I am a whirling dervish of confusion and its social media that is wreaking such havoc with my mind.
A little social media revolution has occurred with the campaign, or war, waged against Alan Jones. Rightly so I say, he needed to be reminded that we are a society that is based on civility. That we are a society that will ensure that those that step outside our collective boundaries of decency and common sense, are reigned back in. This is not, as some have called it, a Nanny state.
Jones, we know, is a mouthpiece for Tony Abbott and the coalition. He shows no care or respect for Julia Gillard, the elected Prime Minister and he has been punished for it. Yet, he and Tony Abbott are screaming that this is all ‘cyberbullying.’ Sorry fellas, but this is simply a public demanding that certain levels of decency are maintained. Jones can pop on a fancy tie and pocket square, turn on a microphone and say whatever pops in to his head, ad infinitum. When the public don’t think this is okay, he screeches and gets all hot under the collar.
Now, the confusion part comes in with Neil Mitchell’s blog this morning… and he on one hand is saying that misogyny is not okay and we must stand up for women – nicely done Neil, until this little salvo.. “Nicola Roxon and the hand bag hit squad are going after Tony Abbott because of his attitude to women. That is so absurdly hypocritical it’s painful.” Nicola Roxon and the handbag hit squad! Suggesting that things are a bit hypocritical Neil and then dropping in this little gem is in itself, absurdly hypocritical when you are calling for respect for women!
Mitchell continues on a similar vein when he suggests Craig Thompson has a problem with women because it is ‘alleged’ that he paid for prostitutes, “Julia Gillard takes Craig Thomson’s vote for the same reason, so she has two men keeping her in power with real problems with women. Tony Abbott is a complete saint compared to these two, yet he is unpopular with women. Julia Gillard is even more unpopular with men. There is a gender divide here, but the fact remains: Julia Gillard takes votes from these two grubs and then she sets her dogs on Tony Abbott because she says he has a problem with women.”
I think Neil needs to look at the use of language here, and drop the suggestion that we need to change our attitude to women. What needs to happen here is that the right wing, self appointed shock jocks who take pot shots at the PM need to learn a little bit about balance and respect. Be reminded gentlemen that, regardless of whether there is respect for the occupant, there must be respect for the office.
You see, Mitchell continued “That is ugly, absurd and hypocritical. It goes to the heart of what is wrong with the government. It’s a fixer, it does deals, it doesn’t govern. To Hell with morality or standards.” It seems Mitchell is the one who has dropped standards, and morality. Just because the government has relied on the vote of Craig Thompson as an independent (who has every option to vote with both sides of the house!), it is being suggested that we are in a country that has a government with no morality or standards? Thats drawing a very long bow Neil, especially when your station and that of Alan Jones in NSW are the mouthpieces for an unhappy opposition.
Some social media figures out today are comforting, especially when we users can see that we have some power.
There are some 11.5M Facebook accounts or users, about 5.5M blogs or bloggers and 2.15M twitter users. The stats might suggest that most of these users will have accounts on multiple platforms, but if we are to wage another campaign that harnesses the power of the people, then social media is the way to engage the people.
If we are to show some care and respect to one another, and if we are to hold public commentators to account, then it is imperative that we use our voice to demand decency and respect. This has happened with Mr Jones and I dare say it will happen when others read and digest Neil Mitchell’s blog.
We are an enlightened and civilised society, and we must demand the same civility from broadcasters and journalists alike. We the people must continue to use social media to demand this, and it has already been proven that we can, especially in the Alan Jones case. That he is presenting a program without a sponsors zac involved means that the demands we made as a collective have worked.
I remain confused, not quite the dervish I was when I started, as I remind myself that with a keyboard, a microphone or a camera, every person has the tools to demand that we respect each other.
Lets just hope that we use them properly.