22 Aug. 2007

Boycott Canberra

David Marr explains Howard's new anti-boycott laws:
Hurt a business simply by arguing that it's ethically repugnant to buy its products and the commission will be able to step in and sue to recover the company's lost profits. It's quite a service.

No free-speech defence is immediately available. You won't be able to go to court to plead the pros and cons of open-range chooks or gentler methods than mulesing to save sheep from fly strike.

The new law will catch lone campaigners, community groups, NGOs, lobby groups and even the media - anyone whose campaign for what the law calls a "secondary boycott" actually hits the mark and causes financial pain.
As usual these days, the Greens' Bob Brown features in the story as a vigorous critic, while Kev Rudd is still huddled with his advisers debating how best to respond. Sigh.