• It’s not dumb luck, is it more sinister
    Australia has been fortunate through the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The infections and deaths due to COVID-19 have been far less
    than others by percentage of population, the economy is apparently
    returning to some form of normal and life is not greatly impacted
    for most Australians on a day-to-day basis.
  • The charade of representative government
    Why do I use the term ‘charade’? Because I believe representative
    government is “an absurd pretence intended to create a pleasant
    or respectable appearance” about the concept of government of
    the people, for the people, by the people.
  • Bring out the dogwhistle
    An unfortunate fact of life in Australian politics since the early 1800s has been
    the racist dogwhistle. Consider the evidence of mass executions of first nations
    peoples that lived in Australia for thousands of years before Dirk Hartog (the
    first European to leave an artefact on the Australian continent in 1616) to the
    ‘White Australia Policy’ and Coalition Prime Minister John Howard’s 2001 election speech
  • The price of arrogance
    It’s all very well for us to say how much we deplore the arrogance of
    our Prime Minister, but as Aussies who live under his ‘rule’ we can’t
    avoid the awkward fact that those who live elsewhere may see us as
    tarred with the same brush! How easy would it be for them to believe
    arrogance is an Australian characteristic? His behaviour taints us all.
  • Déjà vu
    To minimise the pain of reminding you of the shocking destruction
    that is occurring day after day in Gaza City, I have kept this piece
    short. I have found writing it distressing, yet the story needs to be
    told. It is part of our grotesque contemporary reality.
  • Cigarettes, whiskey and electric cars
    Those of a certain age might remember the regular headlines in the 1970s
    and 1980s after the federal budget that screamed ‘Smokes and Beer tax up again’
    There was a double benefit to the government of the day in raising the consumption
    taxes on tobacco and alcohol products. Not only did they increase taxation revenue,

The Political Sword

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The Political Sword 2009

The Political Sword resumes usual activity today.  With the resumption of Federal Parliament tomorrow, there will be plenty of political activity upon which to comment.  The prime focus of this site is Federal politics, the reporting of it, and the comments and opinions expressed i...

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Added features on The Political Sword

I have added two features to Blog Watch – Government Watch and Opposition Watch.  They are located in the right margin under 'site pages'.  Despite the ridicule to which the suffix ‘Watch’ has been subjected by the media (it’s almost as gross as addin...

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Time for hibernation

The last week before Christmas is upon us.  Let’s hope Kevin 24/7 hasn’t morphed into Kevin 24/365, and that for the sake of his health he takes a long break, and a real one, and gives all we political tragics a spell for a few weeks. It’s been a long and frantic year....

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The convoluted politics of climate change

 It started about 18 months ago when Kevin Rudd, with the state premiers, commissioned Ross Garnaut to address climate change.  Yesterday the long-awaited White Paper was launched.  It will form the basis of legislation to be introduced into parliament next year. The reaction ...

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Year end – how do the parties stand?

Kevin Rudd and his Government have had a good year.  The catalogue of achievements is vast, from the symbolic to the substantial, from the carefully considered moves to the emergency measures taken in response to the GFC.  There’s no need to elaborate; the public can see what the G...

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Opposition ship docks for repairs

Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition is steaming slowly into port for a period in dry dock after skirmishes in open waters not far from the coast.  Hopes were high that routine maintenance would be all that was needed, but several recent encounters with the good ship Her Majesty’s Gover...

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The curse of adversarial politics

On the final morning of Federal Parliament for 2008, Kevin Rudd thanked his party members, his staff, and Leader of Government business, Anthony Albanese (Albo), and said nice things about Malcolm Turnbull and Joe Hockey, Leader of Opposition business.  Malcolm Turnbull reciprocated with simi...

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Why does Malcolm Turnbull make so many mistakes?

A man with a background like Malcolm Turnbull shouldn’t make so many mistakes.  An ex-merchant banker, Goldman Sachs manager, businessman, barrister, politician and Opposition Leader should be more perspicacious.  He doesn’t seem to understand what he’s doing. Ear...

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Turnbull’s benchmarks for failure

Dennis Shanahan was the first to use the term ‘benchmark’ in his 27 November piece in The Australian Rudd sails on perilous waters to identify the criteria of success, or failure, of the Rudd Government’s budget strategy according to the economic oracle, Malcolm Turnbull. L...

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The genius in the Opposition

We’ve a pretty smart Government, but what would it be without the guidance of the genius that suffuses the Opposition benches? Ever since the top genius was elected to the position of Opposition Leader, there has been a flood of sage advice flowing from him to the Government on al...

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The ‘deficit’ wedge

In an earlier piece on The Political Sword The emerging Opposition strategy I wrote that one of Malcolm Turnbull’s strategies “...seems to be to try to anticipate Government moves and pre-empt them by stating what should be done, and occasionally what he would do.  The former...

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Rudd’s First Year – What the papers say

The weekend and today’s media have been full of assessments of Kevin Rudd’s and his Government’s first year. First the positive.  Paul Kelly writing in The Weekend Australian 22-23 November begins his piece First among equals with “Kevin Rudd never imagined a yea...

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Blog Watch

This new page points to material posted on political websites, initially in Australia.  It can be accessed by clicking the Blog Watch link in the upper right margin under 'site pages'.  It is provided as a service along the lines Crikey provides Richard Farmer's Breakfast Med...

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The gathering media assault on Rudd-speak

The call for Kevin Rudd to use his speechwriter seems to be gathering momentum.  There have been calls for this from Bob Hawke, Paul Keating’s speech-writer, Don Watson, Bob Ellis and sundry columnists, most recently Samantha Maiden, online political editor for The Australian in a piece...

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The Rudd Report Card one year in

Since the anniversary of the election of the Rudd Government is now upon us, a handful of commentators have already attempted an appraisal of Kevin Rudd’s first year.  Their focus has been more on Rudd than his Government.  The general tenor is that, almost grudgingly, they acknowl...

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Will world leaders do a climate change Nero?

Last week, two young women, concerned about the environment, made the telling comment on TV that those who will make decisions about climate change mitigation will be dead by the time their efforts at mitigation will be felt; they will not have to live with their decisions, good or bad. The ...

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The emerging Opposition strategy

Malcolm Turnbull believes the Coalition can win the next federal election.  To do so he has to reverse the stubbornly persistent opinion polls that show the Coalition is around ten points behind the Government on a two-party preferred basis, and he is now 40 points behind Kevin Rudd as prefer...

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The hazard of uncertainty

For most people uncertainty is an uncomfortable feeling.  Yet we are forced to live with it every day.  The farmer wonders if rain will arrive in time to save his crop.  Many a cancer sufferer lives with the uncertainty of cure or recurrence.   The self-funded retiree endu...

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Barack Obama’s message to Australian politics

Barack Obama began his acceptance speech “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.” &...

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Glenn Milne – the mischievous journalist

If a politician or bureaucrat wants to gain some publicity for a rumour, some gossip, or a little dirt on an opponent, or wants to make a damaging leak or insert an uncomfortable wedge, to whom would he or she go?  High on the list would be Glenn Milne, the mischievous maestro of scuttlebutt ...

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