• The Trump dilemma
    Don’t get me wrong. Trump is not the dilemma to which I’m referring. His
    behaviour is no longer a quandary. With every word he utters, with every
    tweet, he confirms that his mental state continues to deteriorate to the point
    where commentator after commentator expresses astonishment and alarm at his
    outlandish reactions to the social and political environment in which he finds himself.
  • Information and critical thinking do matter
    When Prime Minister Morrison was advised there was the risk of uncontrolled
    spread of a deadly pandemic on the horizon early this year, he was slightly
    wiser than at Christmas when he left a burning Australia in the ‘capable’
    hands of Deputy Prime Minister and National Party Leader Michael McCormack.
  • Morrison morphs into ‘Strict Father’ mode
    Back in 2013, I wrote a piece with the curious title:
    The myth of political sameness.
    Its purpose was to debunk the commonly held
    view that ‘politicians are all the same’.
  • Double standards
    There has been general praise for the Australian Governments
    (at all levels) and their management of the COVID19 pandemic.
    While the politicians signed off on the decisions, they listened to
    and generally acted on the advice of the state and federal CMOs.
  • People trusted Holden
    In the 1970s and 1980s the slogan was ‘People trust Holden’;
    and they did. General Motors Holden had spent a lot of time
    and money over many years marketing Holden vehicles as Australia’s
    own car and as a result Holden sales were going gangbusters.
  • Listen to the experts
    Are you as impressed as I am with Australia’s response to COVID-19?
    It is regarded as perhaps the most competent reaction, amongst similar
    nations, of how to manage an outbreak of a vicious virus. Why is it so?
    In my view, this outcome has resulted because our decision makers at both
    federal and local levels have listened to the experts, and have followed their advice.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

Abbott and nuclear war

Ex PM Abbott has stated he wants to stay in Parliament for another six years. Abbott is quoted in an ‘exclusive’ interview with Fairfax he had no intention of spending less time on the national stage, and predicted Liberal Party forces plotting to oust him from the blue ribbon Sydney seat of War...

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When will we see the end of Tony Abbott?

How many of you out there, like me, long for the day when the most destructive, the most venomous federal politician in living memory is finally expunged from public life, if not erased from memory? He will not be easy to forget. History will record in harsh detail his tawdry reputation, his vengefu...

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Morrison's Legacy

So Australia is going to have another Royal Commission, this time into Aged Care. It really doesn’t matter if the announcement was a pre-emptive response to the two-part ABCTV 4 Corners program or a Fairfax media investigation, if the events just happened to coincide or some other happenstance. For...

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Politics from the pulpit

Scott Morrison is Australia’s first Pentecostal prime minister. He is a member of the Horizon Church in Sutherland, which is part of the Australian Christian Churches network. He attends regularly. No one, including the author of this piece, would deny him the right to choose his religious affiliati...

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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 (‘he...

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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 prof...

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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 t...

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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. Dut...

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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. In the Party’s official diagnostic nomenclature it is designated: ‘Tin Ear’. There are two versions of this male condition: Fa...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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 ...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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