• 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.
  • How? Why?
    It’s not just Labor supporters who are asking
    these questions. Everyone is. The polls are
    unable to provide an answer. They proved
    to have no predictive value.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

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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Why are we here on The Political Sword?

What are we hoping to achieve by contributing here? Are we having any impact? Does our dialogue make any difference? As a group of political bloggers we feel we have something to say about the state of politics in this nation. The Political Sword, which has n o allegiance to any party or...

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Of Grassroots and AstroTurf

Professor Skeleton, here. Today I'd like to explain to you the concepts behind the practice of AstroTurfing. You'll find, if you just look hard enough around you these days, in the political and public sphere, that an awful lot of AstroTurf is springing up about the place. What is this 'AstroTurf' o...

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Does Labor fight too 'clean'?

Recall a bar fight in an old Western movie. The goodies walk into a bar for a drink and are confronted by a mob of sinister-looking baddies who resent the invasion of their space and soon make it clear they are up for a no-holds bare-knuckle brawl where anything goes. No Marquess of Queensberry rule...

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We don’t know the meaning of ‘Wrong’!

Indefatigable, relentless positivism and negativism and a strict adherence to the Murdoch corporate mantra, "We don't know the meaning of 'Wrong'!" That's what amazes me about the Coalition and Conservative politicians in general, both here and around the world, and conse...

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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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