• The Trump dilemma
    Don’t get me wrong. Trump is not the dilemma to which I’m referring. His
    behaviour is no longer a quandary. With every word he utters, with every
    tweet, he confirms that his mental state continues to deteriorate to the point
    where commentator after commentator expresses astonishment and alarm at his
    outlandish reactions to the social and political environment in which he finds himself.
  • Information and critical thinking do matter
    When Prime Minister Morrison was advised there was the risk of uncontrolled
    spread of a deadly pandemic on the horizon early this year, he was slightly
    wiser than at Christmas when he left a burning Australia in the ‘capable’
    hands of Deputy Prime Minister and National Party Leader Michael McCormack.
  • Morrison morphs into ‘Strict Father’ mode
    Back in 2013, I wrote a piece with the curious title:
    The myth of political sameness.
    Its purpose was to debunk the commonly held
    view that ‘politicians are all the same’.
  • Double standards
    There has been general praise for the Australian Governments
    (at all levels) and their management of the COVID19 pandemic.
    While the politicians signed off on the decisions, they listened to
    and generally acted on the advice of the state and federal CMOs.
  • People trusted Holden
    In the 1970s and 1980s the slogan was ‘People trust Holden’;
    and they did. General Motors Holden had spent a lot of time
    and money over many years marketing Holden vehicles as Australia’s
    own car and as a result Holden sales were going gangbusters.
  • Listen to the experts
    Are you as impressed as I am with Australia’s response to COVID-19?
    It is regarded as perhaps the most competent reaction, amongst similar
    nations, of how to manage an outbreak of a vicious virus. Why is it so?
    In my view, this outcome has resulted because our decision makers at both
    federal and local levels have listened to the experts, and have followed their advice.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

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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The worst Opposition Leader in Australian political history

It really would be a one horse race if such a trophy were to be awarded. Tony Abbott would be so far in front it would be declared ‘no contest’. What is it that earns him such a dishonorable label? This piece puts together the pieces of this grotesque jigsaw, so grotesque that the pro...

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Monster Mayhem

At one time, the plutocrat, Victor R Murdochstein, was very proud of the Monster he had created. Undoubtedly, It had served him well by opposing everything that would threaten his interests and moneymaking schemes. But Victor has had an epiphany, or, the more cynical would say, realises his Mo...

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What is political leadership? Do you know?

Leadership is a recurring theme in political debate. It refuses to go away. It is a dependable subject for journalists wondering what to write about next and adds spice to any subject. Leadership means different things to different people, certainly to different journalists. Indeed, Alice in Won...

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The Convoluted Convoy

It was believed by many that the reign of the evil witch-queen, Gillard, would be short-lived. Hopes in this regard, however, were roundly dashed when the bitch escaped from the chaff bag and swam ashore. Now, understandably, the peasants are revolting and demanding a new election or at least the ...

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Does the media reflect public opinion, or create it?

The media is fond of insisting that its reporting reflects public opinion, what the people think and what they want. It rejects the notion that it creates public opinion, but might reluctantly concede it influences it. That it attempts to do so is undeniable. Its opinion pieces and commentary clea...

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Ol’ King Coal isn’t a merry ol’ soul

The Coalition corner-shop hasn’t been travelling too well over the last number of years. In fact, it has been on a downhill slide since Grandpa Johnnie got evicted and the lease was briefly taken over by Cousin Brendan. Brendan’s proprietorship, however, didn’t last that long bef...

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The media – the biter bit

This old-fashioned idiom, one my parents used, seems apt to describe the contemporary spirited rail against the MSM. For what seems like an eternity the media has been biting, biting all sorts of people from the highest in the land, our PM, to the lowliest, all in the pursuit of a good story that w...

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The Horcrux of the Matter

In the epilogue to “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, the last book in the series about the wily young wizard, the author JK Rowling tells us that, after the demise of the evil Lord Voldemort, Harry and Ginny later get married and have three children. Similarly, Ron Weasley and Her...

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If Tony Abbott were PM

What would Tony Abbott do if this nation were so unfortunate as to have him elected as Prime Minister some time in the future? I can see your lips moving to mouth the words: “Who knows?” And our would-be PM, who by his own admission is a weathervane, would likely not know either, becau...

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A nice juicy tale

The British House of Commons’ “Court of Star-fruit Chamber” hasn’t been as busy since The Monkees and Milli Vanilli were arraigned before it on charges of pretending to sing on their own records. And, more recently, Rhubarb Rupert, Rebekah Radish and Jammy James have also be...

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Why does the media believe it must hold governments to account?

Newspapers should hold governments to account according to John Hartigan, News Limited chairman and chief executive. Interviewed on the ABC’s 7.30 last week by Leigh Sales, the actual words to this effect that appeared in the transcript were: “I think we take them to their official...

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Crowded out by IT

As we all now know, Rebekah Brooks has resigned from her position as CEO of News International. Furthermore, she was later arrested by London police on suspicions of phone hacking and corruption. However, if she is brought to trial and acquitted, where will she go? Will she help out in a leper co...

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The Tour de Nile

The Coalition’s adverse reaction to spelling out its policies, and accurately costing them, has caused them to enter, as another stunt and diversion, the Tour de Nile cycle race. However, Tony “Holy Moses” Abbott, Andrew “Aaron” Robb and the rest of the Coalition C...

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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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