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So when is a social media sackable offence not a sackable offence??

By Masquara - 12 October 2013 30

Well, when the offender is a former politician.

A relatively junior public servant, Michaela Banerji, was sacked from the APS for expressing negative views about current policy on asylum seekers, yet public servant Jon Stanhope appears to be allowed complete freedom to express similar views (the journalist disguised the comments as referring to “ALP” policy, but Stanhope is clearly referring to the present day).

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30 Responses to
So when is a social media sackable offence not a sackable offence??
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 8:41 pm 13 Oct 13

Queen_of_the_Bun said :

milkman said :

Robertson said :

Stanhope is desperate to be sent home.

In reality, he has seen the cashed-up Iranians having their boxes of TVs, laptops and other gear carried off the RAN vessels for them while they go straight to the medical officer to demand their botox treatments.

In reality, quite a few of these people arrive with very large wads of US dollars…

You don’t have to be poor to be persecuted, you know…

Yep, yet moronic rabid bigots don’t seem to understand this…

PantsMan 4:03 pm 13 Oct 13

Maybe we can send our excess criminals to Christmas Island, with some of our homeless/public housing trash, and let Stanhope give them their human rights?

Is there gay marriage on Christmas Island yet?

MERC600 1:12 pm 13 Oct 13

Hell we are getting Stanhope, and he is still out on that rock . Imagine what it would be like if he was home here, with a federal conservative government; The crimes and 666 would be all over him. .. We need another rock . How about that Easter Island rock, might they want him. He has rock experience.

Queen_of_the_Bun 10:38 am 13 Oct 13

milkman said :

Robertson said :

Stanhope is desperate to be sent home.

In reality, he has seen the cashed-up Iranians having their boxes of TVs, laptops and other gear carried off the RAN vessels for them while they go straight to the medical officer to demand their botox treatments.

In reality, quite a few of these people arrive with very large wads of US dollars…

You don’t have to be poor to be persecuted, you know…

Masquara 8:55 pm 12 Oct 13

Robertson said :

Stanhope is desperate to be sent home.

I think he is Canberra-based still.

milkman 8:16 pm 12 Oct 13

Robertson said :

Stanhope is desperate to be sent home.

In reality, he has seen the cashed-up Iranians having their boxes of TVs, laptops and other gear carried off the RAN vessels for them while they go straight to the medical officer to demand their botox treatments.

In reality, quite a few of these people arrive with very large wads of US dollars…

Robertson 6:39 pm 12 Oct 13

Stanhope is desperate to be sent home.

In reality, he has seen the cashed-up Iranians having their boxes of TVs, laptops and other gear carried off the RAN vessels for them while they go straight to the medical officer to demand their botox treatments.

Blen_Carmichael 6:10 pm 12 Oct 13

c_c™ said :

That this has become an issue of free speech is Banerki’s doing to try and confuse the issue and deflect blame. And that a supposed legal practitioner would try to misrepresent the settled law of the country to such an extent just shows what a warped character she is. She should consider a career in criminal defence.

Certainly, she attempted (rather unsuccessfully) to conflate the issue of her conduct with the principle of free speech, but sophistry is a cornerstone of the legal profession. This affair highlights two adages in particular: first, that a little learning is a dangerous thing; and second, that the lawyer who represents him/herself has a fool for a client.

beejay76 4:58 pm 12 Oct 13

Masquara said :

I think you are wrong there. APS managers are warning their staff off expressing the mildest of disagreement with government policy – whether or not relevant to the portfolios they work for. The “Grog Gamut” days are long gone.

Indeed, I may be wrong. However, Stanhope’s comment doesn’t even qualify as “mildest disagreement”, it’s only implied disagreement, which is in stark contrast to the Banerji case. There is also still no evidence of some sort of journalistic distortion.

Perhaps, rather than trying to whip people into some sort of foaming rage about politicians being given unfair advantage, you could have just said “Not sure if this line of public engagement is sensible from Stanhope, given that public departments are becoming less tolerant of dissent, for example, Michaela Banerji.” This is where you seem to have ended up and it’s a very long way from your original post. It is, however, a lot more sensible and defensible.

Masquara 4:22 pm 12 Oct 13

beejay76 said :

In order to be censured the criticism has to be ‘harsh and extreme’.

I think you are wrong there. APS managers are warning their staff off expressing the mildest of disagreement with government policy – whether or not relevant to the portfolios they work for. The “Grog Gamut” days are long gone.

beejay76 4:11 pm 12 Oct 13

Masquara said :

Stanhope was wording the journalist up very cautiously – but it was clear that his message is that he found the previous government’s policies inhumane – so given that the present government’s policies are more strenuously of the direction that Stanhope dislikes, he is clearly criticising the current government policies. The fact that he is going about it in a wily way goes with the “former politician” territory. The present government could presumably take issue with his comments. But, as he isn’t a powerless junior public servant, he gets away with it. I don’t agree with Banerji’s MO. But I think that, as she was caned and sacked for expressing her opinions, it’s surprising that Stanhope is being kept in a role where isn’t content to simply disagree in private with his bosses – past and present (the way all other public servants are required to, if they so disagree). He is proactively going on the record to publicise his opinions.

In order to be censured the criticism has to be ‘harsh and extreme’. Nothing he has said is either of those, by any stretch of the imagination. All Stanhope has said is that he disagreed with Labor policies. There is absolutely no similarity, on any point, with the Banerji case.

You state that he is being “cautious” and “wily”. How about: he’s not violating the APS code of conduct and therefore hasn’t been ticked off by the government? I’ve never received a speeding ticket. That doesn’t make me somehow “wily”. I just obey the rules.

Masquara 3:35 pm 12 Oct 13

beejay76 said :

I disagree. He is not referring to the present day, only insofar as his views are well known and can therefore be extrapolated. Quotes from Stanhope such as “I find the Labor Party’s current position on asylum seekers odious” are hardly evidence of some collusion of journalists trying to “disguise” Stanhope’s aversion to Coalition policy. He’s said the Labor Policy on asylum seekers is not consistent with the values of their supporters. This is not an ambiguous statement. How on earth you can make the leap to that being a ‘harsh and extreme’ criticism of the Coalition I have no idea. He has prudently avoided all mention of the content of Coalition policy, stating only that he acknowledges widespread public support for it. You would have done better to argue that the *previous* government treated the two cases differently, rather than the bit about journalists “disguising” things.

Stanhope was wording the journalist up very cautiously – but it was clear that his message is that he found the previous government’s policies inhumane – so given that the present government’s policies are more strenuously of the direction that Stanhope dislikes, he is clearly criticising the current government policies. The fact that he is going about it in a wily way goes with the “former politician” territory. The present government could presumably take issue with his comments. But, as he isn’t a powerless junior public servant, he gets away with it. I don’t agree with Banerji’s MO. But I think that, as she was caned and sacked for expressing her opinions, it’s surprising that Stanhope is being kept in a role where isn’t content to simply disagree in private with his bosses – past and present (the way all other public servants are required to, if they so disagree). He is proactively going on the record to publicise his opinions.

c_c™ 2:22 pm 12 Oct 13

I’m wondering if the OP has actually read Banerji’s tweets for which she was sacked. A lot of them weren’t intellectual contributions to the debate, and some of them constitute personal attacks on individuals in the public service. Quite different to offering a mere opinion on an issue.

If you rang up your branch head on the phone and called him an inhumane scumbag, you wouldn’t be shocked to find yourself facing disciplinary action. So a tweet doing the same things shouldn’t be any different.

That this has become an issue of free speech is Banerki’s doing to try and confuse the issue and deflect blame. And that a supposed legal practitioner would try to misrepresent the settled law of the country to such an extent just shows what a warped character she is. She should consider a career in criminal defence.

beejay76 1:57 pm 12 Oct 13

I disagree. He is not referring to the present day, only insofar as his views are well known and can therefore be extrapolated. Quotes from Stanhope such as “I find the Labor Party’s current position on asylum seekers odious” are hardly evidence of some collusion of journalists trying to “disguise” Stanhope’s aversion to Coalition policy. He’s said the Labor Policy on asylum seekers is not consistent with the values of their supporters. This is not an ambiguous statement. How on earth you can make the leap to that being a ‘harsh and extreme’ criticism of the Coalition I have no idea. He has prudently avoided all mention of the content of Coalition policy, stating only that he acknowledges widespread public support for it. You would have done better to argue that the *previous* government treated the two cases differently, rather than the bit about journalists “disguising” things.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

HiddenDragon 12:02 pm 12 Oct 13

It’s early days yet, but perhaps the new Government has decided (if so, shrewdly in my view) to deny Stanhope the pleasure and honour of martyrdom.

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