Monday, October 8, 2012

Legitimate Tactics

Dear Mr Jones,

Unfortunately, you seem to have misunderstood much of the protest that is going on around you, so I’m taking this opportunity to share some wisdom with you.

You’re a bully and a sook, Mr Jones.

If you reacted the way the rest of humanity reacts, you’d be wishing the last few weeks of your life hadn’t happened. You’re not like us though, and I’d use lots of lovely words to describe you now, but I daresay that you’d respond by calling me one of those cyber-bully witches, hell-bent on destroying the joint. I guess you’d say my Muslim father deserted me before I was born because even he was ashamed of the potential of my foetus-like state, and then you tell your faithful listeners that I should’ve been shoved in a chaff bag and dumped out at sea years ago. You’d call me gullible and stupid because I studied science in high school, and you’d call me a socialist because climate change is real. Gee, if I annoy you enough, you might even hire a bus to bring some of your elderly audience members on a nice bus trip to a rally, a Convoy of No Tolerance, where you’ll stand beside the Leader of the Opposition and call me Sal-Liar before a backdrop offensive banners.

I’m just guessing.

The reason I bothered listing your probable responses is to demonstrate a pattern of behaviour characterised by gender-based verbal abuse, dog-whistles and veiled threats. That, Mr Jones, is bullying, and in most workplaces in Australia you would be fired for that. You consistently display a standard of behaviour which is not acceptable in our society.

Strangely enough, you, your colleague Mr Hadley, and your opposition Mr Sandilands are employed to deliver a measure of this unacceptable behaviour, genteelly disguised as ‘entertainment’. This protest is not about you; it is about us, and we choose not to tolerate your abuse, your rudeness and your disrespect.

What you are witnessing now, this campaign that you and Russell Tate have labelled as “21st Century Cyber-bullying” is nothing but a loosely organised effort to send you and your employers the message that your version of “entertainment” is not acceptable. We have tried to deliver this message to you in other ways, but your own arrogant, self-righteous attitude has meant that the message is never heard.
Even now, when your years of abusing people, of wilful ignorance, of blatant intolerance is costing your employer up to $100,000 per day, you are still drawing a paycheque we could only dream of – but you think you’re the victim here?

You are not a victim. Go out to Villawood and have a chat with some of the refugees you like to mock. Find out about their lives. Volunteer yourself for next year’s series of SBS’s Go Back To Where You Came From. Spend a week on unemployment benefits. Do something hard.

Now let me tell you about cyber-bullying. There’s a wanna-be politician named Mark Sharma in Strathfield area. He’s stood for election several times in the past few years, always unsuccessfully, and he tweets as @vos2135. I have engaged him on Twitter to discuss his politics, and he threatened my life when I challenged his opinion. You might like to refer to the FBI’s definition of cyber-bullying, but I doubt you will; erroneous hyperbole is much more your style.

Is anyone threatening your life, Mr Jones? Is David McCarthy threatening your life? He has cancelled his sponsorship of your station, and your beloved car was part of the deal. The deal is dead – give the man back his car and stop trying to undermine the brand that has treated you so well for years.

Meanwhile, Mr Jones’ words on air this morning bear repeating:

“These false petitions are anything but civilised. The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

"This is, as I said, a forensic campaign based on petitioning businesses.”

"Virtually jamming up emails, jamming up switchboards, trying any threatening tactic they can to make businesses cease to be associated with this program.

"They get hold of the sponsors, they provide a direct link to the complaints section and then you sit in front of a button and you go all day.
"Businesses have great difficulty doing business while withstanding that stuff, but they shouldn't have to.

"If this is not illegal, it ought to be."
"As I said, if it happened anywhere else in society, this kind of bullying or harassment or intimidation or threatening conduct, the police would be called in.

Some are annoyed at the decision we've taken not to advertise. The decision has one purpose and one purpose alone: give innocent, hard-working people employing advertisers a break from cyber-terrorism, a break from bullying, a break from harassment.

"If there are people out there who agree with this tactic of cyber-harassment and cyber-bullying and cyber-terrorism, well put you hand up and say so.

"C'mon, find the guts to say so: 'I agree that this is a legitimate tactic.' “
  Okay Mr Jones, here it is:

I agree that this is a legitimate tactic.

For the record, this open letter is not bullying, and if I may, I'd like to offer you some advice: Listen to what you’re being told. Your style is no longer acceptable in our society, and we will continue to protest it in any legal, ethical, legitimate way we can.

You have made yourself a popular target and you have a large microphone.

We have right on our side.


Sally Piracha

This is the text of the petition Mr Jones finds "uncivilised".


  1. Wow, Sal. Powerful. Thanks, as always, for putting it out there.

  2. Excellent article, Sal. I have re-read and savoured the words of real wisdom. Unlike the carping half-truths I heard from Mike Smith today as he berated Jenna Price. Thank you.

    1. Jenna was great, but I think the entire MRN organisation has missed the point. Thanks Arch!

  3. Well said indeed