• Will they ever learn?
    After watching the first Question Time
    of the most recent sitting of the House
    of Representatives, the only plausible
    answer to that question is a resounding NO.
  • Beware the ides of March
    While Shakespeare may have ‘popularised’ the term, the ‘ides of March’
    goes back to Roman times when March was the beginning of the year
    (giving the excuse for celebration and prayers that the new year would be
    prosperous) until 55 days were added in 46BC. Two years later ‘dictator for life’
    Julius Caesar was stabbed to death — linking March with turmoil for ever after.
  • Nailed it
    Unlike the residents of the USA; a lot of whom probably wouldn’t
    have been able to point to New Zealand on a map three months ago;
    we shouldn’t have been surprised at the consideration for others demonstrated
    by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the past few weeks.
  • The tragic toll of hatred
    Stan Grant is an outstanding journalist. His capacity to undertake brilliantly forensic
    analyses and thereby discern meaning within the tumult of contemporary political
    behaviour sets him apart from most of his colleagues. So good are his political
    credentials that our PM invited him to enter politics, an offer Grant declined.
  • Bovine excrement
    Prime Minister Morrison seems to be certain that the next federal election
    will be in May. Cynics would suggest as Parliament is only sitting for two weeks
    in April, the plan is to hone their political sales pitch, pork barrel marginal electorates
    and parachute past or failed LNP politicians and their supporters into positions where
    they could potentially influence government programs and decisions into the future.
  • There is no Planet B
    This was written in the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch terror
    attack where 50 innocent people (at the time of writing) were gunned down
    by a lone gunman. It was going to be a rant against a number of
    Australian politicians who use racism and terrorism to further their own objectives.

The Political Sword

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What makes a good political speech? PM Kevin Rudd’s Apology

This is the next in our change-of-year series of political speeches. Only the most bigoted amongst us were not moved by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Apology to Australia’s indigenous peoples. It was widely regarded as an inspiring speech to parliament, one that brought the tears to count...

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New Year Greetings from The Political Sword

Greetings on New Year’s Day 2012 from The Political Sword. We wish all visitors a Happy New Year and a Productive and Satisfying 2012. 2012 will be an important year in Federal Politics, a year when our views need to be expressed. The Fifth Estate is playing an increasingly significant role i...

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What makes a good political speech? 'Light on the Hill' speeches

There seems to be tacit agreement among Labor people, and even among some journalists, that Ben Chifley’s ‘Light on the Hill’ address was a standard-setter for inspirational political speeches. Delivered in the aftermath of the Great Depression to an ALP Conference in 1949, it set ...

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What makes a good political speech?

There has been much recent comment about the quality of political speeches, and indeed this has been so over the life of the Gillard Government and in fact during the period of the Rudd Government too. Commentators, most of which have likely never written a political speech, feel qualified to commen...

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The Layman's Guide to Finding the Devil in the Strangest Places - Devil's Dictionary Part III

So as to prove that I am capable of finishing something which I have started ages ago, and which, for the nimble-minded among us, you might remember I have promised before and not delivered, herewith is the final installment of my abridged version of letters N-Z of 'The Devil's Dictionary'. Might I...

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Julia Gillard's Vision for the Asian Century

The search for the Gillard ‘narrative’ goes on. It seems that journalists, almost as a matter of course, need to include in their pieces some reference to the ‘narrative’, or the lack of it, or feel they must ask yet again: ‘What does she stand for?’ After all the...

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A Soldier of Ill-Fortune

The art of bomb disposal has come a long way since the days of “Dad’s Army”. Indeed, it’s all high-tech now, which is unfortunate for Tony Abbott, as he has admitted he is “no tech-head”. So, Tones went to the Australian Army base at Tarim Kowt in Afghanistan to see how the e...

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You Can Never Keep A Devil Down - Part 2 of 'The Devil's Dictionary' by Ambrose Bierce - E-M

Now that we have moved on, in the Multicultural calendar from Halloween to Thanksgiving, (and don't you just love the family photo of the Skeleton family celebrating Thanksgiving?), and in the warm after glow of this week's past visit by the President of the United States, Barack Obama, I though...

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Supping from the Drinking Gourd

Barack Obama, the President of the USA, has just completed his trip Down Under and is intrigued by the nature of Industrial Relations here. Having returned to the States, he gets wind of a couple of Aussie outfits that have acquired large cotton plantations and ranches in the Deep South in Lou...

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Julia Gillard's Light on the Hill

Will commentators ever be satisfied that the Labor Party and its leadership have established an ‘overarching narrative’ that portrays what the Party and its ministers ‘stand for’? I doubt it. The quest for this Holy Grail has been going on ever since Labor came to office, and...

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Prefabricated predictions

Tony Abbott is feeling a great need to get away from it all, so he has gone over to Europe to compete in the autumnal leg of the Tour de France cycle-race. He has brought along the young Queensland LNP MP, Wyatt Roy, a fluent French speaker, for translating purposes. So, the race has s...

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The Devil is in the Detail in the Dictionary

Happy Halloween from Feral Skeleton Fellow Swordians, I know I'm a bit late in hopping on the Halloween bus, but having the flu can make you run late for your bus (and anyway I fell in love with the graphic & decided I wanted to keep it). Neverthele...

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A Prior Engagement

Channel Nine aren’t too sure if their once-popular entertainment show, “This is Your Life”, has a viable future. Eddie Maguire himself is ambivalent, but is willing to experiment to see if its fortunes can be resuscitated. So, Eddie has decided that he will be the compere. He ...

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Don’t Barney with Batwoman

You probably heard that, recently, Julia Gillard was awarded a prestigious “Brave Thinker” award. But, this is nothing new, as, for a long while in Gotham City, she has been famous for her courageous role in fighting organised crime. There, she is called, “Brave And Thinking Wo...

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The enigma of the ‘overarching narrative’

Here we are again – looking for the elusive overarching narrative, or as Paul Keating describes it in his latest book After Words: ‘an overarching and compelling story’. What is it about this concept that for so many defies description? Is it simply blindness among commentators who...

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Junk-yard Japes

When he was cutting his teeth in student politics all those years ago, Tony Abbott used to refer to himself as “the junk-yard dog”. And, even today, he is still playing that same role, guarding the junk-yard, in Oil-drum Alley, of that old Liberal codger, John “Albert Steptoe&rdqu...

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Australia’s King Canute: Tony Abbott

  Has there ever been a more destructive politician in Australian political history than Tony Abbott, Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition? His ‘give me what I want or I’ll wreck the place’ approach has been documented from the day he missed out on becoming PM aft...

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It’s time to lock the gate on the Barbarians before the reasonable get trampled underfoot

It's time the men and women of Australia stopped treating our Prime Minister like she is beneath contempt. I should know, I can smell it a mile off. I have two teenage boys, and they tell me how their mates behave towards women who have done nothing more to deserve their contempt than be nice to...

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Cross-breed Purposes

The Assistant-Treasurer in the Federal Government, Bill Shorten, is in his Melbourne office pouring over reports on the Tax Forum, when his mobile rings. Bill: Hallo, Bill Shorten here... Caller: Hi, Bill...it’s Chris Uhlmann here...I hope I haven’t caught you at an inconvenient moment...

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Why are Australians angry and scared out of their minds? Ask Tony Abbott

Melbourne is rated as the 2011 ‘most livable city in the world’, Sydney is sixth, and Perth and Adelaide are equal eighth. We have almost half of the most livable cities in the top ten in the world. And we have the most awe-inspiring country in which to live, ‘the lucky country&r...

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