We were certainly not “old mates”, we had met on half a dozen occasions (and spoken several times on my radio show) over a period of 12-15 years. We had several things on common; both born in 1954, a background in horse racing, the Macleay Valley (Kemspey) and 30 years in broadcasting but that’s where it ended.
My sin? The previous day I had the audacity to interview, on my program, the Independent member for Lyne, Rob Oakeshott. Without putting too fine a point on it Ray doesn’t like Rob Oakeshott and consequently anyone who does he doesn’t seem to like either. I have known Rob Oakeshott for as long as I’ve known Hadley. A decent, hardworking, intelligent and outstanding member for the electors of both Port Macquarie in the NSW Parliament and the Federal seat of Lyne he won in 2008 is how I often described the controversial former conservative on air. Which almost always garnered me the vilest responses from several anonymous cowards in the audience.
Reality is we didn’t mention Ray during our Drive chat. Rob referred to Sydney “shock-jocks” and their daily sermons on the evils of the man who made Julia Gillard Prime Minister but not Ray specifically.
That afternoon I did what all red blooded boys from the flint- hard North Launceston suburb of Mowbray do and got on the front foot. I wacked back. No backward steps were ever taken by Mowbray boys. If there were any bullies and cowards at Mowbray they found themselves another post code very quickly.
Word got back to Hadley which resulted in the following laughable, “mine is bigger than yours” email which was shoved under my nose by my Program Director the following day.
“I copped another spray from your drive announcer yesterday……It’s very
simple…..Given he commands about 6.9% of the audience and I have from
memory, 12.4%, can you tug his coat please, otherwise he’ll cop both barrels to a
much larger audience, every day from here to eternity…” Ray HadleyI’ve often wondered just how Ray was going to successfully give it to me “both barrels to a much larger audience every day from here to eternity” without naming me. And pardon me for being a pedant but would that be the beginning of “eternity” or the end? You would have to feel terribly sad for a man who has the world at his fingertips – Influence, success, power – yet allows a “sawn-off bodgie” (a former teacher’s assessment of me) from Mowbray with a bigmouth and an audience of 7 people, 2 cats and a ferret to get under his skin. At least Ray’s 2GB colleague, Chris Smith had the decency to name me when he was bagged me.