Regardless of the outcome, Morrison's over-exaggerated posturing over the Novak Djokovic visa ban was a cynical attempt to distract from his government's dismal failure over a number of issues.
Most notably on this occasion was his government's failure over the supply of rapid antigen testing (RATs) kits.
Morrison has a track record of lies, spin and deflections, and this is just the latest manifestation of this glaring fault in his style of governance.
Let's look at how he covered up his RATs failure and other fiascos, before analysing why border protection is such a fetish for conservative politicians.
The RATs debacle is being sheeted home to the federal government for delaying the tests' approval for use here and then failing to move on supply until there was already a shortage, as Michael Pascoe wrote in The New Daily.
We are all also increasingly suffering from a spreading voluntary lockdown as Omicron runs riot under the "let it rip" policy championed by Morrison and NSW premier Perrottet.
When the Prime Minister has to deal with a problem largely of his own making, he resorts to "Look over there - a puppy!" distractions.
For example, in October 2020, the government was under pressure from the "Leppington triangle deal", paying $30 million for land that was worth $3 million.
The then Australia Post CEO, Christine Holgate, became that week's puppy, or sacrificial lamb. Morrison latched onto the Cartier watches story, his outrage soaring in question time. "Disgraceful", "She can go", and "Appalled", he raged.
Like the current attack on the tennis player, it was also the Trumpian populist trick of seeming to attack the elite.
Strong borders are traditionally strong politics in Australia.
Remember the pressure he was under over the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins down the hall from his office?
The Prime Ministerial instinct to deflect kicked in when he tried to deflect the attention to "journalists in glass houses".
And now Novak Djokovic is an attempt at a Tampa moment, for as Stan Grant wrote for the ABC, "This spat is about more than Novak Djokovic, COVID and tennis: It's about borders and sovereignty".
In 2001, then prime minister John Howard captured it simply when he said, "we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come".
Howard's poll numbers were sagging in the lead up to the federal election, so he blocked from entry to Australia Afghan refugees rescued at sea by the Norwegian freighter the Tampa.
Howard's popularity rose. Strong borders are traditionally strong politics in Australia. He went on to win the election.
Last week, it was Scott Morrison, proclaiming that "rules are rules". Of course, rules are never just rules. The rules during COVID have changed constantly and varied from state to state, sports stadium to sports stadium or postcode to postcode.
We all know that the rules have not applied equally to all. During lockdown, while most Australians overseas were stranded, unable to return home, separated from family, the rich and famous jetted in and out.
Not that there is an equivalence between refugees, celebrities, or sports stars, but the principle holds: borders are political.
As political scientist Matthew Longo writes: "The border is the definitive marker of the political, defining in and out, friend and enemy, us and them".
This sort of politics works on instilling fear in the population, and the Morrison/Dutton duo is expert on whipping it up, as demonstrated by their war-mongering over the supposed threat posed by China.
Immigration has also been a widening fault line for years now. Writing in the journal Foreign Affairs in 2017, journalist Fareed Zakaria identified an older generation who view immigration as an assault on their civilisation.
Journalist Sasha Polakow-Suransky in his book Go Back to Where You Came From, writes that the very future of liberal democracy is on the line. There are those who see immigration as an "alien invasion" and those of a more progressive bent who believe there is no problem.
Meanwhile, there are those who truly pay a price for our bordered world. The UNHCR estimates there are at least 80 million people displaced in the world. They are the poor, the homeless, the stateless. Not to mention the dozens in limbo in the same quarantine hotel as Djokovic.
And no prime minister to champion them.
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