• 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.

Do Australian businessmen really believe Tony Abbott?

The attributes needed to run a successful business include intelligence, relevant knowledge, perspicacity, foresight, an eye for opportunity, willingness to take a calculated risk, skill in innovation, perseverance, and guts. Australian businessmen have these in spades. In simple terms, they are sma...

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Abbott and Hockey are endangering Australian business

Writing on Poll Bludger, Bushfire Bill has made the telling point that every time someone talks down our economy, another small business, and larger ones too, are placed in jeopardy. And who is it that most often talks our economy down? You know. Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey. And when they need a litt...

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Take heart from Obama’s win and Romney’s loss

Is there a national election that attracts more global attention than the four-yearly US Presidential election? Is there an overseas election that has more significance for Australians? Despite confident predictions by the right wing punditry that Romney would win, it was Obama who won, and he did s...

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Australia Fair by Hugh Stretton

This book came out in 2005, and as far as I can remember, attracted remarkably little interest. Hugh Stretton is one of Australia’s foremost thinkers, and he has an international reputation for his work in the area of values in the social sciences. Though he started off teaching history &ndash...

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The Abbott ‘family’ rush to prop up its errant child prodigy

It began right after Tony Abbott was unexpectedly elevated to the lofty position of Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. There was only one vote in it, but there he was, where he had long fantasized he might be, in line to be the nation’s next Prime Minister. His hurriedly called pr...

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The inexorable disintegration of the Leader of the Opposition

Just look at him in QT and during his pressers. Does he look like a happy and confident man? Is there a spring in his step? Why is his brow so often furrowed? Why does he so seldom smile? Does he look like the next PM in waiting? Recall the cockiness he exhibited as he swaggered around factories, dr...

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Can our ABC resuscitate our political media?

Opinion within the Fifth Estate about the state of the political media in the Fourth Estate is virtually unanimous. There is an almost undivided view that in this country, and in many others, much of the print media is incompetent and malevolent in the way it reports political events, that in places...

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The MSM is dangerously shortchanging us

In just twelve months time, voters will be asked to choose between a Gillard Labor Government and an Abbott-led Coalition Government. How will they choose? How will they know how to choose? What information, what analysis will they have to make their choice? How will they obtain it? Who will provide...

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The Punishment That Fits No Crime

Things are looking up for the government. The first study on the effect of carbon pricing indicates a related fall in carbon emissions, without the stupendous price hikes predicted by the Opposition. Australia comfortably won the vote to gain a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council, ...

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Out of bounds on the full

Victoria, like many other independent bloggers, wrote last week about the failure of the mainstream media to understand the significance of Julia Gillard’s speech denouncing the sexism she has been subject to. As Victoria pointed out, for much of the media, it is apparently ‘just politic...

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Why is the mainstream media angry?

I can hear you asking: ‘Why do you say they are angry?’ Read what they write. Listen to what they say. Judge for yourself. To me, the majority of journalists seem angry about the recent turn of events. Not all, but the majority. Let me elaborate. On top of her record of passing well ove...

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Which politician is telling the truth?

Mainstream journalists’ reporting of politics is broken. In a week in which our first female PM spoke out passionately and convincingly against sexism and misogyny, mainstream political commentators have been lining up to ‘contextualise’ the speech – to lessen its importance ...

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Mortgaged to the Hilt

2GB’s headquarters at Macquarie Square is engulfed, currently, in a fog of despondency. Business used to be booming, with all the expensive metal advertising billboards that surrounded the square resplendent with copious amounts of posters spruiking the wares of various businesses that were o...

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The attack dog that licked its owner’s hand

Desperate situations demand desperate actions. The feedback from private Liberal Party polls and from focus groups must have been grim for Tony Abbott. They must have shown that his rating with women was lamentable. Otherwise, why would his minders and his family embark on such a brazen ‘Tony ...

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Ban Live Export! Is it the right thing to do?

Last week, one of our daughters sent the following email to her local MP: “Last Tuesday I took my 2 year old son to the Royal Melbourne Show. I thought it would be a fun day out and we especially wanted to visit all the animals. We spent considerable time admiring the sheep and the cattle. I ...

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Ronald Reagan, you were wrong

It’s wonderful how that stuff I read in Politics 101 all those years ago is still relevant today. In fact initiative - resistance theory is startlingly more relevant now than it was then. The idea in the 1930s and ‘40s was that Labor was the party of political initiative, and anti Labor...

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The violent clash of political ideologies

Has it frustrated you that parliamentarians from the two major parties cannot seem to agree on much at all? Is this due simply to cussedness, an intention to disagree on virtually everything, or is there a more deep-seated reason? In the case of the Coalition, opposition for opposition’s sake ...

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Gillard’s Men Problem

Gillard’s gender gap is man-made, and Abbott’s is all of his own making. There are many reasons why voters might dislike Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott that have nothing to do with their gender. But there has been a lot of commentary recently about Abbott's 'women problem', evidenced by a ...

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Bucket-loads of Biffo with the Bash Street Kids

The Principal of Bash Street Primary School was at her wits end until finally, salvation came to her and her long-suffering educational community. For years, no Secondary School had been foolish enough to accept the enrolments of the Bash Street Liberal/National Coalition miscreants, who had been ra...

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The Punch

Gerard Henderson must have been worried about the impact of a story about Tony Abbott’s politics during his university days. According to David Marr’s account in his Quarterly Essay: Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott (Black Inc), Abbott approached Barbara Ramjan, who had just b...

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