Amazingly, several media outlets seemed to be sympathetic to a police officer who said that she was resigning because she didn’t like enforcing the laws in Victoria…
I think I should point out at this point that I’m a Victorian teacher who thinks that because of the pandemic and the possible need for students to be contacted urgently, the current mobile phone ban should be repealed… however, I’m not likely to be interviewed if I say that I’m resigning because I don’t like enforcing it. And I certainly wouldn’t be interviewed if I were to resign over the Morrison government’s inability to sign up to net zero.
But sure, a “senior police officer” resigning because she doesn’t like the fact that the police are too close to the government is big news.
Now, I can see that there needs to be a separation of powers under our Westminster system. Parliament makes the laws and the police enforce them. That’s an oversimplification but the basic idea is that you don’t want too close a relationship between the two arms or you can simply have a politician saying to the law enforcement agency, “Hey look, I know that the land deal I just did was technically against the law but if you just give me five minutes, I’ll introduce retrospective legislation that makes it completely legal.”
And, ignoring the Gladys stuff for one moment, the whole absurdity about what some have been saying about ICAC is that they seems to be a suggesting that it should be subject to the government and not allowed to investigate a government MP even if there’s obvious corrupt behaviour. If ICAC were restrained like that then they’d end up resembling the federal government’s proposed integrity body which bans looking at things retrospectively. This is slightly confusing to me, because it seems to suggest that it will only be able to look at crimes that haven’t been committed yet because once you’ve committed the crime, then any investigation would be retrospective… Perhaps, I misunderstood but with “Tricky” as our PM, who can be sure?
But back to the very important news that a senior police officer is resigning over the idea that the police are both too close to the Andrews government and simultaneously don’t want to enforce the restrictions…
I’m always big on framing. You know the sort of thing: When the media asks “Should Polly Titian resign over her mistake or is an apology enough?”, we end up talking about those two alternatives and completely overlook that it’s only a mistake in the eyes of the paper asking the question and everyone else was just fine with until the question was asked. So let’s take a moment to look at the framing:
Senior police officer – She was an acting Sergeant, which puts her somewhere between a Leading Senior Constable and and a senior sergeant, but below an inspector, a superintendent and commander. In other words calling her a “senior police officer” is true but only in the sense that a store manager at Woolworths could be called a senior executive at a grocery chain.
Then we have her decision to quit the job she said that she couldn’t be happier on a day to day basis because she didn’t want to enforce the draconian restrictions. Interesting. She was working in the Gender Equality and Inclusion Command in a non-operational role. I have trouble seeing that as something that would involve a lot of “scaring people in the community”.
And, bless her little cotton socks, she was also taking a stand against the mandatory vaccination of police officers.
Now, I have every respect for her decisions and I’d like to congratulate her for standing up for her beliefs and refusing to work for an organisation that’s contrary to her personal code. Good on her, well done, Angus and all that!
Her personal stand is not the issue in all this. I get back to the point I made at the beginning. If I resign over the federal government ignoring the Gonski report or any other such issue, the media will show about as much interest as I’d have listening to the budget speeches of 1977-1982.
So why is this promoted as a BIG THING?
I suspect it’s for the same reason that they present Anna Palaszczuk as having locked down Queensland when she’s only banned people from hotspots. I suspect it’s for the same reason that NSW is leading the way on Covid by having a massive outbreak and then getting it “under control” after getting the bulk of vaccines. I suspect this is why Morrison’s failure to get his recalcitrants to agree to even the goal of net zero is fine, but Fitzgibbon is an example of Labor disunity on the issue. And I suspect this is why a debt of less than $300 billion was reported as a budget emergency but a debt of nearly a trillion with no surpluses in sight is just a necessary thing.
“When you wake up to the fact
That your paper is Tory
Just remember, there are two sides to every story”
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