The year is 2020, and Peter Dutton and Pauline Hanson are two of the most vocal voices calling for the reopening of borders. What?
In case you missed it, there’s an inter-state stoush brewing between state and territory leaders over when to open state borders, with the federal government leaning on states to reopen them quicker and boost domestic tourism.
The biggest biff at the moment is between NSW and Queensland, where both Dutton and Hanson hail from.
NSW is encouraging interstate travellers to book a domestic holiday to NSW, after state travel restrictions lift on June 1. However, Queensland is holding firm on its border closures, which may not lift until September. (The fight between the states has become increasingly petty.)
Now for some reason, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson have taken it upon themselves to be the loudest voices in the pro-open borders debate, marking it the first time in living memory either one have been pro-open movement.
Let’s start with Dutton. Yes, old mate hails from Queensland, but neither inter-state travel or the economy come under his portfolio. He’s the one overseeing our draconian off-shore border policy and refugee court case appeals, remember?
Speaking to The Today Show this morning, Dutton argued for Queensland’s border to be “tested”.
“People are right to test that if they think it’s not. Because it is impacting on people’s lives,” he said.
The fucking gall of that statement.
Peter Dutton has slammed Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s decision to keep borders closed. #9Today pic.twitter.com/ygnZTfhWN9
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) May 21, 2020
Now for Pauline Hanson, whose entire political schtick for the better part of three decades has been “outsiders bad, white Australians good”. She’s gone nuclear on the whole situation, engaging a lawyer to challenge what she reckons is an “unconstitutional” decision in the High Court.
Karen, meet thy match.
“This is not leadership, it’s dictatorship,” Hanson told Today on Friday.
“I’m hoping to put enough pressure on [Palascczuk] because it’s important the borders being closed affecting trade and commerce and tourism at this time of the year.
“I’m tending to go ahead with this, it needs to set a precedent with it.
“There is no clear reason to keep the borders shut.”
Pauline and Dutton might have a point (and it pains me to write that). They’re hardly alone in calling for borders to reopen, and domestic tourism will no doubt help an economy headed for a bumpy ride.
But – BUT. My god. The absolute state of these two becoming the open border cheerleaders is too much for any sane person to swallow. The irony will make you puke. To use the common internet parlance: thanks, I hate it.