Alan Jones with Anh Do: 'You always regret if you hurt anybody, that’s not what the power of the microphone is for' | radioinfo

Alan Jones with Anh Do: 'You always regret if you hurt anybody, that’s not what the power of the microphone is for'

Wednesday 12 June, 2019

Alan Jones reminisced about his country farm childhood, his rugby coaching and his radio career with Ahn Do, during an episode of Brush with Fame on the ABC tonight.
“Lots of drought, no electricity and a pit toilet… I rode a horse to school, which was good because the times tables and spelling were always finished before I got there," reacalled Jones as he sat for the painting.
Jones’ father worked in the mines to keep money coming in for the family during difficult economic times and for the rest of his life he suffered badly in his health, “while mum ran the show at home,” according to Jones, who was very close to his mother.
“My mother said to me when I went to boarding school, ‘always say yes and work out how to do it later.’ I put my hand up and did say yes to everything and it gave me many great experiences,” he said explaining his willingness to take on whatever challenges life throws him.
Jones got a teachers scholarship and went to university because “that was the only way we would have been able to afford it, then I could quickly get a job and no longer be an economic burden to my parents.”  He was later poached by the Kings School to teach there and coach their rugby team.
Alan’s coaching methods proved divisive so he moved to politics and was eventually approached by Malcolm Fraser as a speech writer. “It was very demanding but I was working for a prime minister so it was a privilege.”
He also told Anh about his mother’s death from dementia:  “My mothers death really made me thing about euthanasia… people did their best to care for her but there was an indignity to it… I thought ‘my mother doesn’t deserve this.’”
Alan’s coaching talents took Manly to the rugby grand final and then he went on to coach the national team, which also included singing training for the team because they could not sing the national anthem. “But his controversial and divisive style set him back,” said Ahn Do, prompting him to talk about the time when he was sacked as national coach.
“I was criticised because I was working and coaching… they blamed me and criticised the preparation… France finally won the game and I had upset a few people, so they booted me out.”
After his unceremonious exit from rugby he was approached by 2UE. 33 years later he is still in radio.
What is the secret to your success? asked Anh: “The only thing you get without hard work is failure,” responded Jones.
The he prompted Jones to talk about regrets, including his comments about Julia Gillard’s father.
“Do you make mistakes, yes, do you say things you regret, yes… you do your best…
“The Gillard issue where I made reference to her father, I had agreed to be at my godson’s birthday but had also committed to a Young Liberal Party private dinner. By the time I got up to speak they had rubbished everyone including me, and I told a story that had been told to me, as a joke…
“When it became public I rang Julia, she didn't take my call… I publicly apologised... It was made public and had to the potential to hurt her feelings… my apology was sincere.
“You always regret if you visit hurt on anybody, that’s not what the power of the microphone is there to do.”
Ahn Do created a powerful portrait of Jones, complete with green and gold colouring near his eyes, representing his time as the coach of Australia’s national team. Jones was delighted with the picture.
View the episode here.

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