• A return to good manners
    The ABC’s Virginia Trioli writes a ‘weekend read’ which is emailed out most Saturday
    mornings. A few weeks ago, there was the story about 'a bakery of the kind of layered,
    puffed, frosted, creamy delights that you'd usually only see on the table of your just-baptised
    cousin.' that has been trading for eleven years, earning a wonderful reputation for its
    products. Nat, the owner, had even being invited to be a guest on Masterchef.
  • Whatever it takes
    Some years ago, a plumber was telling me when they came back from the local
    pie shop with lunch to that day’s worksite, they heard someone inside. The
    plumber and his trades assistant were the only people scheduled to be on
    site that day, so they split up, covered both entrances to the building and discovered
    someone removing the copper pipe the plumber had spent the morning installing.
  • The real opposition
    Just as the government is trying to find its feet at times, the opposition Coalition is also in
    the same boat. The recent claims of ‘Airbus Albo’ made by the opposition along with their
    friends on ‘Sky after dark’ really haven’t jelled as an attack line when the government’s response,
    apparently backed up by the leaders of foreign nations, is they are attempting to undo the
    decade of neglect to this country’s foreign relationships by the Coalition when they were in power.
  • Avoiding the lunatic fringe
    The Australian political system is far from perfect. We have made an
    art form out of humiliation and ill treatment of refugees that choose to
    come to Australia. We have sat on our hands for over a decade and
    chosen to have an argument about emissions reduction while observing
    that we seem to be having more ‘one off’ climatic events than ever.
  • Privatise the Profits
    Despite concerns, there were no electricity shortages — load shedding — on
    Australia’s east coast during May or June. The outcome was managed by Australia’s
    Australian Electricity Market Operator (AEMO), the body responsible for maintaining
    the apparent delicate balance between supply and demand in a network that doesn’t
    have enough off-line storage to keep any surplus electricity produced until needed.
  • Another way of doing politics
    Are you are weary of contemporary politics as I am? Weary of the continual
    ‘left’ versus ‘right’ tussle? Weary of its sameness, day after boring day? Why
    is there always such a stark difference of opinion between those who seek to
    further enrich, to further advantage those who already have an abundance
    of this world’s bounty, and those who desire a more even distribution?

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

What were you expecting - fireworks?

I was just watching some vintage Paul Keating in full rhetorical flight the other day as I was recuperating and contemplating the ramifications of Wayne Swan's Banking Package, released in early December. Which seems eons ago when you've been to Hell and back, as I have been since then. And it o...

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What does Tony Abbott stand for?

As a political exercise, why not begin by jotting down what you are convinced Tony Abbott stands for? It may not take you long. Don’t feel inadequate if you can muster no more than ‘end the waste, pay back debt, stop new taxes and stop the boats’. But wait, there’s a change i...

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They huffed and they puffed, and they haven’t blown the NBN down…yet

  The above image says it all, really, about the NBN story thus far. There's Big Bad Tony Abbott outside the solid brick house that is the NBN edifice. He, and the 'Three Little Wolves', Malcolm Turnbull, Barnaby Joyce, and Andrew Robb (I've noticed that Joe Hockey has been strangely muted i...

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Is Australia becoming ungovernable?

As we approach the end of a tumultuous year in federal and state politics and face no let-up in 2011, and consequent upon the arrival of the ‘hung parliament’ in Canberra, the question that demands an answer is how can this country be governed given the attitudes that now exist among ...

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What does Julia Gillard stand for?

Here we go again. It doesn’t seem all that long ago that the same question was being asked about Kevin Rudd. It seems this type of question occurs cyclically when the punditry becomes bored with the pace of political activity. But what does the question mean? There are several journalists who ...

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Deficit Hawks and Spending Doves

The preceding cartoon got me to thinking about the 'Deficit Hawks' in our own country, such as the conservative economist, Warwick McKibbin, and, of course, the squawking 'Debt & Deficit' Hawks in the Opposition, (dis)ably led by Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb. For a nanosecond, when ...

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How lies, deception, slogans and mantras kill the truth

The concept of ‘truth’ has exercised the minds of philosophers for centuries. Several theories of truth have been propounded, but the one that likely corresponds most closely with common understanding is what is termed ‘correspondence theory’. It says: “true beliefs an...

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What do you think of Rupert Murdoch’s power and influence?

The newly developed Australian Blog Sites, created to give bloggers ‘a sense of unity’, lists contemporary political blog sites, at last count over fifty of them, that visitors to the site can access. This attempt to give those of us who operate in the Fifth Estate a feeling that we are ...

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The politics of simplistic populism

'Populism'. It's a word we've been hearing a lot about the place lately. Of course, it's uttered, generally, with a large side order of derision, as if it's the basest form of politics. However, is it really? Or is it just a condemnation uttered by the jealous, who wish they could be as popular and...

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Why are we here on The Political Sword?

What are we hoping to achieve by contributing here? Are we having any impact? Does our dialogue make any difference? As a group of political bloggers we feel we have something to say about the state of politics in this nation. The Political Sword, which has n o allegiance to any party or...

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Of Grassroots and AstroTurf

Professor Skeleton, here. Today I'd like to explain to you the concepts behind the practice of AstroTurfing. You'll find, if you just look hard enough around you these days, in the political and public sphere, that an awful lot of AstroTurf is springing up about the place. What is this 'AstroTurf' o...

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Does Labor fight too 'clean'?

Recall a bar fight in an old Western movie. The goodies walk into a bar for a drink and are confronted by a mob of sinister-looking baddies who resent the invasion of their space and soon make it clear they are up for a no-holds bare-knuckle brawl where anything goes. No Marquess of Queensberry rule...

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We don’t know the meaning of ‘Wrong’!

Indefatigable, relentless positivism and negativism and a strict adherence to the Murdoch corporate mantra, "We don't know the meaning of 'Wrong'!" That's what amazes me about the Coalition and Conservative politicians in general, both here and around the world, and conse...

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Grog, do come back – we need you

We at The Political Sword understand how affronted you must have felt when News Limited’s hit-man James Massola ‘outed’ you as Greg Jericho, a public servant working in the film area of the Office for the Arts of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra. He knew...

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The NBN debate – a clutter of misinformation

Why is it that important debates around complex public policy are so contaminated by misinformation, so uninformed by accurate and complete information? At the charitable end of the spectrum it is because few if any have all the information, fewer understand it if they do, and even fewer are able ...

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The Political Theatre of the Absurd

  Theatre of the Absurd: A form of drama that emphasises the absurdity of human existence by employing disjointed, repetitious, and meaningless dialogue, purposeless and confusing situations, and plots that lack realistic or logical development. That was the bizarre impression tha...

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Are political labels useless?

Learned dissertations on politics use classical terminology to identify particular political positions. Terms like ‘conservative’, ‘liberal’, small ‘l’ liberal, ‘economic liberalism’, ‘economic conservatism’, ‘political liberalism&r...

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The Coalition bouncing like a dead cat

It's not something that anyone with a beating heart and a love of politics in the 21st century does voluntarily, but when it is forced upon you, boy is it instructive. What am I talking about? Being abruptly disconnected from the Internet, and being flung back into the 'old paradig...

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An open letter to the Leader of the Opposition

Mr Abbott, we expect that you have mixed feelings about the outcome of the election. To get as close as you did to winning is cause for elation and congratulation, emotions echoed in the media, where many considered you unelectable six months ago. Yet the countervailing emotion must be intense fru...

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An open letter to the Prime Minister

On behalf of most who comment on this blog site, congratulations Ms Gillard on the re-election of the Labor Government and of yourself as Prime Minister. Those who have supported Labor through its first term and who have admired the good work it has done, are relieved that it has another term to com...

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