Taxes are the things that provide services to the community. They provide transport, social security, defence, education, parks, rubbish removal and so on.
While state and local government provide most of the services we Australians consume on a daily basis, the federal government is the lev... Read More
Now we see it, the Christian-Right Liberal reactionaries digging their cruel claws into PM Turnbull over the ‘Safe Schools’ program, one specifically designed to help kids understand that different individuals have different feelings about their sexuality, and that all of us ought to understand,... Read More
Question: What do Donald Trump (Republican Presidential hopeful) and Jeremy Corbyn (Leader of the British Labour Party) have in common? Well it can’t be their politics.
Trump comes from the right hand side of the spectrum — he wants to keep the ‘illegals’ out, defeat Islamic State, favours ... Read More
For the Chinese, 2016 is the ‘Year of the Monkey’ but I think in Australia it may well be the year of the union — although not in a positive way. As it is an election year, and in the light of the Trade Union Royal Commission (TURC) report in December, we can expect the Coalition government to h... Read More
In the first of this short series, I described how after the disaster of Tony Abbott, the promise that Malcolm Turnbull brought to prime ministership was already fracturing as he fails, day after day, to live up to his own values, and reneges on his strongly held views. Abbott flagrantly and una... Read More
The precipitous ejection of Australia’s worst-ever prime minister last year brought such a sense of relief to the electorate that the arrival of Malcolm Turnbull in his place gave him the status of a knight in shining armour rescuing the damsel in distress. Even some who support Labor were not j... Read More
Have a look at this link: it is a record of the number of reported gun incidents and deaths in the USA in the last 72 hours. When this article was being prepared there had been in excess of 200 incidents. Frankly it’s a little scary.
Many Australians are familiar with the work of the US Tea... Read More
[The Turnbull residence at Point Piper, Sydney]
After Turnbull toppled Abbott in September the polls turned in favour of the Coalition; Turnbull’s ‘satisfaction’ rating was high; and he had a commanding lead over Shorten as preferred prime minister. The big question for Turnbull, the Coalition... Read More
I began this short series on political framing with the image above, and illustrated the concept with some overseas examples. In the second part I used examples from the contemporary federal political scene, pointed out the dangers of accepting political opponents’ framing, and examined ways of ... Read More
In the first of this short series on framing: Framing the political debate – the key to winning, I described the concept of political framing as developed by cognitive scientist and linguist George Lakoff, which he described in his book The Political Mind. I illustrated it with examples drawn fr... Read More
Why did Tony Abbott thrive as Leader of the Opposition, but turn out to be such a dud as Prime Minister?
What was it about his period in opposition that was so different from his period as the nation’s leader?
There are many possible answers to these questions.
This piece asserts tha... Read More
In my piece ‘Are you sure you’re not a radical?’ I wrote: ‘Over the centuries folk music has been important in supporting the oppressed and Ireland and many countries in South America have a long tradition of revolutionary music.’ So I have chosen in this ‘summer recess’ to p... Read More
Welcome to 2016 from The Political Sword and we behind the keyboards hope that the forthcoming year is everything you wish for.
In what seems to be a tradition, we start 2016 with a different prime minister, promises of better government and the reality of more spin, marketing and political... Read More
It is common at this time of the year to reflect on what was, what could have been and how it all manages to fit into the ‘scheme of things’. This article is the 50th piece posted to The Political Sword in 2015 — and, if we didn’t have enough to do, late in January we changed the look and feel... Read More
Lords and Ladies, I beseech of your time as I come before you to continue the tale of the kingdom wherein resided Tiny-er-er O’penmouth. I beg of you to bring to mind my last tale when, although no more than a lowly jester, he created himself anew as Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth,... Read More
With parliament about to go into its summer recess and an El Nino summer in the offing, meaning less rain (particularly in the eastern states) and raising the prospect of water restrictions in major urban areas, I thought it timely to have a look at what happens to water in Australia — how muc... Read More
Joe Hockey was fond of talking about the end of the age of entitlement, basically meaning that people should not expect support from government and should buy their services in the market — including health and education services if he had had his way. There are, however, various good reasons... Read More
It is likely that 2015 will be remembered around the world as the year when morals and ethics overcame deception and greed. There are a number of examples that could be given with regard to investment funds, rorting allowances and living circumstances as well as just corporate greed. Let’s just ... Read More
Recently you may have missed the news that Yvonne D’arcy won her case in the Australian High Court. D’arcy had been involved in legal action against Myriad Genetics, a US biotech firm that developed a test to determine if people have a predisposition towards breast cancer. This was ground breaki... Read More
Back in September the government released its radicalisation awareness kit. The example contained in it of radical greenie Karen became the centre of attention in the twitterverse, on social media and in the mainstream media but should our concern end there?
All the detail and the booklet ... Read More