• The empathy deficit
    Like most winners at the conclusion of an election process,
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has claimed on a couple of
    occasions that he would consider the hopes and ambitions
    of all Australians while he is the Prime Minister.
  • Be Human
    About 12 months ago, we were asking if the world could ever return to
    ‘normal’ post the pandemic. Some were looking for equitable economic reform,
    others were looking for significant environmental reforms and others were looking
    for improvement in an area close to their personal experience or belief systems.
  • The day Scott Morrison lost the next election
    Note the date in your diary - 15 March 2021 - because the date
    itself is not memorable. You will never forget the day though - the day
    thousands of angry women gathered outside Parliament House in their
    March4Justice campaign to highlight the appalling misogyny and
    mistreatment of women, both in and outside parliament.
  • Smoke and Mirrors
    Inaction on climate change is already costing Australia’s farmers
    countless dollars, and urgent political action is needed to avoid more
    extreme droughts, fires and floods, according to a group of farmers who
    don’t agree with the statements of Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack,
  • Absolute power corrupts absolutely
    We really shouldn’t be surprised that Facebook banned news coverage
    from their platform for around a week in Australia recently. Their ‘real’
    objective isn’t to be the world’s back fence that everyone leans on to
    have a chat, it is to sell advertising that is based on your interests.
  • Living with our ‘transactional’ Prime Minister
    Writing in The New Daily, it was Dennis Atkins who drew our attention
    to the notion that we had a ‘transactional’ Prime Minister. He recounted
    an exchange between Nick Xenophon and the PM when Xenophon asked
    him if he’d like to catch up for a coffee to have a chat about issues, to which
    Morrison responded: ‘What for?’ ‘No, mate. I’m purely transactional.’

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

Lost: Tony’s Toxic Tax – Finder: Please Return to Owner

July 1, Tony’s Toxic Tax Day, came and went. Collective breaths were held – but Australia carried on as usual. The sun rose in the East. The sky did not fall in. Whyalla survived. Abbott rabbitted on – after all it was TTT Day. What else could he do? That day, in Abbott’s po...

Read More

Is the job of the Opposition to oppose? NO.

How many times have you heard those who think they know, say this: ‘The job of the Opposition is to oppose’? It might be the worker at the pub who says this as he raises his schooner of VB to his thirsty lips. It might be the young professional as she sips her Margaret River Chardonnay ...

Read More

Applying facts and logic in the asylum seeker issue

The issue of asylum seekers arriving on our shores in boats has been highly politicized, so much so that the political players have locked themselves into positions from which they cannot or will not retreat. The Pacific Solution We all know the history. It began in 2001 with John Howard’s &l...

Read More

Tony Abbott – the man who walks away

Tony Abbott is playing us all for suckers. He believes, and the contemporary polls of voting intention support his belief, that come 2013 he will waltz into The Lodge with no more than we see from him day after day. He believes that he will do that by opposing everything the Gillard Government is tr...

Read More

As the Fourth Estate falters, how should the Fifth Estate respond?

In the same way that climate scientists have been warning us of the changes we can expect from global warming, media climate analysts have been warning us of the changes we can expect from the digitalization of the media. But no one predicted the precipitous changes we have seen this week. Nobody pr...

Read More

Australia is 'The Sweet Spot’ to be

In recent days we have luxuriated in great economic news: strong growth, low inflation, falling interest rates, low unemployment, good jobs data, renewed triple A rating by Moody’s, low net national debt, massive investment in the pipeline, and an upbeat RBA and Federal Government. Each piece ...

Read More

Complexity – the Great Australian Aversion

Close your eyes and reflect for a moment on news items you have seen or heard on commercial TV or radio in recent times. What characterizes them? They are almost invariably short, sensational, overly dramatized, sometimes squalid, and often portray conflict between people or groups or races. In rece...

Read More

Has Tony Abbott got a Plan B?

Plan A has been around since Tony Abbott became Leader of the Opposition – to seize government by any means. Trying to seize government in itself is unsurprising. Trying to achieve that by any means brings into play what Abbott’s ‘means’ comprise. I have said from the beginni...

Read More

Gillard won't lie down and die - Abbott's dilemma

Prediction in politics is fraught but tempting. Will Tuesday 29 May 2012 go down in Australian political history as the day the decline of Tony Abbott, Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, accelerated? This was the day he announced to the Coalition party room: "Gillard won't lie down and ...

Read More

What is making Labor stalwarts gloomy?

It no longer surprises us that Graham Richardson (Richo) emits gloom about Labor whenever he appears in the media. He knows on which side his bread is buttered. While he may believe what he says, he says it with such conviction and enthusiasm that the casual observer could be excused for thinking he...

Read More

How to turn the polls around in six months

Bear with me. Join me in a little game. Let’s imagine that you have won the biggest lottery prize ever – the ownership of the Murdoch media empire in Australia. You now control it and its editorial policy. You can decide on the stories you will run, the headlines, the text, and how you w...

Read More