• You're paying too much
    And that has nothing to do with fuel marketing cycles that seem to afflict
    larger cities around the country, the cost of importing fuel because the
    multi-national refining companies have determined it is not economic to
    produce fuel in Australia or any one of the hundreds of other theories of
    why it now costs more than ever to fill up the car. It is all to do with politics.
  • They've got a mandate
    You’ve probably heard politicians and commentators suggest that
    various acts should be undertaken because ‘they’ve got a mandate’.
    One of the recent examples is new Environment Minister Angus Taylor
    claiming there is now a ‘mandate’ for a lack of any meaningful
    action on managing climate change in Australia.
  • The battle for the killer slogan
    I could commence this piece by debating why slogans influence voters,
    no matter how tiresome, no matter how monotonous. But why bother?
    We know they work. Why bother to question their use, or scorn those
    who use them? It is surely more practical to examine how to use them
    creatively. This piece is just the beginning of the search for the killer slogan.
  • The Coalition can’t manage money
    The Coalition can’t manage money. No, that’s not a misprint.
    The conventional wisdom, peddled by the Coalition, aided and
    abetted by opinion polls that always rate the Coalition ahead of Labor
    in managing the economy, is that ‘Labor can’t manage money’.
  • Extremism and Queensland
    Political extremism generally doesn’t condone rape, murder or shootings
    to achieve stated aims, however it does promote that there is no tolerance
    for differing opinions or compromise. A common statement from the conservative
    forces leading up to the last election was that the Australian Greens were extremists
    and more dangerous to Australia than either One Nation or United Australia Parties.
  • The Tag Line
    The recent election was an exercise in marketing and not much else
    Morrison promoted himself and ‘good economic management’ rather
    than the Coalition while flitting around the country handing out dollars
    to ‘deserving’ infrastructure projects, usually in marginal seats.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

Abbott and the Murdoch, Rinehart, Pell connection

Voters need seriously to contemplate what it would be like to have an Abbott Government. They need to dig deeper than the slick slogans, the oft repeated mantras, the weasel words, the deviousness, and the blatant lies that escape Abbott’s lips day after day. They need to ask what makes this m...

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What was Leigh Sales’ intent with PM Gillard?

As Leigh Sales interviewed Prime Minister Julia Gillard on 7.30 last week, was she hoping it might remind viewers of her interview of Tony Abbott six months earlier, one that attracted widespread applause for its probing, her persistence, and her command of the interview? Looking back, she may be di...

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Polls perpetually poison politics

Imagine that last Thursday an alien arrived from Mars. He picked up the papers and read that the leader of this nation is under threat of losing her position. He wondered why. He is surprised that she is female. He speaks to a normal-looking local. For the sake of this piece, let’s imagine th...

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How to vote: first examine your values

How do voters decide on where to cast their vote? For some it is automatic, even unthinking. They have voted this way before, maybe always. They are the rusted-on voters. For many though, it's a question of “What’s in it for me?” “What will I gain if I vote this way and what...

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Cool courage trumps cringing cowardice

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
 Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king's horses and all the king's men
 Couldn't put Humpty together again. For many of the opinionistas, PM Gillard is Humpty Dumpty. They insist that she has had a great fall, indeed one fall after another, and no amount of effo...

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The curse of the opinionistas

Reflect on how often you have heard a Fourth Estate political commentator argue: “Because of this set of facts, I am of the opinion that so and so is true”? Seldom. How often have you heard one of them say: “My opinion is based on the following propositions…”? Practica...

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Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey, stop killing confidence

How many times have you heard commentators lamenting how low consumer and business confidence have become? Time and again. How many times have you seen journalists attempting to analyse why? Very few. How many times have you seen them sheet home any of the lack of confidence among consumers and busi...

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Don’t mention the polls

This is an open letter to all Federal Labor parliamentarians. Of all people, you must know that polls of voting intention this far from the scheduled election date of September 14 are not predictive of the election outcome. Even the pollsters themselves tell us that. They agree that trends over time...

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When will Tony Abbott fill the gaping void in his latest slogan: Hope. Reward. Opportunity?

The image of would-be Prime Minister Abbott as a hollow man, a lightweight on policy, and an economic dilettante would not have been diminished, let alone erased by his address in Canberra to the National Press Club of Australia: HOPE. REWARD. OPPORTUNITY. at the end of January. Here’s why. &...

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Why does the Coalition choose to live in an imaginary world?

Because it suits Coalition members to do so. Why do so many of those in the MSM choose to crawl into that imaginary world with the Coalition? Because it suits them too. The refuge the Coalition and its supporters have taken in their make-believe world has reached pathological proportions. They give ...

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Forty-nine questions for Tony Abbott about global warming

As the mainstream media seems unwilling to, or incapable of asking Tony Abbott to explain his way of thinking about global warming, and more importantly explain his policies to combat it, let’s do so here. There are critically important questions that need answers if the electorate is to choos...

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TPS M@IL: a new communication tool

How many times have you wished you could email a politician or a journalist, or forward to them a piece posted on The Political Sword, but found it too difficult because you didn’t have the correct email address, or perhaps didn’t know who it might be best to contact? Over the end-of-yea...

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The Gillard-Abbott gap widens

For Labor supporters, 2013 holds great promise. An election is scheduled for later in the year, when Julia Gillard will ask the people of Australia to elect her Government for another term. The alternative is an Abbott-led Coalition Government. The year has started well for the PM. She has announc...

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Thank you to all who comment here

Lyn, in addition to providing links every weekday and Twitterverse and Twitterati regularly, has kept an account of the pseudonyms of those who have commented on The Political Sword since its inception in 2008. While our statistics tell us that a large number visit here but never leave a comment, t...

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Focus on crap detecting: Postman and Weingartner

This is the third in the end-of-year series that have focussed on aspects of politics. This one uses Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner’s brilliant 1969 paperback Teaching as a Subversive Activity as the framework for this piece. I found this book facilitated more insights into the purp...

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Focus on political ideology: Joseph E Stiglitz

This is the second in the end-of-year series on The Political Sword on political ideology. It is based on a Stiglitz’s book: The Price of Inequality Stiglitz’ book was published in mid 2012 in New York by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., and in London by Allen Lane, part of the Penguin ...

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Focus on political ideology: Ross Gittins

This is the first of a series that will be posted periodically over the end-of-year break on The Political Sword. It is designed to give you an opportunity to comment on the important ideological and philosophical issues that influence contemporary politics. The centerpiece of this first post is a l...

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The media still has questions to answer

“Self congratulatory lemmings” was the phrase used by Jon Faine on ABC Radio 774 Melbourne this week to describe the media, and in particular the Canberra Press Gallery. The context was the so-called ‘AWU slush fund scandal’. He was referring to the incessant, yet fruitless a...

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So the globe is warming after all

Climate skeptics and deniers should read no further. The factual information below will cause them to have acute cognitive dissonance as the facts and figures clash with their entrenched beliefs and fantasies. I suppose it is coincidental, but recently there has been a spate of reports on the state...

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Is there life after neoliberalism?

Yes there can be, says Hugh Stretton in his unfairly neglected book, Australia Fair (UNSW Press, 2005). I recently wrote about the general argument of this book in Australia Fair by Hugh Stretton. Here, I’m going to look at the specifics. But just to recap, Stretton argues that the neoliberal ...

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