• The shiny new toy
    Now that the election is over it is time for a bit of reflection.
    Logistics behind the operation of this site mean this article is
    not a who won what and why; rather we’ll be looking at why a
    number of the smaller parties seem to have punched above
    their weight, and some possible reasons for their ‘popularity’.
  • The cupboard was bare!
    It wasn’t easy getting into the nerve centre of the LNP – the
    secret place where talking points, election strategies and day
    to day tactics are brainstormed by the Coalition’s eggheads in
    the dead of night – but eventually, more by good luck than
    good management, I found myself in the inner sanctum.
  • He hit me first!
    We all have memories of a child bawling its eyes out after being
    clobbered by another kid. We also have memories of the offender’s
    customary excuse: ‘He hit me first!’. We tend to label such behaviour as
    ‘kids stuff’. But how many of you expected grown-up politicians to ape them?
  • Fear, deception and gravitas
    Enjoying the election coverage? Essentially it is the day to day analysis
    of the political leaders of this country racking up the kilometres to appear
    in ‘strategic’ locations, with nodding sycophants behind them answering the
    same or similar questions as they did yesterday to the same tired and bored journalists.
  • No, they won't learn
    I was motivated to write my last piece: 'Will they ever learn?' after viewing the first
    Question Time of the recent sitting of the House of Representatives. Some our most
    senior politicians, immediately after showing that they were capable of courtesy and
    decent discourse, went on to display offensively aggressive behaviour towards each
    other, all in the full glare of the cameras, knowing that the world would see them as they were.
  • Three Years Later
    In 2016, we published 36 Faceless men, comparing the ‘need’
    for Australian political parties to have an absolute majority when
    forming a government versus the preferred outcome in other countries
    where a coalition of political parties have to work together to form a government.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

Have we just experienced a crucial week politically?

Last week was one of the most politically eventful since the election of the Rudd Government.  But how crucial was it to the future of the Government and the Opposition?  The National Accounts for the March Quarter showed a seasonally adjusted growth in GDP of 0.4%, avoiding two qu...

Read More

The Fitzgibbon affair – endgame?

They got their man.  But who are ‘they’? First it must be accepted that Joel Fitzgibbon shot himself in the foot – several times.  So when it all boils down he has only himself to blame for his exit to the backbench.  The first-revealed misdemeanours of not r...

Read More

Barack Obama's speech in Cairo

Just Me has provided me with the link to Barack Obama's speech in Cairo yesterday.  For those wishing to read this important and well-received speech, click the title: Barack Obama’s prepared remarks to Cairo, Egypt  Your comments, as always, will be welcome.

Read More

The media and the PM – is there dissonance?

“[His] answer, as always, is work and persistence.  His schedule of travel and engagements reads like an election itinerary.  Government sources say his advance teams are going flat out.  He never misses an opportunity to grab a headline, giving opinions on everything from Art...

Read More

More on the Fitzgibbon affair, Bolt, and other trivia

The weekend papers have furnished us with yet another episode in the Joel Fitzgibbon affair.   On March 26 the Sydney Morning Herald splashed the headline Defence leaks dirt file on own minister’  The Age and The Canberra Times did similarly.  The story, by Philip Dorling...

Read More

The Rudd essay on the GFC – was he right?

This is a follow up to a piece posted on 7 February Kevin Rudd’s essay on the global financial crisis and another piece posted a month later The Turnbull answer to the Rudd essay. The Monthly, which published the Rudd essay, has published in its May issue The Rudd Essay & the Globa...

Read More

How do you rate our TV and radio journalists?

What was intended to be a two part piece needs another – this is about TV and radio journalists. Some of these are the most acerbic and intimidating interrogators.  They look for and enjoy the gotcha moment, and because they are well known for this propensity, politicians are wary...

Read More

How do you rate our political journalists?

The last piece How should we rate the quality of our political journalists? outlined the criteria that might apply when judging their quality.  This piece reflects on individual journalists.  Your views are invited. First let’s deal with editorials which are a particular prob...

Read More

How should we rate the quality of our political journalists?

Bell-shaped (Gaussian) curves abound in nature and human endeavour, no less among political journalists.  They are scattered along a normal distribution curve in more ways than one.  Their political orientation varies from the extremes of conservatism on the one hand, to extremes of soci...

Read More

The Coalition’s Budget Rap – deficit and debt, deficit and debt

Although it might be hard to conjure up an image of Malcolm Turnbull, Joe Hockey and Helen Coonan doing the Coalition’s Budget Rap, it would not be difficult to imagine the words that would flow from their throats: Deficit and debt, Deficit and debt, Deficit and debt as far as you can see...

Read More

Liberals and Power – The Road Ahead

This book, edited by Peter van Onselen, is a mixture of good articles and several of indifferent quality.  The introduction by the editor does not indicate how the authors were selected, nor whether those selected were given an open assignment to write what they pleased or whether t...

Read More

The curious case of the man who forgot the GFC

He’s a Rhodes Scholar with a monumental brain.  Yet when Malcolm Turnbull rose to speak at the National Press Club this week he seemed to have a memory lapse – he forgot the GFC.  Read what he said and see if you can spot where he acknowledged it and the massive loss of reven...

Read More

Is the GFC a manifestation of chaos?

This piece suggests that the evolution of the global financial crisis is an exemplar of chaos theory.  It begins with a brief outline of chaos theory, which is excerpted from Wikipedia‘s Chaos Theory. The discoverer of chaos was Henri Poincaré in 1890, but Edward Lorenz is ...

Read More

The logic of Joe Hockey

When Kevin Rudd suggested recently that in order to fund increased pension payments and unemployment benefits in the upcoming budget, a contribution to that should be forthcoming from those who are closer to the upper income bracket, Joe Hockey protested loudly that Rudd was playing ‘the pol...

Read More

What has become of the Fitzgibbon affair?

Remember what a hub-hub there was over Joel Fitzgibbon.  First, without any help from Defence Department bureaucracy, he managed to foul up the Department’s pay system, targeting specifically SAS personnel on active duty, arranging for them to receive pay slips that indicated they were ...

Read More

A hopeless Government? Ask the Opposition

Late last year I wrote a rather long piece The curse of adversarial politics which was an update of an article I wrote for Possum Box in July, at the beginning of my blogging efforts.  This morning, as I accessed the Liberal Party website to update a regular service on The Political Sword &nd...

Read More

The arrogance of the media

Have you noticed how uppity the media has been during the boat people tragedy?  The annoyance has been evident when journalists have pressed Government ministers for information about this event.  Laurie Oakes became irritated during his Channel Nine Sunday interview with Julia Gillard.&...

Read More

Kids overboard all over again?

The human suffering that lead to the recent boat people making a run for Australia and the physical and psychological trauma many of them have suffered in the explosion off Ashmore Reef, sadly is now being overshadowed by the politicisation of the event with predictable divisive effects in our c...

Read More

The NBN saga

As with the global financial crisis where a vast amount of uninformed comment was made by economists and journalists on a subject none of them really understood, are we seeing something similar with the national broadband network (NBN) proposal announced by the Government last week? A brief hi...

Read More

Why is Malcolm Turnbull so unpopular?

To borrow a term from Malcolm Turnbull himself, his unpopularity seems to be the result of Turnbull’s Terrible Trifecta.  More of that later. There’s not much need to emphasize Turnbull’s contemporary unpopularity – it’s all over the air waves and the ...

Read More