• 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.

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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Conservative ideology: the cuckoo in the economic nest

Have you ever wondered why our major political parties have such different views about how our economy works, indeed how the global economy works? Have you asked why progressives think so differently from conservatives? Have you pondered why their approaches to our economy are so radically dissimila...

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The racist immigration Minister

Sometime in 2014, journalist Rob Burgess interviewed former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and discussed refugee policy. During the discussion, apparently Fraser made a prediction. Burgess recently wrote an opinion piece for The New Daily discussing Minister Dutton’s recent claims about South African...

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