• Is adversarial politics damaging our democracy?
    It was twelve years ago that I wrote ‘Is adversarial politics
    damaging our democracy?’ Some of that piece is reproduced
    below because recent political events demonstrate that its
    messages are as relevant today as they were then.
  • Nationalism really isn't easy
    If you said that someone has money to burn, you mean that
    they have far more money than they need or that they simply
    spend their money on things that you think are unnecessary
    or not socially acceptable.
  • The Trump dilemma
    Don’t get me wrong. Trump is not the dilemma to which I’m referring. His
    behaviour is no longer a quandary. With every word he utters, with every
    tweet, he confirms that his mental state continues to deteriorate to the point
    where commentator after commentator expresses astonishment and alarm at his
    outlandish reactions to the social and political environment in which he finds himself.
  • Information and critical thinking do matter
    When Prime Minister Morrison was advised there was the risk of uncontrolled
    spread of a deadly pandemic on the horizon early this year, he was slightly
    wiser than at Christmas when he left a burning Australia in the ‘capable’
    hands of Deputy Prime Minister and National Party Leader Michael McCormack.
  • Morrison morphs into ‘Strict Father’ mode
    Back in 2013, I wrote a piece with the curious title:
    The myth of political sameness.
    Its purpose was to debunk the commonly held
    view that ‘politicians are all the same’.
  • Double standards
    There has been general praise for the Australian Governments
    (at all levels) and their management of the COVID19 pandemic.
    While the politicians signed off on the decisions, they listened to
    and generally acted on the advice of the state and federal CMOs.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

Why is there still so much anger?

As we enter the Festive Season, we reflect on the year past and the one ahead. It’s a time when Christians celebrate Christmas and other special days, Jewish folk enjoy Hanukkah, Mexicans celebrate the Fiesta of our Lady of Guadalupe, and Swedes celebrate St Lucia Day. The New Year is ushered in as ...

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Let's Dance

Rather than joining those who examine the entrails of what happened in the past 12 months and makes a narrative around the good, the bad and the ugly, how about we raise the tone a tad and look at attitudes and consensus. Wasn’t the last week of Parliament fun? Effectively the coalition government ...

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Oh the irony

One of the production team behind The Political Sword regularly attends a trivia night at a local pub. Recently the host (who runs a company that hosts multiple trivia nights every night of the week — so he’s pretty good at finding obscure facts) made the claim that 49 percent of Australians are eit...

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Five shades of faded blue

How well the ancient Biblical words apply to the Coalition: ”How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle...thou wast slain in thine high places, and the weapons of war perished!” The true-blue Liberal flag, once graced with rich shades of competence, efficiency, endeavour, diligence and ...

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The Culture Wars

The Liberal Party cultural wars are having a detrimental effect on the rest of us. Here are two examples. Without rehashing old news, Australia had a functioning carbon pricing and emissions trading scheme around 5 years ago. It was canned by the Abbott government after mounting the mother of all s...

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The energy road to nowhere

Are you as exasperated and disgusted as I am with the political antics exposed during the renewed debate about energy policy? Are you appalled by our parliamentarians' persistent inability to collaborate in making decisions about how to tackle climate change? These are rhetorical questions. I know t...

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Research for the future

It’s heading into summer, so thoughts turn to Christmas shopping, whose place we’re all going to this Christmas and the sounds of balls being hit by racquets and bats. Yes, it’s tennis and cricket season again. It’s a pretty good bet that the Liberal Party grassroots member surrounded by family an...

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Morrison’s mistakes multiply

We ought not to be surprised at the multiplicity of Scott Morrison’s mistakes, given the lack of preparation he has had for the role of prime minister. Prior to Malcolm Turnbull’s ouster, Morrison was Treasurer and before that, Minister for Immigration. He had never had responsibility for making the...

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Cause and effect

Recently Fairfax media published an article written by Steve Robson, a professor and current President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. After 30 years, he has written about his attempt to kill himself while a young Registrar working in Rockhampton due to (self-diagnosed) dep...

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Is Donald Trump crumbling?

As you witness the increasingly bizarre behaviour of Donald Trump, the President of the United States, the mightiest nation on earth, do you wonder about his mental state? Do you speculate about his stability, his judgement, his reasoning? Recent events, piled on each other, beg the question; ”Is Do...

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Morrison's latest prop

So the Liberal Party has hired a bus as a new toy for PM Scott Morrison. As a special gesture, they have also arranged for the bus to be covered in advertising so no one can mistake who is on the bus. The initial run for the bus is from the Gold Coast to Townsville located on the North Queensland co...

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The march of the demagogues

Are you as unnerved as I am by the rise of demagogues around the world – leaders who gain popularity by exploiting prejudice and ignorance among the people, whipping up passions and shutting down reasoned debate, who overturn established customs of political conduct, or threaten to do so? Commentato...

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Dare Ya

On 21 August, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said I think in the immigration portfolio, you are defined by Nauru and Manus ... I would love to get everybody off there tomorrow. If I could have brought them to Australia in a charter flight overnight I would have. Admittedly this was the ‘ki...

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Shackled by ideology

Can the body politic ever be freed from entrenched beliefs? How many of you despair of our politicians? How many of you fume at the incoherence of the positions they take? How many bristle at their intransigence, their stubbornness, their adherence to outmoded dogma that is no longer supported by...

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The Demtel Man

Those who remember free to air television in the 80s and 90s will remember the advertising for ‘as seen on TV’ products marketed by a company called Demtel. A quick Google search will remind you of the process if you are fortunate enough to have either not lived through the era, only watched Channel...

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Well done Tony – now you’ve destroyed the Coalition

He’s been this way for years. Like a kid playing a violent video game such as Call Of Duty, he has aimed his high-powered rocket at his opponents, forcing them to duck or blowing them to smithereens, destroying them utterly. And then he claps his little hands in delight. Destructiveness has consiste...

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Oh dear – our new PM is not up to the job

We know Scott Morrison has held several portfolios, immigration and treasurer the most important. The electorate might have hoped that these experiences would have endowed him with a modicum of general knowledge about how government works, some feel for how international diplomacy is carried out, so...

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Poor planning causes overcrowding

Population Minister Alan Tudge has suggested that Melbourne and Sydney are experiencing significant pressure from excessive population growth. He’s probably got a point, but his ‘solution’ — forcing immigrants to live in areas with less population pressure for at least five years after permanent res...

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Sailing into irrelevance

The sails of the Sydney Opera House were being used as a billboard for a horse race a few days ago. Regardless of the value of the horse race, or the ethics about using a UNESCO listed landmark for promotion of gambling, there is a problem about the way it was done. According to The Guardian, R...

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What future does PM Morrison guarantee?

We are to face a federal election by May, maybe earlier. Our accidental PM hopes the electorate will then legitimise him as its very own prime minister. The only reason he’s PM now is that he was foisted on us by a gaggle of Liberals hell-bent on replacing Malcolm Turnbull with Peter Dutton via ...

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