• Was Amtrak Joe derailed?
    Prior to becoming President, Joe Biden was a US Senator for around
    36 years. He is known as Amtrak Joe as he routinely took the daily 90
    minute each way train trip (on the USA’s national passenger train network
    - Amtrak) from his home in Delaware to Washington DC to represent his state.
  • If employers can measure well-being...
    Last September, you might have seen Qantas CEO Alan Joyce
    received a pay increase of $278,000 per annum. It seems that Joyce
    has met or exceeded the performance goals set by his employers and
    contractually has earned the reward. It does, however, raise a larger question.
  • Coming back to haunt you
    In his recent Budget reply speech, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton
    laboured (pun intended) on the increasingly difficult to achieve promise by
    Prime Minister Albanese that power bills will be $275 less in 2025. While the
    government is claiming the modelling done in 2021 supports the accuracy of
    the promise, 2021 modelling doesn’t account for changes in circumstances since then.
  • The good economic units
    Wellbeing and politics have collided in the past couple of weeks.
    Federal Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers has started a conversation about
    measuring the ‘wellbeing’ of the nation as a result of the measures in the
    budget. The Opposition, as you would expect, has poured scorn on the idea.
  • Do you want to smile or frown
    Recently, in what could be described as an epic fail in recruiting
    practices, the Essendon Football Club hired and accepted the
    resignation of the same CEO within a day. The issue was that the
    CEO was also the Chairman of ‘City on the Hill’, a church that seems
    to promote some conservative views on the way people live their lives.
  • We can do it better
    It was probably co-incidental that the Australian Conservative
    Political Action Conference (CPAC) was held in Sydney around the
    time the NRL and AFL finals were occurring. CPAC originally
    advertised the conference would be at Luna Park — until
    Luna Park claimed they had never had a booking.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

Lies, damn lies and economics

There must be a federal election coming — the infamous yellow and black Clive Palmer funded billboards have made a reappearance. One of the billboards has a statement that suggests COVID19 related restrictions and vaccinations are a waste of time because it is still possible to be infected. It’s cla...

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Voter ID and dead cats

If you are over 18 you will be legally required to vote in a Federal Election between now and next May. If the Coalition Government gets its way, next time you vote in a Federal Election you will have to produce proof of identity before you are handed the ballot papers. The Coalition have been talki...

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Invasion Day

No, we’re not getting in early for that date at the end of January. Although there is considerable substance to the claim from first nations people that Australia had a civilisation long before Arthur Philip turned up with a number of ships and people that were a social problem the English decided t...

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Where has all the kindness gone?

Here is another brief offering. It does not need to be lengthy because its message is straightforward. It asks the question: “Where has all the kindness gone?” and its corollary: ”Why not be kind to one another?”. The September 25 issue of The Good Weekend featured an article titled The High Life...

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Do the crime – do the time

The reason Dominic Perrottet became Premier of New South Wales is Gladys Berejiklian chose to join the select group of Liberal Party New South Wales Premiers that resigned before undergoing the scrutiny of a New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption public hearing. Of course, Berejik...

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Should the cowboys rule?

For someone that claims to have Australia’s best interests at heart, Prime Minister Scott Morrison makes some strange choices. He originally claimed he wasn’t going to the Glasgow GOP26 Meeting of World Leaders because it would mean he would be required to undergo another two weeks of isolation. We’...

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You have to adapt

Next time your mobile phone takes a photo of the now ubiquitous QR check in image, think of this. In 1888, the Kodak camera was first sold in the USA with the motto “You press the button, we do the rest”. People did ‘press the button’ and return the cheap camera box to Kodak for processing — at addi...

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Looking after your mates

At the same time as the state governments around Australia are trying to re-establish the ‘greater good’ by promoting COVID-19 testing when feeling even slightly unwell and vaccination (because the inconvenience of a test or injection is far outweighed by the lessening of risk of others catching the...

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Living under a dishonest leader

There are few words here for you to read. They are not necessary to tell the lamentable tale of Morrison’s dishonesty; the embedded YouTube video does the talking. Malcolm Turnbull belled the cat in spectacular style during his remote National Press Club address on 29 September. In his inimitab...

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Looking for a loophole

It’s a pity Barnaby Joyce’s stirring defence of Christian Porter on his demotion to the back bench wasn’t an out of season April Fool’s joke. Recently The Guardian reported On Monday, Joyce told reporters in Canberra Porter was “incredibly intelligent” and had been an “incredibly capable” minist...

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Fomenting fear and loathing

What appalling scenes we’ve witnessed recently in Melbourne: its streets engulfed by protestors marching to who knows where, or why. Do they? The Westgate Freeway, the major arterial to the Western suburbs, was blocked and traffic disrupted by marchers plodding to the other side. Then where? Who ...

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A tale of two ideologies

Once upon a time, the newly elected progressive Australian Government was told by their advisers that financial calamity was to sweep the world, bringing financial ruin, uncertainty and pestilence (the last one might just be made up) to humanity. The newly elected government, being of the mind that ...

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Nature abhors a vacuum

In the past year or so, most of us would have become quite familiar with the group of people that seem to front up almost daily to discuss the current state of the COVID19 pandemic in each Australian jurisdiction. Usually there are a couple of politicians ably backed up by the experts in public heal...

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What is revving up the bully boys?

This is a short piece. There is no need for lots of words. Images are sufficient. Have you noticed the cluster of loud-mouthed men that has appeared recently on our Melbourne streets, fists raised, shouting messages of defiance directed at our those in authority? Who are they? What is their ag...

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We should be better than this

In The Guardian’s detailed history of the ‘Tampa affair’ which occurred twenty years ago, you will notice a number of similarities with the current humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Sadly, you will also notice that the response by current Prime Minister Morrison is worse than then Prime Minister H...

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Toad of Toad Hall

This short piece is not intended to be a serious treatise; instead it’s a light-hearted appraisal of federal politics. We have had our fill of commentaries on the ins and outs of the Canberra scene written by self-confident ‘experts’ who believe they understand the machinations of the political clas...

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The environmental vandals

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve looked at some of the less savoury aspects of the current Coalition Government, led (for the moment) by Scott Morrison. This week, how about we look at the environmental record of this government, which reaches back to the days when Tony Abbott was the Prime Minis...

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Protest and perish?

There have recently been a number of ‘freedom’ rallies across Australia where participants seem to be claiming that the current pandemic is somewhere between a farce and a ‘deep cover’ operation by unnamed authorities to exert control over the mindless minions (that’s the rest of us). Some who shoul...

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The dog ate my homework

When you were a toddler and those responsible for looking after you asked you to do something you didn’t want to do, you probably threw a tantrum. A couple of years later when you had learnt to communicate, you probably expressed your disapproval (then threw a tantrum when your disapproval was noted...

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Sameness

Asked what he wanted from life, a wise man said: I want to live; I want to be loved; and I want a little variety. This piece is about the latter: “a little variety”. Are you, like me, wearied by the sameness of so much of contemporary life? Multiple lockdowns occasioned by Covid-19 has afflict...

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