OLD SHOCKJOCKS COME TOGETHER OVER GRIEF

Sydney’s nastiest feud over as Jones comforts Laws in his time of need

Andrew Hornery
By Andrew Hornery

March 7, 2020 — 12.00am

Alan Jones and John Laws were at the centre of one of Sydney’s great feuds in 2004, but it appears even the deepest wounds can heal, especially in grief.

Theirs was a headline-grabbing cat fight, sparked after Jones left his old 2UE stablemate and jumped ship in 2001 to join 2GB in a mega-buck deal orchestrated by then owner John Singleton.

Rapprochement: One of the great feuds of Sydney has ended. John Laws and Alan Jones exchange pleasantries at the funeral of John Fordham in Paddington last November.
Rapprochement: One of the great feuds of Sydney has ended. John Laws and Alan Jones exchange pleasantries at the funeral of John Fordham in Paddington last November.
PIC JAMES BRICKWOOD

Jones took most of 2UE’s listeners and advertisers with him. Laws was furious – with his radio star already waning, Jones had delivered a lethal blow and before long Laws was gone.

He famously called Jones “a vicious old tart” on air. Jones remained silent, saying he would not comment on “rubbish”.

Laws added further salt into Jones’ already raw wounds by going on Andrew Denton’s Enough Rope to say Jones would be a “gold medallist” if “hypocrisy were an Olympic sport”.

Laws, who along with Jones had been embroiled in the cash-for-comment saga, also revealed on his radio show that not long after the scandal, Jones had instructed former prime minister John Howard to reinstate David Flint as boss of media watchdog the Australian Broadcasting Authority.

Laws – who to this day remains unrepentant over his “loyalty” to sponsors – labelled Jones, Flint and Howard as “an unpleasant little troika”.

By that point it appeared Laws had burnt any remaining pylons still standing under his old, rickety bridge with Jones.

Or so it seemed.

On Tuesday Jones joined a cavalcade of VIPs to support his old foe during the funeral of Laws’ wife, Caroline, at Darling Point’s St Mark’s.

Jones magnanimously stood by Laws’ side as the radio star, wracked with grief, bade farewell to the love of his life, the woman he endearingly called his “Princess”.

Following the funeral, a clearly moved Jones told PS: “The grief endured by the legendary John Laws was both visible and beyond what anyone could be expected to endure.”

“I felt it was important to be there so that he knew, at this time, he would not be on his own. It was moving and inspiring that a 44-year relationship could mean so much as to produce such an overwhelming sense of loss at Caroline’s passing.”

And it appears the rapprochement will endure.

“I have indicated to John that I am here for a cup of tea if it would help,” Jones revealed.

Last November, at Laws’ former agent John Fordham’s funeral in Paddington, PS observed that old rivalries between Laws and Jones were buried, for just a few hours at least, as the radio titans cheekily traded jibes outside the church.

For many years it was Fordham who was the meat in the sandwich between the pair, who for decades waged battles over egos and ratings.

Jones had initially walked right by Laws to say hello to someone else, apparently not seeing the shock of snow white hair as Laws hovered around the crowd, his not inconsequential frame stooped over a walking stick.

But Laws’ pride was hardly feeble, and he was having none of it, shouting out to Jones somewhat incredulously: “Alan, you did not say hello to me!”

Jones, looking mortified, turned and shook hands. Smiling at each other the old radio titans spoke of their respective health issues and Jones said: “It’s good to see you.”

And no doubt it was again for Laws when he clapped eyes on Jones at St Mark’s on Tuesday.

CITY NEWS SEVEN DAYS AUG 21

TWO towering political figures returned to the capital to celebrate the 90th birthday of Old Parliament House.

cropped-cropped-img_7370-e1502875078548.jpg

Speaking at the National Press Club, former Lodge dwellers Bob Hawke and John Howard – who between them led the nation for almost 20 years – lamented the lack of life skills of those currently serving the nation. The former political foes shared consensus on the contemporary crop: “Career politicians without sufficient life experience are letting the public down”.

pauline-dec-sketch

IT follows then that political advisers may also lack the necessary experience to guide their charges. Pauline Hanson’s appalling burqa stunt is a case in point. An April, 2011, op-ed in “The Australian” on political stunts, by former Hanson mentor John Pasquarelli, highlights the ineptness of today’s political minders. Pasquarelli wrote: “The desire to make the evening news makes MPs do very silly things such as fruit picking, filling sandbags, dancing and wearing silly clothes. Our elected representatives make fools of themselves and their political message is diminished. Such corny things turn the ordinary Australian off”.

IMG_8013 (1)

STILL on stunts and there was a time if Craig Reucassel was spotted in Canberra, a message went out to pollies to make themselves scarce lest they be ambushed by a bunch of undergrad filmmakers. Craig and his “Chaser” mates forged lucrative careers through pranks that mostly saw pollies on the losing end of a stunt filmed for a television series. Reucassel, documenting the more serious topic of waste, hosting “War on Waste” for the ABC was in Canberra gathering footage for a follow up to the successful series.

THE tone of the SSM postal poll campaign may be already locked in with the gatecrashing of an anti-Safe School rally in Civic by members of the LGBTI community. Speakers, including NSW MP Fred Nile and ACL MD Lyle Sheltonwere shouted down by opponents waving rainbow flags and banners. Police report the event ended peacefully without arrests. However a spokesperson has warned of further trouble suggesting: “The LGBTI community had been passive for so long. Maybe that needs to stop because we are getting walked all over”.

MEANTIME, Shelton took to social media to express fears over what is in store for those who oppose same-sex legislation. Following an egging of the ACL’s Deakin offices Shelton tweeted: “Saturday, activists shouted down mums concerned about ‘Safe Schools’, yesterday they threatened to post ‘noxious’ substances, today this”. The lobbyist, who rarely backs down from an argument – or a media opportunity – says the ACL has been forced to employ private security and notify police weeks in advance of any rally.

AND clear positions have been taken by local media on the postal poll, at least in the case of Mix-FM’s breakfast newsreader, David Sharaz. The former SBS journalist used social media to back CM Andrew Barr, bizarrely tweeting: “Don’t worry Chief. Nobody looks back at the civil rights movement with regret. You’re on the right side of history”. And: “Rallying against marriage equality in the ACT is pointless. It’s like trying to promote smoking in a hospital”.

ASSEMBLY member for Ginninderra Tara Cheyne is finding it difficult to move forward. She continues to feature prominently on the Belconnen Community Centre website more than 18 months after leaving the organisation. Ms Cheyne resigned as chair of the BCC in December, 2015, after being pre-selected by Labor.

ACCURATE stats on people attempting suicide from the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge are scarce but such attempts, while not common, continue to occur. A Canberra man visiting the bridge several years ago, on the anniversary of his son’s suicide there, was shattered to witness police drag the body of another young man from the water. Last week one more young person jumped off the bridge during peak-hour traffic. While funding was found for a higher rail to protect cyclists from falling into traffic on the bridge, there appears no such priority to suicide proof the iconic structure.

That Tony Abbott Song

By Mike Welsh

Given I’d knocked out scores of corny ditties for radio shows, including for Prime Ministers Howard (little Johnny H) and Gillard (Julia G the Ginger Dreamboat), and not to forget the Rudd Rapp, in the spirit of partisan political piss-taking I felt obligated to work on one for the (almost) latest Lodge occupant.

But thankfully (They Don’t Get) ‘Me’ has grown out of all proportion in comparison to my puny attempts to parody PMs. Instead of a couple of gratuitous spins on radio and a hundred hits on YouTube and Soundcloud, thanks to the talented Sydney Heavy/Pop trio Velveteen, the song has become a critically -acclaimed commentary and an exceedingly more polished musical project illustrated by TBS collaborators Friday Mash.

I’d always liked the manner in which Tony Abbott turned up and got on with the job. I don’t think it’s ever bothered him what people think of him. He was just happy to be able to kick the heads John Howard directed him to kick. He’s a roll- up-your-sleeves type of guy.

It’s “what you get is what you see” in its purest form. But even after years clothed in the disciplined hairshirt of Catholicism I suspect there’s a faint voice Modestly whispering, “after all I do, why don’t they get ?”

In a way (They Don’t Get) ‘Me’ is part praise of Tony Abbott. In the same manner I eulogised his mentor in “Little Johnny H”,

…He can’t walk on water, he can’t raise the dead. How can he be so damn good when he can’t lie straight in bed?

The Rudd Rap takes a bolder and more boastful narrative,

there’s a whole bunch of stuff a lot of folks don’t see…I’m back in the Lodge cos I kept a spare key I’m Kevin Bloody Rudd and it’s all about me

Tony Abbott deserves to have at least a corny ode written about him. I’m modestly satisfied I’ve been able to contribute to Velveteen’s masterpiece

John Howard Hurts Families

In the mid 90s my six year old daughter rushed into the kitchen crying.Through sobs she said the man on TV had just said “John Howard hurts families”

She’d obviously seen either a commercial or a political commentator on television and the stinger for my daughter was the “hurting families” part. And it upset her greatly.

How do you explain to a distraught 6 year old child that it was nothing more than a political parasite playing with the truth in order to gain a political advantage.

That child is now a young woman and sadly, acutely aware of the cavalier fashion in which the politicians treat honesty

On the eve of the last election another political parasite was playing with the truth (no cuts to ABC) to gain a political advantage. Was he totally sure there were no innocent, trusting young kiddies were watching the TV?