Earlier this week, the High Court made a decision on the case of Michaela Banerji. In an unanimous decision, the High Court:
Contributing to the Spectator Australia, Satya Marar (Director of Policy at the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance) writes that this:
There are some valid arguments why this decision is dangerous. However, Mr Marar does not present them. Instead, he makes a number of incoherent and sophomoric arguments. For example Mr Marar writes that the High Court found that:
… the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, had not violated the constitutionally-protected implied freedom of political communication of one of its employees by firing her for tweets which were critical of the government.
What the hell is a constitutionally protected implied freedom? If it’s implied and not in the constitution how can it be constitutionally protected? Is it the vibe maybe?
Mr Marar also quotes Banerji’s lawyer, Allan Anforth and argues:
In other words, this case is not simply a clarification of the limits which apply to speech amongst public servants, but has wide-reaching and dire implications for free speech and civil liberties that touch on all of us.
Does it? Really? Of course Banerji’s lawyer would say that. But that does not make it a fact. Might the details of the employment Banerji’s agreement be relevant perhaps.
But then the most puerile and ignorant comment from Mr Marar:
However, public servants ultimately exist to serve us – the people.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Public servants don’t exist to serve the people (typo corrected thanks Baa Humbug). They exist to advise and implement the policies of the elected government. If they don’t like or agree with the policies of the elected government, they should consider a different career. Public servants don’t have a special mandate to implement policies that they seem to think are in the interests of the people as determined by individual public servants.
Such a statement might be acceptable in a high school essay. Not from a Director of Policy.
There are serious issues for consideration flowing from this decision. Lighting one’s hair on fire won’t help this discussion.