Letter from Bernard Gaynor, Senate Candidate for Australian Liberty AllianceDear Babette,
Today [5 May 2016] I will return to the Federal Court. The Chief of Defence Force is appealing against the Court's decision handed down last December that found his decision to 'sack' me was unlawful.
In one sense, this case now matters very little to me personally. I have resigned from the Army Reserve in order to contest the next election with the Australian Liberty Alliance. If I win in court again there will be no 'job' at the end of the tunnel anyway. But in another sense, this case is hugely important, not just to me but all Australians.
This case not only has the potential to protect the rights of all Australians from government departments and big businesses seeking to silence unwanted political expressions, but it has already smashed a huge dent in anti-free speech laws like s.18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. The legal groundwork has now been laid to see these laws challenged and thrown out in the High Court.
I am very proud to have played a part in that process. In essence, this case is about political slavery: it's not just about whether a boss can sack a worker because they express political views in their own time that they disagree with. It's about whether the boss can do it, even though they have willingly become political players themselves and used an organisation like the Australian Defence Force to support an issue like homosexual marriage or to promote ideas like government-funded imams.
I admit to speaking my mind. But I always did it in my private capacity. And I served this nation to ensure that all Australians had the freedom to do this. I heavily criticised the Chief of Defence Force for his decision to allow uniformed Defence members to march at the Sydney Mardi Gras. I also pointed out that this breached Defence's policy prohibiting uniformed attendance at events of a political nature and its policies on unacceptable behaviour.
I also spoke about the threat Islam poses to our Western Christian society - including the Australian Defence Force. And then I was sacked while my evidence was never formally investigated, although Defence did admit that soldiers would not be allowed to participate in the Mardi Gras if it vilified Mohammad in the same way it did Jesus Christ.
I was investigated though. However, every inquiry into my conduct found in my favour. At the end of the day, the Chief of Defence Force was left with no reason to sack me other than because he made a decision based 'on his own view' that my conduct was unacceptable.
Australians should be alarmed that our Defence Force is marching in political protests against extant government policy. They should be alarmed that its senior officers are using the legal system to seek the right to sack those who express 'politically inconvenient' views. And they should be even more alarmed at recent developments.Three years ago there was a lawful general order prohibiting uniformed political activity in the Australian Defence Force. After Defence sacked me, this changed.
This order has gone entirely. It has been replaced with a policy manual that states political activity is off limits unless approved by the Chief of Defence Force or Service Chiefs. This policy has been changed in order to 'make lawful' participation in the Sydney Mardi Gras. It means the Australian Defence Force is now very political and that Defence members can officially engage in political activity, provided their views are supported by the highest ranking officers in Australia.
This is the kind of policy you would expect to see in Communist Russia. It explains why no disciplinary action has been taken against the Chief of Navy's Islamic Advisor after she tweeted from an official Navy Twitter account that the Australian Liberty Alliance was a fringe group threatening community cohesion.
I will do all that I can to ensure that the legal victory obtained last year is defended. And I will do all that I can to ensure that the hierarchy of the Australian Defence Force is held to account in our parliament.
I thank you for your support and assistance since this battle began in early 2013. I could not have even fought this case without the generosity of many thousands of Australians. Many have donated and I have not yet thanked them personally. For this I continue to apologise.
The last few weeks have indeed been stressful. A great deal of preparatory work has gone into this case. On Monday we had an initial hearing that resulted in the recusal of one judge from the panel: she is a member of the Australian Defence Force and therefore under the command of the Chief of Defence Force.
I know that some who have supported me are uncomfortable with my Catholic beliefs. I thank you for your support which has helped to defend freedom. However, the day I give up or hide my beliefs to increase support is the day that I will become like any other politician. That is the day that you should cease supporting me.
For those who are willing, I do ask a favour over. Please pray this very Catholic prayer for me, for my humility and for God's greater honour and glory: "O God, who has appointed Mary, Help of Christians; St Francis Xavier, and St Teresa of the Infant Jesus Patrons of Australia; grant that, through their intercession, our brethren outside the Church may receive the light of faith, so that Australia may become one in faith under one shepherd, through Christ our Lord. Amen. Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us. St Francis Xavier, pray for us. St Teresa of the Infant Jesus, pray for us."
Finally, as I head into battle again, I thank my wife who
has stood patiently, tirelessly and steadfastly by my side.