Home Uncategorized Are 1.9 Million Australians "Locked Out" of Gumshoe News?

Are 1.9 Million Australians "Locked Out" of Gumshoe News?

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Don’t be critical of your prime minister on social media 

by Dee McLachlan

There are just over 12.1 million people employed in Australia. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that in June 2016 there were 1,924,800 public sector employees (with 186,500 local, 243,300 Commonwealth, and 1,495,100 in state government).

That means 15% of Australia’s workforce (1.9 million people) are unlikely to make comments on Gumshoe News, as this site can be highly critical of Canberra. They would be risking their livelihood were they to share one of our posts. Wow.

New Social Media Guide Lines for Public Employees

New social media guidelines were published on Monday by the Australian Public Service Commission. Public service employees “have the right to participate in public and political debate”, but it is “not an unlimited right”.

News.com.au reported that:

“Public servants who “like” or share a Facebook post critical of the government could find themselves in hot water — even if they select the “angry face” reaction… [and] could also be in breach of the public service code of conduct for material they send in a private email, or for failing to remove “nasty comments” posted by other people to their social media pages.”

You could be punished if you share something you disagree with — but you are ALLOWED to share if you agree (with the government). The article continues:

“Again, the breach of the Code is not in their subsequent publication of your material, but in your emailing that material in the first place,” it says. “In fact, there’s nothing to stop your friend from forwarding your email directly to your employer and reporting your behaviour.”

And for nasty comments made by someone else on one’s social media pages — the guidelines state that this “can reasonably be seen in some circumstances as your endorsement of that material”.

Joining the “wrong” Facebook group could get public servants in “trouble.” Trouble means jeopardizing one’s careers and family stability.

These employees have to make sure no derogatory comments are made on their Facebook posts.

Sadly, I am sure none of the 1.9 million Australian public service employees will dare to subscribe to Gumshoe News. It would be too dangerous to do so. Am I the only one that thinks there is something terribly wrong with this.

This is also what the new guide lines say:

“Why can’t I say what I want if I post anonymously? [the question was a heading] …Posting material anonymously or using a pseudonym doesn’t guarantee your identity will stay hidden… It’s a simple fact: agencies often receive dob-ins about comments made by their employees. [Big brother is watching you]

“What if I’ve posted after hours? …comments you make after hours [using your own equipment] can make people question your ability to be impartial, respectful and professional when you are at work. APS employees are required by law to uphold the APS Values at all times.

And…

“What about my right to freedom of speech? …the Code of Conduct operates to limit this right.

What about ‘liking’, sharing and reposting? If you ‘like’ something on a social media platform, it will generally be taken to be an endorsement of that material as though you’d created that material yourself.

I understand that public sector employees need to be professional, show respect and act impartially — but what if the government is acting improperly? Of course there are ways to report this, but it is beyond public view.

This must also be a dire warning to any whistle-blowers out there.

In November 2016, the Australian Public Service Commission asked federal bureaucrats for their views on the question of whether bureaucrats miss out on public self-expression. Here is a fraction of the comments  published: (I quote the first seven)

Jay:..the Australian Government has free reign to implement its own policies in regards to Social Media Commentary. However, EVERY person has the right to comment on the political process which we are supposed to engage through a process of democratic discourse. …Why is the government so afraid of the people?

Jo: It’s unfair and oppressive…

Derek: …Why pretend we agree with everything we’re told to do?…As long as expression is respectful, it should be permitted.

Darren: I think that there should be no restriction on political commentary, even policies within your department. I have been a public servant for more than a decade and I have served governments of the day of both persuasions. Never have I refused or failed to do the job…  public servants are more likely to be politically engaged that the average Australian, by the very nature of the work they do…

Patrick: …In the US, the ‘Pickering’ test says that the government cannot restrain speech by a public servant on a matter of public concern unless the comments create disruption to government operations that is so severe that it justifies the restriction on free speech…

Marian: I…why should I be prohibited from making comment publicly about immigration policy or environment policy if I don’t even work in that area?

Brooke: …I’m worried about liking posts or refuting incorrect information for fear of losing my job. …If it applies to one, it should apply to all… Ministers cannot degrade public servants either

 

Lange v Australian Broadcasting Corporation

In April 1990 a Four Corners program had been broadcast in New Zealand on Television New Zealand’s Frontline program. The program alleged that the New Zealand Labour Party had “come to be improperly under the influence of large business interests, as a result of those interests making large donations to New Zealand Labour’s 1987 election campaign funds.”

David Lange, who was the New Zealand Prime Minister, brought defamation proceedings against the ABC. Readers, much more experienced than I can comment on whether there is any relevance to these latest guide lines for public sector employees. I quote findlaw.com.au:

“The Justices emphasised that ss 7 and 24 of the Constitution… [and] further noted that the freedom will not invalidate any laws which were enacted that satisfied some other legitimate end, as long as two conditions are met:

“The first condition is that the object of law is attuned with the preservation of the “… constitutionally prescribed system of representative and responsible government or the procedure for submitting a proposed amendment to the Constitution to the informed decision of the people which the Constitution prescribes”; and

“The second condition is that the law is “… reasonably appropriate and adapted to achieving that legitimate object or end.”

So has the government proposed something that is not reasonably adapted to achieving a legitimate end?(Would government employees please comment on this post.)

Photo credit: Herald Sun
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21 COMMENTS

  1. The guidelines that you linked, Dee, say this:

    “Criticising your Minister, or the Prime Minister, is just as risky as criticising your agency. Equally, criticising your shadow Minister, the leader of the Opposition, or the relevant spokesperson from minor parties, is also likely to raise concerns about your impartiality and to undermine the integrity and reputation of your agency and the APS generally.”

    Aw, gee whiz.

    • Nedski,I presume I have your permission to incorporate this into my campaign material?

      “That is the half penny of deceit…… next the lying shilling and millions die as a consequence based on lies ( which is theft of decency and integrity)
      Trust this is a clear example of the results of theft and deceit, that being by our politicians, ABC, msm journos and shock jokes.
      Once theft and deceit are exposed, fascism, control, censorship and totalitarian government naturally follow as a must to keep control as necessary for the thieves and liars to protect the lies and hold on to their status.”

      — by the way, I have hotted up my website. See http://www.Maxwell.For.Senate.com

  2. My bet.
    Applies also to journos employed by the msm?
    They have to comply with ‘their boss’ ‘agenda or get on their bike!
    Have to love our democratic free press, not to forget our annual billion, financing ‘our’ ABC.
    Tell us ABC about the General Wesley Clark’s exposure to Amy Goodman of ‘the plan’, pre 911 to go invade and kill in 7 countries in 5 years.
    Perrhaps the ABC could let us know after 14 years, when we will stop invading, killing and creating so many millions of refugees.
    Goes past fake, it is part of sponsoring genocide.

    • Thanks Ned. The following is from (pardon me) UN.org:

      “The popular understanding of what constitutes genocide tends to be broader than the content of the norm under international law. Article II of the Genocide Convention contains a narrow definition of the crime of genocide, which includes two main elements:

      “A mental element: the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such”; and
      A physical element, which includes the following five acts, enumerated exhaustively:

      Killing members of the group

      Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group

      Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part

      Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group

      Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group

      “The intent is the most difficult element to determine. To constitute genocide, there must be a proven intent on the part of perpetrators to physically destroy a national, ethnical, racial or religious group….”

  3. Dee, this is an amazing follow-up to my article yesterday “No country can serve two masters.” My points:

    1. we are divided against our compatriots – those who are “saving their livelihood” by kowtowing to Bad Biggies.
    2. we don’t know how to get together (though there are huge numbers of us) as traditionally, biologically, the gig is to band with our tribe against another tribe. Our compatriots do not fill the role of “another tribe.”
    3. we even have difficulty recognizing that this is an issue.

    Dee, right smack dab in your article you have provided a great step towards fixing this (for Australia anyway). It seems so obvious that “Canberra” (or, in my mind, World Government) is asking for a favour – “Shut up, Aussies.” Such a thing couldn’t possibly have come from the people or their proper government. Surely it is an Orwellian trick.

    Reject it. Advise all the public employees to show loyalty to the nation by disobeying these unconstitutional instructions. The High Court precedent still holds: Australians, even lacking a Bill of Rights, have the right to free political speech.

    Also, someone (you?) can go to court seeking an injunction against the “guidelines.” You have standing, Dee, as your business will lose out from people shying away from Gumshoe. (I realize you don’t charge a subscription, but I see on your website an ad for Kangen water filters.)

  4. I may add.
    Hey Wilkie, Hinch, Hanson, Wong, Bandt, et. al., , are you lot constrained by the Australian public service commission or are you supposed to represent your electors?
    May I suggest that due diligence is a basic duty to we, who pay for you lot.
    Now give it a go or pass on your job to some who are prepared to be honest and do the job that they are elected to carry out.
    For a start, have the guts to read on to the parliamentay hansard the script of the Amy Goodman interview with General Wesley Clark in March 2007.
    Sorry to interrupt your same sex marriage distraction, but we are helping at this time to kill thousands more……..!!

  5. This is outright CENSORESHIP! As bad as the attempted censoreship attempted against me trying to read this page. Once again the moron with the intelligence of a three year old, I presume government employed, this morning continually invaded my right to read this page, blocking the page with a false security window.

    Welcome George Orwell. You must be proud of the Australian Government, continuing to do the bidding of the Cabal.

  6. It probably comes as a huge surprise to Gumshoe readers, that this behaviour against Public servants has been in force for many years, however not as openly as it is now being released.
    However, we need to consider whilst being employed by the Government, we SUPPRESS much of oursleves to ensure we fit into the slot they demand of us. Everybody does the same thing, UNLESS self employed. All EMPLOYEES manfacture a persona that they believe will please their employers demands and requirements, sometimes to the detriment of themselves.
    It’s only when such folk retire, they are confronted with the fact they no longer need hold up that persona and can now simply be themselves, the person they were before they modified themselves to fit the employers demands.
    Even then though, I found on retirement I was required to sign a NON DISCLOSURE form before being released, preventing me from ever voicing any information I had acrued during my employment.
    Keep in mind this was in 2000, seventeen years ago.
    Therefore, it’s always been there, only hidden, now coming out into the open because the Government is confident there’s not a thing the people will do about.

    • UK comedian Stewart Lee complains about social media in one of his routines. He sums it up by saying, “I hate Twitter, it’s like a state surveillance agency staffed by gullible volunteers… it’s a Stasi for the angry birds generation”

  7. I very rarely go to a pub and have a chin wag with the patrons but if the government slings me a tenner for every report, I would be happy to report any government employee slinging off at his deadbeat crooked ignorant minister applying crap policies and calling his minister a fat drongo.
    Gee, I probably won’t make much, everyone else will do it for a fiver.
    Dinner parties and barbies that include government employees are going to become dead boring, we will be stuck with power costs, house prices, same sex marriage arguments, football and the Ibrahams.
    Don’t mention the war.
    The government should publish a list of topics that we may mention without government surveilance so that we may feel safe.
    The KGB and STASI would have some safe old policy precedents for the government to adopt.

    • I have many friends and colleagues who cannot perceive the reality and scientific evidence proving that the official government 911 nutters conspiracy theory is BS.
      Our politicians and msm, they claim would not be part of covering for such evil, let alone being part of it.
      Upon noting the site and material therein, I understand their stance and beliefs.
      Just too much evil sugested, to be comprehended by a normal human being.

  8. Further to my reply to Phil below.
    I need to be rather obtuse in my comment but the message should be clear.
    At about 9-10 years of age I was assisting in counting a very large can of coins of small demonitations to place in a bank account.
    Heaps of half pennies, pennies, threepences etc.. in a large powdered milk can.
    During the counting we came across a interesting coin that my senior was interested in. I think it was a half penny.
    He searched his pocket for change, took the half penny and replaced it with another.
    In short, he explained if at first one takes a half penny, then one may take a shilling and ……… work it out!
    So we have it with our pollies, msm and shock jokes.
    Pocket a half penny of truth falsely and the next shilling is a easy lie.
    Thus we have the state of our msm, shock jokes and pollies causing our present fakery.
    A simple example known to GS readers is our ABC with 911 as exemplified by Jonathon Faine in his treatment of Kevin Bracken on or about 10th October 2010 in a phone call.
    Someone may kindly remind readers of the u-tube critique by Anthony Lawson…. just search Josh friendenberg, Julia Gillard 911 stupid and wrong. Part of Lawson’s critiqe, from memory exposes Frydenberg’s ‘Dorothy Dixer” to Gillard on the Bracken-Faine phone conversation on ABC radio in Melbourne. (Poor billion per year ABC did not have the guts to debate Bracken on building 7)
    That is the half penny of deceit…… next the lying shilling and millions die as a consequence based on lies ( which is theft of decency and integrity)
    Trust this is a clear example of the results of theft and deceit, that being by our politicians, ABC, msm journos and shock jokes.
    Once theft and deceit are exposed, fascism, control, censorship and totalitarian government naturally followas a must to keep control as necessary for the thieves and liars to protect the lies and hold on to their status.
    To be exposed at this stage destroys their credibility and public hypocritical criminal status.
    Now they are in for a pound, for the sake of a half penny it has destroyed them and threatens our democracy, freedom and way of life. Add to that, ww111.
    Idiots! No ethics!
    In the past history, a day comes, even after disasters.

    • As time passes, many colleagues may end up on the bench, only to be discredited and laughed at for not having the present intellect and objectivity to have the capacity and objectivity to look at the science and realise that the official 911 government conspiracy theory is a lie.
      Then what,?
      So, goes down the plug hole; any confidence with the credibility of the future judiciary, pollies and msm..
      So we will have more censorship to protect the sorry snow flakes…….. totalitarian censorship and society control to cover for our present idiots.

  9. So what do you think would happen if a significant number of public servants spoke out regardless ? The fact is that the dole queue is already too long for the aristocracy to deal with and a U. N. based law suite would be even more embarrassing.

    What needs to be remembered is that these people are ruled by fear and each & every one of their agendas is totally dependent on their subjects giving way to the same.

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