• Get out of the gutter
    You may not have heard of Mike Rinder. A Scientologist for most
    of his life, at the age of 52 he walked out, and as a result lost his
    family, friends, employment and pretty well everything else in his life.
    RInder has written a book on his time in Scientology, runs a
    website that questions Scientology beliefs and practices...
  • Was Amtrak Joe derailed?
    Prior to becoming President, Joe Biden was a US Senator for around
    36 years. He is known as Amtrak Joe as he routinely took the daily 90
    minute each way train trip (on the USA’s national passenger train network
    - Amtrak) from his home in Delaware to Washington DC to represent his state.
  • If employers can measure well-being...
    Last September, you might have seen Qantas CEO Alan Joyce
    received a pay increase of $278,000 per annum. It seems that Joyce
    has met or exceeded the performance goals set by his employers and
    contractually has earned the reward. It does, however, raise a larger question.
  • Coming back to haunt you
    In his recent Budget reply speech, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton
    laboured (pun intended) on the increasingly difficult to achieve promise by
    Prime Minister Albanese that power bills will be $275 less in 2025. While the
    government is claiming the modelling done in 2021 supports the accuracy of
    the promise, 2021 modelling doesn’t account for changes in circumstances since then.
  • The good economic units
    Wellbeing and politics have collided in the past couple of weeks.
    Federal Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers has started a conversation about
    measuring the ‘wellbeing’ of the nation as a result of the measures in the
    budget. The Opposition, as you would expect, has poured scorn on the idea.
  • Do you want to smile or frown
    Recently, in what could be described as an epic fail in recruiting
    practices, the Essendon Football Club hired and accepted the
    resignation of the same CEO within a day. The issue was that the
    CEO was also the Chairman of ‘City on the Hill’, a church that seems
    to promote some conservative views on the way people live their lives.

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

The Costello exit?

Given his past history, it might not be unreasonable to query whether this is really his exit.  There is still eighteen months to go, so unless he becomes mute until the next election, or retires soon and brings on a by-election, we will hear more from him.  There have been several artic...

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The media to the PM – we have a problem

Prime Minister.  Listen carefully.  The media is powerful, very powerful.  Our journalists write newspaper columns that lots of people read; they create news bulletins and current affairs programmes that many people hear and see; they conduct talkback to which countless people liste...

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The sauce bottle saga

Can you believe it?  Here we are having public discourse about Kevin Rudd’s use of the phrase ‘fair shake of the sauce bottle’ – used three times in the one interview!!!! First there is an academic argument about what the phrase really is.  Is it ‘fair...

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Have we just experienced a crucial week politically?

Last week was one of the most politically eventful since the election of the Rudd Government.  But how crucial was it to the future of the Government and the Opposition?  The National Accounts for the March Quarter showed a seasonally adjusted growth in GDP of 0.4%, avoiding two qu...

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The Fitzgibbon affair – endgame?

They got their man.  But who are ‘they’? First it must be accepted that Joel Fitzgibbon shot himself in the foot – several times.  So when it all boils down he has only himself to blame for his exit to the backbench.  The first-revealed misdemeanours of not r...

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Barack Obama's speech in Cairo

Just Me has provided me with the link to Barack Obama's speech in Cairo yesterday.  For those wishing to read this important and well-received speech, click the title: Barack Obama’s prepared remarks to Cairo, Egypt  Your comments, as always, will be welcome.

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The media and the PM – is there dissonance?

“[His] answer, as always, is work and persistence.  His schedule of travel and engagements reads like an election itinerary.  Government sources say his advance teams are going flat out.  He never misses an opportunity to grab a headline, giving opinions on everything from Art...

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More on the Fitzgibbon affair, Bolt, and other trivia

The weekend papers have furnished us with yet another episode in the Joel Fitzgibbon affair.   On March 26 the Sydney Morning Herald splashed the headline Defence leaks dirt file on own minister’  The Age and The Canberra Times did similarly.  The story, by Philip Dorling...

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The Rudd essay on the GFC – was he right?

This is a follow up to a piece posted on 7 February Kevin Rudd’s essay on the global financial crisis and another piece posted a month later The Turnbull answer to the Rudd essay. The Monthly, which published the Rudd essay, has published in its May issue The Rudd Essay & the Globa...

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How do you rate our TV and radio journalists?

What was intended to be a two part piece needs another – this is about TV and radio journalists. Some of these are the most acerbic and intimidating interrogators.  They look for and enjoy the gotcha moment, and because they are well known for this propensity, politicians are wary...

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How do you rate our political journalists?

The last piece How should we rate the quality of our political journalists? outlined the criteria that might apply when judging their quality.  This piece reflects on individual journalists.  Your views are invited. First let’s deal with editorials which are a particular prob...

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How should we rate the quality of our political journalists?

Bell-shaped (Gaussian) curves abound in nature and human endeavour, no less among political journalists.  They are scattered along a normal distribution curve in more ways than one.  Their political orientation varies from the extremes of conservatism on the one hand, to extremes of soci...

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The Coalition’s Budget Rap – deficit and debt, deficit and debt

Although it might be hard to conjure up an image of Malcolm Turnbull, Joe Hockey and Helen Coonan doing the Coalition’s Budget Rap, it would not be difficult to imagine the words that would flow from their throats: Deficit and debt, Deficit and debt, Deficit and debt as far as you can see...

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Liberals and Power – The Road Ahead

This book, edited by Peter van Onselen, is a mixture of good articles and several of indifferent quality.  The introduction by the editor does not indicate how the authors were selected, nor whether those selected were given an open assignment to write what they pleased or whether t...

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The curious case of the man who forgot the GFC

He’s a Rhodes Scholar with a monumental brain.  Yet when Malcolm Turnbull rose to speak at the National Press Club this week he seemed to have a memory lapse – he forgot the GFC.  Read what he said and see if you can spot where he acknowledged it and the massive loss of reven...

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Is the GFC a manifestation of chaos?

This piece suggests that the evolution of the global financial crisis is an exemplar of chaos theory.  It begins with a brief outline of chaos theory, which is excerpted from Wikipedia‘s Chaos Theory. The discoverer of chaos was Henri Poincaré in 1890, but Edward Lorenz is ...

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The logic of Joe Hockey

When Kevin Rudd suggested recently that in order to fund increased pension payments and unemployment benefits in the upcoming budget, a contribution to that should be forthcoming from those who are closer to the upper income bracket, Joe Hockey protested loudly that Rudd was playing ‘the pol...

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What has become of the Fitzgibbon affair?

Remember what a hub-hub there was over Joel Fitzgibbon.  First, without any help from Defence Department bureaucracy, he managed to foul up the Department’s pay system, targeting specifically SAS personnel on active duty, arranging for them to receive pay slips that indicated they were ...

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A hopeless Government? Ask the Opposition

Late last year I wrote a rather long piece The curse of adversarial politics which was an update of an article I wrote for Possum Box in July, at the beginning of my blogging efforts.  This morning, as I accessed the Liberal Party website to update a regular service on The Political Sword &nd...

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The arrogance of the media

Have you noticed how uppity the media has been during the boat people tragedy?  The annoyance has been evident when journalists have pressed Government ministers for information about this event.  Laurie Oakes became irritated during his Channel Nine Sunday interview with Julia Gillard.&...

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