• 60% of something
    The Monthly’s politics newsletter recently asked ‘For how long do we
    pretend ”better than the Coalition” equals “good enough”? It’s a damn
    good question. Prior to the election, now Prime Minister Albanese
    launched a plan that would reduce Australia’s 2030 carbon
    emissions by 43% when compared to 2005 levels.
  • Revisionism
    Revisionism is a general term that can be used with both positive
    and negative connotations for any scholarly practice dedicated to
    revising an established position. That is its benign meaning. Another
    is: “A movement in revolutionary Marxian socialism favouring an
    evolutionary rather than a revolutionary spirit”.
  • Exodus
    It feels almost irreligious to use ‘exodus’ to portray the disappearance
    of so many key figures from Australia’s political scene. But it seems to fit.
    What outcome might we anticipate? Yeẓi’at Miẓrayim:  'Departure from Egypt'
    is the founding myth of the Israelites, recounted in the Book of Exodus.
  • A pox on both your houses
    As the hostilities resume on Capital Hill, it is probably time to consider
    some of the ramifications of the May 2022 Federal Election. As discussed
    by Katherine Murphy in The Guardian, the Liberal Party rout in affluent
    suburban areas of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth speaks volumes...
  • Who is it that can’t manage money?
    How many times have you heard the Liberals mouth Labor
    can’t manage money? What though, is the Liberal record?
    Treasurer Jim Chalmers belled the cat when he said:
    “The economy was weaker in the March quarter than was forecast at election time."
  • Morrison exits
    It’s almost surreal that this man, who has been in our face so often
    for what feels like endless years, has disappeared! His whereabouts
    seems to be a mystery. Does anyone know where he’s gone?
    Having gone, what has he left us with?

The Political Sword

Get the inside track on the media and government.

Why is Malcolm Turnbull so unpopular?

To borrow a term from Malcolm Turnbull himself, his unpopularity seems to be the result of Turnbull’s Terrible Trifecta.  More of that later. There’s not much need to emphasize Turnbull’s contemporary unpopularity – it’s all over the air waves and the ...

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Why is our PM so popular?

Another Newspoll today, the Essential Research Report yesterday, Morgan last Friday and ACNielsen last Monday, all give the same message – the Rudd Government is very popular and the PM enjoys high approval and high preferred PM ratings.  Today’s Newspoll has the 2PP back at the F...

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The media scum

No it’s not a misprint for ‘scrum’; I mean ‘scum’.  This piece has been evoked by this morning’s media story in News Limited papers lead by The Daily Telegraph with headlines PM’s jet temper tantrum – Rudd made hostie cry complete with a p...

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The Costello Memoirs

The back cover of the book points to one of the themes that run through The Costello Memoirs: “How did it come to this?  How did a Government that had created such an Age of Prosperity, such a proud and prosperous country, now find itself in the wilderness?”   Written ni...

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The China intrigue

Whatever it was that precipitated the linking of Joel Fitzgibbon to Helen Liu, it has created a firestorm of ‘we need to watch China’ sentiment.  In just two of today's newspapers, Fairfax’s Melbourne Age, and Murdoch’s The Australian, there were about a dozen arti...

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The ‘toxic bore’ stakes

Tony Abbott knows that perception is everything in politics.  So he has embarked on a campaign to label Kevin Rudd a ‘bore’, and just too add a splash of colour, no matter how meaningless, he adds the prefix ‘toxic’.  Would he have ever selected such an adjective ...

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Dear Malcolm

Now that the tumultuous last week of parliamentary sitting is behind you, I suppose it’s a time for reflection.  Time for you to ask: ‘How am I doing?’  Time to check the compass, time to contemplate how to achieve better outcomes – unless of course you’re q...

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The power of one

Steve Fielding has one vote, which he has the right to exercise, although he could hardly claim to ‘represent’ Victorians, having garnered less than 2% of the Senate vote.  Yesterday saw him exercise that vote against the alcopops legislation, thereby sinking it by one v...

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The Turnbull Twist

Asked by a viewer last Sunday on Channel Ten’s Meet The Press why the Government and the Opposition could not work together collaboratively to manage the nation’s response to the GFC, Agriculture Minister Tony Burke responded by pointing out that “Mr Turnbull changes his position...

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Silly questions

Media people yearn for the scoop, the breaking story they get to first.  They dream of being ahead of the pack, of upstaging their competitors.  They pursue their dreams every day.  But today’s politicians watch every word they utter, fearful of saying something that will come...

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Has the Costello comeback begun?

The reappearance of Peter Costello over recent weeks has heightened speculation that he will soon take a run at the leadership.  Rumours filtered out today that he now has the numbers in the Liberal party room to roll Malcolm Turnbull if it came to a challenge. As asserted in an earlier...

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The Turnbull answer to the Rudd essay

In an article in The Weekend Australian of 7-8 March titled PM's cheap money shot Malcolm Turnbull responds to Kevin Rudd’s essay in The Monthly, The Global Financial Crisis – (first 1500 words of the Rudd essay here).  Turnbull’s piece is worth reading as it gives ...

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The Costello enigma

Aspiration to the highest office in the land is the ambition of most senior politicians.  So after so many years coveting that position, it came as a bolt from the blue when Peter Costello declined leadership after it was offered on a plate right after the 2007 election.  A role outside ...

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Who do you want at the helm?

Metaphors abound around the global financial crisis.  The Government says we’re facing a global tsunami, and we can’t swim against that sort of tide.  We’re in a ship in stormy waters battling the elements.  In the wake of Victoria’s bushfires, it’s sur...

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Dangerous and dishonest predictions

So much of life is predicated on a capacity to predict.  We want to know what the weather is predicted to be tomorrow, this week, next week.  We want our doctor to predict the likely progression of our illnesses and the effect of treatment.  Investors would like to know what the sto...

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What makes good online journalism?

Recently Mark Bahnisch of blogsite Larvatus Prodeo said he "...would be interested in what LP folks think makes an excellent piece of online writing in journalistic form...a set of criteria distinctive to feature writing or reportage produced specifically for the online medium rather than print...

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Mummy, I’m bored

Like kids at the end of the school holidays, some of our journalists are bored stiff.  They want some excitement to make their dull life a little more bearable.  The Press Gallery sits in Parliament, hangs around the precinct looking for doorstops, dwelling on the occasional press confer...

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The Turnbull ETS wild card

 This week’s Newspoll must be a worry for the Coalition, showing as it does the same 2PP of 58/42 as the poll in early February.  Since that poll the Opposition has made a display of what it believed was economic responsibility by opposing the fiscal stimulus package, a move it hop...

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Malcolm Turnbull’s intelligence

There seems to be little disagreement, even amongst his detractors, that Malcolm Turnbull is highly intelligent.  It almost goes without saying. Yet how can someone with his purported intelligence do such dumb things all through last week?  Is it because intelligence is not a homog...

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Advice for The Opposition

 On Friday last Possum Comitatus on his Crikey site Pollytics in a piece titled Unleash Your Inner Liberal Strategist asked readers to devise a Liberal Party strategy to become electorally competitive again.  So far 38 have commented.  Here was my contribution, minimally modified, [...

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