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From the desk of John Laws

John Laws wrote an article in today’s The Daily Telegraph. Here it is [1].

John Laws signs off

By John Laws

November 30, 2007 12:00am

THIS is a very difficult time – and to put pen to paper is somewhat like writing one’s own obituary.

With the exception of my wife and family, the most important thing in my life is about to come to an end.

It was a difficult decision to make, and it may well have been unwise.

It certainly wouldn’t be the first, and more than likely won’t be the last unwise thing I will do in my life.

I have always endeavoured to be fair and, to my knowledge, I have never gone out of my way to deliberately hurt anyone.

I can only trust I have succeeded.

I have been hurt, many times, because of my own stupidity; many times because I felt I was being dealt with unfairly.

I have often said, admittedly in semi-jest, that the 11th Commandment in Australia is “Thou shalt not excel”.

If there’s a country in the world in which you can excel, it is Australia, and if you do, and according to many I have, be aware that excellence comes with a price, as does honesty.

But, no matter what the price, it’s worth paying.

I have watched the formation and development of communications in Australia. I have seen communications improve, and I have seen them decline with gutter journalism, and lower than gutter broadcasting, but I am proud to have been part of an industry where excellence has been predominant.

We have some of the most capable journalists in the world in this country and we enjoy to a large extent freedom of speech and freedom of the press. It’s rarely abused, unlike in many other countries.

It is a comforting feeling, but not one of complacency, to have made people happy and to have been relevant in the lives of so many.

It is also, in a convoluted way, a comforting feeling to have angered people, to have incited them to think differently about a topic.

There have been many who have strongly objected to the way in which I have incited people. I have had death threats – plenty.

I have had people want to jail me – plenty – from the highest criminal court judges to twisted, malicious, small-minded individuals fighting their own minds for their place in the world. But their wrath, their anger, their vitriol, has simply powered the adrenalin into what could have been a very lazy mind.

I can’t say I love all my listeners – I don’t know all my listeners.

Nor can I assume that all my listeners love me. Many have listened despite the fact that it is me.

I can say that those who have communicated with me since I announced my retirement have shown what I know to be a genuine affection.

In some cases theirs is a love which has left me astounded but very happy.

If I have been able to give you even a small percentage of the happiness that you have given me, then it will all have been worth it.

What will I do without you?

I have spent almost 55 years walking a tightrope with no safety net.

It’s time to get off.

Full stop!

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Comments Disabled To "From the desk of John Laws"

#1 Comment By Pen 15 On December 5, 2007 @ 11:58 pm

And the foul-mouthed bigot is at it again.

[6]

Sam, your thoughts?

#2 Comment By Samuel On December 6, 2007 @ 11:36 am

I’ve heard three mildly different versions of events so far, and they all seem fairly similar.

I find the language used to be quite repugnant, however no worse than you would hear on a busy inner-city street on many nights of the week.

The whole saga seems very odd. It seems to me that John Laws has either been waiting for a chance to verbally abuse Derryn Hinch and Bob Rogers in person for quite some time, or had a bit too much to drink, or both.

I’m disappointed, but it seems to me that they all gave a good as they got, and I really don’t think any of them are taking it all that seriously.

To sum it up, it was a strange yelling match between a bunch of ageing men who don’t seem to be particularly fond of each other. The same sort of thing happens regularly all over the world, this just made the news because of the profile of the people involved.

Disappointing, but they are human after all. As long as it was just words and not physical, and none of them feel a need to press charges or sue, then I really don’t care all that much.