• 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.

A new normal - yeah right

I bought some milk at my local Supermarket yesterday. It cost me $3.59. The checkout operator didn’t ask me about my ability to pay for the milk in comparison to the person in front or behind me as the sale price is based on the ability of Coles to arrange for the milk to be produced and transported...

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Comparisons aren't always valid

In September 2018, soon after the overthrow of Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison gathered his Ministerial troops and set course for Albury on the NSW/Victorian border. His objective was to pay homage to the founder of the Liberal Party, Robert Menzies. Morrison’s ‘heartland’ speech, entitled ‘Until t...

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Dan Andrews stares down the lynch mob

If you detest Dan Andrews and want him gone, stop reading now. What follows will not please you. As a citizen of Victoria I am incensed by the continual attacks on our premier. It’s not surprising that the State Opposition leader, the hapless Michael O’Brien, attacks Andrews in his usual censorio...

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Trust me, I’m a deregulated banker

Those that remember the dim dark distant days of the Global Financial Crisis, or GFC, would be aware that a lot of the financial pain was caused due to a number of financial institutions around the world who for a number of years had been lending large amounts of money to those that couldn’t necessa...

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So, how will you do it better?

In the next 12 to 18 months there are a number of elections coming up across Australia. Presumably, in amongst the cries of ‘you’re on mute’ in the socially distanced meetings called by all the political parties to plan and strategise their marketing, they are trying to work out how to convince you ...

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Define heartless

At the moment, some Premiers and Chief Ministers are being described as heartless, without compassion, cruel and nasty. The descriptions are being applied because of decisions made by the individual Premiers and Chief Ministers or their delegates to contain, to the best of their ability, the spread ...

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I reject the premise

Have you ever noticed that if a number of politicians don’t really want to answer a question, they ‘reject the premise’ or reject the characterisation’ rather than answer it? Current Prime Minister Morrison is a past master of the ‘art’. The implied message is that the question for some reason is e...

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Frydenberg’ s folly

What’s happened to Josh Frydenberg? As many have commented, Frydenberg’s vicious attack on Victoria’s Premier, Dan Andrews, came as a surprise. It’s intensity was extraordinary. Why? Only he would know. We can but surmise. What did you conclude? Here’s my assessment: First, here are his ...

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Now the blame game

Do you, like me, bristle as you hear the political class playing the blame game? Seldom have we been so inundated with such a plethora of reports, inquiries, Royal Commissions and sundry investigations into past blunders. The Ruby Princess episode springs to mind, but there are many others. They ...

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Politicians with a death wish

You have to wonder if some with a high profile in the ALP have a political death wish. Recently, the government’s performance was summed up by the Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck sitting at an enquiry into aged care, speechless for half a minute because he couldn’t answer a pretty obvious questio...

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Morrison is not a leader

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the President of the USA in the aftermath of the ‘Great Depression’ that commenced with the stock market crashes of 1929. Rather than riding out the Depression, promising business as usual at some point in the future, Roosevelt instituted a series of economic programs acros...

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What was the alternative?

On Thursday 23 July, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced an ‘eye watering’ projected deficit of $1,844 Billion dollars in the 2020/21 financial year. For the Government that was announcing (with tortured grammar and celebratory coffee mugs less than 12 months ago) they were ‘already back ...

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Mutually assured destruction

A few years ago, we were in Canada. One cool and wet day in St Jacobs, Ontario (a couple of hours west of Toronto), we walked into a building dedicated to The Mennonite Story because it looked dry and warm inside. Unsurprisingly, the building went someway towards explaining the history and beliefs o...

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Is adversarial politics damaging our democracy?

It was twelve years ago, on July 10, 2008, before The Political Sword was inaugurated, that I wrote Is adversarial politics damaging our democracy?.  It was published on The Possum Box hosted by Possum Comitatus, who gave me my start at political blogging, for which I continue to be grateful. ...

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Nationalism really isn't easy

Fuelled by a number of world leaders and media outlets that should know better, the pandemic has generated considerable commentary about buying locally rather than imported products. In some ways, it does make sense as there is considerably less chance of the product made from material that is gener...

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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...

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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...

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Morrison morphs into ‘Strict Father’ mode

Back in 2013, I wrote a piece on The Political Sword with the curious title: The myth of political sameness. Its purpose was to debunk the commonly held view that ‘politicians are all the same’.I drew on the comprehensive work of George Lakoff, a cognitive linguist and philosopher at the University ...

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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 Chief Medical Officers. In comparison to a lot of ...

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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. While a considerable amount of design, engineerin...

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