• Reality bites
    Every political commentator in the land has their own personal opinion, most
    hide it and at least present a facade of even-handed questioning of politicians
    from all sides of politics. A week and a bit before the election, Sky News Paul Murray
    didn’t. In what The Guardian called an expletive laden anti-Labor tirade Murray
    demonstrated his bias in technicolour during the off-camera ‘audience warm up’...
  • This election – you do have a say
    As you walk into a polling booth next Saturday remember this - despite the
    media harassing some candidates to outline who they are ‘giving preferences to’
    or party workers trying to shove how to vote cards in your hands as you turn
    up at the booth, no political party controls the preferences that you distribute.
  • Do your job competently
    Finland and Sweden are currently exploring joining NATO.The about face from long
    term neutrality has come about because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The
    ABC reported recently that there has been a significant shift in the attitude of the
    Finnish and Swedish Governments from ‘don’t poke the (Russian) bear’ to a position
    of seeking allies for protection should Russia do to them what it has done to Ukraine.
  • Clinging on to power
    You should feel a bit sorry for Tim Banfield. While he did choose to become a
    member of Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party, then put his hand up to be the
    UAP candidate for the Illawarra based seat of Whitlam at the upcoming federal
    election, he didn’t deserve to be sacked as a candidate 24 hours after giving a
    ‘wide ranging’ interview to a local ABC journalist in February.
  • The cheap gotya
    The ‘Gold Star of Dishonour’ for the most unedifying display
    in the first week or so on the 2022 Federal Election campaign
    is a tough call. Is it George Christensen announcing his cynical
    candidature on the One Nation Queensland Senate ticket?
  • Lies, damn lies and falling cats
    So the election has been called. Everybody that believes they should
    be in Parliament will be travelling around, kissing babies (if that’s
    still allowed) and proclaiming from the rooftops that they are the best
    thing since sliced bread and should be your representative on Capital Hill.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

Political hatred: Is there a remedy?

The short answer to the question is ‘Yes’. The longer answer is ‘Yes’, but with a string of caveats. While the piece just gone: Political hatred: its genesis and its toll, attempted to define the origins of political hatred and describe the terrible damage it is causing, the ...

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Political hatred: its genesis and its toll

We’ve known for ages that there are pockets of political hatred in the electorate that fester away and erupt from time to time, pouring their purulent discharge over the political discourse, offending many with its stench. But how many of you can remember such an exhibition of hatred as we hav...

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Who's been playing in MY estate? Yet more ferment in the fourth and fifth

When is a writer not a journalist but a blogger, and when is a writer/blogger a journalist? Who decides? Does it matter? Traditional or mainstream or 'old' media, and its power affiliates, are pushing back at the moment against the proliferation of small 'new media' online ventures fighting to be h...

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Feathers Fly at the Federal Chook House

Gather around kiddies and I’ll tell you a story.  Once upon a time there was a large farm where many farmyard animals lived. It was a very special ‘Animal Farm’. The farmer loved all his animals, but most of all his big flock of chooks. The farmer loved chooks so much he coll...

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Living within our means, Hockey style

You have to give it to the Coalition propaganda machine – it never fails to come up with a brand new slogan with which it can belabor the Government. We are now being told by Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey that we must ‘live within our means’. How many times have we heard that? Otherwi...

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Grasping at prime ministership the Abbott way

Let’s be clear from the outset. The lead up to the September 14 election will not be a respectful contest of ideas, a civil battle of policies and plans. It will be a bare-knuckle street fight between personalities, with no holds barred. The Abbott way countenances no other approach. To seize ...

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David Marr joins ‘the most successful Opposition leader’ chorus

The first words in the online description of David Marr’s Quarterly Essay: Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott read: “Tony Abbott is the most successful Opposition leader of the last forty years, but he has never been popular. Now Australians want to know: what kind of man is he,...

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Policy making through the rear-view mirror

“We drive into the future using only our rear-view mirror” was one of the many notable aphorisms of Marshall McLuhan, Canadian philosopher, futurist, and communications theorist of the sixties. If ever there was an image that captures Tony Abbott’s approach to public policy, this ...

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Abbott and the Murdoch, Rinehart, Pell connection

Voters need seriously to contemplate what it would be like to have an Abbott Government. They need to dig deeper than the slick slogans, the oft repeated mantras, the weasel words, the deviousness, and the blatant lies that escape Abbott’s lips day after day. They need to ask what makes this m...

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What was Leigh Sales’ intent with PM Gillard?

As Leigh Sales interviewed Prime Minister Julia Gillard on 7.30 last week, was she hoping it might remind viewers of her interview of Tony Abbott six months earlier, one that attracted widespread applause for its probing, her persistence, and her command of the interview? Looking back, she may be di...

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Polls perpetually poison politics

Imagine that last Thursday an alien arrived from Mars. He picked up the papers and read that the leader of this nation is under threat of losing her position. He wondered why. He is surprised that she is female. He speaks to a normal-looking local. For the sake of this piece, let’s imagine th...

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How to vote: first examine your values

How do voters decide on where to cast their vote? For some it is automatic, even unthinking. They have voted this way before, maybe always. They are the rusted-on voters. For many though, it's a question of “What’s in it for me?” “What will I gain if I vote this way and what...

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Cool courage trumps cringing cowardice

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
 Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king's horses and all the king's men
 Couldn't put Humpty together again. For many of the opinionistas, PM Gillard is Humpty Dumpty. They insist that she has had a great fall, indeed one fall after another, and no amount of effo...

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The curse of the opinionistas

Reflect on how often you have heard a Fourth Estate political commentator argue: “Because of this set of facts, I am of the opinion that so and so is true”? Seldom. How often have you heard one of them say: “My opinion is based on the following propositions…”? Practica...

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Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey, stop killing confidence

How many times have you heard commentators lamenting how low consumer and business confidence have become? Time and again. How many times have you seen journalists attempting to analyse why? Very few. How many times have you seen them sheet home any of the lack of confidence among consumers and busi...

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Don’t mention the polls

This is an open letter to all Federal Labor parliamentarians. Of all people, you must know that polls of voting intention this far from the scheduled election date of September 14 are not predictive of the election outcome. Even the pollsters themselves tell us that. They agree that trends over time...

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When will Tony Abbott fill the gaping void in his latest slogan: Hope. Reward. Opportunity?

The image of would-be Prime Minister Abbott as a hollow man, a lightweight on policy, and an economic dilettante would not have been diminished, let alone erased by his address in Canberra to the National Press Club of Australia: HOPE. REWARD. OPPORTUNITY. at the end of January. Here’s why. &...

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Why does the Coalition choose to live in an imaginary world?

Because it suits Coalition members to do so. Why do so many of those in the MSM choose to crawl into that imaginary world with the Coalition? Because it suits them too. The refuge the Coalition and its supporters have taken in their make-believe world has reached pathological proportions. They give ...

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Forty-nine questions for Tony Abbott about global warming

As the mainstream media seems unwilling to, or incapable of asking Tony Abbott to explain his way of thinking about global warming, and more importantly explain his policies to combat it, let’s do so here. There are critically important questions that need answers if the electorate is to choos...

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TPS M@IL: a new communication tool

How many times have you wished you could email a politician or a journalist, or forward to them a piece posted on The Political Sword, but found it too difficult because you didn’t have the correct email address, or perhaps didn’t know who it might be best to contact? Over the end-of-yea...

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