• 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.

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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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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