• The shiny new toy
    Now that the election is over it is time for a bit of reflection.
    Logistics behind the operation of this site mean this article is
    not a who won what and why; rather we’ll be looking at why a
    number of the smaller parties seem to have punched above
    their weight, and some possible reasons for their ‘popularity’.
  • The cupboard was bare!
    It wasn’t easy getting into the nerve centre of the LNP – the
    secret place where talking points, election strategies and day
    to day tactics are brainstormed by the Coalition’s eggheads in
    the dead of night – but eventually, more by good luck than
    good management, I found myself in the inner sanctum.
  • He hit me first!
    We all have memories of a child bawling its eyes out after being
    clobbered by another kid. We also have memories of the offender’s
    customary excuse: ‘He hit me first!’. We tend to label such behaviour as
    ‘kids stuff’. But how many of you expected grown-up politicians to ape them?
  • Fear, deception and gravitas
    Enjoying the election coverage? Essentially it is the day to day analysis
    of the political leaders of this country racking up the kilometres to appear
    in ‘strategic’ locations, with nodding sycophants behind them answering the
    same or similar questions as they did yesterday to the same tired and bored journalists.
  • No, they won't learn
    I was motivated to write my last piece: 'Will they ever learn?' after viewing the first
    Question Time of the recent sitting of the House of Representatives. Some our most
    senior politicians, immediately after showing that they were capable of courtesy and
    decent discourse, went on to display offensively aggressive behaviour towards each
    other, all in the full glare of the cameras, knowing that the world would see them as they were.
  • Three Years Later
    In 2016, we published 36 Faceless men, comparing the ‘need’
    for Australian political parties to have an absolute majority when
    forming a government versus the preferred outcome in other countries
    where a coalition of political parties have to work together to form a government.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

The Culture Wars

The Liberal Party cultural wars are having a detrimental effect on the rest of us. Here are two examples. Without rehashing old news, Australia had a functioning carbon pricing and emissions trading scheme around 5 years ago. It was canned by the Abbott government after mounting the mother of all s...

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The energy road to nowhere

Are you as exasperated and disgusted as I am with the political antics exposed during the renewed debate about energy policy? Are you appalled by our parliamentarians' persistent inability to collaborate in making decisions about how to tackle climate change? These are rhetorical questions. I know t...

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Research for the future

It’s heading into summer, so thoughts turn to Christmas shopping, whose place we’re all going to this Christmas and the sounds of balls being hit by racquets and bats. Yes, it’s tennis and cricket season again. It’s a pretty good bet that the Liberal Party grassroots member surrounded by family an...

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Morrison’s mistakes multiply

We ought not to be surprised at the multiplicity of Scott Morrison’s mistakes, given the lack of preparation he has had for the role of prime minister. Prior to Malcolm Turnbull’s ouster, Morrison was Treasurer and before that, Minister for Immigration. He had never had responsibility for making the...

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Cause and effect

Recently Fairfax media published an article written by Steve Robson, a professor and current President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. After 30 years, he has written about his attempt to kill himself while a young Registrar working in Rockhampton due to (self-diagnosed) dep...

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Is Donald Trump crumbling?

As you witness the increasingly bizarre behaviour of Donald Trump, the President of the United States, the mightiest nation on earth, do you wonder about his mental state? Do you speculate about his stability, his judgement, his reasoning? Recent events, piled on each other, beg the question; ”Is Do...

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Morrison's latest prop

So the Liberal Party has hired a bus as a new toy for PM Scott Morrison. As a special gesture, they have also arranged for the bus to be covered in advertising so no one can mistake who is on the bus. The initial run for the bus is from the Gold Coast to Townsville located on the North Queensland co...

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The march of the demagogues

Are you as unnerved as I am by the rise of demagogues around the world – leaders who gain popularity by exploiting prejudice and ignorance among the people, whipping up passions and shutting down reasoned debate, who overturn established customs of political conduct, or threaten to do so? Commentato...

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Dare Ya

On 21 August, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said I think in the immigration portfolio, you are defined by Nauru and Manus ... I would love to get everybody off there tomorrow. If I could have brought them to Australia in a charter flight overnight I would have. Admittedly this was the ‘ki...

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Shackled by ideology

Can the body politic ever be freed from entrenched beliefs? How many of you despair of our politicians? How many of you fume at the incoherence of the positions they take? How many bristle at their intransigence, their stubbornness, their adherence to outmoded dogma that is no longer supported by...

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The Demtel Man

Those who remember free to air television in the 80s and 90s will remember the advertising for ‘as seen on TV’ products marketed by a company called Demtel. A quick Google search will remind you of the process if you are fortunate enough to have either not lived through the era, only watched Channel...

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Well done Tony – now you’ve destroyed the Coalition

He’s been this way for years. Like a kid playing a violent video game such as Call Of Duty, he has aimed his high-powered rocket at his opponents, forcing them to duck or blowing them to smithereens, destroying them utterly. And then he claps his little hands in delight. Destructiveness has consiste...

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Oh dear – our new PM is not up to the job

We know Scott Morrison has held several portfolios, immigration and treasurer the most important. The electorate might have hoped that these experiences would have endowed him with a modicum of general knowledge about how government works, some feel for how international diplomacy is carried out, so...

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Poor planning causes overcrowding

Population Minister Alan Tudge has suggested that Melbourne and Sydney are experiencing significant pressure from excessive population growth. He’s probably got a point, but his ‘solution’ — forcing immigrants to live in areas with less population pressure for at least five years after permanent res...

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Sailing into irrelevance

The sails of the Sydney Opera House were being used as a billboard for a horse race a few days ago. Regardless of the value of the horse race, or the ethics about using a UNESCO listed landmark for promotion of gambling, there is a problem about the way it was done. According to The Guardian, R...

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What future does PM Morrison guarantee?

We are to face a federal election by May, maybe earlier. Our accidental PM hopes the electorate will then legitimise him as its very own prime minister. The only reason he’s PM now is that he was foisted on us by a gaggle of Liberals hell-bent on replacing Malcolm Turnbull with Peter Dutton via ...

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4 cents a day

Former Chairman of the ABC Board, Justin Milne fell on his sword after sacking the Managing Director, Michelle Guthrie, recently. The discussion around this will continue for quite a while, especially if the ex-MD follows through on her threat to sue for wrongful dismissal. Where that particular sag...

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Fixing the mess in the financial industry

Kenneth Hayne’s Interim Report on The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry was no less shocking in its findings than we all expected. Greed – the pursuit of short-term profit at the expense of basic standards of honesty was his central c...

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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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