Fairfax to English translation of their article: Carbon tax is ‘unconstitutional’, says tax expert

Sydney Morning Herald: Carbon tax is ‘unconstitutional’, says tax expert
This was the headline of a story run yesterday. Now not everyone is used to speaking this strange new language known as FairFox which is English mixed with Rinehart, so I have translated this story (or the first paragraph, once you have read that, you don’t really need to read any more).

Despite the headline, or the url, the actual title of the page, reading the html source code, is Carbon tax|IPA|Bryan Pape… which translates as, despite what they tell their readers, they know what they are doing. Which is an old News Corpse trick, as long as the information in the story is correct, the headline can be the opposite, because many people don’t read past the headline.

How many people will only read the headline, and walk away believing two things – it is a tax and it is unconstitutional, without questioning who the tax expert is that saying these things. The tax expert, Fairfax points out, further into the story is The University of New England academic and practising barrister, Bryan Pape, has provided legal advice to conservative policy think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs, and here is his bio on the IPA website – ipa.org.au/people/bryan-pape/publications

Now to the body of the story…

A PROMINENT Australian legal expert says he believes
This is how the story starts out, translation: ‘prominent‘ means IPA hired gun, ‘legal expert‘ means IPA hired gun and ‘says he believes‘ suggests he is going for a The Castle defence It’s just… the vibe… of the thing. This is the Fairfox variation on the ABC’s default for beginning news stories with the opposition says, we now have news stories starting with IPA says… is there much difference these days anyway?

the Gillard government’s carbon tax is unconstitutional
This is how the first line continues ‘the Gillard government’s carbon tax’ means come election time, they want everyone to remember the name of the government that gave us this supposed tax. I don’t recall the last time any media outlet in this country referred to the Howard government’s GST. ‘carbon tax‘ means let’s not call it by its correct name, of carbon pricing, instead they are trying to cram the word tax into this story as many times as possible (which was 29 times on that page, screen shot below). ‘unconstitutional’ usually refers to any tax the faceless billionaires don’t want to pay (hint: all of them).

and that the three largest states stand a chance
The first line continues with reference to ‘the three largest states’ referring New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, this means someone will have to spend taxpayers money fighting this Federal Government policy, because it sure won’t be IPA, and it won’t be the Liberal Parties that led governments in those states, and it won’t be Nathan Tinkler (NSW), Clive Palmer (QLD) or Gina Rinehart and Twiggy Forrest (WA) – the cost will be borne by the taxpayers in those states, and the legal challenge loses, well there is plenty more money where that came from. ‘stand a chance’ means the IPA aren’t convinced that any court case would be winnable, but they only need to convince the voters and in 18 months we will have a new Abbott-government who will do what IPA tells him.

of successfully overturning the legislation in the event of a High Court challenge
‘in the event of a High Court challenge’ means the IPA is still trying to goad the Liberal premiers of NSW, QLD, WA into paying for a High Court challenge, and even if they don’t they have still muddied the waters in the eyes of the readers – voters. Just because there is a possible legal challenge to anything does not mean the case is winnable, mounting a challenge doesn’t make something unconstitutional, it just means something with money is prepared to spend it on a court case rather than paying that money in tax.

The rest of the article follows on pretty much in the same way, with the exception of the following piece reporting
‘federal Labor now trails the Coalition in every state and territory on both primary votes and on a two-party preferred basis’, when in fact Labor lead the 2PP (two party preferred) in South Australia and are 50-50 with the Coalition in Victoria. So apparently South Australia and Victoria have now been excluded from the Commonwealth, well that is okay, no faceless billionaire mining-magnates are based there.

text by @redglitterx


The word tax appeared 29 times on this page. As Vladimir Lenin said A lie told often enough becomes the truth. Also interesting about this page, the editors pick… Abbott PM, just so the voting public get used to seeing those words together.

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6 Comments to “Fairfax to English translation of their article: Carbon tax is ‘unconstitutional’, says tax expert”

  1. LAbor needs to get to grips with the idea that fair and balanced reporting is a myth and that all the media appears to have their own axe to grind- which appears to be to trash the Labor brand.Expecting people to listen to rational answers from climate scientist is NOT happening – tax terror is the theme.
    What can’t they give lie to Tone’s carbon tax line?
    If you are not one of the 500 big polluters YOU will not pay any carbon tax. If the business choose to pass it on to you – thats them NOT the goverment.
    By the way Electricity in WA has gone up 57% in three years under a LIberal goverment- not a complaint- not whimper from our media.
    I despair!!

    • Totally agree, sometimes it is as the ALP believe all they have to do is ‘play nice’ and eventually the world will want to be their friend. The world, especially the Murdoch media, aided and abetted by TheirABC is not their friend

      You’re right, haven’t heard a word about the price rises in WA
      redglitterx for TurnLeft

  2. The conservatives’ hostility to change is so thick you could cut it with a knife. If they had their way the Australian economy would never make the tranformations necessary to be competitive in a global low-emissions future. We’d be an anacrhonistic coal-and-smoke economy for all time.

    • You get the feeling if LibNats were in power when the world converted from Whale oil to whatever replaced it, they would be moaning about the loss of jobs in the whale killing industries, and the Great Big New Anti-Whale Killing Tax. If we don’t innovate will be left behind with expensive coal stations that are useless when coal runs out
      redglitterx for TurnLeft

  3. “Which is an old News Corpse trick, as long as the information in the story is correct, the headline can be the opposite, because many people don’t read past the headline.”

    Got it in one. The HUN had a good one last week, quoting Swan saying that that the budget would not be a slash and burn budget. The headline? ‘Swan’s slash and burn budget’.

    So it goes.

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