Scott Morrison, the prime minister who keeps people out of Australia

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But Mr Trump’s successor Joe Biden didn’t seem to know the Australian at all.

In a virtual meeting last year announcing the trilateral Aukus nuclear submarine deal, Boris Johnson looked on as Mr Biden referred to Mr Morrison as “that fella from Down Under,” appearing to momentarily forget his name.

That deal also did little to endear the Australian leader to Emmanuel Macron, who publicly accused Mr Morrison of lying to him about Aukus, which led to the cancellation of an existing contract with France.

Egg on face

Like other leaders, the pandemic has put Mr Morrison in a perilous position.

The country is facing an omicron surge, with long queues at testing centres, and has elections coming up later this year when politicians will be judged on their handling of the pandemic.

The Djokovic affair may have appeared to Mr Morrison a golden opportunity to appear tough, both on the unvaccinated and the border issue.

As the tennis star’s situation emerged last week the prime minister wasted no time declaring on social media that “rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders.”

But, as with the tourism campaign 15 years ago, he now has egg on his face, and his opponents are lining up to accuse him of incompetence.

It seems Mr Morrison may have again misjudged the mood of his audience, this time with potentially disastrous consequences for his political future.

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