• 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’.
  • 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.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

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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The Crass Collectors Come a Cropper

The Collectors program on the ABC has been a favourite of many for a number of years now. However, the ABC has fallen on hard times and the show has got the axe. So, unfortunately, the three presenters, Claudia, Gordon and Adrian, have been put out to grass. But, Sophie Mirabell...

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Is Robert Manne right about ‘The Australian’?

For a long while, many who write and comment here have expressed the view that The Australian newspaper has a strident anti-Gillard, anti-Government orientation, and is pursuing a campaign to persuade the electorate to remove the Government as soon as possible. The Australian, and indeed News Limite...

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