• Get out of the gutter
    You may not have heard of Mike Rinder. A Scientologist for most
    of his life, at the age of 52 he walked out, and as a result lost his
    family, friends, employment and pretty well everything else in his life.
    RInder has written a book on his time in Scientology, runs a
    website that questions Scientology beliefs and practices...
  • Was Amtrak Joe derailed?
    Prior to becoming President, Joe Biden was a US Senator for around
    36 years. He is known as Amtrak Joe as he routinely took the daily 90
    minute each way train trip (on the USA’s national passenger train network
    - Amtrak) from his home in Delaware to Washington DC to represent his state.
  • If employers can measure well-being...
    Last September, you might have seen Qantas CEO Alan Joyce
    received a pay increase of $278,000 per annum. It seems that Joyce
    has met or exceeded the performance goals set by his employers and
    contractually has earned the reward. It does, however, raise a larger question.
  • Coming back to haunt you
    In his recent Budget reply speech, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton
    laboured (pun intended) on the increasingly difficult to achieve promise by
    Prime Minister Albanese that power bills will be $275 less in 2025. While the
    government is claiming the modelling done in 2021 supports the accuracy of
    the promise, 2021 modelling doesn’t account for changes in circumstances since then.
  • The good economic units
    Wellbeing and politics have collided in the past couple of weeks.
    Federal Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers has started a conversation about
    measuring the ‘wellbeing’ of the nation as a result of the measures in the
    budget. The Opposition, as you would expect, has poured scorn on the idea.
  • Do you want to smile or frown
    Recently, in what could be described as an epic fail in recruiting
    practices, the Essendon Football Club hired and accepted the
    resignation of the same CEO within a day. The issue was that the
    CEO was also the Chairman of ‘City on the Hill’, a church that seems
    to promote some conservative views on the way people live their lives.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

We can do it better

It was probably co-incidental that the Australian Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was held in Sydney around the time the NRL and AFL finals were occurring. CPAC originally advertised the conference would be at Luna Park — until Luna Park claimed they had never had a booking. The Conf...

Read More

The voice

Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong recently addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Accompanying Wong on the trip was Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen and ‘Special Envoy for Reconciliation’ Pat Dodson. Wong told the General Assembly that Australia believed the UN an...

Read More

Kicking climate down the road

You’re probably aware of some who don't see the need to reduce emissions. They have a lot of different reasons or excuses for the position, including the current systems have served us well in the past, we’re only a small population so our changes won’t mean much or just a general reluctance to cons...

Read More

A home amongst the gumtrees

A local real estate agent rings me every couple of months asking if I am willing to sell my house. So far he's tried the 'look how much you could get' strategy, 'the market is moving, you don’t want to miss out’ strategy and telling me he could help me buy another house if I did sell; to which my re...

Read More

Now is not the right time . . .

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was buried last week with all the pomp and ceremony the occasion deserved. Regardless of your views on the monarchy, for a person to perform the one role for 70 years without a break is an awe-inspiring effort. Certainly there was help, resources and good fortune, but ...

Read More

Pick up the phone

The Conversation, a news website operated and funded by a number of universities, has published a significant number of articles on Prime Minister Albanese’s Jobs and Skills Summit. Most of them, as has most of the reporting of the ‘summiteers’ work, have been broadly positive. Opposition Leader Pe...

Read More

Promises, promises

The problem with the proposed tax cuts, the Jobs Summit, the emissions reduction target or any other policy that Prime Minister Albanese took to the election is that it was a promise that was made in the run up to the election. Certainly, the world has changed since 2019 and if really expensive tax ...

Read More

The downside of lower unemployment

In the middle of the ‘should Morrison go’ or should he stay brouhaha a couple of weeks ago, there was some interesting news to think about — Australia’s unemployment rate is likely to be under 5% for some years to come. Economists will tell you that there is a natural unemployment rate of around 5%...

Read More

They seem to have a plan

At the beginning of August, Prime Minister Albanese’s ‘preferred prime minister’ measure according to Newspoll was 61%. While pretty well every new political leader enjoys some fair winds and sunshine at the beginning of their term of office, Albanese is doing better than most. He seems to be confou...

Read More

The demise of misinformation

Some probably have sympathy for the American ‘conservative warrior’ Alex Jones who has recently lost a lawsuit instigated by the parents of one of the victims of the Sandy Hook School shooting. Jones has admitted he has been incorrectly claiming the shooting in 2012 as a hoax for years. Clearly, the...

Read More

A return to good manners

The ABC’s Virginia Trioli writes a ‘weekend read’ which is emailed out most Saturday mornings. A few weeks ago, there was the story about a bakery of the kind of layered, puffed, frosted, creamy delights that you'd usually only see on the table of your just-baptised cousin. that has been trad...

Read More

Whatever it takes

Some years ago, a plumber was telling me when they came back from the local pie shop with lunch to that day’s worksite, they heard someone inside. The plumber and his trades assistant were the only people scheduled to be on site that day, so they split up, covered both entrances to the building and ...

Read More

The real opposition

Just as the government is trying to find its feet at times, the opposition Coalition is also in the same boat. The recent claims of ‘Airbus Albo’ made by the opposition along with their friends on ‘Sky after dark’ really haven’t jelled as an attack line when the government’s response, apparently bac...

Read More

Avoiding the lunatic fringe

The Australian political system is far from perfect. We have made an art form out of humiliation and ill treatment of refugees that choose to come to Australia. We have sat on our hands for over a decade and chosen to have an argument about emissions reduction while observing that we seem to be havi...

Read More

Privatise the Profits

Despite concerns, there were no electricity shortages — load shedding — on Australia’s east coast during May or June. The outcome was managed by Australia’s Australian Electricity Market Operator (AEMO), the body responsible for maintaining the apparent delicate balance between supply and demand in ...

Read More

Another way of doing politics

Are you are weary of contemporary politics as I am? Weary of the continual ‘left’ versus ‘right’ tussle? Weary of its sameness, day after boring day? Why is there always such a stark difference of opinion between those who seek to further enrich, to further advantage those who already have an abu...

Read More

60% of something

The Monthly’s politics newsletter recently asked ‘For how long do we pretend ”better than the Coalition” equals “good enough”? It’s a damn good question. Prior to the election, now Prime Minister Albanese launched a plan that would reduce Australia’s 2030 carbon emissions by 43% when compared to 2...

Read More

Revisionism

Revisionism is a general term that can be used with both positive and negative connotations for any scholarly practice dedicated to revising an established position. That is its benign meaning. Another is: “A movement in revolutionary Marxian socialism favouring an evolutionary rather than a revo...

Read More

Exodus

It feels almost irreligious to use ‘exodus’ to portray the disappearance of so many key figures from Australia’s political scene. But it seems to fit. What outcome might we anticipate? Ye?i’at Mi?rayim: ?'Departure from Egypt' is the founding myth of the Israelites, recounted in the Book of Exod...

Read More

A pox on both your houses

As the hostilities resume on Capital Hill, it is probably time to consider some of the ramifications of the May 2022 Federal Election. As discussed by Katherine Murphy in The Guardian, the Liberal Party rout in affluent suburban areas of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth speaks volumes on the t...

Read More