• Ideology no longer rules
    As the superannuation advertising says — compare the pair.
    Alan Jones and former Liberal Treasurer Peter Costello
    discussed the Rudd/Swan economic stimulus during
    the 2009 ‘Global Economic Crisis’
  • The chickens are coming home to roost
    Apart from the creation of a futures market in toilet paper, pasta
    and rice, the Coronavirus may also have a few positive political
    effects here and overseas. Firstly, the messaging from the government
    regarding protection of you and those around you seems to be
    based on the recommendations from the medical community.
  • The great awakening
    No sooner had I completed a piece titled:
    How would YOU revive the economy? than it became redundant.
    A quick glance through it will show why it dated so rapidly.
  • You can't discuss an idea with an ideologue
    Recently I watched an episode of Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery where
    she ‘delivered’ Gillian Triggs back to her high school and university
    while discussing various elements of Triggs’ life. Towards the end of
    the program, Zemiro invited Triggs to read some of the commentary made
    about Triggs in her role as Human Rights Commissioner from 2012 until 2017.
  • If you do what you've always done
    Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus is attributed with the maxim that
    ‘change is the only constant in life’. If he came back to life now, you
    would hope he wouldn’t be surprised to see the maxim is as accurate
    now as it was 500 or so years before the modern era when he was alive.
  • Speak out
    Although recent public opinion polls have suggested that some people
    are losing faith in democracy, how many would prefer another style of
    governance? Very few! Yet our Australian democracy does have one
    telling defect: usually, we have a chance to vote for a federal government
    only once every three years. Once we’ve voted, we are then stuck...

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

Say yes, yes, yes to Labor

Rusted-on Labor, Coalition and Greens supporters will vote as they always do. So this piece is directed towards the ‘undecideds’. In this week’s Essential Research Poll they amounted to 18% who said: “It is quite possible I will change my mind as the campaign develops”...

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Say no, no, no to Tony Abbott

Rupert Murdoch wants him. Gina Rinehart wants him. The miners want him. Big business wants him. Most of the media want him. But does the public want him? By September 8 we will know if the voters really did want him, whether they have been persuaded by the continual media promotion of Tony Abbott an...

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The Great Debate Debacle

Has anyone had a good word to say about the Great Debate last Sunday? What was it all about? What was the intent of the organizers? Was it to provide entertainment for the viewers of the channels involved? Was it to try out some new opinion-counting gadgetry? Was it to stage a head-to-head contes...

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Partisan economics

If the election is to be decided on who are the best managers of the economy, which the polls tell us is at the top of the electorate's concerns, how on earth are voters supposed to make that decision? As Edgar R Fielder said: Ask five economists and you'll get five different answers - six if one we...

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The quickening disintegration of Tony Abbott

It shows in his face. Taut, tense, worried, he looks like a man under great pressure when he fronts for impromptu pressers. His sycophants, seldom smiling, occasionally furtively smirking, nod behind him in unspoken approval. He often has Margie at hand to prop him up. He speaks haltingly, his grave...

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Have a go at these questions about asylum seekers

Is there any more vexed political issue than that of refugees seeking asylum in this country? It remains so despite the recent advent of the Refugee Resettlement Agreement with Papua New Guinea. The refugee issue was politicized by Pauline Hansen, and readily taken up by John Howard with the &lsquo...

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Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott: two gentlemen politicians

It is not often that retiring politicians receive the lavish praise that has been heaped upon the Independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, praise so richly deserved. In the turmoil of partisan politics where self-interest so often dominates, it was refreshing to witness the way in which these t...

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The Stalking of Julia Gillard: Kerry-Anne Walsh. A Review

This is an enthralling book. It carries the telling subtitle: How the media and Team Rudd contrived to bring down the Prime Minister. For political tragics, it is a ‘must read’. For others who wonder what on earth goes on in the hallowed halls of Parliament House and the Canberra Press G...

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An accolade for Julia Gillard: a fine prime minister

Wondering what word I should use in the title to best capture my opinion of our first female prime minister, now sadly at the end of her period in federal politics, I have chosen ‘fine’. Of high quality, clear, pure, refined, delicate, subtle, exquisitely fashioned, elevated, capable of ...

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Who will Newspoll kill off next?

During this week past we saw Newspoll: The Killing Machine in lethal action. Ironically, it was her own party members who took the ammunition from Newspoll, aimed it at Julia Gillard’s heart, and killed her politically. Although polls are no more than a snapshot of public opinion, they have ag...

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Newspoll: The Killing Machine

In the following thirty-six hours the next Newspoll will be published. If it is as poor a result for Labor as was last week's Nielsen Poll, the leadership frenzy will reach an even more feverish pitch. Frantic media packs will jostle to assail every politician entering and leaving parliament, thrust...

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The culture of disrespect

In the week just gone there was an extraordinary coincidence of events that starkly reminded us of just how much disrespect contaminates our society, most of it directed towards women. It is a scourge that dates back for centuries, one though that the forward-looking fondly believed was losing groun...

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What is the role of political blogsites?

Political blogsites proliferate almost by the week. Many reside in the Fifth Estate. While a few declare their political orientation overtly, most do not. It is possible though to ascertain this by reading the pieces they post. While some purport to be ‘balanced’, ready to criticize any ...

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Political hatred: Is there a remedy?

The short answer to the question is ‘Yes’. The longer answer is ‘Yes’, but with a string of caveats. While the piece just gone: Political hatred: its genesis and its toll, attempted to define the origins of political hatred and describe the terrible damage it is causing, the ...

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Political hatred: its genesis and its toll

We’ve known for ages that there are pockets of political hatred in the electorate that fester away and erupt from time to time, pouring their purulent discharge over the political discourse, offending many with its stench. But how many of you can remember such an exhibition of hatred as we hav...

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Who's been playing in MY estate? Yet more ferment in the fourth and fifth

When is a writer not a journalist but a blogger, and when is a writer/blogger a journalist? Who decides? Does it matter? Traditional or mainstream or 'old' media, and its power affiliates, are pushing back at the moment against the proliferation of small 'new media' online ventures fighting to be h...

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Feathers Fly at the Federal Chook House

Gather around kiddies and I’ll tell you a story.  Once upon a time there was a large farm where many farmyard animals lived. It was a very special ‘Animal Farm’. The farmer loved all his animals, but most of all his big flock of chooks. The farmer loved chooks so much he coll...

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Living within our means, Hockey style

You have to give it to the Coalition propaganda machine – it never fails to come up with a brand new slogan with which it can belabor the Government. We are now being told by Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey that we must ‘live within our means’. How many times have we heard that? Otherwi...

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Grasping at prime ministership the Abbott way

Let’s be clear from the outset. The lead up to the September 14 election will not be a respectful contest of ideas, a civil battle of policies and plans. It will be a bare-knuckle street fight between personalities, with no holds barred. The Abbott way countenances no other approach. To seize ...

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David Marr joins ‘the most successful Opposition leader’ chorus

The first words in the online description of David Marr’s Quarterly Essay: Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott read: “Tony Abbott is the most successful Opposition leader of the last forty years, but he has never been popular. Now Australians want to know: what kind of man is he,...

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