Comments on Glenn Milne “Winners, losers both show ugly sides”, 29/06/2009, http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25703955-33435,00.html
It is very disturbing to hear government retribution on people who have criticised its economic policy, or jounorlsts who used to email opposition contacts are now much more warry.
Australia is proud of its democracy and freedom. Different opinions are a matter of normal life and healthy in any democracy and free country. It is also a useful form of public check over many issues, such as government policies when people can openly question them.
Why did the government presure the chairperson and the CEO of a private company asking the company not to use the services of a commentator who had publiclly questioned the government’s economic policy? Is Australia becoming an authoritarian state, or a police state?
The government can use public agencies to its own advantage. However, is the government action in presuring a private company overreaching? Isn’t those actions the same as political favorism when they use their political positions to persecute people who dare to differ? Did that breach any law or regulation? Should any people from the government invovled in that process take some personal responsibility and be accountable for their acts to affect the commentator’s empployment and future earnings?
There are some serious questions about what behaviour is and / or is not ethical and acceptable in terms those who hold government positions and / or use government power. They need to be asked and answered.