• The empathy deficit
    Like most winners at the conclusion of an election process,
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has claimed on a couple of
    occasions that he would consider the hopes and ambitions
    of all Australians while he is the Prime Minister.
  • Be Human
    About 12 months ago, we were asking if the world could ever return to
    ‘normal’ post the pandemic. Some were looking for equitable economic reform,
    others were looking for significant environmental reforms and others were looking
    for improvement in an area close to their personal experience or belief systems.
  • The day Scott Morrison lost the next election
    Note the date in your diary - 15 March 2021 - because the date
    itself is not memorable. You will never forget the day though - the day
    thousands of angry women gathered outside Parliament House in their
    March4Justice campaign to highlight the appalling misogyny and
    mistreatment of women, both in and outside parliament.
  • Smoke and Mirrors
    Inaction on climate change is already costing Australia’s farmers
    countless dollars, and urgent political action is needed to avoid more
    extreme droughts, fires and floods, according to a group of farmers who
    don’t agree with the statements of Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack,
  • Absolute power corrupts absolutely
    We really shouldn’t be surprised that Facebook banned news coverage
    from their platform for around a week in Australia recently. Their ‘real’
    objective isn’t to be the world’s back fence that everyone leans on to
    have a chat, it is to sell advertising that is based on your interests.
  • Living with our ‘transactional’ Prime Minister
    Writing in The New Daily, it was Dennis Atkins who drew our attention
    to the notion that we had a ‘transactional’ Prime Minister. He recounted
    an exchange between Nick Xenophon and the PM when Xenophon asked
    him if he’d like to catch up for a coffee to have a chat about issues, to which
    Morrison responded: ‘What for?’ ‘No, mate. I’m purely transactional.’

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

Should Labor hitch itself to the slogan waggon?

One aspect of contemporary politics in which the Coalition has outstripped Labor has been in its use of slogans. Coalition slogans have been simple, often just three words, understandable, plausible, memorable and successful in promoting the Coalition’s agenda. Because its agenda has been larg...

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Sideshow Sam

Aficionados of The Simpsons cartoon series will be familiar with the ‘colourful’ character, Sideshow Bob. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of viewing any episodes that include Bob, he is basically a psychopath, who worked for Krusty the Clown in his circus, got sacked...

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It’s time for the ALP to drink a protein word shake and muscle up to the Coalition

      “They couldn't sell a cold beer on a hot day.” How many times have I heard that said about the ALP lately? A point which was reinforced in my mind with reference to the Democrats in the USA when I read a Paul Krugman article, Let's Not Be Civil, recently; bu...

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A Right Royal Wedding

With a Royal Wedding in the offing, the Coalition should be full of the joys of Spring, revelling in bonhomie and offering best wishes to the young couple who are just about to tie the knot. However, for the Coalition, it was the worst of times, and showing signs that it was about to get even worse...

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How do you think about climate change?

Reading two books in parallel recently proved to be an informative exercise. One was Richard Dawkins’ 2009 The Greatest Show on Earth – The Evidence for Evolution, the other Tim Flannery’s 2010 Here on Earth – An Argument for Hope. It was informative because the two books exe...

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Why do Only Fools and Horses Gamble?

As part of his anti-problem-gambling crusade, Andrew ‘Del Boy’ Wilkie manages a Centre for the treatment of gambling addicts, which is trialling his new, ‘BetaGorn Program’. This involves the addict being given a smart card with a $200 daily limit which, when exceeded, fails...

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Not quite joined at the hip but in the same ballpark

I will now attempt to elucidate the points I think Menzies' speech has in common with the PM's thoughts about Labor's polity ensconced within contemporary Australian society, thus to prove how it is not heresy to say that, yes, Menzies and Gillard may have something worthwhile in common with eac...

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Blackadder Bolt

In France, the First World War is at its height and the Australian ‘SG’ Regiment is doing as good a job as any in providing top-class cannon-fodder. General ‘Melchie’ Murdock (on loan from the American Army) and Capt ‘Blackadder’ Bolt are in command of the Aussie...

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Labor Needs to Remember the Forgotten People

Recently there has been debate around the blogs and in the mainstream media about who and what the ALP represents these days, and whether, because in some commentators' opinions they represent no one and nothing any more, that therefore they are going the way of the Dodo and will soon dry up a...

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Joe Hockey should read John Quiggin’s 'Zombie Economics'

If he did, he would be confronted with the inconvenient fact that the arguments he advanced to demean the Rudd Government’s management of the global financial crisis have been debunked comprehensively. If he has read it, he will be familiar with John Quiggin’s exposé about how dis...

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Pushing for the pension

Tony “Andy” Abbott needs to get his hands on more of the folding stuff to pay off his big mortgage. So, having swapped his push-bike for a wheelchair and, in cahoots with his “Little Britain” carer, Warren “Lou” Truss, he turns up at Centrelink to be interviewed b...

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The vilification of our nation’s leaders

No, I’m not referring just to the vile placards that were the backdrop to Tony Abbott’s address to the ‘people’s revolution’ rally in Canberra on March 23. Vilification goes back much further. The purpose of this piece is to argue that while vilification has been around...

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Phoney Footie

G’day SwordiansAs you know, the AFL season is underway and one of the opening games is being played at the Rooty Hill Stadium. Prior to the game, however, a Celebrity Stars charity match (to help pay off Tony Abbott’s big mortgage) is underway. The two teams are the Coalition and MSM XVI...

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The ALP has come to its own fork in the road

And so it has come to pass...that the NSW State Labor Party was beaten about the head metaphorically with baseball bats by the electorate, and they lost the Unwinnable Election. So, now that I am through my period of mourning, and with the 24/7 world, you can only take 24 big ones, and tha...

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Yes and No

Tony Abbott’s ‘STOP THE WASTE’ campaign against the Public Service is unrelenting. From the bureaucrats in Queensland to the fat cats in Canberra, its open season as far as Tones is concerned. However, one of the top public servants in Australia, Nic ‘Macca’ Machiavelli...

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Hartcherism – a new descriptor for political gymnastics

It was unusual to see a generally sensible journalist write such an astonishing article. But there it was, Peter Hartcher writing in the March 19 issue of the Sydney Morning Herald: Labor's end - that's all, folks. You may care to read it before reading this commentary. A recent article by Anna...

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Is the Liberal Party guilty of ‘race baiting’?

On the last day of the most recent session of federal parliament, Julia Gillard accused the Opposition of 'Race Baiting'. Now, the immediate response from the media, predictably, was, 'How could she say that?' Tony Abbott, just as predictably, sidled up the next day to whatever sympathetic media o...

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The day the Canberra Press Gallery believed it was governing the country

It’s not possible to pin down what day that was. Takeovers can be abrupt or ever so subtle. This one was subtle, at least initially. It probably derived from about the time that Kevin Rudd retreated from his response to climate change, his ETS, and put it on the back burner for a couple of ...

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The Day News Limited Took Over Our ABC

Mark the day – Sunday 13 March 2011, the day Andrew Bolt took over as compère of the ABC’s Insiders, bullied his way into the dialogue and eventually ruled the roost, leaving Barrie Cassidy looking defeated. That day the panelists comprised three current and past News Limited jou...

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The People’s Revolt goes ‘On the Buses’

G’day Swordians! A group of Coalition supporters need transport to get themselves along to one of the Peoples’ Revolt rallies. They have put an ad in the Oz and have been contacted by a taxi crowd called CT (“CabTeam”), under the proprietorship of J Gillard and W Swan. How...

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