KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. LANGUAGE IS KEY. TONE IS EVERYTHING.

Three things I hate most in this world is hypocrisy, adults behaving like children, and being treated like a fool. I hate victim blaming and I hate it when people are deliberately inflammatory, divisive yet in the same breath say they are worried about the state of humanity. I hate it even more when our politicians and media broadcasters are guilty of these things.

From the day our children are born we take on the role of teaching our children how to speak, conduct themselves in public, empathy, sincerity, basically how to be a descent member of the family, community and society at large.

If one of your children remarked that they’d like to put someone in a chaff bag and throw them out to sea, do you think you’d step in and explain to said child that a comment like that is probably unwarranted. Right?

I’m not going to go on about Alan Jones’ latest foolish comment because honestly I expect nothing less from this particular shock jock. What I’m extremely annoyed about is that he expressed this comment in front of, what is essentially going to be, tomorrow’s leaders.

When I went to uni I learnt to think critically. And I mean really think critically. When someone says something I take into consideration their motivation, their background, their political alliances, their religious affiliations, their education etc.  All that lends weight to what someone has to say.

As does the tone in which someone says something. You know when one of your children is forced to apologise and they put on that whiny voice…. “sorryyy”, they say. You know they don’t mean it.  And you try to teach them that this is not the way to apologise.

We have had media commentators both condemn and applaud Alan Jones’ apology. But for me, if people aren’t convinced then the question needs to be asked why? Not dismissed. You want to know why? Because that adds weight to the next time a contentious issue arises and explanations are sought. If people don’t believe you now, they won’t believe you next time.

This is what I try to teach my kids.

And I take issue with Christopher Pyne who tried to distract us with his language that Alan Jones’ comments are a beltway issue. No they are not Mr Pyne. Please don’t try and distract the Australian public with your rhetoric that the average Australian isn’t concerned about Jones’ comments; that they are only worried about their household bills. Last time I looked, these weren’t mutually exclusive topics. You are not a Jedi Master Mr Pyne. Simply telling me I’m not concerned about Jones’ comments doesn’t make it so.

I take issue with Kelly O’Dwyer’s “handbag hit squad”

I take issue with Miranda Devine’s “doctor’s wives crowd”

These terms are demeaning; and both O’Dwyer and Devine must know it.

Jones has argued that the very same people who condemn him for being contemptuous have wished his cancer return and cause him much ill harm. You know what people, no-one wears hypocrisy well. No-one. Don’t do it. It undermines what you say now, and what you say in the future.

An article in Monday’s The Daily Telegraph says that the fallout of Jones’ comments is excessive. Perhaps; but they do come on the back of some other nasty comments that Jones has made. This outburst isn’t because of one comment; it’s because of his chaff bag, guillotine and women “destroying the joint” comments.

On Monday night’s episode of Q & A, Former Labor Minister Lindsay Tanner, Christopher Pyne MP and News Limited Columnist Piers Akerman continuously interrupted Kate Ellis MP.

Read Ben Pobjie’s post “Ugh” for a rundown of Monday night’s events.

Honestly, you wouldn’t put up with this rubbish from children; why do we stand for it from our adults?

Why?

Basically I’m sick of reading news that is inflammatory, broadcasters that are divisive. Want to know why? It doesn’t help. Name me one place, one time where a divided community, society, country has prospered?

I am a little disillusioned with the world. Shock jocks are by nature meant to be shocking and inflammatory. They say they add to the debate but they don’t really. Alan Jones, when he speaks on his radio program, is speaking to the converted. He doesn’t add anything to the debate. Balanced views are not his modus operandi. And those, like me, who don’t like his rhetoric, simply don’t listen.

That’s democracy. I’m all for democracy and for freedom on speech and expression. But in Australia it is not a right, as it is in the United States. Here in Australia it is a privilege.

But Mr Jones when you say that you don’t hate bad politicians, just bad policy then why attack Ms Gillard and say you want to put her in a chaff bag? Or speak ill of her recently deceased father? These are personal attacks. If you can’t tell the difference, then you shouldn’t be on the air.

And to round all this off yesterday Prime Minister Gillard lambasted Opposition Leader Mr Abbott for his hypocritical ways in putting forward a motion to have Speaker Peter Slipper dismissed for sexist text messages sent my Mr Slipper.

I don’t think you’ll find anyone who will disagree that Peter Slipper should go.

And for Mr Abbott to foolishly use the phrase “died of shame”. Was he foolish? Or deliberately trying to get under the skin of Prime Minister Gillard? I think either a yes to either question leads back to a lack of judgement from someone who wants to hold the highest office in this country.

But listen up kids, credibility goes a long way in this world. And yesterday credibility is what Tony Abbot lacked when put forward the motion that Mr Slipper should be dismissed on the grounds of sexism.

I’ll let Prime Minister Gillard explain.

Knowledge is power. Language is key. Tone is everything.

4 Comments

  • At 2012.10.10 16:00, seana smith said:

    Bravo! Quite agree. usually I try to ignore bad behavior from the kids, but sometimes they need to have the error of their way pointed out to them. Clearly. I vote with my ears on A Jones.

    • At 2012.10.12 12:41, Maria said:

      I hate that whiney sorry from my kids. And the pitch of the whine gets progressively worse the older they get. And it’s like they seem to sing it more, the older they get. :-)

      Love & stuff
      Mrs M

    • At 2012.10.10 19:55, Martin Walsh said:

      Great post and I agree with the premise Maria but I completely disagree with elevating Julia Gillard above others, especially using that speech. Don’t get me wrong, I think it was a very powerful performance and it’s a shame it’s the only one she has ever given but ironically she gave it in context of not understanding the definition of misogyny. However, it was just another political speech, nothing more and nothing less.

      Now, had Gillard voted to get rid of Slipper yesterday demonstrating that she really won’t tolerate the disrespect of women or for that matter men (hardly sexism or misogyny) then I may have judged her performance differently.

      At the end of the day Gillard was more interested in keeping power yesterday than demonstrating her claimed morals, beliefs and ethics. The same can be said about her hypocrisy around gay marriage and the vile, offensive, disrespectful and highly personal abuse hurled at Kevin Rudd to justify his knifing by Gillard and her leadership team. Where was she then? I’m sure someone would have called it misogynistic behaviour (even if it wasn’t) if Rudd was a female. This garbage didn’t come from the opposition but from the government and it’s own party! Wayne Swan who is our countries treasurer and supposedly a national leader (and Albanese) are constantly spewing vile, offensive and disgustingly divisive stuff into the media and yet we hear nothing about it – well at least until the SMH story yesterday about ‘if Albanese is in the gutter then Swan is in the sewer’.

      The fact that so many (but thankfully not all) females have not had the ability to see through the fact that it was just another political speech is absolutely beyond me and there have been many, many women I spoke to today who think the same.

      Ultimately it was just another political performance to deflect attention from the woeful performance of this government. At the end of the day this government has only 33% support in the polls and that speaks volumes.

      The sad aspect of all this divisiveness which is being fuelled by a 24/7 news cycles, social and digital media is that there are an awful lot of decent, intelligent and usually respectful people right now choosing to demonise anybody who doesn’t share their own views. They seem to have lost all of their sense of perspective. I mean what Alan Jones said was absolutely repugnant but the disgraceful reaction against innocent small businesses who happened to advertise on 2GB is unacceptable. Hundreds were even calling the Entertainment Centre in Sydney and abusing the receptionist just because Jones spruiked up the Sydney Schools Spectacular!

      I haven’t made up my mind yet about who I’ll vote for at the next election but I know Gillard and Swan and this current government (which might not be the same leadership by the time of the next election) is one of the worst in our history. But, I’m not yet convinced about anyone else to lead our country and certainly not Abbott.

      I used to blindly vote Labor because that’s how I was brought up but when the Labor party voted in that idiot Mark Latham over Kim Beazley I stopped voting that way automatically. I gave them one more chance with Rudd but he turned out to be all show and no spine with poor leadership skills but I thought that would be judged by voters at the next election (how wrong we were!). However, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse the Labor party led by Gillard actually knifed their leader, our PM. That was it for me in relation to voting ideologically. Bill Clinton said, “the problem with ideology is it provides an answer before all the evidence is in.” I now vote on policies, capabilities experience and track records, not personalities and definitely not ideology. It’s ironic how the amount of vitriol is mirroring and coinciding with problems in the polls.

      I think it’s pretty immoral and disrespectful to the future of our country to simply vote for someone because of how much ‘personality’ or not they have.

      I just wish I could vote for Jon Stewart as our PM!!!

      • At 2012.10.12 13:13, Maria said:

        Hi Martin,

        Thanks for the visit and comment.

        Okay so here goes. The article you are referring to was written by Paul Sheehan and to be honest I thought it was appalling writing. Again, where is the man’s standards? He is a senior writer at Fairfax and he sounded crazy. Stick to policy, not name calling.

        I’ve noticed over the years, especially with online, there are more and more opinion pieces. Remember the good old days when the editor wrote a column and everything else was news and perhaps even balanced???

        I read a lot about why Gillard chose not to to vote out Slipper and I think it was a couple of the other independents agreed that Slipper should resign instead of being booted out. Does Slipper have to go? Absolutely but I do wonder if the House has voted him out then it does set a precedent for further votes on matters or people where all the information hasn’t been presented yet; or just a political stunt? That would be my concern.

        There is something to be said about not turning the House into a Kangaroo Court.

        I do see why people say that not voting him out is damaging her credibility.

        Everyone bangs on about Gillard knifing Rudd when by your own admission he was a terrible leader. Doesn’t the party as a whole have a responsibility to the party and the position of leader to make sure the best person is there?

        And why doesn’t Abbott get tainted with the same brush for knifing Turnbull in the back on the eve of Turnbull signing an ETS. I’ll argue that Abbott is just as self serving.

        And as for the poor businesses running ads on Jones’ show, you know Jones isn’t the only advertising avenue in town.

        But I agree that sometimes people can go overboard.

        And just reading your comment about sexism, coupled with a discussion with a couple of male friends yesterday, I think we all have a different definition of sexism. Interestingly I’m the one that’s being told I don’t know what sexism means.

        I rely on ideology as well as policy and all those things you mentioned when voting. Problem being is that there is not one party out there that is a perfect fit.

        I would vote for Jon Stewart too.

        Love & stuff
        Mrs M

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