• Dan Andrews stares down the lynch mob
    If you detest Dan Andrews and want him gone, stop reading now. What
    follows will not please you. As a citizen of Victoria I am incensed by the
    continual attacks on our premier. It’s not surprising that the State Opposition
    leader, the hapless Michael O’Brien, attacks Andrews in his usual censorious manner.
  • Trust me, I’m a deregulated banker
    Those that remember the dim dark distant days of the Global Financial Crisis,
    or GFC, would be aware that a lot of the financial pain was caused due to a
    number of financial institutions around the world who for a number of years
    had been lending large amounts of money to those that couldn’t necessarily
    afford the payments and relying on security that was in essence useless.
  • So, how will you do it better?
    In the next 12 to 18 months there are a number of elections coming up across
    Australia. Presumably, in amongst the cries of ‘you’re on mute’ in the socially distanced
    meetings called by all the political parties to plan and strategise their marketing, they
    are trying to work out how to convince you that their candidate is the shining light of
    goodness and rationality in the competition and their opponents are the devil incarnate.
  • Define heartless
    At the moment, some Premiers and Chief Ministers are being
    described as heartless, without compassion, cruel and nasty. The
    descriptions are being applied because of decisions made by the
    individual Premiers and Chief Ministers or their delegates to contain,
    to the best of their ability, the spread of COVID19 in their communities.
  • I reject the premise
    Have you ever noticed that if a number of politicians don’t
    really want to answer a question, they ‘reject the premise’
    or reject the characterisation’ rather than answer it?
    Current Prime Minister Morrison is a past master of the ‘art’.
  • Frydenberg’ s folly
    What’s happened to Josh Frydenberg? As many have commented,
    Frydenberg’s vicious attack on Victoria’s Premier, Dan Andrews,
    came as a surprise. It’s intensity was extraordinary. Why?
    Only he would know. We can but surmise. What did you conclude?

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

NAPLAN — a guide or a competition

Most educational institutions in Australia have a ‘tag line’ — a statement that is supposed to be a pithy description of what the entire school community believes in. It isn’t surprising that a lot of the ‘tag lines’ have something to do with recognising the individual talents of each student and ...

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Government budget trickery

I would like to state upfront that I already had the word ‘trickery’ in this title before Bill Shorten used it in his Budget Reply speech. I could say he stole it from me but I suspect he thought of it himself. It is such an appropriate word for this budget. One thing Bill Shorten didn’t m...

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Hope for the homeless

Throughout the world there are people who ’sleep rough’ every night. For a few, that is the way they choose to spend their lives; for the majority, however, the habit is not one of choice or desire — the choice is made for them due to circumstances relating to employment or their personal live...

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Are budgets worth the paper they’re written on?

In this little exercise I have gone through commonwealth government budgets from 1999‒2000 to 2013‒14 to study changes in the figures. The figures for each budget can vary quite significantly. For quite a few years now we have had the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) which up...

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The saga of Billy Gordon

On January 31 this year, Billy Gordon joined a very select group — indigenous members of parliament in Australia. He won the seat of Cook in far north Queensland from the LNP and joined the Queensland parliament as part of the minority ALP government. Late in March, the State parliament sat for ...

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Beware, there is a plan

There is much talk about the ‘chaos’ of the Abbott government but take a close look at what has been done, what it is talking about, and the reports it is gathering together. We need to look beyond the political catch-cries of the ‘debt and deficit disaster’ and ‘Labor’s mess’ and examine what is d...

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Instant Experts

To be in public life you need to have a sense of self-belief. How else would you cope with those that feel they can criticise your actions, private life, as well as decisions you have made in the past? ‘Stars’ such as elite sports professionals, actors, performers and so on can demonstrate that th...

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How the economic rationalists tried to steal our hearts and minds

At the start of the year in my piece ‘Proud to be a bigot’ I mentioned that, before Abbott, Australian governments tended to look after those who were ‘down on their luck’. It was a phrase with which I grew up. People who were unemployed were not ‘dole bludgers’ ...

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The ‘trickle-down’ effect

Next time a conservative politician or acquaintance tells you that tax cuts for the better off will help the state or nation’s economy, you might want to have ‘the discussion’. Tax cuts for the better off is part of a theory of economics known as ‘trickle-down’ that se...

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Intergenerational Reports: what are they on about?

There have now been four Intergenerational Reports (IGR) from 2002  to 2015, issued by three treasurers: Costello (2),  Swan  and Hockey.  They were meant to come out at five-yearly intervals but Swan (and Rudd, although officially they are the Treasurer’s report) brought f...

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Does social media influence politics?

The new fashion in Australian politics seems to be leadership change. In the past ten years, we’ve seen Rudd overthrown by Gillard (only to succeed in a subsequent challenge a couple of years later), three federal opposition leaders in the Rudd/Gillard government era, the overthrow of a Victorian p...

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Surprise, surprise …

Not very long ago, during the annual meltdown into the pleasantly torpid stasis that is the great Aussie January holiday time, Peter van Onselen zapped out this Tweet: From van Onselen, that was quite, well, shocking. More especially because just two days before he had tweeted: Peter van Onse...

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President Abbott: or why prime ministers should not be immune from removal by their party

After the failure of the ‘spill’ motion on 9 February, Abbott said: We think that when you elect a government, when you elect a prime minister, you deserve to keep that government and that prime minister until you have had a chance to change your mind. Ignoring that the polls were in...

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But we’ve done tax reform – haven’t we? (Part 2)

Last week we briefly looked at some of the problems with the current tax system. It seems that a number of those who should have a high level of understanding of the fundamental flaws in the current taxation system agree that the system needs reform. Price Waterhouse Coopers suggest: . . . there ...

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But we’ve done tax reform – haven’t we?

Here’s a tip for 2015. If the Abbott Government can remove the current opinion polls and stories of excess and incompetence from the front pages, it has been signalling that it intends to tackle ‘tax reform’ during the life of the current government. It wouldn’t be the first...

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Abbott continues to tell porkies

I was surprised during last December (and again in the past week after the unsuccessful spill motion) when Abbott and his ministers reverted to the line that the LNP government had inherited a huge budget deficit from Labor. Early in December they were claiming that Labor had been deceitful by goi...

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If you doubt the scientists, what about the actuaries?

There’s an old adage that if you want to know who will win an election follow the bookmakers’ odds or where the punters are putting their money rather than the polls (particularly when the polls are close). Something similar could be said of climate change. For Mr Abbott and others like...

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We’re all in this together

As human beings we each have a responsibility to care for humanity. Expressing concern for others brings inner strength and deep satisfaction. As social animals, human beings need friendship, but friendship doesn’t come from wealth and power, but from showing compassion and concern for other...

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Enjoy a new era at The Political Sword

On Saturday, 13 September 2008 Ad astra wrote: ‘This is the first posting of The Political Sword blog. Its focus is Australian politics. It is intended to give expression to those who have opinions about contemporary political events. In particular it will provide a forum for exposing decepti...

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Proud to be a bigot: a view from the barbie

Everyone knows about George Brandis’s now famous comment: People do have a right to be bigots, you know. In a free country, people do have rights to say things that other people find offensive or insulting or bigoted. I have decided to take him at his word and tell Tony Abbott to eff off ...

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