WHEN SLOBBERING SIR LES RATTLED THE GATES

By Mike Welsh – July 8, 2019 Share Canberra’s trusted news:

Seven Days columnist MIKE WELSH reflects on a week in the life in Canberra. 

THE gravitas of the office of Governor-General remains safe after the smooth transition from Sir Peter Cosgrove to David Hurley. But there was a time when the sobriety and decorum of the role was seriously disrespected. 

It was the day in 2003 when 23rd GG Peter Hollingworth resigned. A drunken, loudmouthed former diplomat turned up at the gatehouse to Yarralumla’s most prestigious address, demanding to be admitted.

Shouting: “Let me in, let me in”, the dishevelled, slobbering interloper with suitcase on wheels and large media pack in tow, was none other than cultural attache to the Court of St James, Sir Les Patterson, who felt his turn in the vice-regal gig had come. The brilliant publicity stunt was arranged by promoter to the stars Coralie Wood to drum up ticket sales for the Canberra leg of yet another Barry Humphries touring show.

Alan Jones will present the 2CC morning show from July 15.

LISTENER reaction to 2CC’s shock decision to outsource its breakfast show won’t be known until October when results from GfK’s Canberra radio survey are released. The struggling station will simulcast Alan Jones’ 2GB breakfast show from Sydney. Dislodged breakfast host Tim Shaw moves to drive (3pm-6pm).

The move is smart business. Jones is a brilliant broadcaster and, in my humble opinion, second only to John Laws, with daylight third. Given Shaw’s soft ratings, Jones (who will be much cheaper) will rate highly and provide his GB stablemate Ray Hadley with the greater Canberra lead-in audience he’s been demanding for years.

Goodbye to the “Human Headline”, Derryn Hinch. Photo: Mike Welsh

FORMER shock-jock and now former Justice Party senator Derryn Hinch has left his mark on the capital. The “Human Headline”, who has returned to TV and SkyNews, has had the pathway to his favourite Canberra bar named in his honour and made safer.

Before leaving Canberra, he cut the ribbon to “Hinch Way”, a new, improved path to Ostani Bar and Restaurant at Barton’s Hotel Realm where he had a fall in the dark last year.

TRANSPORT Canberra is dexterous in disciplining staff if nothing else. The body managed to slap the wrist of an employee’s heavy handed approach to a suspected light-rail fare evader. TC has apologised to the teenager who was booted off the tram after failing to produce a student ID. Executive group manager for Transport Canberra Judith Sturman mitigated the incident, explaining staff are on a “learning curve”.

CANBERRA renters may have stumbled upon an inexpensive method of keeping warmer this winter. Local renters are bubble wrapping their windows to retain heat. Advocacy group Better Renting, which offers the home visit scheme “Home Truths”, says the DIY insulation can cut heating bills by up to 50 per cent.

The homeless campsite in Civic. Photo: Mike Welsh

AND spare a thought for those forced to sleep rough during a harsh Canberra winter. A campsite has materialised just metres from one of our major traffic thoroughfares. It’s possibly the same camp that until recently was briefly located in Glebe Park across from building giant Geocon’s city office. But any awkward juxtaposition was eliminated when the camp moved to West Basin before relocating to its present Civic site.

THE ANU AFL club won’t forget a recent road trip to Batemans Bay quickly. Three players ended up at the local ED, with two requiring some serious needle work after a clashing of heads in the final seconds of a game against the Batemans Bay SeaHawks. A hospital official said it had been a quiet afternoon until the wounded Griffos landed

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CANBERRA CITY NEWS JUNE 6

By Mike Welsh

SPARE a thought for recently re-elected ALP member for Fenner Andrew Leigh.

Poor sod spent countless hours smiling on early morning TV and arguing on late night “Q&A”, building a national profile, only to find himself on the backbench. 

The factionally unaligned Leigh was heading for a ministry in a Shorten government, but has been overlooked for a spot on Albo’s opposition team.

ANU economist Warwick McKibbin’s tweet: “When Andrew Leigh, the best economist in the parliament is not in the shadow ministry, you know something is wrong”, may test Leigh’s commitment to Labor’s cause. And the general consensus that Albo’s team is lined with “mediocrities”, would add to Leigh’s misery.

THE cruel dumping hasn’t dampened Leigh’s liking for a sledge, though. Leigh tweeted: “Since 2016, Labor has had a shadow minister for charities, now the Coalition has decided to copy the idea. Just two small downsides: 1. It’s an assistant minister. 2. It’s Zed Seselja. Perhaps they should be honest, and call him the assistant minister against charities?” Seselja fired back: “On the other hand, there appears to be little downside for the ALP in dumping you”. Ouch !!

FANS of angry-old-man-radio are pleased to learn Alan Jones remains on the wireless until at least his 80th birthday. AJ signed a two-year contract with 2GB, which relays parts of his breakfast show to Canberra via 2CC. The shock jock’s stablemate Ray Hadley, recently touted as a replacement should Jones “walk”, was quoted as being “comfortable” with the signing. Sources from inside the conservative bunker suggest Hadley is anything but.

RUGBY superstar David Pocock usually has plenty to say on issues dear to his heart but was more measured recently. As the sporting media gathered to hear his plans of enhancing his World Cup chances by quitting Super League and the Brumbies, Pocock virtually confirmed a post-rugby political career by impressively sidestepping the inevitable question about his future.

The South African-born athlete, who came to the capital in 2013, said: “The Brumbies have given me a home for the last seven years. They’ve supported me through injury and given me the opportunity to work on my game and my leadership as part of an incredible group of men”. 

The activist also thanked fans and the city: “Canberra has well and truly become my home. Em and I love living here, being part of the community.”

THE shock 2017 announcement of Belconnen Myer’s closure has been reversed. After a “new lease arrangement” was reached between the retail giant and Scentre (operator of Westfield), a downsized Myer will emerge at the Belconnen landmark.

AT nearby Hawker the pharmacy is now under the bright purple and orange banner of the Hawker Discount Drug Store, part of a chain spreading down the east coast and through the ACT. One local wag, showing his age, wanted to know if the drug store sold “ice-cream sodas” and if “Richie Cunningham and The Fonz would be dropping by”.

CANBERRA AFL stalwart Aaron Bruce has reached a special milestone in his long career. The Canberra Demons’ skipper notched up 150 NEAFL games, becoming only the fourth player in the comp’s history to do so.

Rupert Murdoch may be spending more time at his Yass weekender after the announcement of a new news site dedicated to Canberra (the ‘burbs not the bubble). Murdoch, who started “The Australian” in Braddon in 1964 has launched the Canberra Star digital-only site that will focus on “connecting with local communities who are often seeking new ways to stay in touch with what’s happening on their doorstep”.

FRIGHTENING reports are emerging across social media of food, possibly laced with poison, being tossed into Canberra backyards. A Flynn dog owner warned owners to be vigilant after her dog returned home with dark chocolate in its mouth. And a Bonython resident reported finding a raw chicken stuffed with rat poison in her yard.

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Another Year for LAWSIE

FROM http://www.thebigsmoke.com.au

By Mike Welsh

The great man sounded grumpy when we spoke just after midday. Understandably so, as Richard John Sinclair Laws CBE OBE had just finished another demanding three-hour on-air talkback radio shift.

The phone call was to discuss his new book LAWSIE: Well…you wanted to know (New Holland) one which, astonishingly, Laws claims to have not yet read. The book chronicles a series of in-depth interviews with the publisher and the man himself, over a twelve month period.

Fans of Laws will quickly spot the lack of anything bowel-shatteringly new in the book, as it’s nigh on impossible for there to be anything novel about the ‘King Of Radio’. Everything about both this shy man’s very public and private existences has been minutely examined, forensically probed and widely published. His unique style has been aped by scores of wannabes over the past six decades, and yet, approaching his 82nd birthday, he still broadcasts on a daily basis. Quite an achievement, I suggest. Laws disagrees: “ I don’t think it’s an achievement, it was nothing I’d planned, it just happened. It’s simply a matter of survival.”

If it comes to it, who would play John Laws in the movie?

“I don’t think I could play a good Clint Eastwood, but I think Clint Eastwood might be able to play a good John Laws”.

 

 

The man whom former Prime Minister Paul Keating once described as the “World’s Greatest Broadcaster” applies an odd caveat to his role in the publication, stating that “This is not a book that I actually wrote, but it is my words. Somebody asked me a bunch of questions, and I answered a bunch of questions”. Laws is pleased with the overall presentation of the book, but dislikes the 60s era black and white photo on the back cover “I don’t ever remember looking like that.”

A testament to Laws’ unique relationship with (and vast influence over) mainstream Australia, is the consistent and long procession of grovelling politicians seeking direct access to the broad audience that only he can deliver. Laws describes Paul Keating as “a really good bloke with a terrific sense of humour and although I’ve not seen him for a while, I still regard him as a friend”. As for the current Lodge dweller, Laws points out that the Malcolm Turnbull we are seeing at the moment “Is the Malcolm Turnbull who wants to stay in power, but I believe he will change as he grows into the role of Prime Minister. He’s a very bright man.”

 

 

So, has John Laws mellowed down the years? “No, some people say I have but I’m just as angry as I ever was. I don’t have any trouble being angry. I’m not angry all the time, I have soft moments.”

Laws steps away from that when I broach the topic of one of his favourite radio stations, 2UE. Is the current lowly status of 2UE symptomatic of talkback radio now, I wondered? Laws booms in response: “2UE is a tragedy…used to be a great broadcasting station. It’s been allowed to unwind. I think it’s a disgrace what’s happened to 2UE, somebody should stop and have a close look at it”. In the book, Laws is more succinct in his assessment of the radio station that was at or near the top for decades: “2UE is fucked.”

Laws surprisingly speaks fondly of his former 2UE colleague (and sometimes adversary) Alan Jones, describing him as a competent broadcaster, and sympathises with his current poor state of health.

 

The Malcolm Turnbull we are seeing at the moment “Is the Malcolm Turnbull who wants to stay in power, but I believe he will change as he grows into the role of Prime Minister. He’s a very bright man.

 

In the book, Laws tells of a lunch organised by radio king-maker John Brennan (who once said that Laws “had a voice that would curl a frangipani”) at which both Laws and Jones “laughed their heads off”. Laws says “Alan is great company.”

Given the ferocity of their long running feud, I ask if there is a chance of a similar breaking of bread with his onetime under study 2GB’s Ray Hadley?

Laws responds curtly: “No, I only have lunch with people I like…Ray has been bitter for a very long time, as I’ve often said, Ray Hadley always wants to be John Laws. But he can’t be, because I am.”

I attempt to dig deeper into the soul of the man, suggesting that there is a more spiritual Laws on display in the book. He feels there is a difference between believing in God and attending church: “All the Popes, Bishops, Cardinals and Deacons with their fancy garb mean little to me. There were no costly clothes or self-glorification for Jesus, and that says a lot about him.” That being said, Laws is unsure if there is an after-life, deferring to Kerry Packer’s famous quip after he ventured too close to the other side: ”There’s nothing there.”

On the topic of death, I queried him about a reporter’s recent insensitive question on the appeal of dying on the air. Laws offers a laugh, and quotes Woody Allen in response: “I’m not afraid of death I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

If it comes to it, who would play John Laws in the movie?

“I don’t think I could play a good Clint Eastwood, but I think Clint Eastwood might be able to play a good John Laws”.

 

IT’S A LONG WAY FROM ORANGE TO THE WHITE HOUSE IF YOU WANT TO REALLY ROCK N ROLL

Mike Welsh

 In the (politically) strange times in which we live, a big chunk of the world which didn’t vote continues to ponder over how Donald J was voted into  the  ultimate gig.

Apparently, according to Jane Everstadt writing on the  weblog the Daily KOS www.dailykos.com  it was right there all along….blasting into the ears of a lot of Americans…who vote. It was the all electric wireless and a shockjock with a mighty ( possibly almighty) big mouth   who can take the credit for the installation of Donald J Trump as the 45th POTUSOA.

ray an alan

No it wasn’t either of these two century making  roosters. However Alan Jones and Ray Hadley might want to read both of big Rush’s best selling tomes , The Way Things Ought To Be  and See, I Told You So  over the summer break if they are serious about installing Scott Morrison or Tony Abbott into the Lodge.. There is a lot of beige between an Orange by-election and the White House.

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Rush Limbaugh got Donald Trump elected

 By Jane Everstadt

Hillary Clinton was the most qualified presidential candidate ever. But she could not overcome the hatred that has grown against her after three decades of demonization by Rush Limbaugh. The talk-radio host started attacking Hillary Clinton in the early 1990s when she promoted health care reform. He coined the terms “Billary” and “feminazi.”  He popularized the concept of “overeducation.”

His phrases, jokes, attitudes, and lies became The Truth for millions of people. He has made excellent use of humor to influence voters to oppose environmental protection, women’s rights, civil rights, and education funding.  An entire generation grew up believing feminists are failed women, the free market will make health care affordable, and climate change is a hoax.

Trump voters didn’t come to these conclusions on their own after reading the Dallas Morning News and Time Magazine. These ideas were wedged into their brains by a sophisticated propaganda machine. Repeated, day after day, year after year. You can even recognize a right-wing radio fan by the phrases they parrot.

rush-limb-x-1

Many liberals and moderates have dismissed Limbaugh as irrelevant, or only listened to by Guys Who Eat Lunch In Their Trucks. But he is on the middle of the radio dial for three hours every weekday, in every square inch reached by radio waves.  People listen in their cars, kitchens, garages, offices, warehouses, air-conditioned tractors, and through their earbuds wherever they are.  These people vote.

 

 

The Bi-Sexual Dog

By Mike Welsh

Has Lawrence “just a funny guy” Mooney finally made it to the big time?

Sharing top billing on the Douche Directory with Alan Jones and Kanye West may have elevated “LowRents” to the big end of town. Or at least people who have never heard of him now have.

All three were nominees last week for “Douche Of The Week” on the SBS current affairs show “the Feed”. For Mooney it was a Douche debut. Tough category and among Group One company but the form guide suggests he’s a chance of winning the gong. This could be career defining moment for “LowRents”.

Granted it’s only February but Mooney would also have to be a super red-hot fave to take out the influential Annual “Ray Hadley Glass Jaw” award.

Lawrence Moony who made a “name” for himself outside Melbourne comedy circles for dropping the “c” word on national TV, arced up big time over comments made by a part-time comedy critic following his show at the recent Adelaide comedy festival .

This is part of Isabella Fowler’s review in the ‘tiser…..

WHAT is the difference between “just a funny guy” and a comedian? This is what I am left wondering after an hour at Rhino Room with Lawrence Mooney. A jibe at Malcolm Turnbull that carries on a little too long (OK, we get it, he speaks like he’s had a private education) and a clumsy story about three women named Margaret has me thinking Mooney falls under the former.

While the man with a number of accolades under his belt has an undeniably natural demeanour and commanding stage presence, it seems Mooney’s comedic philosophy revolves around the idea that inserting a booming profanity at the end of a frankly unfunny story automatically makes it funny.

“The bottom line is — Lawrence Mooney is just a funny guy under a spotlight. Isabella Fowler

Bad move and poor form. Exposing your leg stump is never the best form of defence.

For days after the spiteful spray from Mooney the twittersphere was awash with juvenile barbs and surprisingly a few tweets from “establishment” comedy performers who saw fit to come to the defence of “the funny man in the spotlight”.

Similar to the “official” response after a senior pollie is caught out doing something he/she shouldn’t be doing, there are always a few colleagues who are prepared to briefly pause at the daily door stop and offer a few words in the positive. Kind of a brotherhood. Wonder what they really think.

For her sins writer Fowler copped this caustic gobful from Mooney…..

 “deadshit” and “f***ing amateur”

 “Are you deaf or an idiot? You did hear people laughing hard for an hour didn’t you @BellaFowler93 Best you stick to real estate and food. Your review is a piece of shit, your journalism is worse.”

As reviews go Fowler’s was as beige as it was brief but good old “LowRents” chose to go hard and then reload and go some more.

He pulled out the lazy and well worn tactic of the “I have nothing” brigade by denigrating the writer rather than the work, suggesting the critic was not a “real” Comedy Reviewer but a Real Estate and Food writer in her day job.

Poor form from a “pro”. That’s like saying fellow Glass Jaw alumni  “Ray-Bans” Hadley, despite his stellar radio career, is a greyhound race caller or taxi driver. Wikipedia says “LowRents” was once a window cleaner!!

Bottom Line Lawrence. Remember the infamous story of the bi-sexual family dog called “Butch” ? He was loved and respected by all because he could give it AND he could take it.

 

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Memo to Alan Jones and Ray Hadley and Tony Abbott. LISTEN and LEARN

By Mike Welsh tone 5 A “rusted on” Liberal party supporter called the open line of Neil Mitchell’s radio program on Melbourne’s 3AW today. “Andrew” offered a sage piece of advice to Neil’s studio guest, Prime Minister Tony Abbott. However, unlike the limp-wristed “critiques” handed out recently by Mitchell’s Sydney talkback colleagues, Alan Jones and Ray Hadley, Melbourne caller “Andrew” delivered his Prime Ministerial missive with the precision of a surgeon and the skill and pain of a beach-towel flick to the testicles.

I’m a Liberal voter through and through but I’ve got to be got to be honest and truthful with you, Mr Prime Minster, you’re on the nose with Liberal voters and that’s a real concern to me because I don’t want to see you give the keys to Bill Shorten at the Lodge. I have got to tell you you are the world’s worst salesman, Prime Minister”…. Andrew 3AW caller

Headmaster Jones put him “on notice” over his lacklustre performance and the Greyhound race-caller Hadley marked Tony Abbott’s report card down to a D minus, but both broadsides were no more than clouds of hysterical dust which quickly vanished. ray an alan Andrew’s articulate and concise appraisal of Abbott will hang in the electoral ether for much longer and do more damage. Andrew’s perceptive on-air judgment of Abbott’s sales performance says much about those who listen to Mitchell, and the blind followers who listen to the Talkback Titans.  While former newspaper man Mitchell is bland and measured, he has dominated the Melbourne radio market for almost three decades.  And despite the hype surrounding the conservatives Jones and Hadley, basically thanks to their programs networked to Colac, Cooma and Coonabarabran, Mitchell is considered by astute judges as consistently a better practitioner of the art of Talkback radio. mitchell While Jones and Hadley don’t listen and learn, on the off chance Tony Abbott failed to heed Andrew’s message I humbly made a few suggestions on how he may have approached his toxic talkback caller, on my “boutique” radio program on 2HC in Coffs Harbour

The Day Ray Hadley Dropped My Name, Completely

By Mike Welsh 
 
If anyone wanted further proof that broadcaster Ray Hadley is more than slightly sensitive and extremely childish…this is from 2014

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Driving home from an early morning jog around Lake Burley Griffin on a mild May morning in 2012, A.M Radio activated, 9 am news done and dusted and the banjo intro theme fading.. Raymond Morris Hadley OAM proceeded to “rip me a new one”…deluxe. I’d been pre- warned a severe slap was on its way but I was totally unprepared for the childish “mine is bigger than yours” outburst which was delivered to the hundreds of thousands of listeners tuned to the scores of radio stations which take his daily morning program. And the silly sausage forgot to mention my name. People in Bundaberg and Bendigo and Griffith and Goulburn are to this day  still none the wiser as to the identity of bollockee.
During seven minutes of the opening stanza of Ray’s nationally syndicated radio program I went from being…. “my old mate Welshy down there in Canberra” ….to…. “that bloke in the Afternoon on 2CC” . Ray Hadley had completely dropped my name.
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 Hadley

 

Frank Langella's book on the Famous folk..as he he knew them.
Frank Langella’s book on the Famous folk..as he he knew them.

I’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.