At the National Press Club in Canberra on 22 March, ten journalists were given the privilege of addressing questions to the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition on the subject of their debate, health and hospitals reform, a debate that was critiqued in the previous piece: Comprehending ... Read More
The tone was set at the beginning when a smiling Kevin Rudd shook hands with a scowling Tony Abbott. I saw three different photos of the handshake; all were the same. Did anyone see a smiling Abbott? Was this another Latham moment? Abbott seemed to be spoiling for a fight, ... Read More
Regulars here will know that my last piece was entitled Is Rudd tying the bootstrappers’ bootlaces for them? I argued that Rudd’s mea culpa had been an unnecessary concession to a media bootstrap campaign, unwisely and retrospectively bestowing ... Read More
If you doubt if there is a war, look at the News Limited papers over the last few days.
First, look at Rudd stimulus drove up rates by David Uren in Friday’s Australian which begins “The rapid jobs growth of the past five months has come to a halt, with new figures showing ... Read More
It’s probably not possible to accurately define the ‘Canberra Press Gallery’; in this piece I’m referring to the journalists who get to ask guest speakers at National Press Club events most of the questions, and those who report on federal politics.
Judging from what ... Read More
If Kevin Rudd thought Insulgate was going to go away with a mea culpa, he was wrong. Note that I refer to ‘Insulgate’... the beat up, the bootstrap, not the reality-based situation.
We have seen recently the first (and perhaps the last) attempts at fac... Read More
We all know how the media can engineer a beat-up on almost any issue, but can anyone recall a more flagrant beat-up than we’ve seen around the Government’s Home Insulation Program?
It’s hard to determine whether this beat-up is groupthink gone ballistic, with almost everyon... Read More
Bushfire Bill’s last piece A Triumphant Return or the Last Hurrah? and the many comments it attracted, exposed many instances of second-rate journalism, leading me, and visitors, to ask “What has become of journalism in this country?” This piece attempts to tease out h... Read More
On Friday, Tony Abbott, whom I have already spotted as a serial confessor of sins, made another confession. It was startling in its frankness. To quote the ABC online story:
“Mr Abbott ... told the Examiner he disliked the ‘Captain Catholic ... Read More
If you thought Dennis Shanahan was squeezing the last drop of good news for the Coalition out of this week’s Newspoll, as suggested in the last piece on TPS Newspoll through Shahas' Magic Looking Glass, take a look at his analysis of the Important Issues survey (pdf) that accompanie... Read More
There we were last night, political tragics scouring our computer screens looking for signs of what the latest Newspoll might show. Two weeks ago Newspoll showed a significant closing of the gap between Labor and the Coalition to a TPP of 52/48. The same result occurred last October, b... Read More
There has been a lot of pussy-footing around the deaths of four workers involved in the Insulation part of the stimulus package. Three have tragically died as a result of electrical shocks and one from heat stroke. Whether they were working for licensed or otherwise reputable home insulation firm ... Read More
It was never going to be easy to sell the Government’s CPRS. It is a complex plan to cope with a very complex problem – anthropogenic global warming. But as recent events have muddied the debate about carbon mitigation, the Government’s task is now even more... Read More
While someone as fit as you would usually have a slow heart rate, I expect your heart quickened when you read this week’s Newspoll, showing as it did a narrowing of Labor’s two party preferred lead since you took over, down to 52/48, but perhaps it skipped a beat when you saw that Kevi... Read More
Watching the 10 Network’s So You Think You Can Dance on Sunday night reminded me of the political season about to begin this week.
The ikonic show, about undiscovered wannabees who, enraptured by high hopes of stardom and fame, enter a multi-stage dance competition – with us as i... Read More
We all accept that Australia’s population is ageing. Demographic evidence shows that life expectancy at birth is now 78.9 years for males and 83.6 years for females. These figures are from the CIA World Factbook 2009 and from the 2006 revision of the United Nations World Populati... Read More
Bushfire Bill struck a respondent chord when he argued the case that the Liberal Party had earned the label ‘The Grumpy Old Party’. In commenting on this piece, Bilko said “...a pervasive state of denial afflicts the Coalition”, and Michael said the same when he wrote... Read More
What is it with Julie Bishop, the she feels she always has to spit her words out? There's a feeling of permanent anger, or barely concealed contempt, of 'Mrs Bitch' in everything she says.
This morning on the radio she was still rabbiting on about the Schools Stimulus. Its s... Read More
This afternoon I heard Christopher Pyne on ABC afternoon radio in Sydney, going on about how spending $16 billion on the Building The Education Revolution schools program was a waste. As usual, I became hot under the collar listening to him, because the guy has figured out how to breathe through h... Read More
First, welcome to The Political Sword 2010 at the beginning of an election year that promises to be even more frenetic than the last.
During January, while Ad astra takes a break, Bushfire Bill, who has made many penetrating and witty contributions to this and other political blogs, wi... Read More