• Remember the light on the hill?
    At the 1949 ALP Convention, then Prime Minister Ben Chifley
    delivered the ‘Light on the Hill’ speech. The speech is seen as
    a declaration of ‘traditional’ ALP values. As a movement bringing
    something better to the people, better standards of living, greater
    happiness to the mass of the people.
  • The Chain of Responsibility
    There are certain responsibilities when you are driving a vehicle.
    You are required to comply with rules such as not being affected by
    drugs or alcohol, not checking your social media accounts while driving,
    maintaining control over your vehicle, parking only where allowed and so on.
  • Just answer the Question!
    I know that, like me, you fume when politicians steadfastly refuse
    to answer a question directly, preferring to prevaricate by evading
    an answer altogether, giving an answer to a question they would
    prefer to answer, or wandering off into a boring recital of the dot
    points with which their minders have briefed them.
  • The economy is sinking, but where is the lifebuoy?
    Those of you who hear experts describe in frightening terms the
    dire state of our economy, and then hear the faux reassurances that
    issue from the mouths of our Treasurer and Prime Minister, must wonder
    if they live in some parallel universe, where, reminiscent of Humpty
    Dumpty, words can mean anything they want them to mean.
  • The root cause
    Frequently, when presented with a problem, we attempt to treat the symptom rather
    than the real issue. For example, if every morning when you get in your car you
    notice that one of the tyres looks a bit flat, you could treat the symptom by calling
    in at the nearest petrol station and putting more air in the tyre. However, as air
    doesn’t shrink or disappear for no reason, there is obviously a deeper issue involved.
  • Duttonisation – an existential threat to Morrison?
    Duttonisation – an existential threat to Morrison? Make no mistake
    – Dutton’s thirst for power remains unquenched. His conviction that
    he is ‘the better man’ to be prime minister continues unabated. This
    piece argues that in pursuit of this lofty goal, he has now consciously
    embarked on a process best described as ‘Duttonisation’.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

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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More reasons why I admire PM Gillard

The previous piece Why I admire Prime Minister Gillard spoke of PM Gillard’s courage, vision, and her focus on getting things done. This piece highlights her competence, her personality and her integrity. Competence I suspect even her sworn adversaries would concede, at least in private, that ...

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Why I admire Prime Minister Gillard

Those of you who have no time for our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, had better read this. You might get an inkling of why some of us believe she is doing a sterling job of running this country. In the mainstream media, you are fed a continual diet of bad news, bad commentary, and bad opinion about ...

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Where does probing stop and arrogance start?

Is there any observer of politics that objects to journalists probing the assertions, the policies, and the plans of our politicians? NO! Is there anyone who is content to have journalists inertly record what politicians say and report it unquestioningly to their audience? I suspect the answer is al...

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Tony Abbott beware! Incitement is a very dangerous game

Again this week we heard Liberal apologist Grahame Morris, former adviser to John Howard, loose lipped, sarcastic and very nasty, commenting on ABC Radio 702 Sydney about Tony Abbott's awful performance during a Leigh Sales’ interview on 7.30 last week. "Well Leigh can be a real cow sometimes ...

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The Queensland Quagmire

If a week is a long time in politics, then the last week must have felt even longer than eternity in the Fires of Hell for Tony Abbott and the rest of the lost souls of the Federal Opposition. So, in an attempt to cheer them up, Peta Credlin and her hubby, Brian Loughnane, have decided to throw a f...

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The disintegration of the Abbott machine

Early every morning, the Abbott machine swings into action. Fresh batteries are placed in Abbott man, he is briefed with the day’s messages, slogans for the day are identified, and he is sent on his way, a Duracell Bunny thumping his tub, to friendly TV stations for a puff piece encounter with...

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Our Media: Prosecutor, Judge, Jury and Executioner

Are you, like me, incensed by the performance over the last week of our mainstream media, particularly News Limited, as it pursued our Prime Minister over matters 17 years ago when she was a solicitor at Slater & Gordon? What has become of our media? Supposedly the guardian of our democracy, th...

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The News Limited vendetta against PM Gillard intensifies

After a good week for PM Gillard and her Government in which she achieved agreement with the Coalition to go along with the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, News Limited has ratcheted up its attack on her. Why? Is it because it feels that the asylum issue has been neutralized s...

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The Political Sword: A Hub for the Fifth Estate

Today The Political Sword has a new look and has been re-branded. The branding is dedicated to our Lyn, who is the one who has transformed The Political Sword into a hub for the Fifth Estate through her Today’s Links and her Twitterverse and Twitterati. We know that a large number of people vi...

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Journalists awake! You know Tony Abbott is conning you

Do you sense that ‘The Great Awakening’ has begun? For countless months we have read innumerable stories of doom and gloom about Labor’s prospects, endless stories of threats to Julia Gillard’s leadership, a ‘Ruddstoration’ just around the corner, deadlines for th...

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The scourge of the rent-seekers

When we were young there was no such word as ‘rent-seeker’. In fact the word was not coined until 1974. Wikipedia informs us that the term derives from the far older practice of appropriating a portion of production by gaining ownership or control of land. In economics, rent-seeking is a...

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Media in the middle

Older readers will recall the days when news was purveyed only via newspapers and the radio. Although that was a long while ago, and memories of those days are dimmed by the efflux of time, my recollection of that era was one where reporters ferreted out the facts from wherever they were hidden, ver...

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Abbott and the Goebbels Factor

As an example of emotion overwhelming reason, there is no more compelling one in Federal politics than the indifferent standing our PM enjoys in the eyes of the electorate, judged by the one metric that is regularly thrust in our faces as a legitimate measure – opinion polls. Leaving aside the...

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The pathology of leadership speculation

I use the word ‘pathology’ advisedly, meaning as it does ‘the study and diagnosis of disease’. For a ‘disease’ it is, a disease that afflicts politicians and commentators alike. While curiosity about leadership is understandable and ‘normal’, the conte...

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