Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Enough is enough

A couple of things making news that we could really do without.

First, the bigger of the two stories, by media coverage and public involvement, is the Alan Jones saga.

Actually, I suggest that it's less about one shock jock than it is about the toxic nature of comment surrounding our political life.

The Parrot has a history of bigotted, biased, inflamatory ranting. His open contempt for the PM - and the toxic atmosphere - I posted about  here  last year.

He makes no secret of his hatred for the Prime Minister but he went way too far this time, causing outrage by saying her recently deceased father 'died of shame because of his daughter's lies'.

He was a great supporter, by the way, of John Winston Howard. He of never-ever a GST, children overboard, core and non-core promises, troops in Iraq while he was denying that a decision had been made to join the invasion forces, broken promises to hand over power to Peter Costello.  No fury from Jones about lies then.

This latest attack on Julia Gillard was a typical smug, smart-arse comment from the dinosaur that plays well with his far-right audience, but it was an insult too far for a huge number of people.

So far, 80,000 people have signed an online petition demanding that advertisers withdraw from his show on radio 2GB. Many have; others which haven't are being bombarded on their Facebook pages to do so.

The people responsible for the toxicity, like Jones, won't stop unless there's a real, sustained public backlash.

The shock jocks will still have their audience of like-minded dinosaurs but maybe the withdrawal of advertising dollars will give their employers reason for thought.

And if the bad poll results for Tony Abbot are maintained maybe he'll pull his head in too. Although with his obviously belligerent, personality - shown by his position as Howard's attack dog and his aggressive  tone in opposition - I doubt it. But maybe the electorate's dislike of him will give his party reason for thought.

Let's hope the pressure is maintained to take us back to sensible, reasoned, adult political debate.

The second story is the continuing mistreatment of animals involved in our live export trade.

"AUSTRALIAN sheep have been clubbed, stabbed and buried alive during a crude cull of animals in Pakistan", the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

We know how animals are treated in the places we export live animals to. When it gets media coverage there's pretended surprise at what's going on, pretended horror about it.

Then there are squeals about the jobs and money we'd lose if we stopped the live export trade.

We have laws to protect animals in this country and in my opinion they should apply across the board. That includes not allowing animals to be exported live, which exposes them to a stressful, dangerous journey followed by slaughter not in accordance with our laws.

If you want to read more, the mistreatment of sheep is here  and a couple worth reading on Jones are here  and  here.

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