• Bubble politics
    As we emerge from four years of disastrous Trump politics,
    fervently hoping for a modicum of normality in US politics,
    we find ourselves confronted with a growing phenomenon:
    the desire of many to live in a bubble of their own choice.
  • The Age of Aquarius
    Older folks will remember the musical Hair with its opening song Aquarius:
    ”This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius,
    When the Moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars,
    then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars.
  • The sad joke
    There is an old joke about the boy who lived in Inflatable World who, after going
    on a rampage with a pin, was lying deflated in a bed in the Inflatable Hospital. His
    school principal was sitting beside him and giving him a lecture on ethics and morals;
    ‘your rampage has caused a lot of damage, you’ve let your parents down, you’ve let
    your friends down, you’ve let your school down and you’ve even let yourself down’.
  • Anger
    I might have titled this piece ‘Rage’, but not wishing its thrust to
    be confused with Rage, the all-night music video program broadcast
    on the ABC on Friday nights and Saturdays, I have stuck with the
    less emotive word ‘anger’. You all know what ‘anger’ means.
  • The Hummingbird
    You might remember 2020. It was the year that Australia’s state
    and territory leaders demonstrated who really ran the country.
    At various times during 2020 a number of states and territories
    restricted entry to and movement around their jurisdictions on the
    basis of minimising the transmission of the COVID19 virus.
  • What do you expect from TPS in 2021?
    First, you may be interested to read what I wrote over ten years ago,
    in September 2008, in a piece titled
    Welcome to the Political Sword blog.
    The history of The Political Sword though goes back further.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

Duttonisation – an existential threat to Morrison?

Make no mistake – Dutton’s thirst for power remains unquenched. His conviction that he is ‘the better man’ to be prime minister continues unabated. This piece argues that in pursuit of this lofty goal, he has now consciously embarked on a process best described as ‘Duttonisation’. Let me explain....

Read More

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...

Read More

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 A...

Read More

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 j...

Read More

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’. During the election campaign, that was echoed ...

Read More

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 wer...

Read More

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. Shorten’s ALP had, by cont...

Read More

How? Why?

It’s not just Labor supporters who are asking these questions. Everyone is. The polls are unable to provide an answer. They proved to have no predictive value. Psephologists explain that since pollsters have changed their sampling techniques in the face of changes to communications technology, th...

Read More

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 ‘...

Read More

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....

Read More

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? Yet they do...

Read More

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 b...

Read More

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 offensi...

Read More

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. Three years ago we ...

Read More

Will they ever learn?

Will they ever learn? After watching the first Question Time of the most recent sitting of the House of Representatives, the only plausible answer to that question is a resounding NO. On April 2, parliament resumed after a brief recess to enable the Budget for the next year to be tabled, a necess...

Read More

Beware the ides of March

While Shakespeare may have ‘popularised’ the term, the ‘ides of March’ goes back to Roman times when March was the beginning of the year (giving the excuse for celebration and prayers that the new year would be prosperous) until 55 days were added in 46BC. Two years later ‘dictator for life’ Julius ...

Read More

Nailed it

Unlike the residents of the USA, a lot of whom probably wouldn’t have been able to point to New Zealand on a map three months ago, we shouldn’t have been surprised at the consideration for others demonstrated by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the past few weeks. Ardern has on a number ...

Read More

The tragic toll of hatred

Stan Grant is an outstanding journalist. His capacity to undertake brilliantly forensic analyses and thereby discern meaning within the tumult of contemporary political behaviour sets him apart from most of his colleagues. So good are his political credentials that our PM invited him to enter politi...

Read More

Bovine excrement

Prime Minister Morrison seems to be certain that the next federal election will be in May. Cynics would suggest as Parliament is only sitting for two weeks in April, the plan is to hone their political sales pitch, pork barrel marginal electorates and parachute past or failed LNP politicians and the...

Read More

There is no Planet B

This was written in the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch terror attack where 50 innocent people (at the time of writing) were gunned down by a lone gunman. It was going to be a rant against a number of Australian politicians who use racism and terrorism to further their own objectives. Howeve...

Read More