• Now is not the right time . . .
    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was buried last week with all
    the pomp and ceremony the occasion deserved. Regardless
    of your views on the monarchy, for a person to perform the one
    role for 70 years without a break is an awe-inspiring effort.
  • Pick up the phone
    The Conversation, a news website operated and funded by a number
    of universities, has published a significant number of articles on Prime
    Minister Albanese’s Jobs and Skills Summit. Most of them, as has most
    of the reporting of the ‘summiteers’ work, have been broadly positive.
  • Promises, promises
    The problem with the proposed tax cuts, the Jobs Summit, the emissions reduction
    target or any other policy that Prime Minister Albanese took to the election is
    that it was a promise that was made in the run up to the election. Certainly, the
    world has changed since 2019 and if really expensive tax cuts that benefit the better
    off were ever a good idea, there is even less evidence to suggest they are now.
  • The downside of lower unemployment
    In the middle of the ‘should Morrison go’ or should he stay
    brouhaha a couple of weeks ago, there was some interesting
    news to think about — Australia’s unemployment rate is likely
    to be under 5% for some years to come.
  • They seem to have a plan
    At the beginning of August, Prime Minister Albanese’s ‘preferred prime minister’
    measure according to Newspoll was 61%. While pretty well every new political
    leader enjoys some fair winds and sunshine at the beginning of their term of office,
    Albanese is doing better than most. He seems to be confounding the experts that
    suggested the ‘honeymoon’ with the Australian public was over a month earlier.
  • The demise of misinformation
    Some probably have sympathy for the American ‘conservative warrior’
    Alex Jones who has recently lost a lawsuit instigated by the parents of one
    of the victims of the Sandy Hook School shooting. Jones has admitted he has
    been incorrectly claiming the shooting in 2012 as a hoax for years. Clearly,
    the Texas jury actually looked at the evidence when they found him guilty.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

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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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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