Alan Jones

Medicinal Cannabis coming to Australia

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As more states and countries around the world start legalising cannabis the pressure is going to come on John Key to look at legalisation of cannabis sooner rather than later.

Tony Abbott is a convert and his government is moving to legislate for the introduction of medicinal cannabis.

The federal government would be given oversight over the production and distribution of medical cannabis under new legislation to make the make the drug available to patients with chronic pain.

The push to legalise medical cannabis is gathering pace, with Greens Senator Richard Di Natale, chairman of the cross-party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform, now finalising a bill that is set to be introduced into Parliament next month.

Supporters of legalised medical cannabis have been buoyed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s strong public support for the legalisation of the drug for medical use.

“I have no problem with the medical use of cannabis, just as I have no problem with the medical use of opiates,” Mr Abbott wrote in a letter to 2GB radio host Alan Jones, dated August 23.

“If a drug is needed for a valid medicinal purpose … and is being administered safely there should be no question of its legality.”

Jones, who has been campaigning in support of medical cannabis, read Mr Abbott’s letter on air earlier this month.

Senator Di Natale, a former GP, is also pushing for the Therapeutic Goods Administration to create a special category for the drug so that it can be available with a doctor’s prescription. The TGA currently lists cannabis as a prohibited substance.   Read more »

Journalists as politicians

With the alarming uptake of journalists moving to grab jobs as politicians, mostly for the Labour party it might be timely to re-visit an article from 2010 about this very same issue in Australia.

Sure it is from Australia and from four years ago but it makes for interesting reading nonetheless.

Peter Costello, now a civilian, has bagged the practice of journalists going into politics.

From Channel Nine’s 2010 election commentary panel, the former lawyer and Liberal treasurer (1996-2007) was remarking on the defeat of Labor’s Maxine McKew , a former ABC current affairs presenter/interviewer and Bulletin journalist, in the seat of Bennelong.

In his column for The Sydney Morning Herald on August 18 he wrote:

“Every so often a journalist chances their arm in real politics. Maxine McKew is one. Her underwhelming parliamentary career shows how much harder it is to do than it is to pontificate.”

Putting the possibility of partisan bias in Mr Costello’s dismissive remarks to one side, the issue of journalists crossing over into politics is worth thinking about.

Is it a good idea given the role of the Fourth Estate in a democracy?

Journalists are meant to be independent ‘pontificators’, objective observers of governance and a key part of the accountability process. They are not meant to cross over into party politics with all the vile distortions (spin doctoring) which accompany contemporary adversarial games.

Journalists, particularly political journalists like Maxine McKew, know about the viciousness of politics in Australia. They know about vested interest influence peddling through slush funding practices. They know about factionalism, tribalism, smear, character assassination and zealotry. They know about media management and focus group rhetorical and policy manipulations which pervert honest engagement with the electorate.

When a journalist decides to leave journalism for politics without a cleansing career change in the middle it does bring into question their ethics and leanings for their most recent work. It is much the same if a politician immediately becomes a lobbyist straight after bowing out of politics. It smells a bit whiffy and looks slightly dodgy.  Read more »

Sledge of the Day

Alan Jones on Joe Hockey about his stomach stapling:

He embarrassed Hockey over his recent weight loss, due to stomach stapling surgery, and said he hoped the doctors hadn’t taken his spine out during the operation.

There were plenty more sledges of Joe Hockey, who is likely to be Australia’s next Treasurer.

It began happily enough. Jones announced Hockey as ”the next treasurer of Australia”.

Jones did annotate this introduction with “the one left with the mess”, but still, any anointment from Jones is not to be lightly dismissed.

This is the man Hockey once called “the greatest broadcaster of all time”. Furthermore, it was the day after Treasurer Wayne Swan had brought down his sixth budget, and his sixth deficit. Barring an apocalyptic science fiction-esque event that results in a giant lizard demolishing Parliament House in a single swipe of its reptilian tail, it will also be Swan’s final budget.  Read more »

Alan Jones’ ratings go up

Despite the best attempts from Australia’s left wing media and political parties to vilify Alan Jones, his ratings have increased.

Alan Jones’ program on 2GB has maintained the top rating breakfast spot and increased its share despite the scandal surrounding the shock jock, with Macquarie Radio Network (MRN) chairman Russell Tate saying the “audience doesn’t care” about the controversy.

MRN’s 2GB was the highest rating station in Sydney, increasing its audience share by 0.3 percentage points to 14.5% share. Alan Jones’ breakfast show jumped 0.5 points to 17.3% share.

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Julia Gillard is a big girl’s blouse

Julia Gillard and her supporters like Anne Summers are acting like big girl’s blouses:

I agree with Summers it is ”terrible” to call the Prime Minister a liar. However, when I asked her if she had expressed such a view when Howard was called a liar, she declined to answer the question. Summers also takes offence that, on occasions, Gillard is referred to as ”she” or ”her” and maintains that ”previous prime ministers were accorded the basic respect of being referred to by their last names”.

This is manifestly not so. Moreover, last Thursday Gillard used the words ”he” and ”he’s” in one sentence when referring to Abbott.

This is normal conversation.

It seems that Summers’s evident sensitivity has had an impact on Gillard. Last Tuesday, the Prime Minister complained that Abbott was ”now looking at his watch because, apparently, a woman has spoken for too long”. In the 1992 US presidential campaign, George H.W. Bush was criticised for looking at his watch when debating Bill Clinton. This is not a gender specific act. Nor is being told to shut up. Nor is being called a ”piece of work”. Last year I was called a ”piece of work” by the Sydney University academic Simon Chapman. It took me a full eight seconds to recover.

The problem with such over-readiness to take offence is that it can lead to setting impossible standards. Last Tuesday, Gillard stated Liberal parliamentary members who were present when Alan Jones made an offensive comment about her late father should have either left the room or walked up to Jones ”and said this was not acceptable”. Yet neither Wayne Swan nor Tanya Plibersek took either course of action last Wednesday when a comedian at a trade union function they attended made an indefensible reference to a senior female Coalition staffer.

Sledge of the Day – A pedlar of fear and loathing

Mike Carlton on Alan Jones:

Once you get this about Jones, all else falls into place. He does not have to dumb down for his audience; he’s already there. He has a sure instinct for what his mob wants to hear, delivered in that prissy shriek, raving like a lunatic fleeing a burning building. The man is a pedlar of fear and loathing, preying on the lowest common denominator of gullible, frightened people who believe they are oppressed by evil forces out there that only he, Jones, has the courage to battle on their behalf. It is the confidence trick of demagogues down the ages.

There’s a surprise

Is Trev advising Julia?

A Facebook question-and-answer session hosted by the Prime Minister Julia Gillard descended into personal abuse today, as the row surrounding Alan Jones continued to rage.

But Ms Gillard’s office said the Facebook event, which was the first time a federal politician had engaged in such a session, was a popular success and only a “tiny minority” of comments were negative.

Participants in the online event made sexist and at times offensive comments about Ms Gillard, with one even asking her: “How’s your dad?”

Jonathan Marshall Sticking It To Them

Ex tabloid sludge merchant Jonathan Marshall has upset Australians as well as he did in New Zealand.

His latest expose has earned himself a write up:

THE New Zealand-born reporter who caught Alan Jones in the act of grave robbing has a Chaser-like knack of skirting the rules in search of the bigger picture.

Jonathan Marshall’s journalistic exposes back home were occasionally unbalanced by a sort of manufactured tabloid trashiness where facts bleed into fiction.

His secret taping of Jones’s repugnant mutterings to a Sydney University Liberal Club dinner 10 days ago was in keeping with his modus operandi.

I would chortle on my weet-bix however pot, kettle black on Fairfax and the Brisbane Times.

Check out the quality of their news.

Alan Jones to GetUp: 'Get stuffed'

I like Alan Jones, well, let me clarify that, I didn’t like him when he was the Wallabies coach. He is being attacked for telling the truth about Climate Change.

This is how he dealt with the tossers that are complaining about his statements:

Talkback radio host Alan Jones has told political group GetUp to “get stuffed” as it pursues a complaint against him with the broadcasting watchdog.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has been asked to investigate comments about man-made carbon dioxide that Jones allegedly made in March while broadcasting his popular morning program on Sydney’s 2GB station.

GetUp said it complained to ACMA because Jones said human beings produce 0.001 per cent of carbon dioxide in the air.

Jones today denied ever having made the comment and said the complaint was politically motivated.

“I never said that at all,” he said.

LISTEN: what Jones said

GetUp called for Jones to issue an on-air correction of the alleged statement.

“We’d certainly like to see Mr Jones correct this incorrect statement,” spokesman Paul Mackay said.

Jones responded: “Tell them to get stuffed.

“Who are Getup? What credibility do these people have? Nil.

“Other than they’ve backed the Labor Party.”