• Will they ever learn?
    After watching the first Question Time
    of the most recent sitting of the House
    of Representatives, the only plausible
    answer to that question is a resounding NO.
  • Beware the ides of March
    While Shakespeare may have ‘popularised’ the term, the ‘ides of March’
    goes back to Roman times when March was the beginning of the year
    (giving the excuse for celebration and prayers that the new year would be
    prosperous) until 55 days were added in 46BC. Two years later ‘dictator for life’
    Julius Caesar was stabbed to death — linking March with turmoil for ever after.
  • Nailed it
    Unlike the residents of the USA; a lot of whom probably wouldn’t
    have been able to point to New Zealand on a map three months ago;
    we shouldn’t have been surprised at the consideration for others demonstrated
    by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the past few weeks.
  • The tragic toll of hatred
    Stan Grant is an outstanding journalist. His capacity to undertake brilliantly forensic
    analyses and thereby discern meaning within the tumult of contemporary political
    behaviour sets him apart from most of his colleagues. So good are his political
    credentials that our PM invited him to enter politics, an offer Grant declined.
  • Bovine excrement
    Prime Minister Morrison seems to be certain that the next federal election
    will be in May. Cynics would suggest as Parliament is only sitting for two weeks
    in April, the plan is to hone their political sales pitch, pork barrel marginal electorates
    and parachute past or failed LNP politicians and their supporters into positions where
    they could potentially influence government programs and decisions into the future.
  • There is no Planet B
    This was written in the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch terror
    attack where 50 innocent people (at the time of writing) were gunned down
    by a lone gunman. It was going to be a rant against a number of
    Australian politicians who use racism and terrorism to further their own objectives.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

Grog, do come back – we need you

We at The Political Sword understand how affronted you must have felt when News Limited’s hit-man James Massola ‘outed’ you as Greg Jericho, a public servant working in the film area of the Office for the Arts of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra. He knew...

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The NBN debate – a clutter of misinformation

Why is it that important debates around complex public policy are so contaminated by misinformation, so uninformed by accurate and complete information? At the charitable end of the spectrum it is because few if any have all the information, fewer understand it if they do, and even fewer are able ...

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The Political Theatre of the Absurd

  Theatre of the Absurd: A form of drama that emphasises the absurdity of human existence by employing disjointed, repetitious, and meaningless dialogue, purposeless and confusing situations, and plots that lack realistic or logical development. That was the bizarre impression tha...

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Are political labels useless?

Learned dissertations on politics use classical terminology to identify particular political positions. Terms like ‘conservative’, ‘liberal’, small ‘l’ liberal, ‘economic liberalism’, ‘economic conservatism’, ‘political liberalism&r...

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The Coalition bouncing like a dead cat

It's not something that anyone with a beating heart and a love of politics in the 21st century does voluntarily, but when it is forced upon you, boy is it instructive. What am I talking about? Being abruptly disconnected from the Internet, and being flung back into the 'old paradig...

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An open letter to the Leader of the Opposition

Mr Abbott, we expect that you have mixed feelings about the outcome of the election. To get as close as you did to winning is cause for elation and congratulation, emotions echoed in the media, where many considered you unelectable six months ago. Yet the countervailing emotion must be intense fru...

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An open letter to the Prime Minister

On behalf of most who comment on this blog site, congratulations Ms Gillard on the re-election of the Labor Government and of yourself as Prime Minister. Those who have supported Labor through its first term and who have admired the good work it has done, are relieved that it has another term to com...

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How has it come to this – a Gillard Government?

Finally we have a minority government led by Julia Gillard. The tortured process came to an end when two of the three Country Independents, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, backed her government, and Bob Katter backed the Coalition. How has it come to this? This is the last analysis in this series...

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The post mortem we have to have

Whilst it has been reported that the ALP has had the metaphorical Duct Tape placed over its mouth when it comes to comment and analysis of the election campaign and the fallout from it that may lead to a Minority ALP Government this term or maybe even a One-Term Labor Government, no such strictures ...

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Still more on: How has it come to this?

There are many factors that have interacted with each other to produce the result we now see. The first two pieces on this subject examined the Rudd factor, the Gillard factor, the Queensland factor and the Bligh factor. This final piece looks at some other factors that seem to be important in expla...

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More on: How has it come to this?

Although the Rudd factor is arguably the most compelling in attempting to explain how it has come to this, given that the political and social situation is a classic example of a complex adaptive system, there are many other interacting factors that need examination. Some of them receive attention...

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How has it come to this?

With the election outcome still in limbo, and likely to be so for some time, it might be a good time to reflect on how Labor has come so close to losing power. Many pundits are having a shot at this, but I suspect are approaching it from their own idiosyncratic viewpoint, one that does not take in...

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If you come to a fork in the road, take it

That is the sort of advice that cartoonists might offer to the independents that now seem to hold the future of the Federal parliament in their hands. The outlook for both major parties is uncertain, equally so. So what can we deduce one day after the election? This is the first in a series. Th...

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It should be a one horse race

Yes, it should be a one horse race. Based on performance, on the visions and plans for the next three years and beyond, and on the talent it has on its front bench, Labor should be a country mile ahead. Yet the pundits are predicting a very close result, possibly a ‘hung’ parliament and...

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The enigma of leadership

How many times have we heard journalists accuse political leaders of ‘lacking leadership’ or ‘not showing leadership’? I wonder do they have a clear idea in their minds of what political ‘leadership’ is, and I wonder too whether they share the same ideas about le...

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Medical Records

Thank goodness for the Internet. If it wasn't for that we would have to rely again on what we read in the newspapers, see on TV, hear on the radio and receive through the mailbox at election time, in order to get our election information.However, as well as being a blessing, it can be a curse as...

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A salute to a very successful BER

Isn’t it time we saluted the outstanding success of the Building the Education Revolution program? This piece is focussed on what has been achieved rather than the media’s focus on the problems that were encountered, a focus that has detracted sickeningly from the success of the program,...

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Would Tony Abbott really be stupid enough to trash the NBN?

It was Nick Minchin who said that his broadband was fast enough for him. He could not see why the country should embark on an expensive very fast fibre-to-the-home/business/institution National Broadband Network. So if today’s broadband is good enough for Nick, what on earth are the NBN advo...

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The election climate

One of the great imponderables over the life of the first term of the Rudd-Gillard government has been why it is that Climate Change and Environmental policy has fallen, not only off the radar, but off a cliff. From something that a politician could confidently claim, in his role as a mirror of th...

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In support of Julia Gillard’s Citizens' Assembly on Climate

I suppose we should not be surprised that most journalists have sneeringly dismissed the proposal by Julia Gillard to convene a ‘Citizen’s Assembly on Climate’ as just another ‘talkfest’ or more derisively a ‘gobfest’, or just a cynical ‘stunt’ t...

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