Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Leak suppressed

I only came across this today, but it seems to me a bit of a News £td beat-up or stunt or something...

For cartoonist Bill Leak, the nanny state is real. It has just snuffed out his attempt to launch a new business aimed at poking fun at the government.

Leak had been planning to sell cardboard covers for packets of cigarettes that would have obscured and ridiculed the graphic images of gangrenous legs and cancerous mouths that have been mandated by federal legislation. ...

He made contact with manufacturers and developed the outlines of a business plan. But after he took advice from a Sydney silk about the impact of the government’s plain packaging laws, the project was dead.

The risk of being dragged through the courts was too great. ...

Leak said the law had stifled his ability to make a political point while developing a new business.

“It was an attempt to deploy satire as a weapon against the nanny state, but the nanny state has a bigger, nastier bite than I thought.”

Oh puh-lease!

It’s written by Chris Merritt, The Australian’s legal affairs editor who offers no insight whatever on Bill’s “advice from a Sydney silk.”

He features a quote from Nicola Roxon being all defensive about the government’s plain packaging legislation, presenting the A-G as creepily unhumorous while giving no context about what prompted her remarks.

Apparently one of Bill’s mock fag packets was ‘branded’ Roxon’s Nicolatinas. Gee, subversive yet classy. And hysterically funny at some level, I’m sure.

In keeping with the clubby News £td milieu, the story has been picked up by the likes of the IPA and Tim Blair as an example of the imminent threat to free speech by instinctively totalitarian nanny-statists, etc. etc. etc.

Tragic to think in what useful capacity these bods might ever be employable if their imaginary wicked nanny-statists were ever successful in ‘silencing’ them.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The saddest part of this is that Leak attempted this stunt at all. It is not a 'free speech' issue (let alone anything to laugh about), but a total failure of government that they don't simply outlaw tobacco completely. Only idiots smoke, and making any fuss about trying to get people to quit is made by *worse* idiots.

16/8/12 4:48 PM  

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