Shove Alan Jones in a chaff bag
Alan Jones has been recorded at a Sydney University Liberals’ Club nosh up saying that Julia Gillard’s dad died of shame about his lying daughter. Here is what The AGE reports he said:
Every person in the caucus of the Labor Party knows that Julia Gillard is a liar, everybody. I will come to that in a moment. The old man recently died a few weeks ago of shame. To think that he has a daughter who told lies every time she stood for Parliament.
Warming to his task this putrid purveyor of perniciousness and haranguer of hate said that the media had brainwashed the rest of us not to attack her because she was a woman. This vile little man went on:
No, no look, hang on, this is where we are weak. This is where we are weak. Can you believe that they have gone, the federal party because they’ve been brainwashed by the media to ‘oh back off, she’s a woman, go easy’.
A tweet on the Sydney University Liberal site (since removed) said it was a ‘brilliant speech by Alan Jones last night. It’s no wonder he’s the nation’s most influential broadcaster.’
Influential? Yes. Pernicious, vile, foul, reactionary, sexist, racist - yes too. It says a lot about our society that this scumbag has such a role and place in it.
It now appears that the Young Scum (future leaders?) auctioned a blouse made of chaff bags allegedly donated by Simon Berger, a Woolworths executive and former Liberal pre-selection candidate in Bradfield. For those who don’t know, 5 times on radio Jones has made some references to putting the Prime Minister and others in a chaff bag. Sometimes it is accompanied by suggestions about taking her in it out to sea for her to swim home.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority found the comments disparaging and disrespectful but said they did not incite violence or brutality.
Let me make some suggestions then for Alan Jones, in the spirit of disparagement and disrespect.
‘Shove Alan Jones in a chaff bag and take him as far out to sea as they can and tell him to swim home.’ Only the names have been changed.
I have nothing but contempt for this disgraceful right wing hack whose hate of women and Labor drives him to make such outrageous comments.
After I first wrote this, and in response to the backlash, Jones ‘apologised’. In the words of Mandy Rice Davies “He would say that, wouldn’t he?’ But it wasn’t really an apology, more a rambling acceptance of the reality he had alienated a lot of people and a justification for his general approach with the ‘occasional slip up’. If the vile comments had not become public and provoked such outrage Jones would not have apologised.
Karl Quinn from the Sydney Morning Herald called it the apology that giveth and taketh away. He wrote, after Jones mentioned his thick skin and not being affected by personally offensive tweets, what Jones said:
”That doesn’t really affect me much because I suppose I might be a different sort of person,” [Jones] said, adding almost as an aside: ”I don’t know what the constitution of Julia Gillard is on these emotional issues.”
He then slipped in the apology, but the damage had been done. She’s a sheila. Emotional. She can’t take a bit of rough and tumble.
Even in apologising his hatred of women comes through. That this woman hater has such an influential position in our society is a condemnation not just of him but of our society.
In the past I had thought the feminist argument that Gillard is singled out because she is a woman was wrong. Her policies are the policies of the acceptable face of neoliberalism in times of economic adequacy. Hence our anger with her is anger with Labor’s wealth shifting policies, shifting wealth from us to the rich.
But now I am beginning to understand that on top of that sections of the media, like Order of Australia recipient Jones, use sexism and misogyny to re-direct our anti-neoliberal anger in a reactionary way, to attacking the oppressed of the system rather than the perpetrators of the problems, the rich.
Ditch the witch and Ju Liar indicate a world in which misogyny lives. After the rape and murder of Jill Meagher the extent of the everyday harassment and sometimes violence against women has begun to come home to me, and to many others.
That oppression of women is clear in most aspects of our lives – from lower pay for equal work, lower superannuation, longer domestic work hours, sexism in advertising, to rape and other violence, including domestic violence, against women.
We live in a society which oppresses women. Jones reinforces and strengthens that society and its oppression of women both generally and with his attacks on the Prime Minister.
Contrary to what the ACMA says it looks clear to me that comments about chaff bags and sea invoke images that are violent. They may not incite violence, but they show the second class citizenship of women that many think women have or should have.
Jones is certainly one of those sexists. Only a few weeks ago this expression of right-wing thinking said that women were wrecking the joint. He is also a climate change denier and anti-refugee and anti-Aboriginal to boot. He it was who stirred up anti-Muslim sentiment before, during and after the Cronulla riots.
Racism and sexism are two sides of the same ruling class coin. Jones uses both.
Of course he includes others in his chaff bag comments, including men, but the primary target of his abuse and vitriol is Julia Gillard and women.
Jones’ comments about Gillard’s father are a vile lie. John Gillard died after battling illness for some time. But that is not the point. The right wing populism Alan Jones promotes has no care for facts when it can demonise the other side. As Jones is wont to say about someone else ’the truth and [he] parted company a long time ago.’
Tony Abbott and Alan Jones embrace at an anti-carbon tax rally in Canberra in August 2011. Photo: Andrew Meares
Tony Abbott took 18 hours before he responded to Alan Jones’ remarks. Why the long silence from Abbott? Will he be appearing on Jones’ radio show any time soon? Abbott released a statement, but did not appear in public. He said:
Alan’s remarks regarding the PM were completely out of line. It’s good that he’s recognised this and apologised for them.
Wow, thrashing him with a feather eh Tony? Abbott is afraid to condemn the remarks of Jones because he uses much the same tactics and because he doesn’t want to alienate one of his chief parrots and Jones’s conservative audience.
So Mr Abbott, when is your next appearance on his show? Better give it a few weeks break to let the controversy die down. Then it will be OK. After all you seem to share the same misogynist hatred of the PM.
Jones thinks he influences large numbers of people. At best he reinforces their own views and prejudices. But I suspect, given many of his listeners may be older Australians and women, that his remarks may have alienated some of them.
If you want to know what an Abbott government will be like on economic policy, look at Campbell Newman. If you want to know what it will be like on social policy look at Alan Jones.
There is hope. There are plans to hold a demonstration against Jones outside the radio station he works at in Sydney. In Melbourne an estimated 70000 people turned out in memory of Jill Meagher and for a safer world for women. That safer world can begin by sacking the woman hater Alan Jones.