Citizen Action Monitor

“Harperman, we want you gone, gone, gone” — Singing public servant put on leave for protest song

Harperman song supporters plan a cross-Canada singalong September 17.

No 1438 Posted by fw, September 01, 2015

“Environment Canada scientist who specializes in bird migrations has been placed on leave with pay after penning and performing protest song calling for PM to stand down….Tony Turner was sent home last week after writing and performing ‘Harperman,’ featured in a bouncy YouTube music video that accuses the Conservative leader of a litany of misdeeds and urges him to ‘get out of town.’ The Supreme Court has ruled that civil servants can take part in political activity, if it doesn’t impede their ability to do their job impartially or leave a perception of compromise*. But a government spokesperson insists that public servants must comply with the ‘Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector.’ “Peter Edwards, Toronto Star

* Section 113. (1) of The Public Service Employment Act clearly states under Employees / Permitted Activities — An employee may engage in any political activity so long as it does not impair, or is not perceived as impairing, the employee’s ability to perform his or her duties in a politically impartial manner.

Harperman may be the first protest song by a federal public servant, but it’s not the first protest song calling for Harper’s election defeat. Prior to the 2011 election, writer, musician John Roby composed and performed The Harper Song: Steve, Steve it’s time to leave and the Harperites went on to win a majority. Let’s hope that Tony Turner’s Harperman does the trick this time around, ridding us once and for all of “the king of secrecy”.

This post is organized in 3 parts: 1) an embedded video of Turner’s catchy Harperman song; 2) a link to and repost of Peter Edwards’ Toronto Star article; and 3) a copy of the song’s lyrics with links to related information.

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Harperman a Protest Song: VIDEO

 

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Singing federal civil servant placed on leave for scathing ‘Harperman’ song by Peter Edwards, Toronto Star, August 28 2015

An Environment Canada scientist who specializes in bird migrations has been placed on leave with pay after writing and performing a protest song calling for Stephen Harper to quit office.

Longtime federal employee Tony Turner was sent home last week after writing and performing “Harperman,” featured in a bouncy YouTube music video that accuses the Conservative leader of a litany of misdeeds and urges him to “get out of town.”

Harperman won an Ottawa-area folk song competition in the spring; the song was posted on YouTube in June.

The chorus of the song leaves no doubt about what Turner thinks of the Harper government.

It goes: “Time to move on, on, on / Get out of town, town, town.”

Among other things, the lyrics of the hootenanny-style song accuse Harper of having a “smarmy smile,” being a “two-bit control freak,” muzzling scientists, suppressing press freedom, ignoring native people, disrespecting the environment, doling out “fat-cat jobs” to friends and ignoring “the cause of everything.”

YouTube star Tony Turner was sent home last week after writing and performing “Harperman,” featured in a bouncy YouTube music video that accuses the Conservative leader of a litany of misdeeds and urges him to “get out of town.” The Supreme Court has ruled that civil servants can take part in political activity, if it doesn’t impede their ability to do their job impartially or leave a perception of compromise. But a government spokesperson insists that public servants must comply with the ‘Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector.”

Environment Canada spokesperson Mark Johnson said that it would be inappropriate to comment on any individual case “due to privacy and confidentiality concerns.”

“Compliance with the requirements of the ‘Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector’ is a condition of employment for every public servant in the federal public sector, regardless of their level or position,” Johnson added.

Supporters of the Harperman song are organizing a cross-Canada singalong of it Sept. 17, ahead of the federal election on Oct. 19. They’re also selling souvenir T-shirts and bumper stickers.

As they prepare their singalong, the government is investigating whether Turner breached the public service’s ethics code for writing and performing the politically charged song.

Reached by email, Turner declined to comment, and referred all questions to the union representative.

Debi Daviau, president of The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, described Turner’s suspension as an attempt at “fear-mongering and intimidation” and a denial of his rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“This is par for the course for this government,” Daviau said.

“We are duly defending our member in the investigation,” she added.

Daviau noted that the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 1991 in Osborne vs. Treasury Board that civil servants can take part in political activity, if it doesn’t impede their ability to do their job impartially or leave a perception of compromise.

Daviau said she can’t see how Turner’s folk song impedes his impartiality in mapping bird migrations.

“It (the song) had no relation whatever to his duties as a public servant,” Daviau said.

“Our position is that we believe that Tony Turner hasn’t done anything wrong.

“He is simply expressing himself through a folk song like any other artist might do.”

In addition to his work as a scientist, Turner has been an Ottawa-area musician since 1994 when he joined Writers’ Bloc, an Ottawa songwriters’ collective.

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Harperman

Words and music by Tony Turner

Who controls our parliament?
   Harperman, Harperman
Who squashes all dissent?
   Harperman, Harperman

The Duffy handout incident
No respect for the environment
   Harperman, it’s time for you to go

Who’s the king of secrecy?
Who has slashed the CBC?
No money for PTSD
Accuses good Judge Beverley

CHORUS

Who’s the rogue in prorogue?
Whose party line must be toed?
Won’t buy into climate change
Until it’s sold on the stock exchange

Whose smarmy smile is a thin veneer?
Who preaches politics of fear?
Ignores the plight of native folks
Missing women, it’s no joke

CHORUS

Who’s dropping payload in Iraq?
Who passed the Unfair Elections Act?
Who’s a two-bit controlling freak
Makes us feel the future’s bleak?

Who muzzles all the scientists?
Calls troubled people “terrorists”?
Who wants the courts to just say yes?
Suppresses freedom of the press?

CHORUS

Who turns watchdogs into lapdogs?
Gives his friends the best fat cat jobs?
Bigger prisons, “tough on crime”
Gerrymanders election lines

Who’s pulling all the Tory strings?
Who stands to the right of the right wing?
Ignores the cause of everything?
But to ideology will cling

Who reveres Uncle Sam?
Says our future lies in oil sands?
Dirty oil, dirty plans
Dirty tricks, dirty hands

Chorus:

We want you gone (gone, gone)
You and your pawn (pawn, pawns)
No more con (con, cons)
Time to move on (on, on)

Get out of town (town, town)
Don’t want you round (round, round)
Harperman, it’s time for you to go

Ending:
Tag 1
You can drive your omnibus to Kokamo
And take that useless caucus when you go
We’ll scratch you from the long form census poll
Harperman, it’s time for you to go

Tag 2 (parody of O Sinner Man)
Harperman, where ya gonna run to
Harperman, where ya gonna run to
Harperman, where ya gonna run to
On Election Day?

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“Harperman” Music Videos

Contact us at harperman2015@gmail.com

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This entry was posted on September 1, 2015 by in counterpower of one, creative protest, political action and tagged , .
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