Message for Mike Pezzullo

An un-named American Infantry Colonel spoke to a new intake of recruits in the 1950’s with a message about the unseen sacrifices they may be called on to make in their life.

So you want to be a career soldier? Good for you. But remember that the longer you stay in uniform, the less you will really understand about the country you protect. Democracy is the antithesis of the military life; it’s chaotic, dishonest, disorganized, and at the same time glorious, exhilarating and free — which you are not.

After a while, if you stay in, you’ll be tempted to say, “Look, you civilians, we’ve got a better way. We’re better organized. We’re patriotic, and we know what it is to sacrifice. Be like us.” And you’ll be dead wrong, son.

If you’re a career soldier, you may defend democracy, but you won’t understand it or be part of it. What’s more, you’ll always be a stranger to your own society. That’s the sacrifice you’ll be making.

It is necessary for someone to speak to new and old Public Servants here in Australia. Especially all those in the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection. From Mike Pezzullo all the way down to the floor sweeper.

From an un-named member of the Public speaking to the Public Servants of 2019.

So you want to be a career Public Servant? Good for you. But remember that the longer you stay in the bureaucracy, the less you will really understand about the country you work for. Democracy is the antithesis of Public Service; it’s chaotic, dishonest, disorganized, and at the same time glorious, exhilarating and free — which you are not.

After a while, if you stay in, you’ll be tempted to say, “Look, , we’ve got a better way. We’re better organized. We’re patriotic, and we know what it is to follow the rules. Be like us.” And you’ll be dead wrong, Mike.

If you’re a career public servant, you may defend Democracy, but you won’t understand it or be part of it. What’s more, you’ll always be a stranger to your own society. That’s the sacrifice you’ll be making.

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