• 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

Get the inside track on the media and government.

Unravelling Polliespeak

This is a sequel to The ugly language of politics, published in November. It endeavours to unpick and describe the many variants of what I have named Polliespeak, the language that politicians use. Sometimes it’s ugly, sometimes it’s simply irritating.  How often have you fumed as you ...

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Abbott’s down, but is he out?

Tony Abbott has been on the way down for years. His time in the sun began unexpectedly on the 1st of December 2009 when he became Leader of the Opposition after toppling Malcolm Turnbull in a spill brought about by Turnbull’s support for Kevin Rudd’s Emissions Trading Scheme. Abbott had the backi...

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The ugly language of politics

It was with some trepidation that I embarked upon this piece. Language is complex. Embedded in the language we use is a constellation of concepts, ideas, beliefs, facts, prejudices, and biases. Teasing out these elements is a formidable task. It was therefore with keen anticipation that I tuned...

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Careful what you wish for

You might have heard of an aircraft manufacturer named Boeing. They are based in the USA and have been happily manufacturing 737s (a twin engine jet that can carry somewhere between 100 and 190 people, depending on the subtype and configuration) in the USA since the 1990s. Competition comes from Air...

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The iniquity of homelessness

What thought do we, who curl up in a warm bed after a good meal and an evening watching our favourite TV shows in the comfort of our homes, give to those who have no home, or worse still, nowhere to sleep? How aware are we of the extent of homelessness in our own country?  What follows here...

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Fake news – or lousy reporting

A few weeks ago, there was another mass murder in the USA. This time the shooter, a 64-year-old male, holed himself up on the 32rd floor of a casino hotel complex in Las Vegas, Nevada and massacred 60, including himself, and injured more than 500 (at the time of writing). All the victims did wrong w...

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What’s wrong with PM Turnbull?

As a weary electorate approaches yet another holiday season, looks back over the year and asks: ‘How has our federal government improved life for ordinary Aussies’, the answer is depressing. Our self-styled ‘adult government’ has achieved so little for so long. We have had to endure indecision, p...

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Football, meat pies, kangaroos and political storms

Last weekend, we saw the grand finals for both the Australian Football League (AFL) and the National Rugby League (NRL). Coincidently it was also a long weekend in the Eastern States which probably allowed those with a particular allegiance to return to some semblance of normality before they had to...

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The enduring blight of inequality

How much longer are we prepared to accept the level of inequality that exists in the world? How much longer are we prepared to accept the level of inequality we now suffer in this country? If any reader out there still doubts the extent of inequality here, do read a July 8 article in The Conv...

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Power to the people

Technically it would be harder to have a hot potato issue without electricity. Amongst other things, electricity makes it far easier to create the hot potato in the first place, as well as light, heating and cooling, traffic control, transport and giving you the ability to read this article. Howev...

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Who thought Trump couldn’t get worse?

Just when we thought Trump couldn’t possibly get worse, he has. Almost every day he exhibits more grotesque behaviour. It astonishes his colleagues, the media, the US electorate, world leaders, and indeed the entire world. Back in May The Political Sword published America – what have you done?, w...

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Hurricanes. Floods. Droughts. Why is it so?

To some, the question: 'Hurricanes. Floods. Droughts. Why is it so?' is nonsensical. There have been hurricanes, floods and droughts since time immemorial. “It’s just nature at work” they say. They quote Dorothea Mackellar to ‘prove’ their point. To them, what climate scientists have to say is irrel...

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When you’re in a hole, stop digging

In the next week or so, we’re all supposedly getting a letter from the Australian Bureau of Statistics so we can (if we choose) ‘advise’ our Parliamentarians how to vote on the issue of same sex marriage. Be still my beating heart!  Why do we have to advise the Parliament on how we want them...

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Mal’s Coalition cascades into chaos

When we posted How are the ‘adults’ managing our economy? on The Political Sword in April it seemed as if Turnbull’s administration of his Coalition couldn’t get any worse. We were wide of the mark! Now he sits apprehensively and indecisively on his house of cards, on tenterhooks lest he lose h...

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Where’s your daddy from?

In winter 2017, the latest fashion in Australian Federal politics seems to be having dual citizenship. At the time of writing, there are six members of the current Parliament who have been referred to the High Court to determine, amongst other things, if they were ever validly elected. Potentially, ...

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Are algorithms ruling your world?

A year or two ago, how many would have known what the word algorithm meant? Now it is a word in common use. It crops up whenever automation or artificial intelligence is mentioned.  The term ‘automation’ once conjured up images of robots doing manual tasks; now it encompasses intellectual o...

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Dutton for PM – no thanks

If the conservative ideologues get their way, Peter Dutton could be Prime Minister within a few months. If Dutton became Prime Minister, he would be the eighth person to be Prime Minister with double letters in his last name. For the record, if you get asked the question at a trivia night, the other...

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Inequality amblyopia

Inequality amblyopia is a condition affecting some conservatives, who simply cannot see inequality when looking directly at it. The facts and figures that convince objective observers that there is increasing inequality in our nation, are simply not visible to them.    As in child...

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Dog whistling in the park

It could be said that Senator Pauline Hanson and the other One Nation senators have ridden the coat tails of racism and bigotry to reach the lofty heights of the Red Chamber on Capital Hill in Canberra. Hanson will tell you that she sincerely holds those views and while it demonstrates her ignorance...

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Is Donald Trump mad?

No, I don’t mean ‘hopping mad’. We know that he is hopping mad with the media and its ‘fake news’, with CNN particularly, and with some of its commentators whom he has chosen to label as intellectually deficient, and unpleasant to the eyes (bleeding from a face lift!). We know he is hopping mad a...

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