Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Identifying borders

Following an outbreak of coronavirus in Melbourne, Australia’s government announced yesterday that it was closing the border between New South Wales and Victoria. They obviously need Boris Johnson out there to explain to them that what they have done is quite impossible. (I’m sure we could spare him for a year or two. Or longer. Preferably longer.) Australia is one country and there can be no borders within a single country. Only recognised international borders can be controlled - Johnson was very clear on that point last week when he said that the line separating England from Scotland is not such a border so it cannot be policed or closed. Of course, if he’s otherwise engaged making models of buses out of wine boxes, we could always send his father instead to show Australians how to render the ban ineffective by travelling between the two states via some other country. (Do they have flights to both via Bulgaria?) Alternatively we could send Boris’ fellow Etonian Jake to explain to the Australians that New South Wales and Victoria are merely districts or areas within a single country, and that means that there is simply no way to impose travel restrictions between them. It just can’t be done, as anyone with an expensive education knows. If only they hadn’t been so foolish as to leave the Empire, the Australians might understand these things too.
Perhaps it really is down to the school which they both attended. I wonder if their parents have ever regretted spending so much on an education which has taught their offspring so little about how things work in the real world that they believe that merely stating something makes it a fact. On the other hand, their parents seem to think the same way, judging by the actions of Johnson père. Perhaps suffering from delusions is an inherited trait.

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