• Pants on fire
    It’s not only Crikey subscribers that have read the list of
    Prime Minster Morrison’s lies and falsehoods they published
    recently as it’s not paywalled. Crikey claims they applied a
    rigorous test to their claims and only ‘counted’ those lies and
    falsehoods they could provide evidence to validate.
  • It’s not dumb luck, is it more sinister
    Australia has been fortunate through the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The infections and deaths due to COVID-19 have been far less
    than others by percentage of population, the economy is apparently
    returning to some form of normal and life is not greatly impacted
    for most Australians on a day-to-day basis.
  • The charade of representative government
    Why do I use the term ‘charade’? Because I believe representative
    government is “an absurd pretence intended to create a pleasant
    or respectable appearance” about the concept of government of
    the people, for the people, by the people.
  • Bring out the dogwhistle
    An unfortunate fact of life in Australian politics since the early 1800s has been
    the racist dogwhistle. Consider the evidence of mass executions of first nations
    peoples that lived in Australia for thousands of years before Dirk Hartog (the
    first European to leave an artefact on the Australian continent in 1616) to the
    ‘White Australia Policy’ and Coalition Prime Minister John Howard’s 2001 election speech
  • The price of arrogance
    It’s all very well for us to say how much we deplore the arrogance of
    our Prime Minister, but as Aussies who live under his ‘rule’ we can’t
    avoid the awkward fact that those who live elsewhere may see us as
    tarred with the same brush! How easy would it be for them to believe
    arrogance is an Australian characteristic? His behaviour taints us all.
  • Déjà vu
    To minimise the pain of reminding you of the shocking destruction
    that is occurring day after day in Gaza City, I have kept this piece
    short. I have found writing it distressing, yet the story needs to be
    told. It is part of our grotesque contemporary reality.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

The perils of Self Regulation

A month or so ago, The Political Sword posed the question ‘What have the unions ever done for us?’ The piece closed with a question: . . .if there was nothing for the political right and employers to fear from the unions, why are the same groups still trying to neuter the unions’...

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Not quite behind the throne

The IPA (Institute of Public Affairs) has had many words written about it, including that it may be the power behind the throne in the Abbott government. The problem is that ‘behind the throne’ usually means a shadowy or lesser known presence but the IPA is making itself anything but th...

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Can the World be a Better Place?

‘Pay it forward’ is a concept where the beneficiary of a good deed repays the ‘debt’ by assisting others, who need some help and support into the future, rather than the initial benefactor. Wikipedia credits the terminology to a book written in 1916 by Lily Hardy Hammond ent...

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Lords and ladies: a second morality tale

The Spruiker Lords and Ladies, before we begin, may I humbly beg your indulgence to refresh your memory of the first morality tale, of the matches rustling in ragged coat pockets, of the fires and rising waters, of the tree monks and the paper castle.Done? Excellent! Now we may proceed.Lords a...

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Darkening times

The Australian Parliament recently passed legislation giving ‘law enforcement’ agencies considerably greater powers that are claimed to be necessary to combat the ‘Islamic State’ terrorism threat. Prime Minister Abbott also addressed the United Nations General Assembly late ...

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Whose responsibility?

Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore...

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What have the unions ever done for us?

Monty Python’s Life of Brian was recently shown on free to air TV. For those that haven’t seen it, the story revolves around Brian, who lives in Palestine during the Roman occupation and somehow is involved with a group of people that want to overthrow the Roman occupation. The movie en...

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Where have all the public services gone?

Where have all the services gone? Gone to corporates every one. When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn? A year or two back, where I live, the local water provider received approval to increase the price of water. It had been involved in major infrastructure spending to enhance th...

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We are all victims of short term expediency

In Australia, politicians are elected for either three or four year terms. The conventional wisdom is that the first year of their term is working out what they want to change — usually masquerading as ‘fixing up the mess’ left to them by their predecessors. The second year (and t...

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Is the free market free?

On 2 September when the Senate passed the repeal of the mining tax, the legislation included a considerable slowing of the process to increase superannuation for workers. Senator Lazarus for PUP, and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, both emphasised that this gave individuals more money in their ow...

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Jesus was a refugee

I regularly drive past a Christian church in a suburb of Brisbane that has a reputation for being a ‘nice’ area. When I drive past as a service is concluding, the attendees are going to their newish model cars to return to their homes that, if they live in the same area, are worth more ...

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Words, words, words

Lenore Taylor reported in August that Tony Abbott had told a ministerial meeting that the party had not broken any election promises, not one. My first reaction was that this was the sign of a narcissistic personality, someone who cannot bear to be wrong. On second thought, I pondered that perhaps ...

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Middle Australia: a new narrative for Labor?

Tucked away in one of the last Fairfax-Nielsen public opinion polls in mid-July is the intriguing fact that although the ALP was leading on a two party preferred basis, and Bill Shorten was preferred as Prime Minister to Tony Abbott, Abbott was ‘way ahead of Mr Shorten on the issue of “...

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There is no ‘I’ in Team

Welcome to ‘Team Australia’. The usual connotation of the word ‘team’ is a group of people that pull together for the common good. Business these days seems to encourage people to form teams, whether the purpose is the development or implementation of a new product, or to a...

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A year in Abbottland

Twelve months into the Abbott government, its misdeeds could fill an entire book. But here I’ll attempt to summarize them, as it’s important we remember them all to maintain the rage. If you think this article is too long, blame Tony Abbott. For 28 months, they promised to reveal all...

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Whose freedom?

Many years ago, I think during the Reagan years, the US was on one of its regular attacks on China’s human rights record and the lack of freedom for its citizens, and I recall someone from the Chinese side replying to the effect that Chinese citizens could walk their city streets at night wit...

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What is the Hockey budget all about?

Does anyone out there know? Does Hockey know? Does Cormann? Does Abbott know? Do his Cabinet and his backbench know? The commentators and the voters have their ideas, but do they really know what is behind the Hockey Budget? Readers will not find a definitive answer here; I don’t know more th...

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Debt crisis — what debt crisis?

Let’s face it; the Australian public has been bashed around the ears for years by the LNP about the level of government debt. Some economists would contend that Australia doesn’t have any debt — and certainly not a debt problem. Unfortunately, this piece has to contain some histo...

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The government doesn’t understand

For those who have followed my comments on TPS, you will probably know by now that my working life was spent in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs — and I still prefer that nomenclature even though the government changed it to indigenous affairs some time ago. This piece is about a...

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You reap what you sow

During the June prior to Senate changeovers, as June 2014 is, it is traditional for retiring senators to give a valedictory speech. Senator Ron Boswell (LNP Queensland) gave his speech on 17 June after 31 years in the Senate. Although never a cabinet minister, Boswell is renowned for fighting off a...

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