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Mumsnet and Flora – in favour of consumer boycotts

Summary:
We should note that we’ve no particular favourites in this race. Trans or anti-such, butter replacements or websites. We do insist though that this is how a liberal society works.The makers of Flora face a furious backlash after the company stopped advertising on Mumsnet because campaigners claimed the parenting website was transphobic. Mothers across Britain are now boycotting the firm that owns the margarine brand, which had responded to complaints by a 'handful' of transgender activists.As we say, we’ve no specific rider in the race but this is how the sport should be conducted.If you disagree with the morals, the stance, the activities or speech of some provider of whatever then you should indeed stop spending your money there. Mumsnet is a supplier of advertising services to Flora,

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We should note that we’ve no particular favourites in this race. Trans or anti-such, butter replacements or websites. We do insist though that this is how a liberal society works.

The makers of Flora face a furious backlash after the company stopped advertising on Mumsnet because campaigners claimed the parenting website was transphobic.

Mothers across Britain are now boycotting the firm that owns the margarine brand, which had responded to complaints by a 'handful' of transgender activists.

As we say, we’ve no specific rider in the race but this is how the sport should be conducted.

If you disagree with the morals, the stance, the activities or speech of some provider of whatever then you should indeed stop spending your money there. Mumsnet is a supplier of advertising services to Flora, if Upshot (the owners of Flora) disagree then they should cut off that cash spigot.

If the readers of Mumsnet disagree with Flora’s actions then they too should flash their cash according to their own moral take on the universe.

Consumer boycotts are an excellent thing. For they are exactly the exercise of the liberty that a market system gains us. Our money, our direction of it, is exactly what bends the surrounding world to our wishes. This is how we exercise our moral authority even - along with that tolerance of everyone else having exactly that same right.

This is true of the 1% of the population who flock to Fairtrade, the 20% who happily kill the High Street by shopping online. We not only can but should express our preferences by the way we deploy our assets.

Which is also, of course, why liberals are always in favour of markets. Any planned system requires a decision on those moral issues before the system can be deployed. Meaning, obviously enough, the imposition of moral choices on those without the power to influence the planning. Markets allow us all to pursue our own visions of the good life - liberals thus support that liberty to do exactly that.

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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