Alan Jones is no longer just Gloria, but Gloriana, the reigning queen of radio and Crikey is keeping an ear on what Australia’s most powerful shock jock has to say. This week, we’ve had a glimpse of what’s in his closet and it’s startling.

What has the Parrot got in his closet? Well, we got a glimpse last week and it’s quite startling. Or is it?

One of the great joys of the Parrot’s regular morning squawkfest is recognising familiar voices, those regular callers who never seem to have any problem getting through the talkback sieve to impart their words of wisdom to his holiness. These regular contributors usually ring with the same complaint, and get a free run with their sprays, no squawked interruptions, just the occasional murmured “yes, yes” or “well said”.

The Bird Watching Team has a special favourite, Stephanie, who rings at least once a week just after the 8:30 news and launches into the ABC. “It’s not some perception of left-wing bias, it exists as a fact”, which sometimes makes us think she is Paddy McGuinness putting on a falsetto. More hilariously is her regular “When will the Prime Minister call a Royal Commission into this left-wing bias”. You can hear the Parrot’s sharp intake of breath through his beak with the sheer excitement of such a prospect. “See how David Marr likes being shafted by silk” you can almost hear him think.

But who is this mysterious Stephanie? She is well spoken, with a slight plumb in her voice as evidence of good breeding. She sounds like an old Presbyterian Ladies College girl, that wonderful finishing school for the future wives of business and political leaders in Sydney. It’s a terrific training school, where the girls learn all those essential skills for dealing with life, like how to cope with divorce and what to wear to your second wedding.

Our Stephanie is very different from her low-rent namesake, who along with her friend Gloria are pilloried every afternoon by the thinking man’s shock jock, Mike Carlton, over on 2UE. That Stephanie sounds like some frustrated old biddy from the local bowling club not at all the sort of classy women who is lured each morning by the call of the Parrot.

So how does all that relate to what’s in the Parrot’s closet? Well, it’s something like this: Stephanie and all her ilk are the faithful, and the Parrot is their priest. And just what exactly is the Parrot’s deep, dark secret? He gasp reads News Weekly.

Yup. Just fancy that. The Parrot and Santa’s Helpers.

Indeed, on Friday the Parrot based all of his squawk on the Today show on an article written by Peter Westmore, the National President of the National Civic Council warning that surprise, surprise Australia was heading down the Argetinian road to ruin.

Really important people read News Weekly, don’t they. Why, a couple of years back Hillary was on a shuttle flight from Canberra sitting just behind Milord Flint, the Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Authority, and guess what he was looking at? That settles the debate for the Crikey Bird Watching Team.

We’re still a little unsure why an organisation that says it’s in favour of free enterprise but supports the state sorry, national socialism of the sort that people like that nice Mr Peron made his own should be harsh on poor old Argetina, but they we’re just humble ornithologists.

And there are obvious comparisons to be made between the Parrot and the NCC. Both believe that Australian society is effete and decadent. What other similarities are there?

Like the NCC, the Parrot would probably like to see a nation of stout yeomanry, honest workers of the soil. And as it encourages independent thinking and reasoning, both the Parrot and the NCC would probably think it best that these people not worry their heads too much about education. After all, Father O’Riordan or, if they’re really important, the Monsignor can help them with their letters. And for entertainment, they can look at the windows in the Church and listen to sermons or the radio.

Just think of it. The faithful gathered at St Athanasius for communion, the body and blood of Christ; Stephanie and all those like her tuning in to commune, to hear the voice of

It sounds nice, but here the hypothesis runs into an insurmountable problem. The Parrot and the NCC. So many similarities and one big difference. They disagree over the exact nature of God.

From all of us at the bottom of the cage, until next time, goodbye.

The Crikey Bird Watching Team can be contacted at [email protected]

Peter Fray

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