Crikey’s counter-cultural critics, the Kooka Bros, believe John Laws
and John Elliott increasingly resemble Joe Dante’s ferocious little
movie critters, the Gremlins:
Like the irritating furry gremlins who bob up uninvited from the sewer,
the Two Johns love gibbering nonsense to anyone who’ll listen, while
their large ears allow them to scan the airwaves for anything vaguely
offensive uttered against them.

The trouble, of course, with our wrinkly old gremlins is they just keep
bobbing up at the most inconvenient moment. And you just can’t seem to
get rid of them no matter how vigorously you flush.

So it was last night, just as the Kooka family were sitting down to a
quiet Monday night of TV, that up popped the Two Johnnies. First
came Big Jack Elliott, who took over Four Corners to blather on about
how footy clubs should keep the lid on sexual assaults by their players.

To illustrate her story about sexual misconduct in the big league, Four
Corners hackette Tickky Fullerton had gone witness shopping for the
worst example of ’80s macho footy culture. Bingo! Go no further than
Melbourne’s favourite discredited business relic.

Big Jack didn’t hold back: “You know, Demetriou asking all girls for
the last 20 years that have had any problems to write in is one of the
most profoundly stupid things I have seen,” he moaned.

“What’s he do with it when he gets it all?” asked Elliott, reaching
back to his Neanderthal past. “I mean, all he’s doing is exposing the
club to have to deal with the matter again.”

Scarily, Elliott was until last year president of an AFL club, so his
windy comments might have carried some weight in some deluded minds.

John Laws is fighting against irrelevance by taking the axe to his old
enemy, Alan Jones. And his appearance on Enough Rope, a show hosted by
another furry little media critter, Andrew Denton, was more timely than

Denton played straight man while Laws had the audience in fits of
laughter with his excoriating analysis of his good mates Alan Jones and
David Flint. Or, should have had the audience in fits. They
barely raised a chuckle throughout the interview.

Either Denton’s piping Prozac into the studio, or they hadn’t been
paying attention to any of this powder-puff palava over the past week,
proving just how off-Broadway this entire Sydney meeja spat is.

But don’t worry, Lawsie, the Kookas were chuckling as you took the
knife to “the poor little professor”. (In case the audience
didn’t get the message, that’s “the posturing, pretentious,
pusillanimous, effete professor.”)

A small sample of the Laws rhetoric on “the unpleasant little troika” (that would be Jones, Flint, and our Prime Minister):

So what’s the conspiracy with Jones and Flint?

Laws: I have no idea. They’re both little men, with matching ties and handkerchiefs. They both admire the queen.

Denton: If Alan Jones was a dog, what breed would he be?

Laws: Pekinese would be near the money. A sweet little
puppy, nice little puppy. Doesn’t piddle in public, but you don’t
know where he’d go to piddle. Just yaps a little beyond its size.

Denton: What’s your problem with Jones?

Laws: If hyprocisy was an Olympic event, he’d win the gold medal…this holier than thou thing. Just bullshit.

Denton: Was he just big noting?

Laws: He was certainly good at that.

Is he a whore?

Laws: For the Liberal Party.

As for Jones’ daily appearance on Nine’s Today show: “When Alan
Jones comes on the audience goes down by about 70,0000 people.”

And the difference between the two radio egos? “To begin with I’m not as devious…I don’t care so much about the power thing.”

Sure, sure John. You warble those golden tonsils just for the sport.

As our colleagues on the Crikey bird watching team noted sagely last
week: “The Tonsils are also infected. Indeed, as this past week has all
been about power plays, their aftermath and their implications, then
perhaps the greatest scandal of them all is that John Laws thinks he
can stand above it all and still be taken seriously.”

If you haven’t, check it out here: Examining the Golden Tonsils

As we switched off the telly, we asked: why do these gremlins keep harassing us?

In the original movie version, the good guys resorted to deft use of
kitchen appliances to rid themselves of their uninvited guests from the

Now, the Kookas don’t necessarily want to ruin our kitchen gadgets by
exploding the Two Johnnies in our microwave, or pureeing them in the
blender. But we do wish they’d float quietly away, and take that
rancid smell with them.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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