• Why is there still so much anger?
    As we enter the Festive Season, we reflect on the year past and
    the one ahead. It’s a time when Christians celebrate Christmas and
    other special days, Jewish folk enjoy Hanukkah, Mexicans celebrate
    the Fiesta of our Lady of Guadalupe, and Swedes celebrate St Lucia
    Day. The New Year is ushered in as an opportunity for new hope.
  • Let's Dance
    In a recent email, Virginia Trioli wrote in relation to Christmas Parties: Go hard
    or go home. Say something. Talk — really talk — about your life, your triumphs,
    your failures; your year of struggle or your reflections on another milestone
    reached; your pride, your joy, the moments of grace remembered or sought:
    or don’t talk, don’t just chatter, and how about we just stand in companionable silence...
  • Oh the irony
    One of the production team behind The Political Sword regularly attends
    a trivia night at a local pub. Recently the host (who runs a company that
    hosts multiple trivia nights every night of the week — so he’s pretty good
    at finding obscure facts) made the claim that 49 percent of Australians
    are either immigrants or one/both their parents are immigrants.
  • Five shades of faded blue
    How well the ancient Biblical words apply to the Coalition:
    ”How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle...thou wast
    slain in thine high places, and the weapons of war perished!”.
    The true-blue Liberal flag, once graced with rich shades of competence,
    efficiency, endeavour, diligence and success, now flies tattered, limp and washed out.
  • The Culture Wars
    The Liberal Party cultural wars are having a detrimental effect on the rest of
    us. Here are two examples. Without rehashing old news, Australia had a
    functioning carbon pricing and emissions trading scheme around 5 years ago.
    It was canned by the Abbott government after mounting the mother of all scare
    campaigns about $100 lamb roasts and the town of Whyalla being wiped off the map.
  • The energy road to nowhere
    Are you as exasperated and disgusted as I am with the political
    antics exposed during the renewed debate about energy policy?
    Are you appalled by our parliamentarian’s persistent inability to
    collaborate in making decisions about how to tackle climate change?
    These are rhetorical questions. I know the answers.

The Political Sword

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The ugliness of political opportunism

While most politicians are political opportunists from time to time, as are some partisan journalists, some have made an art form of this form of political behaviour. This piece cites some examples and questions the place of opportunism in politics. There are hundreds of examples of naked political ...

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Leadership – what do the people want?

There is a gathering storm about Julia Gillard’s leadership. Pundits express learned opinions about the leadership she exhibits, and more stridently about what they believe she ought to. Some predict that she will never make the grade. Mungo MacCallum believes she is an example of the ‘P...

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The Fox Fish Rots from the Head Down

Ever since the 'kindly' Commission Salesman bowled up to my front door and enthusiastically informed me that I was lucky enough to have Foxtel running down my street now(!), and for the 'Low Introductory Price' that he was offering me I could have access to all those shows that you'll never get on F...

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Question Time – Rumble in the Jungle Book

G’day Swordians! Question Time in the House of Representatives was a bit demure this week, so both sides decided to come back for a bit of overtime and try to get one over on the other. However, the extra session was no sooner underway when Tony ‘King Louie’ Abbott and his troop of...

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Abbott in the Toilet: Shit Happens, Tony

Katharine Murphy wrote in The Age on Thursday in an article titled Foul Day At The Office For Abbott:     "Getting stuck on a rhetorical stumble does us no good when there's serious criticisms to be made of opposition tactics. “Tony Abbott is serially scatological. It's a pro...

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Poisoning the well of our good nature

Julia Gillard's earlobes, Tony Abbott's budgie-smugglers. Is discussion about politicians' appearance getting too personal?• Yes, it's irrelevant 81.83% (5440 votes) • No, it's fair game 18.17% (1208 votes) Total votes: 6648It was about the time that this poll came out, beside the now infa...

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The Right to be Angry

Have you noticed how much anger there is in the community? Listen to talkback radio and hear the anger there. If you have the stomach to listen to shock jocks like Alan Jones you will hear plenty there. There is road rage and a level of anger and assaults in our city centres, often alcohol-fuelled, ...

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The media needs to pull up its socks in 2011

If it doesn’t, it will become increasingly irrelevant to thoughtful people, and will serve only to provide flimflam for the unthinking, the disinterested, the feckless. In case some of you are groaning, ‘not hammering the media again’, my response is ‘yes, yet again’, f...

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Welcome to The Political Sword 2011

Whereas in previous years we have taken a break at the end of the year, this time we have kept a thread going at the request of some users of The Political Sword. They have enjoyed the conversation with each other, and have missed it whenever the site was down, as it was recently as we upgraded to ...

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TOE-KNEE’s Australia Day

G’day Swordians! I trust you had a great Australia Day. I had a very interesting time myself – did a bit of backpacking in Queensland and actually met up with an old aboriginal guy when I was doing a bit of walking there. He was boiling his billy, and as I was feeling a bit peckish mysel...

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Why can’t we live together? We’re all part of the human race, after all

As I intimated in a comment on my previous blog, I was going to strike out in a philosophical direction for this, my latest blog. I thought it might be especially pertinent in the light of the two major tragedies that have occurred in the Western Hemisphere over the End of Year/New Year ...

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What were you expecting - fireworks?

I was just watching some vintage Paul Keating in full rhetorical flight the other day as I was recuperating and contemplating the ramifications of Wayne Swan's Banking Package, released in early December. Which seems eons ago when you've been to Hell and back, as I have been since then. And it o...

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What does Tony Abbott stand for?

As a political exercise, why not begin by jotting down what you are convinced Tony Abbott stands for? It may not take you long. Don’t feel inadequate if you can muster no more than ‘end the waste, pay back debt, stop new taxes and stop the boats’. But wait, there’s a change i...

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They huffed and they puffed, and they haven’t blown the NBN down…yet

  The above image says it all, really, about the NBN story thus far. There's Big Bad Tony Abbott outside the solid brick house that is the NBN edifice. He, and the 'Three Little Wolves', Malcolm Turnbull, Barnaby Joyce, and Andrew Robb (I've noticed that Joe Hockey has been strangely muted i...

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Is Australia becoming ungovernable?

As we approach the end of a tumultuous year in federal and state politics and face no let-up in 2011, and consequent upon the arrival of the ‘hung parliament’ in Canberra, the question that demands an answer is how can this country be governed given the attitudes that now exist among ...

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What does Julia Gillard stand for?

Here we go again. It doesn’t seem all that long ago that the same question was being asked about Kevin Rudd. It seems this type of question occurs cyclically when the punditry becomes bored with the pace of political activity. But what does the question mean? There are several journalists who ...

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Deficit Hawks and Spending Doves

The preceding cartoon got me to thinking about the 'Deficit Hawks' in our own country, such as the conservative economist, Warwick McKibbin, and, of course, the squawking 'Debt & Deficit' Hawks in the Opposition, (dis)ably led by Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb. For a nanosecond, when ...

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How lies, deception, slogans and mantras kill the truth

The concept of ‘truth’ has exercised the minds of philosophers for centuries. Several theories of truth have been propounded, but the one that likely corresponds most closely with common understanding is what is termed ‘correspondence theory’. It says: “true beliefs an...

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What do you think of Rupert Murdoch’s power and influence?

The newly developed Australian Blog Sites, created to give bloggers ‘a sense of unity’, lists contemporary political blog sites, at last count over fifty of them, that visitors to the site can access. This attempt to give those of us who operate in the Fifth Estate a feeling that we are ...

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The politics of simplistic populism

'Populism'. It's a word we've been hearing a lot about the place lately. Of course, it's uttered, generally, with a large side order of derision, as if it's the basest form of politics. However, is it really? Or is it just a condemnation uttered by the jealous, who wish they could be as popular and...

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