• 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.

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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Destructive politics - Abbott style

Long past memories do fade, but can anyone remember a period in federal politics when there was more destructive behaviour from an opposition than we are suffering today? Last week Tony Abbott averred that his Opposition was the most effective in Australian political history. He said that was so bec...

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Who do you prefer - Laurie Oakes or Hugh Riminton?

I was astonished when I viewed a video titled Oakes hasn't lost his touch, with the byline: Laurie Oakes remains on top of his game after he dropped a bomb on PM Julia Gillard. It was a discussion between by Geoff Elliott, Media Editor and Caroline Overington, 'Media Diary' for The A...

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So many questions, so few answers

Does anyone else get frustrated when they hear and see the members of the Federal Labor government being given the Third Degree by the media over the tiniest tidbit of unsourced gossip or misstep, and with respect to their policies, yet the Opposition are only given the once-over-lightly?I know I do...

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How to beat up a story - ABC style

In her address to the Lowy Institute last week, when addressing the issue of asylum seekers, Julia Gillard talked about: “...building a regional approach to the processing of asylum seekers, with the involvement of the UNHCR, which effectively eliminates the on shore processing of unauthorised...

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Phudget 2010

In their clubhouse on Canberra Avenue, the shadowy Kanberra Kricket Klub is convening a special meeting to discuss this year’s budget proposals. All elected officials are present at the head table and a sizable contingent of Ordinary Members fill the plastic chairs lining the rear of the room....

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What is the best way to decide who gets room at our Inn?

By now we have had a couple of days to let both major political parties' Asylum Seeker policies soak into our consciousness and consciences.  I believe that I can safely say that the new policy as enunciated by PM Julia Gillard in her speech on Tuesday morning to 'The Lowy Institut...

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Contemplate soberly the alternative – an Abbott Government!

Have you noticed how little scrutiny the MSM has given to the prospect of an Abbott Government?  Why is this so?  With an election soon to occur, and the possibility of a Coalition win, how is it that we have had almost no analysis of what it has to offer and what an Abbott Government woul...

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