• Politics from the pulpit
    Scott Morrison is Australia’s first Pentecostal prime minister. He is a member of the Horizon
    Church, part of the Australian Christian Churches network. No one would deny him the
    right to choose his religious affiliation. What were disquieting though were the reactions
    and the proclamations of Pentecostal leaders about his ascension to prime ministership.
  • Marketing Pixiedust
    Regardless of the prognostications of politics in Australia, the ‘message’
    delivered by politicians from the larger parties is always professional,
    well-rehearsed and well delivered. Even as the dust was settling on the
    Turnbull/Dutton/Morrison brouhaha recently, Morrison had his message sorted.
  • Valuing the aspirational
    Over the past few years, politicians in general have spoken of motivating
    those with aspiration to better themselves across the country. The conservatives
    will tell you that granting tax cuts to business and building coal fired power
    stations will make those businesses more profitable and those profits will be
    returned to the public through increased wages and job opportunities.
  • Slow learners
    I’m using the term ‘slow learners’ not to demean those who suffer intellectual difficulties,
    but to categorize those with sound intellect who nonetheless seem unable to grasp
    the meaning of the events that are occurring about them every day, unable to learn
    from them, and unable to make any change to their behaviour.
  • The Base
    Everyone in the building industry will tell you the maxim to ‘measure
    twice and cut once’. Given the events of August 2018 in the Liberal Party,
    it is clearly something that failed challenger Peter Dutton and his henchmen,
    apparently including Finance Minister Cormann, should remember next time.
  • Get used to it girls
    The Liberal Party has a disastrous affliction. It affects many
    of its male members. It seems to be incurable. Those that
    suffer it are unaware of its presence.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

Cormann's calamitous capitulation

There is no doubt about who was behind last week’s move to displace Malcolm Turnbull. It was the ever-vengeful and habitually destructive Tony Abbott, who from the moment Turnbull toppled him in 2015, set about doing the same in return. He will have gained some satisfaction from the party room’s dec...

Read More

Toad of Turnbull Hall

During my childhood, Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows was my favourite book. A. A. Milne turned it into a play: Toad of Toad Hall.  I loved Toad. I was astounded by, and somewhat admiring, of his conceit, his vanity, his arrogance, his audacity, his entrepreneurship, his ‘innov...

Read More

When all else fails - dogwhistle

Religious organisations have been getting a bad rap in Australia recently, thanks to the Royal Commission that investigated serial abuse of children and the disadvantaged. Those that committed the abuse and those that covered it up deserved what they got. However, there is a tendency to tar all with...

Read More

Don't feed the trolls

Ever since Internet blogs allowed comments, there has been a particularly nasty, vile group of people that visit the comments sections of blogs, post inflammatory comments to provoke others and move on when they have derailed the conversation. Usually the rationale for doing this is to disrupt the b...

Read More

Beware of rabid zealots

Let’s remind ourselves of the meaning of ‘zealot’. Historically, it denoted a member of a fanatical sect in Judea during the first century AD that militantly opposed the Roman domination of Palestine. Today it describes a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of religious, political,...

Read More

Sorry IPA

Australia is still having the discussion on the benefits of waste reduction and until recently it was considered economically rational to send semi-trailers full of household and business waste from New South Wales to Queensland to avoid disposal fees. In other parts of the world (even Trump’s deepe...

Read More

Has Australia become a nation of crooks?

I’ve been an Australian for a long while now. I always thought that Aussies were a decent bunch, wedded to the notion of a fair go for everyone, always willing to give their mates a hand up when they were down. I’ve seen example after example of this mateship among ordinary folk. We’ve all seen ...

Read More

Sacred Cows

It’s time to kill some political and social sacred cows. (With apologies to members of the Hindu faith and vegetarians for the imagery.) Politicians cannot change their mind Of course they can and they shouldn’t be pilloried for it. Shorten recently suggested that he would be legislating to renege...

Read More

The folly of trying to comprehend Trump

Journalists around the world seem hell-bent on trying to explain the behaviour of Donald Trump. They analyse his every move, seeking to find meaning, intent on finding some underlying logic, earnestly looking for an explanatory motive for his actions and attitudes. While this obsession is understand...

Read More

Is the world swerving extreme right?

Are you as alarmed as I am when you see on our TV screens, or hear on the radio, or read in our disappearing newspapers about the deteriorating state of democracy in Europe, Asia, the United States of America, Africa, the Middle East, even in our own country? Do you see, as I do, the rise of extr...

Read More

Cash cows and emasculation

Fanaticism is a concerning thing. It is a concern when some people cannot understand that there is sometimes a perfectly acceptable alternative to a view they hold dearly and to the exclusion of all others. For many years the Australian ‘Supercars’ racing circuit prospered on the rivalry between tho...

Read More

Privatise and perish

Once upon a time in a land not so far away, the governments that supplied services actually controlled the services they supplied. The main form of transportation at the time, the railways, were known as the Government Railways because they were actually run by the government of the day. Governments...

Read More

The admirable politician

Look back over items published on The Political Sword over the years and you will see countless pieces that describe the appalling state of politics here and overseas and the disgraceful behaviour of many politicians in our own and other countries. It’s depressing to read of their dishonesty, their ...

Read More

The perils of popularism

This week we originally were going to be discussing Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party and their apparent habit of losing Senators. After all, to lose one Senator is careless, two is a concern and so on. Apart from the Betoota Advocate doing the satire better, they also bring in the relevant point of...

Read More

The merchants of venality

Venality: the quality of being open to bribery or overly motivated by money. Wherever we look, venality flourishes. Attune yourself to it and you’ll see evidence of it every day on TV and radio, and in the print and electronic media. You can’t escape its tentacles. It’s all pervading. Where s...

Read More

Truth or Dare

I was talking with a couple of smokers the other day after a meeting and in the general conversation about life, the universe and everything, innocently I asked the ‘how much is a packet of cigarettes these days’ question. I was really happy that I don’t smoke when I was told that a packet of 30 cig...

Read More

Banks and the Coalition: birds of a feather

Culture, governance and remuneration have been identified by industry gurus as prime factors contributing to the deplorable state of banking and the financial industry in Australia. Nobody is disputing this. This piece postulates that precisely the same factors have reduced the government of this co...

Read More

Man the life rafts

It is probably an urban myth that the dance band on the Titanic were playing Nearer my God to Thee as they went to a watery death with the ship. The Titanic was ‘unsinkable’ and somehow it was deemed the ship didn’t need enough life saving devices on board to accommodate all the passengers and crew ...

Read More

Bully boys

Did you notice the behaviour of Scott Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull during Budget week? Were you comfortable with the words and actions of our treasurer and prime minister? How did you expect them to conduct themselves? It is reasonable to expect such important office holders to be assured, confi...

Read More

Family secrets and economic growth

Most families have secrets that have been kept behind closed doors for generations. It could be that your grandparents lived happily together for 50 years or more, brought up their children extremely well (careful – it’s your parents you are judging here!) and contributed to society to the day they ...

Read More