Menu lock

Andrew Bolt

Jun 27, 2012

In which it turns out that “free speech” for certain News Ltd columnists means the right of businesses to lie as they trade

The Coalition sends out flyers to small businesses encouraging them to raise prices and b

The Coalition sends out flyers to small businesses encouraging them to raise prices and blame it on the “carbon tax”:


A handy notification that this butcher is one to avoid

The Government responds, pointing out that lying to customers (even if Tony Abbott has told them to) could (as during the GST introduction by the Liberals) result in prosecution by the ACCC:

”Mr Abbott is recklessly encouraging businesses to increase their prices and to put a sign in their windows – authorised by his small business spokesperson Bruce Billson – blaming the carbon price,” Mr Bradbury said.

”If businesses make false carbon price claims they run the risk of breaching the Competition and Consumer Act and could be exposed to a $1.1 million fine for misleading consumers. Mr Abbott is putting small businesses in the firing line with his reckless negativity.”

Because the “Government’s own figures” Tony Abbott claims to base his scaremongering on completely contradict his lie:

Treasury has estimated the average price rise on meat and seafood in a standard shopping basket of goods as around 10 cents a week.

Similarly, an analysis on a Sydney butcher shop with a revenue of $2.1 million per year has shown that the businesses’ electricity bill of around $22, 000 per year – representing about 1 per cent of turnover – would rise by around 0.1 per cent, or $22.

The analysis found to pass on this cost increase, the butcher would have to increase the price of a $11 packet of mince meat by approximately one cent.

So, should businesses be encouraged to deceive consumers?

The Southbank Jester is outraged by the idea that they shouldn’t, spluttering:

The carbon totalitarians butcher free speech

The Gillard Government, already so hostile to free speech, now threatens to bankrupt butchers who badmouth its carbon tax: [quotes from Age article above]

Throw these thugs out while it’s still safe to speak.

So when Andrew Bolt talks about “free speech”, apparently he means the right of businesses to trick customers with lies.

Something to keep in mind.

We recommend

From around the web

Powered by Taboola

23 comments

23 thoughts on “In which it turns out that “free speech” for certain News Ltd columnists means the right of businesses to lie as they trade

  1. Jack Sparraaggghhh

    I WOULD now like Labor to say sorry about the catastrophic mistake it made with our boat people laws.

    Gillard could accept his long-standing invitation and do it on his famously impartial and balanced TV program.

  2. fred p

    I can’t believe Gillard has taken over the ACCC.
    I knew they achieved a hostile takeover of the countries universities and courts, but not the ACCC.
    Say it aint so.

    Yes, indeed. Furthermore, it was legal for businesses to lie and deceive in the course of trade until the dastardly Gillard travelled back in time to 1974 and single-handedly invented the Trade Practices Act.

  3. Bloods05

    [Openly photographing? Shite, that’ll learn ‘em.]

    Actually, it probably will, yes.

  4. Howard,B.

    EKDV

    [I will be openly photographing any shop window carrying that sign.]

    Openly photographing? Shite, that’ll learn ’em.

  5. SHV

    I don’t remember a similar campaign along the lines of:

    “This business refuses to collect the GST from our customers!”

  6. Rich Uncle Skeleton

    Any butcher who lies to their customers deserves to be bankrupt.

  7. Russ44

    Turns out the same posters have been provided to dry cleaners, restaurants and cafes, and a whole bunch of others. No doubt paid for by we dumb taxpayers.

  8. fractious

    So when Andrew Bolt talks about “free speech”, apparently he means the right of businesses to trick customers with lies.

    Actually it’s worse than that. Some trollumnists appear to want to argue that it is in the interests of “free speech” that privately owned businesses spruik baseless, fact-free deliberate misrepresentations and lies on behalf of a political party.

    If that isn’t within the bailiwick of the ACCC I don’t know what is.

    And if refusing to be taken for a mug by vested interests and their willing cheer squads isn’t the prerogative of a free agent then I have clearly misunderstood what a “free market economy” is. If I ever see a purveyor of fine meats with one of these political ads in their window I won’t just ask politely what the fuck they think they’re up to, I’ll be shouting “If you lie about this, what else do you lie about?” at them

  9. Gavin R. Putland

    It was a Murdoch subsidiary who successfully argued in court that it’s legal to broadcast lies as news: http://is.gd/4xeAg .

  10. Jack Sparraaggghhh

    Again, it’s worth pointing out that Mr Most-Read omitted to quote to his readers the bit of The Age’s article that held the blowtorch to the Coalition’s scaremongering: “Treasury has estimated the average price rise on meat … to increase the price of a $11 packet of mince meat by approximately one cent.

    That mince-meat example represents a price increase of 0.09 per cent.

    Why does Andy seem to want his readers to be so ill-informed?

    For another example, on the issue of deaths at sea of boat people, his coverage of the Coalition’s repulsive policy approach has been absolutely nil — even as his News £td colleagues at the Oz are all over it.

    Yesterday, he instead ran with an appalling piece of click-trolling about an extraordinary mercy flight from Christmas Is to the mainland.

    How apt that the guy will be feted this Friday by the Liberal Party’s right faction as he delivers the keynote address at their dinner. He may be a complete tool, but he’s their tool.

  11. Sharkie

    Noooooooooooooooooo.
    I can’t believe Gillard has taken over the ACCC.
    I knew they achieved a hostile takeover of the countries universities and courts, but not the ACCC.
    Say it aint so.

  12. Steve777

    Of course, Tony Abbott is afraid that people won’t notice Carbon pricing, apart from electricity prices, unless he keeps on banging on about it, very loudly.

  13. EKDV

    I will be openly photographing any shop window carrying that sign.

  14. Sammy Jankis

    “…how much has your $11 pack of mince gone up under carbon pricing?”

  15. Sammy Jankis

    Steve777:
    [I will boycott any business I see displaying the sign – permanently – because it indicates an opportunism and lack of good faith that doesn’t bode well for future dealings with it.]

    Actually, I think that’s really important. If any business, whether it’s a butcher, a baker, or a candlestick maker, displays that sign I’d be inclined to ask — “So, how much has your $11 pack of mince gone up under pricing? Two dollars!? I shall no longer buy my mince here, not because it’s expensive, but because you’re dishonest and treating your customers like idiots.”

    Let them know you won’t be fooled.

  16. Brizben

    So is News Ltd going to raise it’s price due to the carbon tax?

  17. SHV

    Nice headline.

    Of course….., “news Ltd’ is, itself, a “business”. One that seems terribly agitated about any kind of rules, standards or regulation about, say, “truth” in what it does.

  18. Steve777

    I will boycott any business I see displaying the sign – permanently – because it indicates an opportunism and lack of good faith that doesn’t bode well for future dealings with it.

  19. Jack Sparraaggghhh

    What is it with butchers?

    I guess it has to do with the symbolism of Australia being a Great Meat-Eating Nation.

    If Aussies are priced out of their steak sangas, then all is lost, hell in a hand basket, etc.

  20. Matthew of Canberra

    I’m an ice-cream man
    I’m a one man band
    I’m an ice-cream man
    Honey, I’ll be good to you …

    That earlier youtube video’s had me listening to tom waits all morning.

  21. Matthew of Canberra

    What is it with butchers? Don’t ice-cream vendors have electricity costs?

  22. Matthew of Canberra

    This business about his moderators clocking off at beer-o’clock is interesting. I assume it’s part of the news belt-tightening. But I chuckle a bit at the “I’m being silenced” line that he runs whenever something like that happens. Unless I’m very much mistaken, the problem there isn’t that bolta’s being given the socrates treatment, it’s that his employer has placed boundaries on what they’re prepared to be held responsible for. Just like, you know, every other normal employee in the world. He could surely moderate comments himself if he really wanted to … he’d just have to start his own blog site. He could post anything he wanted to, he’d just have to take the herald-sun banner off the top of the page and not host it on their servers. So the way I see it, the problem isn’t that he’s silenced by the state … if anything, he’s being kept on a leash by the very large and powerful employer that protects him – the same one that gave him his position and influence in the first place.

    I’ll leave it there. I’m like to be able to post the logical conclusion to that, but I don’t want to tempt fate. Bolta and NEWS could squash me like a bug if they really wanted to. Such are the oppressive conditions they struggle with.

  23. Ross Sharp

    Oh, for f**k’s sake.