcement for passengers to join the QANTAS flight to Sydney (QANTAS and EL AL code-share.) As I was checking my phone charge, I took the opportunity to photograph the armed pair. They looked at me, unsure whether I was making a phone call or taking photos. Then I packed up my phone and ignored them as I walked past them to the departure gate and later relaxed in the club lounge. I have yet to post the pics on FB. Not sure when I may have to go back to Hong Kong!!!

  3. Andrew Smith

    Blimey, I was aware of UK Border types based in Central Europe checking passenger lists pre departure but this highly visible presence described here (when check in verifies visa status obtained through Home Affairs processes) resonates again more recent UK tactic from the US, used by May when Minister for Home Office i.e. creating a ‘hostile environment’; makes Australia appear autocratic, nasty and paranoid.

    Related, appearing Anglo Saxon or Irish with a name to suit but heritage does not 🙂 I often have heard from some British immigrants (recent and past), needing to share their views (assuming I’d agree with them) that Australians should be white, great replacement theory is in action, Brits do not need to show any loyalty or commitment and most Australians are dumb (while many Australian echo similar views)….. we have too many of our elites in politics, media etc. who seem more interested in being British and/or Anglo Saxon vs. Australian?

  4. Keitha Granville

    The majority of illegal immigrants in this country are visa over stays. 64,000 of them. More than 12,000 have been here for 20 years. And they arrive by plane.

    The majority are Malaysian, but also Chinese, Indonesian, American, British and Indian.

    No excuse for the heavy handed tactics, but then at least they are not going to be sent to Manus, Nauru or Christmas Island either.

    We don’t have a boat problem, those people are most often genuine refugees. We have a problem with people who have the money to come as tourists but never intend to leave.

  5. Kathryn

    What a hateful, xenophobic insular little nation we have become under the FASCIST jackboot of this intolerant and intolerable ultra-conservative, totally corrupt and callously inhumane government! Just to prove just how DESPISED our nation has become with our (once) fine, highly respected international reputation now in TATTERS, on a recent trip to Europe, we noticed that the second one mentions that you are from Australia, there is a deathly silence or a numbed response like “Oh!” …. whilst, without exception, Europeans are singing the praises of New Zealand but regarding Australia (justifiably) as the Pariah of the Pacific. Our vile reputation as a heartless, small-minded nation whose repugnant fascist government thrives on hate, harassment and fear is now widely regarded around the world. The recent condescending, arrogant contempt the smug, sneering Morrison displayed to our Pacific Island neighbours and the horrific scandal of the barbaric way in which the appalling bastards in the Howard government treated Timor East (the Four Corners documentary on this issue is a MUST VIEW for every Australian) is an indication of just how far this country has fallen since the advent of the worst, most corrupt, incompetent and dangerously fascist government (the LNP) since the rise of that insignificant little grub, John Howard! The only people who are just as bad (if not worse) are the dumbed-down, Murdoch manipulated racists and misogynists that cheer them on and helped this unspeakably depraved government rise to power like faecal matter in a polluted pond! One only has to look at the hate-filled sadistic psychopath, Peter Dutton (and his loathsome supporters), to see just how malignant this country has become in rapid time. So, so ashamed to be Australian right now!

  6. Jon Chesterson

    I’d have taken a photo of her and posted it on relevant FB Groups for all to see what a horrible racist police state Australia has become. I don’t agree with the politics and the hostility this causes with our neighbours and people overseas. It has to stop and Peter Dutton needs to fck off! If QANTAS thinks this profiling of their customers is okay and continues to turn a blind eye, I shall be telling QANTAS to fck off too. At the moment I am so angry with QANTAS for so many reasons, I refuse to fly them at the moment.

  7. Michael Taylor

    Well said, Kathryn. Bloody brilliant. We could turn your comment into a post if you wish.

    Jon, where’s my Stroma?

  8. wam

    33 years ago labor tried to introduce an ID card. If they had succeeded your story would have been repeated thousands of times a day.
    The people in the public service that meet the public are the least experienced, the least qualified and least trained. They are almost universally the most racist, the most sexist, the most homophobic and most reliant on stereotypes.
    Those are the people who are charged with the responsibility to check the identity. They take their responsibility seriously and become instant zealots. Imagine if this mob bring an id card?
    In 1970 I had a wispy beard and landed in new orleans from the bahanas when the group was lining up an officer took me out of the line and put me into another line? When I got up to the front the customs found I didn’t speak spanish and sent me back to the original line but another plane or two had landed and the cue was long.
    When I finaly got out I walked past a lift that had a red light so when I found a desk I told them about it. They said hamg on a 5 minutes later a spanish interpreter came up and I lost said your @%#@ing lift has a @#@%$ing red light. Then it struck ‘oh you mean elevator’. When I eventually caught up and told my sad story they said well you look like castro. QED don’t let this mob win next time Albo or WASP/WASQ will never learn to be fair.

    ps
    Had a good giggle at tonight ABC news. to see rob wesley smith as former activist. I am one of many darwinians who admire Wes and he will be a caring activist till he hits the box.

  9. New England Cocky

    I suspect that there is South African influence in this matter. Does the name Pezullo mean anything in the former apartheid regime?

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