• Bubble politics
    As we emerge from four years of disastrous Trump politics,
    fervently hoping for a modicum of normality in US politics,
    we find ourselves confronted with a growing phenomenon:
    the desire of many to live in a bubble of their own choice.
  • The Age of Aquarius
    Older folks will remember the musical Hair with its opening song Aquarius:
    ”This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius,
    When the Moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars,
    then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars.
  • The sad joke
    There is an old joke about the boy who lived in Inflatable World who, after going
    on a rampage with a pin, was lying deflated in a bed in the Inflatable Hospital. His
    school principal was sitting beside him and giving him a lecture on ethics and morals;
    ‘your rampage has caused a lot of damage, you’ve let your parents down, you’ve let
    your friends down, you’ve let your school down and you’ve even let yourself down’.
  • Anger
    I might have titled this piece ‘Rage’, but not wishing its thrust to
    be confused with Rage, the all-night music video program broadcast
    on the ABC on Friday nights and Saturdays, I have stuck with the
    less emotive word ‘anger’. You all know what ‘anger’ means.
  • The Hummingbird
    You might remember 2020. It was the year that Australia’s state
    and territory leaders demonstrated who really ran the country.
    At various times during 2020 a number of states and territories
    restricted entry to and movement around their jurisdictions on the
    basis of minimising the transmission of the COVID19 virus.
  • What do you expect from TPS in 2021?
    First, you may be interested to read what I wrote over ten years ago,
    in September 2008, in a piece titled
    Welcome to the Political Sword blog.
    The history of The Political Sword though goes back further.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

What is Modern Monetary Theory and will it help?

Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is a macroeconomic theory for the current age in which governments have abandoned the gold standard and also floated their currencies. It is ‘macroeconomic’ and ‘monetary’ because many of its conclusions relate to the money supply in an economy. Does it offer scope for a...

Read More

It’s all about me

At the risk of earning a Godwin Award in the first sentence, according to those who staffed his office, Hitler was a kind and paternal man. Apparently Goebbels was kind to his family as are no doubt most of the world’s leaders today.  However, the same people who make sure they are kind to ...

Read More

An economy without people

Last week I suggested that modern economic theory has lost sight of people but the reality is now becoming that many segments of the economy require fewer people to undertake the work and that has serious implications not just for the people losing their jobs but for the broader economy.  T...

Read More

Our Government is morally bankrupt

Recently on this website, we discussed the nastiness of the conservatives that currently inhabit the halls of power in Canberra. Ad Astra’s article gave a number of examples that demonstrated the point and you can read the article here rather than have me go over the fertile ground yet again.  ...

Read More

Modern economics has lost sight of people

This is the first of four articles looking at particular changes, and potential changes, in our economic environment and approach to economics generally.  For those who have followed my pieces on TPS you may recall that I am qualified as a social anthropologist. I take the anthropological v...

Read More

Toxic talk

Are you as offended, as disgusted as I am with the language used by our politicians day after day? Have you noted how mean-spirited, antagonistic and adversarial their words so often are? They use words like poison arrows aimed at the heart of their political opponents and those in our society wh...

Read More

Bring out your debt

After a year of saying that he could get the Federal Budget back into surplus, seemingly by just cutting support to the less well off in our society, Treasurer Scott Morrison finally realised something any school child who has started business studies classes would be well aware of — a balance sheet...

Read More

Rethinking our priorities

Some believe that those who purchase Lotto entries, play pokies or Keno or participate in other forms of gambling are effectively paying an idiot tax. On a purely rational level, they may be right as there is a significant chance that the few dollars you give to the Lotto machine operator or similar...

Read More

The meaning of life

As you sit on your comfortable chair after a satisfying meal with a glass of your favourite drink in hand and view current affairs programmes on TV, do you reflect on the plethora of distressing images that assail viewers day after day? Do you ponder how you might feel if you were part of those imag...

Read More

A once and future Senate

We now know that the Senate elected at the July election comprises 30 Coalition members, 26 from the ALP, 9 Greens, 4 from One Nation, 3 from the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) and one each from Family First, the Liberal Democrats, Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party and the Jacqui Lambie Network. Thirty-nine vo...

Read More

Rudd and Abbott: saviour of their parties

Two of the three ex-prime ministers who were deposed by their own political party have been in the news in recent weeks. Kevin Rudd requested backing from the Coalition government to bid for the Secretary-General position at the United Nations and Tony Abbott claimed there are factional divisions in...

Read More

The election in numbers 2: minor parties and independents

A number of commentators made the point after the election that almost a quarter of voters did not vote for the major parties in the House of Representatives. But that is misleading on two counts. It ignores the 5% informal vote and the 10% vote for the Greens who I think are now entitled to be cons...

Read More

Why are Abbott’s conservatives destroying our PM?

To those of you who dispute the assertion embedded in the title, let me provide you with supporting evidence. First some questions for you to answer: Is Malcolm Turnbull the man you thought he was when he rolled Tony Abbott almost a year ago? Has he fulfilled your initial expectations? ...

Read More

The democratisation of opinion

With the rise of the internet and social media almost anyone can express their opinion to an audience in the thousands, even hundreds of thousands, no longer just to a circle of people who are physically present to hear the opinion. While that provides the democratisation of opinion, it also has a m...

Read More

Make laugh – not war

A couple of weeks ago, our esteemed blogmaster Ad Astra published a piece asking ‘Why is there so much anger?’ It’s a good question.  Sociologists will tell us that whatever position a person takes on a particular subject, there will be some who agree, some who disagree and some who don’t ...

Read More

Johno goes to heaven

Johno was (as they say in the classics) a good and decent man. When he dies, he goes to heaven, and St Peter shows him around. They go past one room, and Johno asks: ‘Who are all those people in there?’ ‘They are the Methodists,’ says St Peter. They pass another room, and Johno asks the same questio...

Read More

Why is there so much anger?

No matter when we listen to the news, watch TV, or browse social media, the pervading emotion in so many items is anger, unremitting anger. We see it in the wars in the Middle East and among terrorist organizations. We are told it is what motivates individual terrorists.  Social commenta...

Read More

Someone’s gotta pay

According to the Coalition government, the ALP’s campaign over the privatisation of Medicare was somewhere between dishonest and outright lies. While it is true that the Coalition has frozen some Medicare rebates and eliminated others, attempted to introduce a $7 co-payment to see a doctor in the 20...

Read More

Mr Turnbull, where are your verbs?

It was one of The Political Sword’s regular contributors, Casablanca, who drew my attention to the absence of a verb in the Coalition’s prime slogan ‘Jobs and Growth’. She had been alerted by an article in The Guardian by Van Badham in May: Good slogan, Malcolm Turnbull, but growth in what kind of j...

Read More

The Liberals are dreaming

On Sunday morning 10 July, before Shorten conceded defeat in the election, Arthur Sinodinos appeared on the ABC’s Insiders. He claimed the Coalition had a ‘mandate’ for its 2016 budget and its company tax cuts. Sinodinos’s view takes no account of the reality of the new parliament.  Althoug...

Read More