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Shock jock fantasy land vs reality

Image courtesy of 2gb.com

Image by 2gb.com

Recently I’ve started listening regularly but sparingly to Alan Jones, Steve Price and Ray Hadley. All out of the 2GB stable. All willing unquestioning extensions of the Liberal Party’s PR machine.

Why would I do such a thing, especially when it has the tendency to make me feel ill at times?

Over the last few years I have grown increasingly worried that the Australian electorate isn’t as informed as they should be when it comes to matters of policy, politics and especially economics.

I have come to the conclusion this is in large part due to shock jocks like Jones, Price and Hadley and the deliberately skewed view of the world they present.

For years I’ve been reading the cavalcade of conservative columnists in the News Corp Australia stable. I refuse to pay for News Corp Australia publications anymore but nonetheless I know what these columnists write and how they state their case.

I’m also all too aware of Gina Rinehart’s pet television project The Bolt Report and the content of that show.

I wasn’t however aware of what was being said by conservative shock jocks to their captive audiences on a daily basis.

It’s safe to say I am now fully aware and I must say I have no idea why they are paid so much money.

It’s nothing but puerile, immature, self-congratulatory rubbish from “goodies and baddies” fantasy land.

Not sure what else I should have expected given the quality of all other conservative commentary.

I have been listening to them for a while with Tony Abbott in government and I must say it is interesting to hear how they are handling it now the shoe is on the other foot.

Their man’s in The Lodge. The people haven’t taken to him and accepted him as their personal saviour.

I’m sure there is an element of resentment towards Australia because they feel this wasn’t the way it was meant to be.

The rest of us do however live in the real world.

The world where Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey are taking a sledgehammer to workers with significant increases in taxes, cuts to the pension, cuts to support payments and welfare as well as unnecessarily punitive and harsh changes around their eligibility requirements and structure.

Broken promises and lies aplenty.

Tony Abbott ran around for years – backed by his conservative columnist cheer squad – claiming carbon pricing was causing the sky to fall in and hurting everyday Australians with increases in cost of living.

Now he’s in government and slugging pensioners, families, students and the least well off among us as a result of his lies and broken promises we’re expected to just accept it and, as some callers to 2GB put it, stop “whinging”?

Everyday Australians are distressed by what these changes will mean for them and their families. Many will have thousands of dollars ripped from their budgets overnight.

If people have the nerve to question what this means for their family’s future, and how they will get by, they are told by Hockey not to think about themselves but what’s in “the good of the nation”.

Any cries of “Joeliar” on the Alan Jones show? Nope.

Instead we get the good old “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” and wall to wall remarks about “heavy lifting”.

Why did Abbott break his promises?

Well there’s a “debt and deficit disaster” don’t you know?

This wouldn’t happen to be the same “debt and deficit disaster” you were claiming before the election would it Abbott?

The numbers in the Pre-election Fiscal Outlook (PEFO) were fully known to Abbott and Hockey when they made their commitments.

The question to them should be: were they ever going to keep their commitments?

There is no “debt and deficit disaster”. It’s a focus grouped scare campaign to make people accept tough cuts to their way of life.

Taking an axe to your voters by scaring them into submission? You’re all class as usual Abbott.

This government just isn’t being upfront with you.

That’s right. They’re lying.

Good old Phoney Tony.

We came through the GFC unscathed due to a stimulus package that has been applauded by the IMF, OECD and the World Bank as well as Nobel Prize winning economists.

We took on debt to avoid recession when our revenue fell off a cliff.

If not for these steps we would have gone into recession, like the rest of the world. Unemployment would have skyrocketed and we would still be struggling out of it as we speak.

Ironically, had action not been taken it can easily be surmised that our debt position would be worse than it is now and revenue would have been impacted for longer.

Australia’s debt to GDP is in the bottom third of developed nations.

We have around trend growth, low inflation and low unemployment.

You don’t get to make up your own facts Abbott.

This is the reality and it’s what makes the savage cuts and obsession with surplus at all costs harmful and a risk to our economy if such recklessness continues.

Why have the $130B of subsidies and concessions for big business and the well off not been touched Hockey?

Where’s their “heavy lifting”?

A symbolic temporary 3 year 2% tax on those earning over $180,000.

A breach of faith no question, but piddling compared to the whack on the unsuspecting ordinary Australian.

Abbott has frozen federal politicians pay for 12 months. What a trooper. An effective 2.4% cut.

Meanwhile, we’re all told to just accept the entire restructuring of our social safety net permanently.

For a government, surplus is obviously preferable to deficit but not at all costs.

Not at the expense of the people who voted for this government and trusted the specific commitments they made.

Not when it’s based on fear, lies and deceit around our budgetary position.

That’s called blind ideology; and boy doesn’t that term fit this government like a glove?

The issue with the current situation is we take nowhere near enough revenue.

The answer isn’t to just keep attacking the worker’s way of life and cutting taxes.

The answer is to ask those who have more to pay more.

A start would be looking at tax loopholes, concessions and subsidies. As stated earlier, a whopping $130B of them being paid out every single year.

Why? We can’t afford them anymore. I doubt we ever could.

Cuts to these expenses would go a long way to fixing our structural issues in the Budget.

Our debt can be paid back over time without causing massive damage to the community.

We don’t need the shock and awe approach to government, nor do we deserve it.

Nothing about this Budget is “fair”.

Abbott and Hockey seem to think if they repeat their condescending lines enough we’ll accept them.

It’s not going to happen. People are angry. They want answers. Honest answers.

A lady rang up 2GB recently and said she was worried we were heading the way of Greece due to the “debt and deficit disaster”.

A clearly laughable scenario when our economic situation is placed next to Greece’s at the peak of crisis.

It’s incredible that some people are so misinformed they are scared into blind adherence to conservatism.

It’s time we all pushed back against the lies about our economy, because if we don’t who knows what damage these economic vandals will do?


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  1. bighead1883

    Thank you Matthew and well written but most of all so true.
    This is Australia`s first Deliberate Recessional Budget.
    A forced recession saying the age of entitlement is over except for those who benefit,those who get the “trickle up” yes the corps who are being sold our assets and services by out political traitors.
    Madam Guillotine where are you hiding?

  2. The Trees

    I wish you and a few other writers to this priceless webblog could be hired as speechwriters for Shorten.

  3. geoffreyengland

    My opinion is this….the very first thing we need to do is prise that partisan old crone, Bishop out of the Speaker’s Chair. She’s a complete and utter disgrace to Democracy and until she is hounded from the Chair the ALP will never get an opportunity to be heard in parliament.
    Does anyone have any ideas what to do?…. how to get the old harridan out of that position?

  4. Jeff Bradley

    Thank you for your comments. You’re a stronger person then I am bringing yourself to listen to that mob even if it is for research.

  5. Sir ScotchMistery

    There are advantages to being able to blog here at independent media, because we are given dozens of opportunities to rip a new hole for the likes of Abbott and co-.

    Premised on the fact that we use big words, that most of us are far more intellectual than certainly anything I’ve seen amongst the liberal commentariat and that the people who listen to Jones et al are not only wildly less capable of carrying a discussion but are highly unlikely to ever darken our doorstep here, we can actually say what we like about them.

    I often wonder what would happen if that well-known socialite and London public toilet aficionado Alan Jones were to pop in here and try a little bit of actual discourse, without of course bringing in the under 18’s Cronulla rugby league club members, it would be interesting to see how far he got.

    The people who listen to Jones are not at fault. Most of them never completed three years of high school and those who did went straight to gaol for two years for assaulting their girlfriends, or perhaps their girlfriends mother.

    Far better in my opinion to go out and start another political process, which has as its end intention of putting say 30 or 40 people into the cross benches as independents, and make Dame Christopher Pyne and her friends work for their money for a bit of a change.

    I have an overwhelming impression that that would be far more fulfilling.

  6. Dan Rowden

    Does anyone have any ideas what to do?…. how to get the old harridan out of that position?

    I’m afraid that if anyone does, they’re more than likely to be ridiculous.

  7. rossleighbrisbane

    “All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.” Camus

  8. deknarf

    I’m surprised that you have not been seriously damaged by listening to such garbage! The only things that shock jocks are interested in is self-interest, especially when it relates to their hip pocket.

  9. Ian Edward Cleland

    I would not even give them the time of day

  10. contemporaryshaman

    As much as I agree with you I was happy to hear Alan Jones stand up and be counted against CSG in northern NSW. And today Metagasco will be dancing the dance with ICAC as their licence has been suspended. Every little bit helps.

  11. Terry2

    “A lady rang up 2GB recently and said she was worried we were heading the way of Greece.”

    Matthew, I’m assuming that was after the budget: she may just have a point.

  12. murphy

    The corporate jackals are getting desperate me thinks. Blather radio is more a symptom than anything else, as is the tendency for heavier burden on the poor as oligarchy numbers do grow fatter.

    To maintain income position or better all pozi schemes must persistently pull in more suckers. Capitalism hides it’s ponzi behavior out in the open via immigration and the forcing of 5% minimum to unemployment. Underemployment is another obvious tactic shows we are in the reducing of current client (the public) returns suggest the pyramid is in inverted position. No more blood left in the stone applies.

    On the upside, post 911 and the global currency wars have followed rewarding regime change with austerity debt options.

    The community I live in is much more focused on how do we set up cooperatives supplying our own power, water, real food and skill based needs. Every community has them and I’d be curious to know if others have noticed similar events in their own areas of Oz?

    Corporate jackal fears are not our fears.

    Cheers all.

  13. Zathras

    I’ve found that dedicated listeners to these shock jocks are what Keating accurately called “reactionary veggies” and are controlled by their emotions – in particular they seem addicted to rage or extreme nationalism.

    They need to have their prejudices reinforced by somebody who seems to be smarter than them.

    Philip Adams published a book long ago (“Emperors of the Airwaves”) about their methods and motives and they are quite revealing.

    The broadcasters themselves are typically filled with bile and outrage but in the end all they are there for is to flog incontinence pads and funeral homes to the gullible while having their massive egos stroked and their pockets filled.

    Sadly, they have enough influence to swing elections.

    It will be interesting to see if they can switch from attack to futile defence and maintain that position without losing influence in the coming months.

  14. Anomander

    I must applaud your stomach and resilience Matthew. I find myself screaming at the morning ABC news broadcast. I can only imagine the amount of foaming rage I would have to endure listing to those pathetic worms.

    I was unfortunate to catch around 5 minutes of the Hadley show several months back and my dismay and indignation lasted for days afterward. I’m not sure my blood pressure could tolerate more than that.

  15. Brian

    I can think of nothing I would rather ignore than these rodents. Abbott belongs in the gutter with them. They possess the same love of ignorance and deceit.; craving for riches undeserved and the mentality of the bully. Perhaps if 2GB would give him speech lessons he could join them in Cretinville after he’s ejected from office, which hopefully will come sooner rather than later. What a position to occupy. Acolyte to a turd. The cesspit of mutual adoration would welcome him with open arms if umm, err, ahh, he could string two words together. Then again, the standard isn’t high, so it probably doesn’t matter. Actually, correction, definitely doesn’t matter. None of them do.

  16. Stephen Tardrew

    I honestly get mild panics attacks listening to these rouges.

    They are so mild I want to KILL them in many interesting and devious ways.
    To be convinced of your own lies is truly pathological and I think there is substantially more patha than any minimal expression of the logical.
    My kidneys ache, eyes water and fowl winds exude from many orifices.
    My tongue is dry and mind flashes in paroxysms of rage and anger as my head vibrates not knowing whether to collapse in on itself or explode in a grey storm of pox ridden excreta.

    Other than that I remain calm and in control.

  17. joy cooper

    My blood is still boiling re the ignorant & fatuous remarks the extremely nasty Joe Hockey made this morning when interviewed by Chris Uhlmann on the ABC’s AM program.

    “One of the things that quite astounds me is some people are screaming about [the] $7 co-payment,” the treasurer said.

    “One packet of cigarettes costs $22; that gives you three visits to the doctor. You can spend just over $3 on a middy of beer so that’s two middies of beer to go to the doctor. Let’s have some perspective about the costs of taking care of our health, and is a parent really going to deny their sick child a visit to the doctor which would be the equivalent payment of a couple of beers or one third of a packet of cigarettes?”

    How dare he be so blatantly dismissive & judgemental of those who do not have a wife who allegedly is paid $3 million a year as well as him being paid, by the taxpayer, more than $400,000 pa plus lurks & perks. Hockey is nothing more than a detestable lying scumbag!!

    Pardon my venom but I am still furious at this loathsome creature.

    PS Great post Michael. Excellent work.

  18. mars08

    “One packet of cigarettes costs $22; that gives you three visits to the doctor. You can spend just over $3 on a middy of beer so that’s two middies of beer to go to the doctor…

    Ah… good old Joe. Still knows how to connect with the common folk. Speaks their lingo, he does. Grouse bloke. Man of the people! How much are tickets to the Roosters game?

    But… credit where credit is due…. at least we’re seeing any leaky boats clogging the freeways of western Sydney these days!

  19. John Kelly

    My advice to everyone who wants to see and end to this is to identify up to 30 Liberal/National seats that have a swing margin of up to 6%. Then work out how many people have to change their vote for those seats to fall and develop a strategy to achiever that goal. That’s how the constituents of INDI removed Sophie Mirabella.

  20. jezzaG

    Matthew, why don’t you get your nan or someone to spoof call Jones/Price/Hadley with an over the top and laid on thick “I’m starving, old, can’t pay for meds, not sure where the rent money is coming but we in the bush don’t mind doing the heavy lifting, these hippies should get a job”. Really give them some reality and lets see if any of them actually twig that for some that’s exactly how life is and how much tougher thing are going to get for them.

  21. jezzaG

    This is the link to Alan Jones – Heather Brown interview. Well worth a listen.


    and the Oscar Wilde exert in this article from this site sheds some light on the shock jock audience.

  22. A Fair Go For All

    Must’ve been a while since sloppy joe bought a middy. In my local they cost $4.60 and now my family income (my wife and I have 4 kids) has been reduced by at least $5000p.a, that’ll be a luxury I can no longer afford, amongst many others! That should be good for the economy, right joe?
    I might add that while my family will have to go without some things, the ones I feel for the most are the young (glad I turned 32 recently) the pensioners and all the low to lower middle class singles/single parents/dual parent families that will be pushed to the brink with these mean, unnecessary and quite frankly disgusting cuts and increases. I hope the libs and their wealthy backers can build fences strong enough to keep out the masses of people, who will be forced into criminal activities, out of their fascist gated communities in the new Australia that they are creating.
    Due to work I will be unable to attend the march in Perth on Sunday but I really hope people make an effort to show these pricks that this won’t be accepted. Bring on a general strike I say.

  23. DanDark

    Well written and spot on Mathew
    ‘Always keep your enemy, as close as you keep your friends”

  24. ShaunJ

    G’day All,

    I feel for your situation AFGFA, May 15, 2014 • 5:37 pm, as I do for all the disadvantaged in our society, this is a reverse Robin Hood budget if ever I have seen it, beyond the wildest dreams of the IPA who have orchestrated it. Your post does bring up an interesting point though AFGFA, as far as I understand it, under the IR laws today a general strike would not be legal, any union members (and indeed participating Unions) would face draconian penalties for participating, non-unionised workers would face lesser but still crippling fines. As far as I know strike action can only be taken in a protected bargaining period, that is once an EA has ended and before a new one is signed, given that many EA’s start and finish at a different date a “general” strike would be unfeasible, at least to my knowledge, I would be very, very happy to be corrected on this.

  25. A Fair Go For All

    Unfortunately you are right ShaunJ. In fact next time you hear someone bang on about the Rudd/Gillard govt. letting unions run amuck etc. it might be wise to point out that they did not ( dispite the massive backing they received from unions in the lead up to the 07 election and well forever) remove this crucial part of work choices. It is fundamental to a fair and just society that people are able to withdraw their labour in the face of such a blatant and callous attack on the Australian way of life. There are many other reasons but I think I’m preaching to the converted here!
    If everybody ( and I mean everybody )did it, it would be very hard to be prosecuted though. As a union official I’m prepared to go to jail if that’s what it takes to bring about a return to the thing that so many of our predecessors have died for. A fair go for all, stick up for the less fortunate leave no one behind and never never turn your back on your mates.

  26. ShaunJ

    G’day All,

    Couldn’t agree more AFGFA, I was also a Union Delegate before I retired and would have faced jail rather than let evil reign, however it is such a “big stick” that the government has to wield in the IR landscape it just plainly annoys the shit out of me when I think how the worker cannot “legally” deny their labour in protest at injustice, when that action over the years has been one of the main tools that the unions have used to bring justice and fairness to so many workers and their families.

  27. rangermike1

    I would like to to lay down the promises Herr Abbott made before the Election and the ones he has broken, after the election. Space does not permit it, and Abbott has only just started. Be prepared Australia, Just be prepared.

  28. Stephen

    A fair go for all, do you mean lose $5000 of earned income or $5000 of welfare you have been receiving through no other reason than you chose to have 4 kids? No dramas with you having 4 kids at 32 but it’s a bit rich to whinge about losing welfare when supporting kids should be your responsibility and not that of the tax payer. What’s fair about that? Rudd should have rolled back the ridiculous middle class welfare introduced by Howard as soon as he came to power. As for the general strike, only a union official would come out with such a laughable comment. Any excuse to get down to the lucky shag for a few on the union credit card with Joe and Kevin hey?

  29. Stephen

    The Trees, why would Shorten hire a speechwriter who can’t even get elected. When is Big Kim and Laurie Ferguson coming back to replace these current hacks?

  30. randalstella

    John Kelly’s post; 15th May @ 5:06 pm
    It needs important consideration. Everything else is dependent on what the MSM publish and how they publish it. Targeting specific seats can get in behind that. How about,for example, targeting Pyne?

  31. Siegfried6230

    What?!!? are these shock jocks meant, to be taken seriously?
    I always thought, they were part of a comedy Act
    Silly me..

  32. bjkelly1958

    Well done, Matthew. Just one point, that of Abbott not being able to “make up” truths. The problem as i see it is he can. He, or Credlin or some faceless manipulator, spin a fact their way and get it amplified by Murdoch and the MSM, Jones/Price/Hadley and suddenly Maria of Monavale believes it has the truth.
    Having the lie-spinners on tap is a very handy asset.

  33. Terry Charlton

    Turn them off, the unions, the educators, health workers, everyone. Turn them off. Ratings would plummet, they would be in a world of pain if everyone turned them off. And stop reading Murdochs rubbish. Punish them at the shop front

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