• 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.

Turncoats and Political Judas Sheep

Well, over the last week and a bit, after the boil was lanced by the Labor Party and Kevin Rudd was squeezed out of the top job in the country, it seems to me that every entrail has been pored over, from the smallest blog in the land and by every Tweeter, to the analysis of the 'coup' genera...

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The Rudd phenomenon

I have always liked Kevin Rudd.  I still do.  When he first came to prominence as shadow foreign minister I remember being impressed with his grasp of his subject matter and his articulateness.  I enjoyed listening to him on TV and radio, and occasionally in parliament when he hamme...

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Thank you, Kevin

Well, after a good night's sleep and a bit of a think, count me in on the Julia side.It seems Rudd isolated himself, and treated the caucus and the cabinet with seeming indifference.Why this is so, I don't know. Could this have been his personal nature? Maybe he thought the parliam...

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Gotcha!

Greetings fellow Swordians.  Today I'd like to report on a worrying trend which I have noticed creeping into political reportage of late in this country.  I am not quite sure how extensive it is yet across the country, only that I have noticed it increasingly here in Sydney on Channel ...

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Who cares about the next Newspoll?

Certainly those at The Australian newspaper do.  After all, they own Newspoll, and say they understand it better than anyone.  But there’s more – they value it as a heavy political weapon with which they flail this nation’s Prime Minister even when the poll shows only a m...

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The media’s specifications for an Australian PM

First, it must be understood that it is the media who will shape the Prime Minister of this nation.  It is to the media that he or she must answer.  It will decide which of the contenders should be elected, and how the one so crowned should govern.  If the public can understand th...

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Kevin, Kevin, Kevin.

My heart is breaking. With the release of the latest Nielsen Poll a dagger has truly been inserted into my heart, not of the RSPT, politically-opportunistic kind which Tony Abbott squawks about, a sentiment of his that actually runs counter to the national interest when you think about it closely en...

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Who’s winning the RSPT debate?

It’s now a month since the Henry Review was made public along with the Government’s decision to endorse an RSPT, although there were rumours that this was to be the case for weeks beforehand.  Where is the debate now? Who is winning?It seems that although the Government was out of t...

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Is it that hard to sell the RSPT?

In the piece Why is a good Government down in the polls, several reasons for this state of affairs were proposed that included media malevolence, media manipulation, promises sometimes construed as being broken, less-than-perfect management of expectations, inadequate communication of poli...

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The Canberra Press Gallery will decide who governs this country...

And the manner by which they come to power.Initially, this blog was going to be a bit of a rant about the Australian Federal Press Gallery, and press galleries in general, hot on the heels of the scathing article in the May 15 edition of The Weekend Australian, Canberra gallery turns on an ADHD prim...

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Getting some balance into the RSPT debate

There has been much heat emanating from the RSPT debate, but little light to illuminate the details in a way that enables neutral people to be informed in a balanced way. This piece brings together a number of articles and opinions that paint a somewhat different picture from that portrayed by the m...

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Why is a good Government down in the polls?

This is the first of a series that will examine what the Rudd Government has done during its two and a half years in office.  It will be argued that it has been a good government that has achieved much more that might be expected in a first term and has a host of ongoing initiatives in train ...

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Politics is officially bunk

    I regard myself as a pretty hard nut to crack but I have to admit it... today I'm gobsmacked. Gobsmacked... that yesterday The Australian could introduce an article by Mirko Bagaric - the man who wrote the book on torture ...

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Their ABC

Or, the Coalition and Murdoch Conspiracy to Co-opt the ABC for their own ends. This blog is a Call to Arms. It is time for all Australians of good conscience to act before it's too late. Like a wraith, Mr Murdoch moves stealthily but deliberately. His work is always in the background, but h...

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But, but, but...

The opinion polls and betting markets indicate that the probability of Tony Abbott becoming PM and the Abbott Party taking power at the next election is increasing.  To date a lot of attention has been focussed by the media and the Abbott Party on Kevin Rudd and his performance, and he’s ...

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Wake in fright

 Peter Hartcher, in a column titled How a toxic elixir destroyed the prism of trust, has starkly set out a potential disaster scenario for Labor in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald:  Australians will never see Rudd in the same light again. Every policy will now be seen as just an...

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The folly of putting a politician on a pedestal

From stratospheric, even unrealistic heights, Kevin Rudd’s popularity has rather suddenly become much less, according to opinion polls.  Why is this so?  There is any number of journalists who are willing, even eager to offer their opinions, attributing it to this or that – the...

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Tony Abbott is really ‘P’ing me off

Tony Abbott loves using buzzwords, as do most effective conservative communicators these days. These people are the inheritors of the Newt Gingrich conservative political legacy, which I have referred to before. Not only have they taken their communication cues from the infamous Mr Gingrich's li...

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Do economics commentators live in fantasy land?

The Henry Review is out and the economics commentators, along with journalists, some of whom have not shown much aptitude for economics, are out there going hell for leather giving us their learned opinions.  How much credence do we give them, even when they seem to be singing in harmony? ...

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The antediluvian media

I’ve been wondering what chronic disability it is that has been afflicting so much of the media, wondering why its political commentary is so predictable yet so often lacking in depth, so devoid of clarifying insights.   Where have the competent columnists gone?  We know there...

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