Neo-Fascism Alive and Well in Australia


BOOTS-MADE-FOR-WALKING

Image Courtesy of Ground Zero Media

In a previous post I addressed the disturbing issue of increased monitoring and censorship of social media as it pertains to those who work for the Public Service.  Recent changes to policy [not law] have meant that those who tweet or write in a negative manner about government policy are at risk of losing their jobs.

This is not just for those who work close to the government where information of a sensitive nature can pass through their hands this policy extends all the way to any person employed by the government at a state or federal level.  What is worse is that this extends apparently to family member’s and something as simple as ‘Liking’ a meme or article on Facebook.

In Queensland alone there have been over 50 cases of people being removed from their jobs for social media offenses, some unrelated to the area in which they work in any way.  Little has been seen in the press due to the fear of becoming ‘unemployable‘ by forcing the issue.

ALL have received a financial settlement for unfair dismissal but none have been allowed to return to their previous position.  The fact that settlements have been given is an indication that the government is aware they are walking a fine line and are using the threat of black banning to prevent serious outcry from the individuals in question.  Solicitors questioned about the legality of these dismissals say that testing these new policies in a legal sense is difficult due to the indirect wording in the policies that can leave a great deal up to the discretion of the department as well as the pressure to not play ‘Hero‘ and become an employment leper.

The government is scrambling to gag the weapon that social media has become and is using draconian, techno-totalitarian and jackbooted methods to protect themselves from public censure.  These same people have staff who dedicate themselves to attacking other political parties via social media on both the personal and professional level on a daily basis.  However speaking against the current government, their policies or indeed anything that may be seen as negative is off the table.  The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the new addition to policy states

Abbott's Idea of Women in the workplace

Abbott’s Idea of Women in the workplace

Other than in the course of their professional duties, [Staffers must] not post personal online commentary or other material or publish books or articles expressing personal views which relate to either their minister’s portfolio area or the general work of the Australian government. The Prime Minister’s chief of staff should be consulted for further guidance.

100521 Abbott foot in mouth

Feet First As Always with Abbott

They Herald goes on to postulate that the answer would in most cases be NO.  It is a shame [well not really] that Abbott doesn’t run what he say’s past someone for approval but then again we would lose a great gift to Comedians around the world.

Since he seems intent on draining the assets of all but the very rich it does seem fair that he give something to the world and it appears his special gift is that of his foot, of course one does have to take his mouth along with it as it is permanently lodged there but beggars can’t be choosers and we are all heading down the penury road with his policies after all.

For a government who ran such a negative campaign, including some incredibly low personal attacks on other political contenders I find it somewhat hypocritical that they now feel they can indulge in such unfair, invasive and un-Australian tactics to avoid any form of negative coverage regarding themselves, their departments or their policies.  I can only hope that the trigger started by the Greens, Labor and the Independents to begin the Double Dissolution as reported by the The Australian works before Abbott sends us off to fight beside America in another war that has nothing to do with Australia.[Sydney Morning Herald]

22 thoughts on “Neo-Fascism Alive and Well in Australia

  1. Wow. That sounds Draconian. I looked up Auatralia’s descrimination laws (on the gov’t website) and descrimination based on political beliefs is illegal. But, there is no third party body to handle the complaints and they have to be submitted to the gov’t for acion. There is no recourse for review. In other words, effectively the anti descrimiation laws don’t apply to the gov’t because they are unenforceable. Pretty amazing.

    We have a shit-load of paradoxical complaint systems like that in Canada too. For instance any complaints against our Federal Police Force (the RCMP) are adjudicated by guess who? – Yep, the same police force. Also employees of our Parliament are not covered by our Employment Equity legislation. Which means they can be descriminated on the basis of race or gender or age or whatever and there is no recourse. The gov’t is careful not to get too blatant with the descrimination so that public outcry doesn’t cause a review of the rules, but nonetheless it is a situation. Of course, the opposition also gets the same breaks with their parliamentary employees, so they don’t complain. It is a pisser of an old boys network.

    Good Luck. Public outcry is likely the only recourse if your system is like ours. Hard to believe, isn’t it? That is blatantly hypocritical. Elected assholes who think they’re better than the rest of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really is and the gloves it seems are coming off, those 50 cases have happened in the last six months and yes you are right there is no independent body for them to take their claims too. I’m sorry to hear that Canada has similar issues but not really surprised as I think that governments world wide are coming to believe that they are truly above the laws of the country. Well one can only keep it in the public eye but it is a shame that so many fear to take them on but I do understand the fear of not being able to support their families if they are labelled as agitators etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jenni, it’s lucky we don’t all work for the government then. Hockey has been threatening double dissolution, as if anyone but themselves should be scared of going to the polls again. Let’s see if they are man enough! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • I think the LNP hope that if they deny things are looking bad for them, it will all go away. Their faces are showing the strain. Love it, the proverbial is going to hit the fan soon.

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    • Thank you for the support – I wish it wasn’t such a risk for those who have been hurt by this to really make a stand but I can understand the genuine fears of being blacklisted in their fields. The government is using bully boy tactics that are barely if at all legal but often it doesn’t matter if they hold the whip hand.

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  3. That’s quite frightening. Here in the UK they’re trying to censor the press a bit due to the cases of celebrities and others’
    phones being hacked by some newspapers. But personally I believe in a free press. Once you start to censor some of what the press can do, it’s a slippery slope towards more censorship.

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  4. “Neo-Fascism Alive and Well in Australia”, you bet it is. They look like Fascist and they (quack) talk like Fascist ! I’m sure they smell like it too. It seemingly comes out of their pores. You can see the hatred in Morrison’s face every time he speaks – just like the “Brownshirts” in Nazi Germany. They even have KZ’s ( detention centres) and soon will put “enemies of the regime” their too. Revoking of visas for permanent residents has already started and could easily extent to naturalised citizens. What you reckon the “learn or earn” program will develop into? Into a fully fledged forced labour program (State Work Service). I think “Mein Kampf” is the blue print for all this.

    One day Australians wake up and will ask, “How did all this come to this?”

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    • I honestly wish I could disagree but we are sliding toward something that we won’t be able to halt if it isn’t stopped soon. This isn’t my country and it isn’t the country my Grandfather fought for. This isn’t the country I want to grow old in anymore because unless things change I won’t need to develop dementia not to recognize the world I’ll be living in.

      Liked by 1 person

    • So was I – I had this image of Canada as a kind of ‘nice’ place where it would be rude to interfere in peoples freedom of speech etc. I know that sounds silly but it’s the best way I can think to describe it – I’ve a mental image of Canada and now it’s all knocked sideways.

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      • Well, I am happy to say that the issues we’re talking abut seldom come up here – and yes freedom of speech is very strong. Over the years, it has become apparent that the issues exist, but both the RCMP and the Parliament are super sensitive to public opinion and have addressed individual cases promptly so as not to cause undo problems. But they have never fixed the root cause – the lack of accountability. This bothers me as when the issues are not in the public eye, no change will be affected, and yet it leaves us with an enormous potential for abuse if the wrong government or persons choose to abuse the situation (exactly as has apparently happened in Australia). Personally I think it is a throwback to the system of Lords in Britain, where the rulers were beyond question. Where they made the final decision even with regards to complaints about their own behaviour.

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  5. As a Canadian, i must apologize ( I know a stereotype), but your PM looks up to our PM as a leader & elder statesman of Conservative policy and governing methodology. Harper and his political minions have taken to attacking the Canadian judiciary for pointing out and slapping down the Harper Conservatives ( not be confused with the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada which they devoured) for trying to undermine the Canadian laws & values. May both our counties survive these conservative chimeras of corporate bravado.

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