• The shiny new toy
    Now that the election is over it is time for a bit of reflection.
    Logistics behind the operation of this site mean this article is
    not a who won what and why; rather we’ll be looking at why a
    number of the smaller parties seem to have punched above
    their weight, and some possible reasons for their ‘popularity’.
  • The cupboard was bare!
    It wasn’t easy getting into the nerve centre of the LNP – the
    secret place where talking points, election strategies and day
    to day tactics are brainstormed by the Coalition’s eggheads in
    the dead of night – but eventually, more by good luck than
    good management, I found myself in the inner sanctum.
  • He hit me first!
    We all have memories of a child bawling its eyes out after being
    clobbered by another kid. We also have memories of the offender’s
    customary excuse: ‘He hit me first!’. We tend to label such behaviour as
    ‘kids stuff’. But how many of you expected grown-up politicians to ape them?
  • Fear, deception and gravitas
    Enjoying the election coverage? Essentially it is the day to day analysis
    of the political leaders of this country racking up the kilometres to appear
    in ‘strategic’ locations, with nodding sycophants behind them answering the
    same or similar questions as they did yesterday to the same tired and bored journalists.
  • No, they won't learn
    I was motivated to write my last piece: 'Will they ever learn?' after viewing the first
    Question Time of the recent sitting of the House of Representatives. Some our most
    senior politicians, immediately after showing that they were capable of courtesy and
    decent discourse, went on to display offensively aggressive behaviour towards each
    other, all in the full glare of the cameras, knowing that the world would see them as they were.
  • Three Years Later
    In 2016, we published 36 Faceless men, comparing the ‘need’
    for Australian political parties to have an absolute majority when
    forming a government versus the preferred outcome in other countries
    where a coalition of political parties have to work together to form a government.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

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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What a Y-Frontery!

According to the promotional blurbs sent out to advertise his new TV show, Y-Frontsline, Tony “Mike Moore” Abbott is such a hit as the Leader of the Opposition, he can afford to share out a bit of his presence by also entertaining the TV masses while he’s at it. To be truthful, ho...

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Holy Rollin’ Politics, Batman!

  In the 21st century, contemporary Conservatism has surrendered to a virulent, dystopian and pathologically hyper-individualist state of mind and populist Right Wing ideology. From the proclamations and intimations by Conservative politicians that the unemployed are poor because they lack ...

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Rugby World Cup Wobblies

The Rugby World Cup is in full swing in New Zealand and all the spectators, global TV viewers and radio listeners are having a ball. And, keen to get some political mileage from the event, in Australia Julia Gillard has organised a PM’s XV to play an exhibition game at the Woop Woop “S...

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Mr Abbott and the Five Concerned Liberals

The Leader of the Opposition graciously granted an audience to some life-long Liberal voters: three gentlemen and two ladies. They asked to see him because they felt concerned about some of his policies and needed clarification; they also wanted reassurance about some of his actions and a bette...

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Scarecrow Scamps

Fans of the quirky “Worzel Gummidge” TV series, featuring the rascally scarecrow, will know that he has different heads for various occasions. However, more recently, in the absence of his Creator, The Crowman, Worzel has got into even more strife than usual. You see, The Crowman has gone...

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Is Julia Gillard entitled to a fair go?

There are a gathering number of columnists who are writing off Julia Gillard as PM, and the Labor party as terminal. Even previous Labor parliamentarians such as Graham Richardson (Richo) have not just dumped her, but in most derogatory terms; an old Labor stalwart in Phillip Adams is telling her t...

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It’s time for the Government to play a game of Musical Chairs

Finally, an issue that stirred up the juices again. Something that I felt I could write about for you here. Now, recently I have speculated, as have others in the media and blog diaspora, upon the fact of whether it would be a good time for a Spring Clean of the Ministry by the Prime Min...

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Dastardly Deeds in Diagon Alley

Tony Abbott has been increasingly expressing his disquiet at the double life Julia Gillard has been leading. He is saying that her effectiveness in performing the role of Prime Minister is being massively curtailed by her constant gallivanting down Diagon Alley dressed as a witch. But, in ...

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The media, the polls and the Labor brand

In recent times there has been a confluence of three interacting factors: the escalating influence of the media on political discourse, a plethora of opinion polls on politics, and more lately, diminution of the Labor ‘brand’. This piece attempts to dissect out these interactions. Desp...

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Anthony Abbott’s Anarchist Antics

As wreckers go, Anthony the Anarchist is so bad, he would make Dennis the Menace look like Bob the Builder. In fact, Paul Keating summed up his wretched wreckability quite well (see five minutes into the link below). As it happens, the High Priest-cum-Chief Executioner, George “Brandy Bal...

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The forgotten art of political communication

“Julia Gillard is not getting her message out”. “She is not cutting through”. “People have stopped listening”. “Her message is being drowned out by noise”. How many times have we heard that? But how many have pointed out that it is the media that creat...

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Spongebob Shenanigans

Dennis “Mr Krabs” Shanahan got his fingers burnt badly a while ago when he temporarily moved out of his journalistic comfort-zone and lost all his savings on the disastrous Krusty Pool project. As an experienced operator, Mr Krabs should have known better, but his cub reporter, Spongebob, can be ...

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