• 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 they employ specialists who have likely
    forgotten more about their subjects than the politicians had ever known, asked what to do.
  • 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 health management, a high-ranking commissioned Police Officer, with a
    person live translating the discussion into Auslan for the benefit of those with hearing difficulties.
  • What is revving up the bully boys?
    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?
  • 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 Howard’s response twenty years ago.
  • 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 class.
  • 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 Minister.

The Political Sword

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Trumpism

First, let’s examine the meaning of the suffix: ‘ism’. Wikipedia says it means “taking side with" or "imitation of", and is often used in association with philosophies, theories, religions, social and artistic movements, and behaviours. So let’s use that suffix with Trump: Trumpism, although he ...

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How about some honesty

The last weekend in October would have been a pretty horrible time for Victorians. First on Saturday they found out that Mike Brady can sing ‘Up there Cazaly’ without 100,000 of his closest friends around him at the MCG. To add insult to injury, the ‘backing band’ was the Queensland Symphony Orchest...

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A new normal - yeah right

I bought some milk at my local Supermarket yesterday. It cost me $3.59. The checkout operator didn’t ask me about my ability to pay for the milk in comparison to the person in front or behind me as the sale price is based on the ability of Coles to arrange for the milk to be produced and transported...

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Comparisons aren't always valid

In September 2018, soon after the overthrow of Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison gathered his Ministerial troops and set course for Albury on the NSW/Victorian border. His objective was to pay homage to the founder of the Liberal Party, Robert Menzies. Morrison’s ‘heartland’ speech, entitled ‘Until t...

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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 censorio...

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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 necessa...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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’. The implied message is that the question for some reason is e...

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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? Here’s my assessment: First, here are his ...

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Now the blame game

Do you, like me, bristle as you hear the political class playing the blame game? Seldom have we been so inundated with such a plethora of reports, inquiries, Royal Commissions and sundry investigations into past blunders. The Ruby Princess episode springs to mind, but there are many others. They ...

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Politicians with a death wish

You have to wonder if some with a high profile in the ALP have a political death wish. Recently, the government’s performance was summed up by the Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck sitting at an enquiry into aged care, speechless for half a minute because he couldn’t answer a pretty obvious questio...

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Morrison is not a leader

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the President of the USA in the aftermath of the ‘Great Depression’ that commenced with the stock market crashes of 1929. Rather than riding out the Depression, promising business as usual at some point in the future, Roosevelt instituted a series of economic programs acros...

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What was the alternative?

On Thursday 23 July, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced an ‘eye watering’ projected deficit of $1,844 Billion dollars in the 2020/21 financial year. For the Government that was announcing (with tortured grammar and celebratory coffee mugs less than 12 months ago) they were ‘already back ...

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Mutually assured destruction

A few years ago, we were in Canada. One cool and wet day in St Jacobs, Ontario (a couple of hours west of Toronto), we walked into a building dedicated to The Mennonite Story because it looked dry and warm inside. Unsurprisingly, the building went someway towards explaining the history and beliefs o...

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Is adversarial politics damaging our democracy?

It was twelve years ago, on July 10, 2008, before The Political Sword was inaugurated, that I wrote Is adversarial politics damaging our democracy?.  It was published on The Possum Box hosted by Possum Comitatus, who gave me my start at political blogging, for which I continue to be grateful. ...

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Nationalism really isn't easy

Fuelled by a number of world leaders and media outlets that should know better, the pandemic has generated considerable commentary about buying locally rather than imported products. In some ways, it does make sense as there is considerably less chance of the product made from material that is gener...

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The Trump dilemma

Don’t get me wrong. Trump is not the dilemma to which I’m referring. His behaviour is no longer a quandary. With every word he utters, with every tweet, he confirms that his mental state continues to deteriorate to the point where commentator after commentator expresses astonishment and alarm at his...

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Information and critical thinking do matter

When Prime Minister Morrison was advised there was the risk of uncontrolled spread of a deadly pandemic on the horizon early this year, he was slightly wiser than at Christmas when he left a burning Australia in the ‘capable’ hands of Deputy Prime Minister and National Party Leader Michael McCormack...

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Morrison morphs into ‘Strict Father’ mode

Back in 2013, I wrote a piece on The Political Sword with the curious title: The myth of political sameness. Its purpose was to debunk the commonly held view that ‘politicians are all the same’.I drew on the comprehensive work of George Lakoff, a cognitive linguist and philosopher at the University ...

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