It is safe to say that the Federal Government has taken Australia one step closer to complete authoritarian rule and dictatorship. In a statement released today, Friday, 28 August 2015, the Australian Border Force regional commander for Victoria and Tasmania, Don Smith, proudly revealed that officers from the para-military organisation will be checking the visas of people ambling around Melbourne’s CBD on Friday and Saturday.
The venture, named Operation Fortitude, is reportedly a joint exercise between a number of security agencies including Victoria Police. The stated aim is to fight crime and keep Melburnians safe. The operation will be targeting anti-social behaviour to outstanding warrants, and naturally, the Border Force agents will be cracking down hard on anyone suspected of visa fraud.
Mr Smith is clearly keen to show a presence in Melbourne. His officers will be located at strategic positions around the CBD and will apparently be ‘speaking with any individual we cross paths with.’
This is an astounding move. A horrifying and grossly invasive move. It marks a distinct end to whatever personal freedoms and liberties law-abiding Australians have left.
This is an operation in Melbourne’s CBD. It is not an operation on the ‘borders’ of Australia. It is not an operation at the entry and exit points of the nation, or indeed any state. It is not at an airport. Or at a sea port. It is not at suspected entry points for people seeking asylum.
It is the central business district of Victoria’s capital city.
The newly created Australian Border Force comes complete with a no-nonsense military style emblem. It has sharp, cutting slogans splashed across the homepage of its website: ‘Border Watch – Help Protect Australia’s Border’, ‘Report Suspicious Behaviour’, ‘70 Years of Post-War Migration’, ‘Australian Citizenship – Your Right, Your Responsibility’, ‘Join us on the Frontline’.
Except that frontline has moved: From a line at the front, to meandering among the Australian population going about their usual weekend business.
The intentions of the operation are clear – to ensure all Australian’s know that Tony Abbott and his band of merry henchmen are doing everything possible to keep its citizens safe and fear-free.
But only its citizens.
And only those who are white, respectable, and probably just the ones who vote conservative.
In fact, just the ones who look exactly likeTony Abbott and pasty-faced Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. Or at least what they want Australians to look like.
And it is all about looks. Mr Smith has made that clear. The officers from Border Force will be speaking with anyone who crosses their paths. And by ‘crossing paths’ he certainly means anyone his over-zealous, enthusiastic and patriotic officers launch themselves in front of. And those people will be selected by their looks.
Of course, there is simply no possible way to identify a visa fraudster on looks alone. They do not have ‘Illegal Immigrant’ stamped in red font across their foreheads.
No. Visa over-stayers look remarkably like Australians because Australia is a multi-cultural nation with millions of people born overseas calling it home. In fact according to the Australia Bureau of Statistics, on 30 June 2014 28% of the total population was born outside of Australia. Reports from 2013 show that the majority of ‘visa fraudsters’ arrive by plane, with 1.2% of visa holders being unaccounted for. They are mostly people from China, Malaysia, United States and the United Kingdom.
What does this mean?
This weekend, every Melburnian out shopping with friends, chilling with family or rushing to work may be stopped and required to prove their right to be in Australia. On the street. In Melbourne’s CBD. However it is almost certain that the only people who will cross the paths of the agents will be those un-descended from Abbott’s favoured Motherland, despite UK citizens being the fourth most likely populace to over-stay a visa.
Instead, any person of non-obviously-white and pure-bread British heritage, every person who’s ancestry hails from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Balkans, every person who has dark skin, distinct facial features, a mop of black hair, may be stopped and face demands to account for themselves. Aboriginal Australians will be thrown in with any other nationality of dark skinned appearance and questioned ruthlessly on their heritage.
But rest assured. The operation is about keeping Australians safe. It is about ‘our common mission of promoting a secure and cohesive society.’
So what are Melburnians to do? How are they to react when confronted by Mr Smith and his Border Force agents? Carry their birth certificate? National identity documents? Smear their faces with white foundation and powder and dye their hair to alleviate suspicion? Dress in traditional Australian garb – thongs, Bonds vest and King-G work pants? Or Blunstone boots, red Speedos and a wide-brimmed Akubra hat?
What kind of accent should Melburnians practice to ensure they pass the initial sniff test of Australianness? Should they practice their “g’day mate”, “struth” and “she’ll be right, mate” lingo?
This farce must end. And soon. Before this appallingly fascist Government completely destroys what is left of Australia.