So Good News Bad News Situation


thank you greens

The good news is that the Western Australian Senate elections were a win for the The Australian Greens and a step in the right direction of building a political power base strong and diverse enough to challenge the major parties  at both a state and federal level.

Christine Milne said that the campaign to keep Scott has been a truly national effort and it is a testament to people power, with thousands of supporters across the country donating their time and money over the last few months, adding strength to a phenomenal campaign in WA.In fact I think the impact of social media in both this election and the variety of protests around the country may be what has triggered the bad news below.

However just for the moment I want to wave the Victory flag as well as Hope for the Future flag which I must admit has been looking a little sad lately.  At the celebration last night, Scott summed up how I think a lot of us were feeling, whether we were there in person or not.

We’ve run the most disciplined, best organised campaign I’ve ever been involved in; it has also been the most delightfully spontaneous, with powerful and creative contributions from people right across the community who made the campaign their own. Western Australia has sent a message to this Government; enough is enough. Now we set course for the 2016 election.

 

ban on bloggingNow for the bad news. In addition to working hard at overturning hard-won world heritage listings and supporting mining practices by a company with a proven track record of environmental damage and poor business practice our illustrious leader has now in his infinite insanity decided to attack the individual’s right to freedom of expression and personal opinion with emphasis on those who work for government departments and their families.

Basically new rules are being brought into play for the public service that promises harsh consequences for those who use social media [be it on their own time or not] to protest government policy or to make anti-government statements.  Also part of this new initiative is the dob in your work buddy idea which has shocked a number of people.

If an employee becomes aware of another employee who is engaging in conduct that may breach this policy, there is an expectation that the employee will report the conduct to the department,’’ the policy states.

 

Breaches include “harsh or extreme in their criticism of the Government, Government policies, a member of parliament from another political party, or their respective policies, that they could raise questions about the employee’s capacity to work professionally, efficiently or impartially,” according to the Daily Telegraph. Also included in this ban are  comments that may appear to be a “gratuitous personal attack that might reasonably be perceived to be connected with their employment.”, even if they make no mention of their employment or name. ,Newly appointed Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson dubbed the “Freedom Commissioner’’, has backed the reforms saying:

Anonymity should not justify exemptions because it can be connected back to the individual and their work. Ultimately public servants voluntarily and knowingly choose to accept these limits on their conduct when they accept employment.

To me this says that our government is realising it is losing support from everywhere and yet rather than address the WHY of that loss they are desperately seeking ways to plug the dam and prevent the flood of information that is being spread using the internet and social media. Having the backing of the regular media via Murdoch has meant that the Abbott government has not been overly criticised in this arena and are now attempting to find ways to crackdown on social media posts covers posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Flickr, blogs, forums and Wikipedia.

australias shameSeeking to censor employees in their personal time for personal opinion is frankly disgusting and reeks of totalitarian measures that have no place in a country like Australia.  Our public service does not require political loyalty to a party as it is the infrastructure that lasts from one government to the next and telling these employees that they and their families are not allowed to write about negative opinions or even unhappiness with the current government goes against everything that a free and democratic country stands for and Abbott and his cohorts should hang their heads in shame.

16 thoughts on “So Good News Bad News Situation

    • I know – it doesn’t seem as if they expect any resistance to their policies and now that they are finding it they’re trying to bring in censorship.

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  1. Seems as though Austraila is beginning to divide between East and West. The new moves amount to an attack on free speech, which undermines democracy in a first step to what can only be called totalitarianism. Frightening. Glad I don’t live there,

    And in saying that I suppose I’d have broken the law in Australia.

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    • At the moment these new restrictions are not so much law as they are workplace practice and policy for the public service but it is a slippery slope. I’m in more danger than the average person as my husband works for Qld Health which is public service.

      We’ll just have to see how things pan out. It’s sad because they are undermining so much of what makes this country great but the next federal elections are not until 2016 so there is time to build a campaign and find the right opponents in each seat.

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      • I really wish you both the very best. It´s another thing I will try to find an angle on in my writing, because I know from the contacts I make through my blogs there are a lot of Greens and other people fighting to preserve Australia as a free and liberal country.

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      • Yes there is a great deal of support and I think that is why the crackdowns are happening now. The government severely underestimated social media and the general populace’s ability to use it as a form of protest and connecting with other like minded people. Wish you all the best with your writing. Jenni

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    • It’s a slippery slope alright and I’m sure it is a knee jerk reaction to the WA elections and the protests around the Great Barrier reef.

      All of those have been orchestrated through social media which doesn’t have the constraint of the Murdoch owned regular media [he’s a backer of the conservatives].

      Now Abbott and co and lashing out and trying [futilely I hope] to stem the tide of protest against them.

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  2. What a terrible situation! Good for you for speaking out against it, Jenni! It reminds me of a bad historical Russian novel. I know these things happen in the world, but JEEZ! I wish I knew more about it so I could have an intelligent thing to say about it, but really, all I can say is, “wow!”

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    • That does pretty much cover it though – Wow was what sprung to mind when I first heard rumblings of it. I didn’t think it would go anywhere but now here it is. It will be interesting for me as my husband works in the Public Service, he’s told me not to stop what I do.

      He thinks if they try to censure him because of it I’d be able to make a huge fuss and call attention to the issue. So he continues to send around the links from my blog to people at his work and we’ll wait to see what happens.

      He’d find work in the private sector easily so for him it’s not too bad but for others it may be a real issue.

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  3. “Seeking to censor employees in their personal time for personal opinion is frankly disgusting and reeks of totalitarian measures that have no place in a country like Australia.”
    How can they get away with this?
    This is where we’re all headed I fear.

    Shaking my head.

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