• A home amongst the gumtrees
    A local real estate agent rings me every couple of months asking if I am
    willing to sell my house. So far he's tried the 'look how much you could
    get' strategy, 'the market is moving, you don’t want to miss out’ strategy
    and telling me he could help me buy another house if I did sell; to which my
    response was something like 'and you get two commissions - how does that help me’.
  • Now is not the right time . . .
    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was buried last week with all
    the pomp and ceremony the occasion deserved. Regardless
    of your views on the monarchy, for a person to perform the one
    role for 70 years without a break is an awe-inspiring effort.
  • Pick up the phone
    The Conversation, a news website operated and funded by a number
    of universities, has published a significant number of articles on Prime
    Minister Albanese’s Jobs and Skills Summit. Most of them, as has most
    of the reporting of the ‘summiteers’ work, have been broadly positive.
  • Promises, promises
    The problem with the proposed tax cuts, the Jobs Summit, the emissions reduction
    target or any other policy that Prime Minister Albanese took to the election is
    that it was a promise that was made in the run up to the election. Certainly, the
    world has changed since 2019 and if really expensive tax cuts that benefit the better
    off were ever a good idea, there is even less evidence to suggest they are now.
  • The downside of lower unemployment
    In the middle of the ‘should Morrison go’ or should he stay
    brouhaha a couple of weeks ago, there was some interesting
    news to think about — Australia’s unemployment rate is likely
    to be under 5% for some years to come.
  • They seem to have a plan
    At the beginning of August, Prime Minister Albanese’s ‘preferred prime minister’
    measure according to Newspoll was 61%. While pretty well every new political
    leader enjoys some fair winds and sunshine at the beginning of their term of office,
    Albanese is doing better than most. He seems to be confounding the experts that
    suggested the ‘honeymoon’ with the Australian public was over a month earlier.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

Season’s Greetings

Another year is behind us. It’s been the most torrid since the end of WWII. I don’t need to elaborate. Yet it has not bowed us. The human organism has a vast capacity to adapt and accomodate. While some have complained, most have simply ‘sucked it up’. Can you remember when last we have had to endur...

Read More

The mug punter

When we entered 2020, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was ‘livin’ the dream’. He had narrowly won the 2019 election and after a few months of pushing the tautological fiction that the Australian budget was already in surplus next year, he was kicking back in Hawaii with ‘Jen and the girls’ having a gr...

Read More

Vale 2020

As we exit the year past, what do you consider to be the most significant event of 2020? Among a plethora of extraordinary events, as a doctor, the occurrence of COVID-19 gets my vote. Why? Look at the statistics: At the time of publication, this is the stark situation worldwide: Cas...

Read More

The dangerous toll of entrenched belief

The world is redolent with danger. Even small children know the dangers in their playground: he knows he can fall from the monkey bars; she knows she can be injured by the seesaw if it gyrates unexpectedly. Every bulletin of news reminds us of dangers: on the road, at the seaside, on the ocean, at t...

Read More

The cost of ideology

Given recent events in Australia, you could say the price of political ideology is $1.2Billion, as that is the settlement the Coalition government negotiated to make the ‘robodebt’ class action go away without a court case. Probably more telling is there appears to be nothing for the thousands that ...

Read More

Guiliani

Guiliani You know him well. He’s been in the public eye for decades. Now, he’s Donald Trump’s attorney, caught in the middle of Trump’s futile campaign to wrest the presidency from Joe Biden, the acknowledged and certified winner of the recent election. That he is prepared to join Trump in this ...

Read More

You gotta hit bottom

Sitting on this side of the Pacific, it seems that the USA has chosen a new President after one term. A sitting President who is eligible for reelection has been defeated only 10 times in US history. While the razzle-dazzle and showbiz style of the US election campaigns is ongoing and seems to be ac...

Read More

Trump is a cult leader

Do you sometimes ask yourself how it is that President Trump is able to attract and hold such a devoted collection of admirers, some of whom insist they ‘would die for him’? Are you amazed that they come out on the streets again and again in their thousands to cheer him and rail angrily against thos...

Read More

It's the planet stupid

At the recent full year results release, the ANZ announced it planned to be a business that generated net zero emissions by 2050. This report in The Guardian gives considerable detail on the ANZ’s plan for the future and also discusses Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and Deputy Prime Minister...

Read More

Trumpism

First, let’s examine the meaning of the suffix: ‘ism’. Wikipedia says it means “taking side with" or "imitation of", and is often used in association with philosophies, theories, religions, social and artistic movements, and behaviours. So let’s use that suffix with Trump: Trumpism, although he ...

Read More

How about some honesty

The last weekend in October would have been a pretty horrible time for Victorians. First on Saturday they found out that Mike Brady can sing ‘Up there Cazaly’ without 100,000 of his closest friends around him at the MCG. To add insult to injury, the ‘backing band’ was the Queensland Symphony Orchest...

Read More

A new normal - yeah right

I bought some milk at my local Supermarket yesterday. It cost me $3.59. The checkout operator didn’t ask me about my ability to pay for the milk in comparison to the person in front or behind me as the sale price is based on the ability of Coles to arrange for the milk to be produced and transported...

Read More

Comparisons aren't always valid

In September 2018, soon after the overthrow of Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison gathered his Ministerial troops and set course for Albury on the NSW/Victorian border. His objective was to pay homage to the founder of the Liberal Party, Robert Menzies. Morrison’s ‘heartland’ speech, entitled ‘Until t...

Read More

Dan Andrews stares down the lynch mob

If you detest Dan Andrews and want him gone, stop reading now. What follows will not please you. As a citizen of Victoria I am incensed by the continual attacks on our premier. It’s not surprising that the State Opposition leader, the hapless Michael O’Brien, attacks Andrews in his usual censorio...

Read More

Trust me, I’m a deregulated banker

Those that remember the dim dark distant days of the Global Financial Crisis, or GFC, would be aware that a lot of the financial pain was caused due to a number of financial institutions around the world who for a number of years had been lending large amounts of money to those that couldn’t necessa...

Read More

So, how will you do it better?

In the next 12 to 18 months there are a number of elections coming up across Australia. Presumably, in amongst the cries of ‘you’re on mute’ in the socially distanced meetings called by all the political parties to plan and strategise their marketing, they are trying to work out how to convince you ...

Read More

Define heartless

At the moment, some Premiers and Chief Ministers are being described as heartless, without compassion, cruel and nasty. The descriptions are being applied because of decisions made by the individual Premiers and Chief Ministers or their delegates to contain, to the best of their ability, the spread ...

Read More

I reject the premise

Have you ever noticed that if a number of politicians don’t really want to answer a question, they ‘reject the premise’ or reject the characterisation’ rather than answer it? Current Prime Minister Morrison is a past master of the ‘art’. The implied message is that the question for some reason is e...

Read More

Frydenberg’ s folly

What’s happened to Josh Frydenberg? As many have commented, Frydenberg’s vicious attack on Victoria’s Premier, Dan Andrews, came as a surprise. It’s intensity was extraordinary. Why? Only he would know. We can but surmise. What did you conclude? Here’s my assessment: First, here are his ...

Read More

Now the blame game

Do you, like me, bristle as you hear the political class playing the blame game? Seldom have we been so inundated with such a plethora of reports, inquiries, Royal Commissions and sundry investigations into past blunders. The Ruby Princess episode springs to mind, but there are many others. They ...

Read More