In an act of stupidity that has earned it universal ridicule, the newly-minted Border Protection Force decided that its first public act of border protection would be in the Melbourne CBD, checking “Anyone who crosses our path” for visa fraud. That’s passport visa not credit card Visa.
In an article in The Age, Josh Gordon poses a number of questions about this operation: Will there be racial profiling (Or any other kind of profiling for that matter as presumably little old grandmothers are not going be stopped and asked for their visas), what jurisdiction does this agency have in the Melbourne CBD, what will they do with people who don’t have any visa documentation with them, how will overseas students and tourists feel about this kind of surveillance, why telegraph this move in a press conference (presumably all the bad guys will go somewhere else)?
Gordon goes on to ask why the stumblebum management of the keystone cops didn’t think of these particular things themselves. Why indeed?
It is also fair to ask if the minister responsible, Peter Dutton, knew of this operation. If he didn’t, he should have. If he did know, he should’ve known better. It’s a damning indictment of the minister’s grasp of his portfolio. Prime Minister Tony Abbott denies any knowledge of the operation, But then as Mandy Rice Davies famously said “He would, wouldn’t he.”
Having just spent $10 million on new uniforms for the agency, one would think that the Government would find something more useful for them to do, like protecting our borders.
Given the confected outrage on behalf of the government over the Q&A fiasco, you would be expecting someone to say “heads must roll.”