• 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 Donald Trump crumbling”?
  • 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 coast, something like 1400 km in four days.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • Shackled by ideology
    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 the facts? How many of you have a feeling of hopelessness about their conduct?
  • The Demtel Man
    Those who remember free to air television in the 80’s and 90’s 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.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

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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Privatise and perish

Once upon a time in a land not so far away, the governments that supplied services actually controlled the services they supplied. The main form of transportation at the time, the railways, were known as the Government Railways because they were actually run by the government of the day. Governments...

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The admirable politician

Look back over items published on The Political Sword over the years and you will see countless pieces that describe the appalling state of politics here and overseas and the disgraceful behaviour of many politicians in our own and other countries. It’s depressing to read of their dishonesty, their ...

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The perils of popularism

This week we originally were going to be discussing Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party and their apparent habit of losing Senators. After all, to lose one Senator is careless, two is a concern and so on. Apart from the Betoota Advocate doing the satire better, they also bring in the relevant point of...

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The merchants of venality

Venality: the quality of being open to bribery or overly motivated by money. Wherever we look, venality flourishes. Attune yourself to it and you’ll see evidence of it every day on TV and radio, and in the print and electronic media. You can’t escape its tentacles. It’s all pervading. Where s...

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Truth or Dare

I was talking with a couple of smokers the other day after a meeting and in the general conversation about life, the universe and everything, innocently I asked the ‘how much is a packet of cigarettes these days’ question. I was really happy that I don’t smoke when I was told that a packet of 30 cig...

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Banks and the Coalition: birds of a feather

Culture, governance and remuneration have been identified by industry gurus as prime factors contributing to the deplorable state of banking and the financial industry in Australia. Nobody is disputing this. This piece postulates that precisely the same factors have reduced the government of this co...

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Man the life rafts

It is probably an urban myth that the dance band on the Titanic were playing Nearer my God to Thee as they went to a watery death with the ship. The Titanic was ‘unsinkable’ and somehow it was deemed the ship didn’t need enough life saving devices on board to accommodate all the passengers and crew ...

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Bully boys

Did you notice the behaviour of Scott Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull during Budget week? Were you comfortable with the words and actions of our treasurer and prime minister? How did you expect them to conduct themselves? It is reasonable to expect such important office holders to be assured, confi...

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Family secrets and economic growth

Most families have secrets that have been kept behind closed doors for generations. It could be that your grandparents lived happily together for 50 years or more, brought up their children extremely well (careful – it’s your parents you are judging here!) and contributed to society to the day they ...

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Morally unfit...

It was James Comey, ex FBI director, who labeled Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, as “…morally unfit to be president”. He said much more. He did not question Trump’s mental capacity; it was his morality. “This president is unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional ...

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Resetting the ethical compass

In 1982, a small number of people died in the US state of Illinois as a result of ingesting poison that had been illegally added to a common painkiller named Tylenol, which is marketed by Johnson & Johnson. As you would expect, an investigation followed and the determination was that a person or...

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Truth tampering – a sinister political reality

Australians were justifiably shocked, appalled and embarrassed by the ball tampering our test cricketers attempted last month in South Africa. Somehow, better was expected of them. After all, they were playing the gentlemen’s game – cricket – where any cheating was simply ‘not cricket’. Why then ...

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A winning culture

A lot of elite sportspeople are paid very well for what they do, dependent on the depth of the pockets of the club and governing body of the chosen sport. The training and restrictions on elements of their daily lives due to commercial considerations do, to an extent, justify the salaries and undoub...

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