A controversial biography of Alan Jones is about to be published, and has been excerpted in the weekend papers. The blogosphere seems pretty focused on the relevations (which aren’t really relevations to anyone who has paid any attention to Jones over the years) about his likely (?) alleged (?) homosexuality.
But the thing that really struck me from the weekend was this story about how Jones uses and abuses his political influence. The story is about the people that Jones has lobbied Philip Ruddock about, generally trying to save them from being deported, but occasionally to try and get them deported, on behalf of his listeners. The Herald saw 12 letters from 1998/99, about half of whom Jones succeeded with.
I’ve almost succeeded in burying my outrage about Australian politics these days. It’s too depressing. But the thought that a national radio show host has the power to intervene so powerfully in a person’s life appalls me. If the person should have been deported (as in the main example – a German tourist who was working illegally) it’s an astounding abuse of power. If the person should not have been deported, then it just adds fuel to the fire of my suspicion that the Australian immigration department has let their literal life-and-death power go to their heads as they arbitrarily allow people to stay in Australia.
Did you know that Philip Ruddock is the only Member of the Australian Parliament (apart from John Howard) who keeps his email address a secret? You can send him an email via a form on his website.