• 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.

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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Cormann's calamitous capitulation

There is no doubt about who was behind last week’s move to displace Malcolm Turnbull. It was the ever-vengeful and habitually destructive Tony Abbott, who from the moment Turnbull toppled him in 2015, set about doing the same in return. He will have gained some satisfaction from the party room’s dec...

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Toad of Turnbull Hall

During my childhood, Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows was my favourite book. A. A. Milne turned it into a play: Toad of Toad Hall.  I loved Toad. I was astounded by, and somewhat admiring, of his conceit, his vanity, his arrogance, his audacity, his entrepreneurship, his ‘innov...

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When all else fails - dogwhistle

Religious organisations have been getting a bad rap in Australia recently, thanks to the Royal Commission that investigated serial abuse of children and the disadvantaged. Those that committed the abuse and those that covered it up deserved what they got. However, there is a tendency to tar all with...

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Don't feed the trolls

Ever since Internet blogs allowed comments, there has been a particularly nasty, vile group of people that visit the comments sections of blogs, post inflammatory comments to provoke others and move on when they have derailed the conversation. Usually the rationale for doing this is to disrupt the b...

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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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