• Nature abhors a vacuum
    In the past year or so, most of us would have become quite familiar with the group of people
    that seem to front up almost daily to discuss the current state of the COVID19 pandemic in
    each Australian jurisdiction. Usually there are a couple of politicians ably backed up by the
    experts in public health management, a high-ranking commissioned Police Officer, with a
    person live translating the discussion into Auslan for the benefit of those with hearing difficulties.
  • What is revving up the bully boys?
    Have you noticed the cluster of loud-mouthed men
    that has appeared recently on our Melbourne streets,
    fists raised, shouting messages of defiance
    directed at our those in authority?
  • We should be better than this
    In The Guardian’s detailed history of the ‘Tampa affair’ which
    occurred twenty years ago, you will notice a number of similarities
    with the current humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Sadly, you will
    also notice that the response by current Prime Minister Morrison is
    worse than then Prime Minister Howard’s response twenty years ago.
  • Toad of Toad Hall
    This short piece is not intended to be a serious treatise; instead it’s a
    light-hearted appraisal of federal politics. We have had our fill of commentaries
    on the ins and outs of the Canberra scene written by self-confident ‘experts’
    who believe they understand the machinations of the political class.
  • The environmental vandals
    Over the past couple of weeks we’ve looked at some of the less
    savoury aspects of the current Coalition Government, led (for the
    moment) by Scott Morrison. This week, how about we look at the
    environmental record of this government, which reaches back
    to the days when Tony Abbott was the Prime Minister.
  • Protest and perish?
    There have recently been a number of ‘freedom’ rallies across Australia
    where participants seem to be claiming that the current pandemic is
    somewhere between a farce and a ‘deep cover’ operation by unnamed
    authorities to exert control over the mindless minions (that’s the rest of us).

The Political Sword

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Brendan Nelson says leadership is everything - how does Malcolm Turnbull rate?

There has been a lot of talk about Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership in recent weeks, but little about what political leadership means in operational terms.  Brendan Nelson produced a notable list in an article he penned on August 10 in the SMH: The priorities are party, people and platform...

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The Turnbull reply to the latest Rudd essay

This is not a long piece, because there is little worthwhile that can be said about Malcolm Turnbull’s reply Rudd’s debt to burden future generations in the SMH on August 1.  There has been so much else to write about these last few days that Turnbull’s piece has s...

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The Turnbull endgame?

The Australian today abounds with talk of replacing Malcolm Turnbull as Coalition leader.  Dennis Shanahan and Matthew Franklin wrote a piece Desperate Liberals look to replace Turnbull with Robb, and Shanahan has a blog.  It's a loser or the last man standing.  The sixty c...

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Killing him softly with his words

When did you last see a politician knife his leader and hang him out to dry as openly as Peter Costello did live on air on ABC’s Lateline last night?  This morning’s news of the dawn raids on suspected terrorist cells, the OzCar story and the tabling of the Auditor-General&rs...

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Is the latest Rudd essay all spin?

Ross Gittins gives that impression in his piece in The Age on 27 July: 'Tough' talking PM is all spin.  In it he analyses Kevin Rudd’s latest essay The road to recovery that appeared in the 25 July issue of that paper. Exactly what is ‘political spin’?&nbs...

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Living in a bubble of unreality

Reading today’s editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald, Rudderless leader? creates the feeling that there must be another world out there inhabited by a collection of journalists whose perception of reality is in sharp contrast to that of the man in the street. After publishing th...

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The great heath care awakening

Those involved in primary health care will smile wryly as they read the Final Report of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission of June 2009 - A Healthier Future For All Australians released yesterday and peruse the proposed elements for redesigning the health system.  The fi...

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Is the CPRS really a dog?

How many, other than those steeped in environmental science, have a clear idea about what is entailed in the Government’s CPRS?  Ordinary people could be forgiven for feeling that they are flying through thick climate change fog in an ill-defined direction towards an uncertain destinati...

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The Garrett enigma

It’s happened before, but criticism of Peter Garrett, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts has been re-kindled following his approval of mining at the Four Mile uranium mine in South Australia.  In accepting the conclusions of two independent reviews of the likely environ...

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The media versus the politicians

The last two pieces on The Political Sword: Let’s leave it to Kevin and Media flounders over the Hu affair have focussed on the media handling of the Stern Hu affair.  Concluding comments in those pieces pointed to ‘...all the hype, conjecture, misinformation, and ill-conside...

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Let’s leave it to Kevin

What a week of predictions, ponderous opinions, shrill warnings and learned views we have had from Australia’s media about the Stern Hu affair.  Let’s chronicle them, and in the interest of reasonable brevity, let’s confine ourselves mainly to what has appeared in The Austra...

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Media flounders over the Hu affair

Those who seek to understand the intricacies of the Hu affair and its implications for this nation could be excused for being cynical and disappointed at the media’s efforts to inform us.  It has floundered around with little purpose, insight or even native intelligence.  Its cravi...

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Turnbull in a China shop

We’re halfway through the Rudd Government’s first term, but if rumour becomes reality the next election may be just nine months away, in March 2010.  Then electors will have to decide whether to give Kevin Rudd, his ministers and his parliamentary team another term or, assuming no...

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Site upgrade - more one-stop blogsites

The Political Sword has been upgraded with additions to the items under site pages in the right panel.  These include Blog Watch, Sword Watch, Liberal Watch, Nationals Watch and Greens Watch. [more] Blog Watch is a feature that facilitates access to a wide variety of Australian politica...

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Media wars – where does the blogger fit?

There has been much angst exhibited in recent weeks by newspaper executives, editors and journalists about the future of newspapers and the evolution of online news content and opinion.  In his speech to the National Press Club The Future of Journalism on July 1, John Hartigan, CEO of Ne...

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The PM to the media – I have a message for you

Three weeks ago you, the media, took a satirical swipe at me on The Political Sword in The media to the PM – we have a problem.  Let me now return the compliment. You began: “Prime Minister.  Listen carefully.  The media is powerful, very powerful.  Our journa...

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Will the Coalition ever learn?

The Coalition is close to a black hole, and if it doesn’t change course, it will be sucked in.  If it had any doubt about whether its behaviour and that of its leader were being observed by the voters, that should now be dispelled after this week’s polling.  That such a rapid...

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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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