November 21, 2013

Tony Jones: After this week's leakage, I'm So Over You


So there I was. When not watching TVSN, I'd been saving myself, for you dear Tony Jones, on Monday nights.  When, come 9.30, I would toss aside the tea towel, rally the cat, pour a Pimm's, and dim the lights ....for you alone.

Yours, for so many years, has been the voice of and for the people. And to the midlife sector, you were Monday night's scrumptious cupcake, for we women (and even blokey blokes) of a certain age. However now dear Tony - I publicly announce to my t-w-o Facebook Followers that it's OVER!

Et je ne regrette rien. How and why so? Because MONEY. And, a sprinkling of organisational hypocrisy.

His name was not Bond

It all began with that Australian-Indonesian spying revelation – which has left Prime Minister Abbott with egg on his face, rather than on his nasi goreng.

Of course Indonesia was unimpressed, learning via “our ABC” (who learnt via the Guardian, who learnt via Edward Snowdon) about Australia's clandestine James Bond activities.

And at a time when we were all getting along so well. And boy did we need it, with people smugglers and border issues to sort through.

But then, our ABC - arbiter of justice, and all things “ethical” - spilled the beans on an issue which it deemed to be in the "public interest". This being an exposé in the form of a Powerpoint presentation. What?!.

Subsequently, ABC manager Mark Scott, was heard on 774 radio, earnestly justifying the ABC's actions in publishing the top secret Australian Government information.

And was the sky really falling?

However, alas(!) with beautiful timing, surplus egg accomplished a swift U-turn, making its way onto Mr Scott's face, when (remaining fixed on Henny-Penny autopilot), he expressed with equal vigour, his outrage at the leaking of ABC salary information. Which surfaced just half a day later.

And what a bon bon that was! Whoever leaked it? That was so so naughty.

BUT, well done you!

Who would have known that, for his nuanced weekly panel show, Tony Jones pocketed $355,789 annually. Plenty of egg to go around in his household. No wonder he looks like a smug, contented, well fed Paddington bear – sitting among his esteemed, assorted well fed panelists.

And, as “the list” caused an uproar of in-house jealousy and outrage among ABC colleagues - to those in the ordinary, less-secure working world, the leak revealed that at least 43 ABC presenters (et al), were paid $210,100-plus per year - placing them in the top 1% of Australian wage earners!

What the fruitbat!

The leak also indicated that ABC male staff were clearly paid more than women for comparable jobs: in an organisation which is publicly funded, and routinely declares its support of social equality (as it vents condemnation at corporations and politicians that don’t.). Whoops!

However, as ABC presenters fight it out amongst themselves, in Jakarta, the Australian flag in recent hours has been burned by furious Indonesians protesting over the spying controversy.

Naturally the Indonesian spying fiasco will get a major airing on next Monday night's Q&A. Not surprisingly, the resulting egg left on Prime Minister Abbott's face, and the egg pelted facade of Australia's embassy in Indonesia, will be discussed ad nauseum by all and sundry. 

Here's hoping there's additional egg left-over for ABC presenters to pelt each other with around the office water cooler. Love to see that.

And so, the ABC’s own dirty washing/salary secrets will get pushed further under the radar, along with other unpalatable questions facing those who really are living on struggle street and facing actual inequities (the homeless, unemployed, hospital and ambulance services, the aged care and education sector).

Is it no wonder that other key domestic issues only rarely ever see the light of day. Meantime, Mark Scott - who only sees himself as a "messenger" - pockets $678,940 annually. 

My fact-checking department tells me that's $1,860 a day! Nice work.

At least with Indonesia now likely to suspend Australian meat imports, there's an obvious alternative source of protein. Egg.

So sorry Tony Jones (et al). From now on, I’m saving myself only for that other gorgeously, urbane chatty man, Alan Carr (across the digital aisles at ABC2).

At least he’s funny, provides mixed cocktails on-set, and is probably cheap.



  1. Ha! It amuses me sometimes, the people in power and the salaries they get. Meanwhile Centrelink and the powers that be tell me that $12k/year is perfectly adequate to live off. If that were the case, then everyone would be doing it...

    Thanks for this post - it's good to keep up with the things of the real world every once in a while :)

  2. Could I comment on the ABC salary issue first. The presenters do not earn this amount for their entire career, only part of it. Commercial presenters earn much more. Being employed by the ABC limits their ability to earn extra from endorsements etc, as they are bound by the ABC Charter.

    Love your blog, with lots of useful information. As a currently unemployed woman in her fifties I too have struggled with contract work, long periods "between assignments" and competing with younger candidates for the past 8 years. It's a long road.

    I was really angry when the Productivity Commission recommended moving the pension age to 70.Just how many companies are realistically prepared to employ people over 50 up to 70? Very few.

    Oh well, you have to keep positive, especially with Christmas approaching and all the push by advertisers to spend,spend, spend.
    Newstart does not allow much of that!

    PS Sorry for commenting as Anonymous, as I do not have a lising under any of the other options. Must get more tech savvy!