• Remember the light on the hill?
    At the 1949 ALP Convention, then Prime Minister Ben Chifley
    delivered the ‘Light on the Hill’ speech. The speech is seen as
    a declaration of ‘traditional’ ALP values. As a movement bringing
    something better to the people, better standards of living, greater
    happiness to the mass of the people.
  • The Chain of Responsibility
    There are certain responsibilities when you are driving a vehicle.
    You are required to comply with rules such as not being affected by
    drugs or alcohol, not checking your social media accounts while driving,
    maintaining control over your vehicle, parking only where allowed and so on.
  • Just answer the Question!
    I know that, like me, you fume when politicians steadfastly refuse
    to answer a question directly, preferring to prevaricate by evading
    an answer altogether, giving an answer to a question they would
    prefer to answer, or wandering off into a boring recital of the dot
    points with which their minders have briefed them.
  • The economy is sinking, but where is the lifebuoy?
    Those of you who hear experts describe in frightening terms the
    dire state of our economy, and then hear the faux reassurances that
    issue from the mouths of our Treasurer and Prime Minister, must wonder
    if they live in some parallel universe, where, reminiscent of Humpty
    Dumpty, words can mean anything they want them to mean.
  • The root cause
    Frequently, when presented with a problem, we attempt to treat the symptom rather
    than the real issue. For example, if every morning when you get in your car you
    notice that one of the tyres looks a bit flat, you could treat the symptom by calling
    in at the nearest petrol station and putting more air in the tyre. However, as air
    doesn’t shrink or disappear for no reason, there is obviously a deeper issue involved.
  • Duttonisation – an existential threat to Morrison?
    Duttonisation – an existential threat to Morrison? Make no mistake
    – Dutton’s thirst for power remains unquenched. His conviction that
    he is ‘the better man’ to be prime minister continues unabated. This
    piece argues that in pursuit of this lofty goal, he has now consciously
    embarked on a process best described as ‘Duttonisation’.

The Political Sword

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You're paying too much

And that has nothing to do with fuel marketing cycles that seem to afflict larger cities around the country, the cost of importing fuel because the multi-national refining companies have determined it is not economic to produce fuel in Australia or any one of the hundreds of other theories of why it...

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They've got a mandate

You’ve probably heard politicians and commentators suggest that various acts should be undertaken because ‘they’ve got a mandate’. One of the recent examples is new Environment Minister Angus Taylor claiming there is now a ‘mandate’ for a lack of any meaningful action on managing climate change in A...

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The battle for the killer slogan

I could commence this piece by debating why slogans influence voters, no matter how tiresome, no matter how monotonous. But why bother? We know they work. Why bother to question their use, or scorn those who use them? It is surely more practical to examine how to use them creatively. This piece is j...

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The Coalition can’t manage money

The Coalition can’t manage money. No, that’s not a misprint. The conventional wisdom, peddled by the Coalition, aided and abetted by opinion polls that always rate the Coalition ahead of Labor in managing the economy, is that ‘Labor can’t manage money’. During the election campaign, that was echoed ...

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Extremism and Queensland

Political extremism generally doesn’t condone rape, murder or shootings to achieve stated aims, however it does promote that there is no tolerance for differing opinions or compromise. A common statement from the conservative forces leading up to the last election was that the Australian Greens wer...

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The Tag Line

The recent election was an exercise in marketing and not much else. Morrison promoted himself and ‘good economic management’ rather than the Coalition while flitting around the country handing out dollars to ‘deserving’ infrastructure projects, usually in marginal seats. Shorten’s ALP had, by cont...

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How? Why?

It’s not just Labor supporters who are asking these questions. Everyone is. The polls are unable to provide an answer. They proved to have no predictive value. Psephologists explain that since pollsters have changed their sampling techniques in the face of changes to communications technology, th...

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The shiny new toy

Now that the election is over it is time for a bit of reflection. Logistics behind the operation of this site mean this article is not a who won what and why; rather we’ll be looking at why a number of the smaller parties seem to have punched above their weight, and some possible reasons for their ‘...

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The cupboard was bare!

It wasn’t easy getting into the nerve centre of the LNP – the secret place where talking points, election strategies and day to day tactics are brainstormed by the Coalition’s eggheads in the dead of night – but eventually, more by good luck than good management, I found myself in the inner sanctum....

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He hit me first!

We all have memories of a child bawling its eyes out after being clobbered by another kid. We also have memories of the offender’s customary excuse: ‘He hit me first!’. We tend to label such behaviour as ‘kids stuff’. But how many of you expected grown-up politicians to ape them? Yet they do...

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Fear, deception and gravitas

Enjoying the election coverage? Essentially it is the day to day analysis of the political leaders of this country racking up the kilometres to appear in ‘strategic’ locations, with nodding sycophants behind them answering the same or similar questions as they did yesterday to the same tired and b...

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No, they won't learn

I was motivated to write my last piece: ’Will they ever learn?’ after viewing the first Question Time of the recent sitting of the House of Representatives. Some our most senior politicians, immediately after showing that they were capable of courtesy and decent discourse, went on to display offensi...

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Three Years Later

In 2016, we published 36 Faceless men, comparing the ‘need’ for Australian political parties to have an absolute majority when forming a government versus the preferred outcome in other countries where a coalition of political parties have to work together to form a government. Three years ago we ...

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Will they ever learn?

Will they ever learn? After watching the first Question Time of the most recent sitting of the House of Representatives, the only plausible answer to that question is a resounding NO. On April 2, parliament resumed after a brief recess to enable the Budget for the next year to be tabled, a necess...

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Beware the ides of March

While Shakespeare may have ‘popularised’ the term, the ‘ides of March’ goes back to Roman times when March was the beginning of the year (giving the excuse for celebration and prayers that the new year would be prosperous) until 55 days were added in 46BC. Two years later ‘dictator for life’ Julius ...

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Nailed it

Unlike the residents of the USA, a lot of whom probably wouldn’t have been able to point to New Zealand on a map three months ago, we shouldn’t have been surprised at the consideration for others demonstrated by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the past few weeks. Ardern has on a number ...

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The tragic toll of hatred

Stan Grant is an outstanding journalist. His capacity to undertake brilliantly forensic analyses and thereby discern meaning within the tumult of contemporary political behaviour sets him apart from most of his colleagues. So good are his political credentials that our PM invited him to enter politi...

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Bovine excrement

Prime Minister Morrison seems to be certain that the next federal election will be in May. Cynics would suggest as Parliament is only sitting for two weeks in April, the plan is to hone their political sales pitch, pork barrel marginal electorates and parachute past or failed LNP politicians and the...

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There is no Planet B

This was written in the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch terror attack where 50 innocent people (at the time of writing) were gunned down by a lone gunman. It was going to be a rant against a number of Australian politicians who use racism and terrorism to further their own objectives. Howeve...

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We're not mugs Scomo!

Do you become as infuriated as I do at the sheer insolence of PM Morrison and his spokespersons when they feed us arrant nonsense about their policies, when they serve us up implausible readings of political events and the economy, when they treat us like mugs who will swallow anything they feed us?...

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