Do Not Boycott This Article


It’s refreshing, is it not, to have a government that is all about action, rather than empty rhetoric? No sooner had the Coalition administration taken control of the country’s levers than it began vigorously yanking on them, and already, weeks into the Abbott era, it has achieved major policy outcomes in the areas of:

a) Making Scott Morrison even more evil
b) Getting Julie Bishop to leave the country
c) Something to do with the NBN I think.

This is not to be sneezed at, since a study of historical documents indicates that the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government achieved virtually nothing, so busy was it stabbing itself in the back and promoting women for no reason.

Even more importantly, the new government has shown it will be one of conviction and principle, and in no area has it shown this more than in its determination to stamp out the scourge of environmental boycotts.

I think anyone who has spent any time trying to run a small forestry conglomerate in this country could testify to the tyranny of environmentalism in this country, but this issue goes beyond the practicalities of trying to sell wood in a world dominated by unscrupulous anti-wood nutjobs. In taking a stand against boycotts, the Coalition is standing up for the fundamental capitalist tenets which for all I know our country was founded upon.

Let us consider the economy: although economists frequently disagree on fine details, most of them are in absolute lockstep on one fact: the economy is made of money. And this money is made by businesses, via the medium of selling things. It’s only by selling things that we keep money circulating, thus providing us all with jobs and the government with taxes that it can use to provide essential services if we’re lucky.

But – and here we get into some pretty advanced economic theory, so bear with me – in order for businesses to sell things, it is necessary for people to buy things. In other words, if people don’t buy things, the economy grinds to a halt and eventually everybody dies of starvation. This, of course, is the end goal of all environmental groups, but there’s no need for governments to aid and abet them.

Basically, green terrorists, or “grerrorists”, have been given free rein for far too long to hold our economy to ransom by encouraging people to not buy things that they don’t “approve” of. Well who are THEY to decide what we should be allowed to make an informed choice about? Surely we should be allowed to make up our OWN minds about what we are capable of making up our own minds about?

There are some things, I’m sure you’ll agree, that it’s better not for us to know, and the environmentally destructive practices of the makers of our favourite consumer goods are top of that list. These companies go to great lengths to convince us that their products are worth buying: it is cruel and churlish of lobby groups to trash all that hard work by trying to convince us not to buy them. Not to mention how boring our lives are when we stop buying things.

So it is entirely proper, I think, that the Coalition is living up to its motto “fighting for the little guy” by reviewing the Consumer and Competition Act to redress the dangerous imbalance our society has against businesspeople. It is greatly to Parliamentary secretary for agriculture Richard Colbeck has been able to bring himself down from the dizzy euphoria of his lofty new position to get down to some nitty-gritty policy work to “sit down with our departments and work through processes”, to use his own earthily direct vernacular.

This could, in fact, prove to be a watershed moment in Senator Colbeck’s career. In this new era of purely merit-based political advancement, if he can show that he possesses the inner steel to stare down the powerful boycott complex, he may find himself catapulted up the ladder in no time.

But it will be no easy task. Movements like Markets For Change and GetUp! did not get where they are today by sitting back and letting themselves get pushed around. They will strike back against efforts to muzzle them, with all the resources at their disposal, up to and including online petitions. Colbeck better be in this for the long haul.

Because this isn’t just about political manoeuvring. This is about individual freedom, the most beloved value of the Liberal Party. If we are to be truly free to buy stuff, we must, at the same time, be free to not buy stuff, but also at the same time we must be free not to exercise that freedom, lest our freedom be undermined by itself.

Now some may say that we must also be free to take collective action to put pressure on corporations to behave with a greater sense of corporate social responsibility. But then aren’t we just denying those corporations their own freedom to NOT behave with a greater sense of corporate social responsibility? Are we to defend freedoms only when they make us “comfortable”; only when we “agree” with them; only when they “make sense”? That’s not the country I grew up in. That’s not the vision that Menzies had for Australia when he killed Hitler and invented Federation.

There’s a new breeze blowing through this country: a breeze of change and unfettered choice and not being bothered by those stupid emails. It is time for those of us who fell for Kevin Rudd’s Marxist lies and Julia Gillard’s abortionistic propaganda to realise that the wheels of Australia are once more being greased, with a fresh cleansing oil that washes away petty attempts to block free commerce.

Breathe the fresh air, citizens: in Abbott’s Australia, boycotts aren’t going to hold us back anymore. Let the good times roll.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.