• 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.

Don’t blame me

Open letter to the people of Australia There have been a lot of nasty things said about me this last week, so unjust, so scurrilous.  You’d expect the Government to indulge in gutter politics, they’re Labor after all, but for journalists and even some of my Coalition colleag...

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Diagnosing cronyism

Cronyism refers to giving appointments of authority on the basis of friendship, or in this country mateship, regardless of qualifications, rather than through the practice and principles of meritocracy.  So to accuse Labor, and in particular Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan of cronyism over the OzCa...

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Stop at nothing – Malcolm Turnbull’s fatal flaw?

The events of the week have given new significance to the title of Annabelle Crabb’s Quarterly Essay about the ‘Life and Adventures of Malcolm Turnbull’ – Stop at Nothing.  This piece is to draw comparisons between Turnbull’s past behaviour and that which he has ...

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The old rusty ute

‘Where there’s smoke there’s fire’ might have been more apt as a title, but no one will mistake what ‘The old rusty ute’ is about.  But as we know, it’s not really about the ute at all.  Those who know the story well might wish to skip to the ana...

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The Costello exit?

Given his past history, it might not be unreasonable to query whether this is really his exit.  There is still eighteen months to go, so unless he becomes mute until the next election, or retires soon and brings on a by-election, we will hear more from him.  There have been several artic...

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The media to the PM – we have a problem

Prime Minister.  Listen carefully.  The media is powerful, very powerful.  Our journalists write newspaper columns that lots of people read; they create news bulletins and current affairs programmes that many people hear and see; they conduct talkback to which countless people liste...

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The sauce bottle saga

Can you believe it?  Here we are having public discourse about Kevin Rudd’s use of the phrase ‘fair shake of the sauce bottle’ – used three times in the one interview!!!! First there is an academic argument about what the phrase really is.  Is it ‘fair...

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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...

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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...

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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.

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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 ...

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