• 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 trading for eleven years, earning a wonderful reputation for its
    products. Nat, the owner, had even being invited to be a guest on Masterchef.
  • 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 discovered
    someone removing the copper pipe the plumber had spent the morning installing.
  • 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 backed up by the leaders of foreign nations, is they are attempting to undo the
    decade of neglect to this country’s foreign relationships by the Coalition when they were in power.
  • 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 having more ‘one off’ climatic events than ever.
  • 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 a network that doesn’t
    have enough off-line storage to keep any surplus electricity produced until needed.
  • 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 abundance
    of this world’s bounty, and those who desire a more even distribution?

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

Cancer sucks

It seems that most Australians have been affected in some way by cancer. The chances are you know a cancer survivor, remember someone who didn’t survive, have sympathy with someone undergoing treatment or have a friend or relative that knows someone who has been affected in some way. One thing in c...

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Democracy via three-word slogans

Another title might have been Democracy according to Hayne, as it was The Honourable Justice Kenneth Madison Hayne AC, QC, Royal Commissioner in the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, who in his address to The Melbourne Law School on 26 J...

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Uncovering the ruthless heart of the Liberal Party

Dedicated observers of the political scene in Australia owe much to Niki Savva. Although she has been a political correspondent for News Corp Australia since 2010, she really made her mark as a significant author when she penned two critical exposés in which she fearlessly uncovered the labyrinthine...

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The unwanted guests

We’ve all seen the movie or read the book that has, as a part of the plot, a group of relatives who are reluctantly invited to the wedding only because they are family. Frankly, no one really likes them due to their boorish and overbearing attitudes. Stereotypically, while giving the (usually unwar...

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Be wary of the Trump – Morrison alliance

Have you noticed the growing bond between President Trump and PM Morrison? Morrison has always been fulsome in his praise of Trump: “He says what he's going to do and then goes and does it; I can always rely on President Trump to follow through on what he says.”During his recent visit to US aircr...

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Better economic managers?

If you have a memory that is better than the media and Coalition Government hope you do, you would probably remember when the Rudd ALP Government, challenged by what are arguably similar economic conditions to those today, primed the economy with a three pronged approach. The theory was that there w...

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Get used to the new world leadership

It’s happened again! Just when thoughtful folk believed world leadership could not become more bizarre than it is, Boris Johnson gets the nod from Britain’s Tories. To confound those who imagined that Donald Trump’s election in the land of the brave and the free could hardly be replicated on the oth...

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How good is compassion and concern!

You may have seen recently that Dick Smith was somewhat flummoxed when he noticed that the Australian Taxation legislation is configured in such a way that he received $0.5 million in franking credits in a financial year. While it would be easy to suggest to Smith and (probably) others with similar ...

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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. We...

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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. Some who make a...

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Just answer the Question!

This piece is short and snappy. 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 p...

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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 anyth...

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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 ai...

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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’. Let me explain....

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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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