Radio 2GB talkback host Alan Jones is no fan of Julia Gillard, but Labor’s decision to throw her out to sea in a chaff bag hasn’t dimmed his rage. “These are terrible and chaotic times,” Jones intoned yesterday. The vast majority of his Sydney listeners — indeed, callers to commercial radio around the country — agreed.
On Thursday, the day after the leadership coup, caller Stephanie told Jones “a kangaroo loose in the top paddock” was one thing — “a ranga knitting a kangaroo is something else”. Stephanie was furious at being denied the pleasure of showing “her” — Gillard, that is — the way out at the ballot box. But Stephanie is glad she won’t have to listen to “that voice” any longer. Still, she finds new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd nauseating and reckons he is a “consummate liar to the nation”. Stephanie was also angry the public could not boot out “arch-traitors” Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor.
Caller John said Rudd had done Opposition Leader Tony Abbott one favour: he could take the gloves off and start attacking without being called a s-xist. Jones described Abbott as “the most unselfish person” and said Gillard had had her hour in the sun with “misogyny and all the rest of it”. Meanwhile, Abbott had been out raising money for breast cancer and women’s homeless shelters, and visiting indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.
Station colleague Ray Hadley interrupted a US holiday to give fill-in presenter Andrew Moore his take on the demise of Oakeshott and Windsor. “A bloke called Zapata once said, ‘I’d rather die on my feet than surrender on my knees,'” Hadley said. “Well these two have died on their knees. It’s one of the most unbelievable acts of — I guess treachery is a strong word — but one of the most unbelievable acts to their electorate they could ever perform.”
As for Bill Shorten: “For one man to wield so much power, we might as well be living in some minor South American dictatorship for the way he’s been conducting himself.”
Caller Mike asked Moore if “the nitwit” — Gillard, that is — was still entitled to a prime ministerial pension and perks now she had resigned. Caller Percy wondered if “Kevin” would have the arrogance to ask “Ju-liar” to leave the Lodge so he can “get at it” for a couple of weeks. Caller Chris said if Gillard were the director of a company she would be in jail.
“Caller Geoff said you couldn’t trust Shorten; David said he was a snake who went against Australian values. Maureen, who lives in Shorten’s electorate, said her whole family had lost confidence in him.”
Caller Ben said the difference between the spill three years ago and this one was that the Labor Party had listened to the voice of the Australian people. As much as he dislikes Rudd and Labor, he said he was happy that justice was done. Caller Wayne wasn’t impressed, saying Rudd preyed on the not-so-well-off and the not-so-bright people. DJ Moore agreed, noting Rudd had targeted the youth vote in the past and made regular appearances on FM stations.
In Melbourne, 3AW host Neil Mitchell was homing in on Shorten, a regular guest on his show and the member for Maribyrnong. Mitchell reckoned Shorten had cruelled any chance of leading the party by taking a leading role in two leadership coups.
Caller Bernadette rang to say she was a “shattered” Labor supporter and that Shorten should never be trusted. Bernadette believes Gillard did well with a minority government and that Rudd should not have considered reclaiming the position.
Caller Geoff said you couldn’t trust Shorten; caller David said he was a snake who went against Australian values. Maureen, who lives in Shorten’s electorate, said her whole family had lost confidence in him.
Dan called to say he was a single parent and he would lose about $200 a fortnight in welfare payments under the current policy. He suggested this was an issue Rudd needs to consider.
In Rudd’s hometown of Brisbane, Darryl rang into 4BC to slam the duplicity of Shorten and Rudd. Darryl believes they are liars who were only in it to preserve their own necks. Caller John said Gillard had hid behind s-xism claims when Australia had a female PM, a Governor-General in Quentin Bryce, Anna Burke as Speaker and the “lesbian” in the Senate (presumably Penny Wong).
On Perth’s 6PR, Anne noted Gillard was a good person but said Rudd was a better leader. She likened the change to the substitution of Tim Cahill for Josh Kennedy in the Socceroos’ recent match against Iraq.
Dylan said the Labor Party didn’t realise how much it had done to business confidence in WA; Rudd was full of hot wind and he didn’t like Gillard, either. Dylan said both Labor and the Liberals needed to know the voters wouldn’t take garbage from either of them. People, he said, were really hurting in WA.
*Compiled with assistance from iSentia