• 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.
  • They've got a mandate
    You’ve probably heard politicians and commentators suggest that
    various acts should be undertaken because ‘they’ve got a mandate’.
    One of the recent examples is new Environment Minister Angus Taylor
    claiming there is now a ‘mandate’ for a lack of any meaningful
    action on managing climate change in Australia.
  • The battle for the killer slogan
    I could commence this piece by debating why slogans influence voters,
    no matter how tiresome, no matter how monotonous. But why bother?
    We know they work. Why bother to question their use, or scorn those
    who use them? It is surely more practical to examine how to use them
    creatively. This piece is just the beginning of the search for the killer slogan.
  • The Coalition can’t manage money
    The Coalition can’t manage money. No, that’s not a misprint.
    The conventional wisdom, peddled by the Coalition, aided and
    abetted by opinion polls that always rate the Coalition ahead of Labor
    in managing the economy, is that ‘Labor can’t manage money’.
  • Extremism and Queensland
    Political extremism generally doesn’t condone rape, murder or shootings
    to achieve stated aims, however it does promote that there is no tolerance
    for differing opinions or compromise. A common statement from the conservative
    forces leading up to the last election was that the Australian Greens were extremists
    and more dangerous to Australia than either One Nation or United Australia Parties.
  • The Tag Line
    The recent election was an exercise in marketing and not much else
    Morrison promoted himself and ‘good economic management’ rather
    than the Coalition while flitting around the country handing out dollars
    to ‘deserving’ infrastructure projects, usually in marginal seats.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

Has the political influence of the Murdoch media reached its nadir?

There is no need to mount an argument to support the view that all over the world, the Murdoch media has exercised an influence over politics. We all know it and countless journalists have borne testimony to it and have written and broadcast about it. Recent events portend a radical change that mu...

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The negativity syndrome infects the ABC

I wonder how many were as dismayed as I was at the tenor of this Sunday’s Insiders? With so many journalists in the carbon tax lockup, I suppose Barrie Cassidy was scraping the bottom of the barrel when he enlisted Niki Savva and Glenn Milne as panelists, but he must have known that this woul...

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The Tragic Magic Pudding

It’s been over a year’s hard Labor for Tony Abbott since the Indos went along with Julia Gillard and not him. And to say the least, he’s getting a bit toey. He knows that he needs to swing their support his direction, so as to get into the big chair. But, to make things worse at the moment, he’s...

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Slowing down the blur that is the colour and movement of a Tony Abbott speech

Tony Abbott giving his speech to the 55th Annual Liberal Party Federal Council, 2011 In the perpetual present that politics has become, worldwide, and especially in this country since Tony Abbott became Opposition Leader, where what happened and what was said yesterday is so last week, ...

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Putting the Squeeze on Mr Squiggle

Everybody knows the ABC has gone to the dogs, and it’s not just its News and Current Affairs Department we’re talking about. In fact, their Children’s Programming Section is badly in need of a facelift also. But, at least there, they are trying to do something about it. The powe...

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What Julia Gillard DOES stand for

Are you as tired as I am of the words: ‘What does Julia Gillard stand for?’ There seems an endless stream of journalists, bloggers, and of course members of the Opposition who repeat this question over and again, until it sounds like a mantra chanted mindlessly. What does it actually me...

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A tribute to Greg Jericho

Knowing how much visitors to The Political Sword have appreciated the writings of Greg Jericho on Grog’s Gamut, this short piece is to thank you Greg for giving us such delight for so long. Your contribution to political discourse has been outstanding. We have enjoyed your forensic dissection o...

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Extreme Makeover Takeover

Tony Abbott reckons questions about his leadership and (lack of) policies could come thick and fast any day now, so he has bummed the money off Lindsay Fox to take out a lease on the ramshackle Nauru asylum-seeker centre. Being in such a state of disrepair, it makes the house that jack built look l...

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If you are not scared about the effects of global warming, you ought to be

As if there isn’t enough to be scared about on the physical plane, and we saw even more this week from New Anthropocene covering the ‘State of the Ocean’ report that shows that the seas are dying and time frames for actions are ‘shrinking’, now we have scary economic ne...

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Looking down from the grandstand - where the experts are

We are in a vast grandstand looking down on a match between traditional rivals. There are rusted on supporters for both teams who could never barrack for anyone else, and who urge their teams on and loudly abuse the other, no matter how well the opponents play; they can do no good. The umpires &nda...

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Getting sucked in by a séance

It’s Friday arvo, close to tea-time, and the Minister for Climate Change, Greg Combet, is walking down St Mary’s road in Sydney. Suddenly, he notices, on the other side and walking in the same direction, Tony Abbott. For his part, as he reaches the Catholic Cathedral, Tones veers off a...

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Is your moral compass better than mine?

Isn’t ‘moral compass’ a catchy phrase? And isn’t losing it a pretty serious indictment? It suggests that anyone who has lost his or her ‘moral compass’ is to be looked down upon as an unworthy reprobate. Andrew Wilkie introduced the term to label PM Gillard and...

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Fair and balanced discourse – is that what we want?

The skirmish that erupted here on The Political Sword last week with one blogsite labelling this one as exhibiting "unremitting one-eyed left wing bias", and another accusing the site of ignoring or demeaning opinions that conflict with those held by the majority of those who comment here, warrants ...

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Strutting the catwalk in Carbon Alley

Life used to be simple in Carbon Alley. The Fat Cats, Gina ‘Ginger Mog’ Rinehart, and Clive ‘Cheshire Cat’ Palmer, have been running the place, aided and abetted by their cronies, Officers Dibble (Tony Abbott) and Dribble (David Bushby). However, many of the alley cats, led...

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What have we done to deserve an Opposition Leader like Tony Abbott?

I’m fed up with Tony Abbott and most of his Coalition team. I’m fed up with his unremitting negativity. I’m fed up with his destructiveness. I’m fed up with his nastiness. I’m fed up with his attitude towards women. I’m fed up with his rabble-rousing tactics. ...

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The Waltons get the willies

As one of the foremost Forgotten Families, the Coalition Waltons have nothing better to do than to retire early for the night. However, still active behind the scenes, John-Boy (Howard) Walton can’t sleep. John-Boy: Psssst...Tones! You awake, son? Tones: Yeah, pa – can’t sle...

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‘Post-Truth Politics’

Or, How the ALP Should Play the Game of Political Pragmatism, Just Not as the Hollow Man Abbott Does. So, you will by now have had seared into your brains the immortal words Tony Abbott uttered to his party room this past week: “In a choice between policy purity and political pragmatism, ...

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Julia Gillard’s Fireside Chat - Your Heath Mark 2

This is a second attempt to craft a set of messages about health that PM Gillard might transmit, modified in the light of your comments and suggestions, some of which have been included verbatim. An attempt has been made to generalize and personalize the ‘chat’ using ‘we’, &l...

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Julia Gillard’s Fireside Chats – Your Health

This is the second of a series in which contributors to The Political Sword are attempting to fashion examples of messages that our Prime Minister might give in her 'Fireside Chats'. The idea of Fireside Chats came from David Horton in a piece titled: The ragged trousered philanthropist on The Wate...

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A Minder, kinder, gentler polity

It’s an early morning start for Tony “Arthur Daley” Abbott at his ACTION MOTORS car-yard (“Arthur’s Commodores – Trade-Ins Or Newies”). However, as he alights from his car, he can’t help noticing that his rivals across the road (Gillard’s ...

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