Bold talk: “I’m the person that’s led this charge”.
One-eyed fat (little rich gay) man: The name is Jones. Alan Jones: “It’s the tone that first strikes you. That slightly prissy, impatient, semi-sour way of speaking that makes his voice on radio so distinctive… That tone. Nagging. Insistent. Unrelenting.”
Actually, whenever I think of Jones — which is not often, thankfully — I think of two things: corruption and scandal. The corruption refers to his being on the payroll for various corporations, hawking their wares and praising their virtues, and failing to inform his elderly audience that he is being paid, quite handsomely, for his positive opinions. (Not that the old bigots cared, of course.) The scandal evokes memories of Chopper Read, Kerri-Anne Kennerly (Worst Female TV Personality, 2003) and probably the best moment in Australian television history, never to be acknowledged by the industry, but long to live in the discerning hearts and minds of the Australian public:
- March, 1998: Convicted murderer Chopper Read appears on The Midday Show on Channel 9 along with Alan Jones. Jones is there as a guest to voice his disgust at the ABC’s decision to give airtime to Read to defend his crimes. Read phones in and says, “People who throw stones better make sure they don’t live in glass houses… I never got arrested in [1988 in] a public toilet in London”. The charges [“outraging public decency” and “committing an indecent act”] in London were eventually dropped and costs awarded to Jones.
But of course. Actually, Read, not Jones, was scheduled to appear as Kerri-Anne’s very special guest that Friday, but a merciful appearance on Elle McFeast‘s (a/k/a Libbi Gore’s) execrable ABC show Elle McFeast Live put paid to that idea, Chopper’s drunken musings on feeding corpses into cement-mixers being considered a little too off-putting for the blue rinse brigade. Nevertheless, Midday Show producers conspired to have Chopper ‘spontaneously’ phone Kerri while his replacement Alan joined in the moral condemnation.
- I take the scum off the streets and give them a place to sleep
Six-feet-deep under the concrete…
It’s all a game, I’m a savage beast
Especially when I’m drunk, ask Elle McFeast…
Have ya whingeing to cops, claiming victims of crime compensation
Then knock on ya door for my portion of the payment…
I’m a dashing, silver-toothed, grinning lady pleezer
As long as she doesn’t find the corpse stashed in the freezer
Sadly, while Chopper has recently been forced to file for bankruptcy, Jones continues to battle what to do with his hard-earned millions. He’s also recently been forced to tell the Australian Communications and Media Authority to go forth and reproduce after the deaf dumb and blind media watchdog decided in its wisdom that “2GB Sydney breached the code by broadcasting material on Breakfast with Alan Jones that was likely to encourage violence or brutality and to vilify people of Lebanese and Middle-Eastern backgrounds on the basis of ethnicity” back in December, 2005 — just prior to the Cronulla pogrom. A sample of Jones’ masterful DJing, from the (suppressed) NSW Police summary of the Hazzard report into the events at Cronulla, is provided by Fergus Michaels:
Talkback radio’s role in instigating the riots
Volume 4, Item 3 of the Hazzard report, entitled, “2GB Broadcast Synopsis: 4th December 2005 to 9th December 2005: Alan Jones, Ray Hadley, Jason Morrison,” devotes 108 pages to broadcasts from Sydney radio station 2GB in the lead up to the Cronulla riots. Whilst not “strictly verbatim”, it is a “verified and accurate” record.
On these radio programs, listeners call in, correspondents read out letters, and the hosts constantly volunteer their opinions and interpretations of events and issues.
Alan Jones is one of Australia’s most promoted personalities, and enjoys the closest of relationships with Prime Minister John HoWARd, as well as with the Labor government in NSW. He is a former speechwriter for the Liberal Party, and a recipient of the Order of Australia.
It is impossible to reproduce the volume of filth and backwardness spewed forth by these radio commentators and their talk show guests in the space available for this article. But to give a sense of the racialist climate they created at the time, it is crucial to revisit at least some of what they said.
Day after day, hysterical exchanges such as the following occurred on morning radio:
Caller: “What kind of grubs do we have here?”
Jones: “What kind of grubs? This lot were Middle Eastern, we’re not allowed to say it, but I am saying it.”
The following “correspondence” was read on air by Jones:
* “Unfortunately this happens regularly at Cronulla—gangs of Lebanese youth just swarm over the beach, stealing from and assaulting beach goers; they pick on the youngest.”
* “Alan it’s not just a few Middle Eastern bastards at the weekend, it’s thousands. Cronulla is a very long beach and it’s been taken over by this scum; it’s not a few causing problems, it’s all of them.”
* “Police are too afraid to act … if we were allowed to act the way we want to, we could solve a lot of problems … these Middle Eastern people must be treated with a big stick—it’s the only thing they fear.”
Jones openly advocated and encouraged violent reprisals and vigilante behaviour against young men of Middle Eastern appearance.
For instance a caller, John, said: “These people, half of them may be home grown; they have infected minds; they don’t live the Australian way … if the police can’t do the job the next tier is to us.” Jones replied: “Yeah, good on ya, John.” When John said: “Shoot one, the rest will run … when you’re outnumbered 20 to 1 you don’t put your hand up and play by Queensbury rules,” Jones replied with laughter and added: “You don’t play by Queensbury rules; good on ya, John.”
As a result, ACMA will be writing a strongly-worded letter to Jones’ employer, Harbour Radio Pty Ltd (licensee of 2GB), in the hopes of entering a dialogue regarding what may or may not be an appropriate action to take in light of Jones’ breach (Dylan Welch / AAP, ‘Jones rapped for pre-riot ‘scum’ remarks’, Sydney Morning Herald, April 10, 2007). More specifically, “Mr Jones was found to have breached the code by reading comments from a listener suggesting, in the week before the riots, that bikie gangs should head down to Cronulla to sort out Lebanese gangs” (Andrew Clennell, ‘Jones breaches code with riot talk’, Sydney Morning Herald, April 11, 2007).
Oddly enough, this sort of thing is what neo-Nazi salesman Peter Campbell suggested would be an appropriate course of action to take in response to the appearance of ‘men of Middle Eastern appearance’ at Cronulla. (Campbell was investigated by police in September 2006 for allegedly distributing a bomb-making manual, modelled on that produced by Douglas Copeland, the infamous Soho bomber.)
Generally speaking, bikies are loathe to involve themselves in ‘politics’, but there are exceptions. Later this month, for example, the Wellington chapter of Satan’s Slaves will be hosting Newcastle-based neo-Nazi Viking rock ‘n’ roll band Blood Red Eagle in a joint celebration of Adolf Hitler‘s birthday; while in Brisbane, members of Stormfront Down Under briefly used the Bandidos‘ clubhouse to meet after chancing upon some Muslims at their previous venue, a public park, and fleeing in panic.
One person who hasn’t fled in the face of the menace from the Middle East is Australian Prime Minister John HoWARd, who has fulsomely praised Jones’ role as a ‘controversial’ (read: bigoted) Sydney shock-jock and loyal Tory propagandist (AAP, ‘PM backs Jones in riot row’, Sydney Morning Herald, April 11, 2007):
…Mr HoWARd today called Jones an “outstanding broadcaster”.
“I am not going to get involved in comments on individual decisions, but let me say this; I think Alan Jones is an outstanding broadcaster,” Mr HoWARd said.
“I don’t think he’s a person who encourages prejudice in the Australian community, not for one moment, but he is a person who articulates what a lot of people think,” he said.
In his morning radio show, Jones today attacked the authority’s ruling.
“Anyone who knows me knows I’ve never encouraged violence or brutality in anything … and I did the exact opposite but our defences counted for nothing,” Jones told his listeners.
One excerpt Jones read from a listener on December 7 recommended that bikie gangs confront “Lebanese thugs” at the Cronulla railway station.
Jones today played another excerpt from about the same time telling a listener not to promote the riot, which eventually ensued on December 11…
Said ‘uprising’ being commemorated — in a rather pathetic manner, it must be said — one year later by the Australia First Party — led by, of all things, a man of Lebanese descent.