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By John Helmer, Moscow

When I was ten years old, I was tall for my age and had an unusually powerful first serve for a boy.   

After observing me hit a few practice balls, a famous international tennis star turned coach told my mother that if she handed me over to him every day after school for three hours a day, every day for the next ten years, along with a cheque almost as tall as I was, he was sure he could turn me into the world champion he had been. She refused.

It wasn’t that my mother was sceptical of the promise, or of my juvenile talent at the game, or even of the price she had to pay. Her reason, she told me later, was she thought there was more to life than tennis, and that in my after-school hours I would be better occupied doing my school homework. At the time that wasn’t my choice to make. Later, when I went in for politics instead of tennis, she thought there was more to life than that too. Still, she went to Wimbledon when she could. She also kept up her own tennis game. I haven’t done either.

That is until last Sunday, when for the first time in the history of tennis, the politics met the tennis game on the centre court, and Novak Djokovic, the Serbian champion, won both. The Australian government’s abuse of emergency powers to keep Djokovic out of the country last January – quashed by one federal court judge, allowed by a panel of three – had been defeated in four sets.  Nick Kyrgios served 30 aces to Djokovic’s 15, but Djokovic won 132 points to 112. Had Kyrgios won, the Australian press, which had supported its government’s attack on Djokovic in January and Kyrgios in his Wimbledon challenge, would have claimed the double victory. Djokovic kept his eloquent silence.

This coming Sunday, July 17, will be the eighth anniversary of the downing over eastern Ukraine of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in which 298 crew and passengers on board were killed; most of them were Dutch; some Australian, Malaysian and other nationalities. The Dutch, Australian and Ukrainian governments combined at the time to plan a NATO military intervention; to tamper with the bodies and the crash evidence; and for the past two years to run a show trial, in order to make their political case that Russia was guilty in the crime. The verdict is proven; the crime is not. That’s a double-fault.

In this week’s broadcast on Gorilla Radio by host Chris Cook, we discuss how the game is played, and rigged, when the world is at war.

We begin with the Wimbledon men’s tennis final of July 10.

For understanding the illegal intimidation by Australian government officials against
Djokovic, click to read the transcript of his interrogation by an Australian border official acting on orders from the government which were relayed from the prime ministry.   The interrogation began just after midnight, on January 6, 2022, following Djokovic’s arrival at Melbourne airport after a 14-hour flight from Dubai.

With interruptions when the interrogator, partially named Sudhir R. in the record, spoke to his superiors, Djokovic was under questioning for seven hours through the night.  Unusually, this verbatim record was ordered to be released publicly by the first judge to hear Djokovic’s case, Judge Anthony Kelly. At one point, the transcript reveals, Djokovic replied to the interrogator: “So you’re giving me legally 20 minutes to try to provide additional information that I don’t have? At 4 o clock in the morning?” Despite his ruling that the tactics were unlawful, releasing Djokovic, Kelly was compelled by the government lawyers to refer the case to a three-judge appeal panel.

Kelly’s ruling to release Djokovic can be read here.   The appeal court’s judgement which followed, and which expelled Djokovic, can be read here.    Djokovic was to be barred, the court ruled, because his presence at the tennis tournament might encourage Australians, not to play better tennis, but to agree with statements Djokovic had made elsewhere in the world on compulsory vaccination against Covid-19. “It was not irrational,” the court wrote, ” for the Minister [Alex Hawke] to be concerned that the asserted support of some anti-vaccination groups for Mr Djokovic’s apparent position on vaccination may encourage rallies and protests that may lead to heightened community transmission… Common recent experience does, however, demonstrate that some rallies and demonstrations concerning COVID-19 and measures to limit movement and activity of the public have involved some violent activity and have been the occasion for the spreading of the disease or at least that is open to be inferred.”

Left to right: Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon on July 10; Alex Hawke, the junior Australian minister who ordered the ban on Djokovic’s entry to Australia on January 5-6;  then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison (defeated at the national election of May 21, 2022);  Australian Federal Court Judge Anthony Kelly. The appeal judgement against Djokovic’s admission to play tennis was the rationale for Hawke’s statement defending the ban on Djokovic's on Djokovis’ entry   

Listen to the hour-long broadcast by clicking on this link.

Gorilla Radio is broadcast every Thursday on CFUV 101.9 FM from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  The radio station can be heard here .  The Gorilla Radio transcripts are also published by the Pacific Free Press and on the blog.    For Chris Cook’s broadcast archive, click to open.   

NOTE:  Tennis was not what my grandmother and my aunt had the opportunity to play. They were murdered by the Germans and the Ukrainians during the invasion of Poland.  The place and date of their deaths aren’t known; their bodies have not been found.  Chrystia Freeland is not guilty in the crimes of conspiracy to murder, theft, criminal concealment,   and race hatred in which her grandfather Mikhail Chomiak is culpable; the US Army, Polish police, and Wehrmacht records are the proof.  The Polish remembrance of the Wolyn massacres of 1943 to 1945 is taking place this week; they occurred less than 100 kilometres from Chomiak’s office in Chelm.  The Canadian Embassy in Warsaw, the headquarters of Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa, and Freeland are silent. When not remembering is also intended to continue Chomiak’s war against Russia, that crime continues.

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