‘Melancholy’ is an old fashioned word derived from medieval medicine; it literally means ‘black bile’, an excess of which was believed to cause depression. ‘Depressed’, which now carries a specific taxonomic meaning, seems to be an inappropriate word to ch... Read More
It was just last Tuesday, 14 October, when Malcolm Turnbull announced the Coalition’s willing bipartisan support for the Government’s $10.4 billion package to stimulate Australia’s slowing economy. In a doorstop, he and his deputy added that the Coalition would not quibble ... Read More
After months of hearing and reading the “all talk no action” mantra, it would be too much to now expect the reverse after the announcement yesterday of the $10 billion ‘boost to the economy’. Some journalists got close. In today’s issue of The Australian P... Read More
In several pieces on The Political Sword it has been argued that Malcolm Turnbull is at his best when he’s advocating ideas and actions in which he believes, but when he’s required to promote that in which he does not have his heart, he flounders and is unconvincing. Over the las... Read More
This piece is prompted by two recent episodes where the PM was interviewed in a manner that could only be described as aggressive, if not downright rude.
We know that politicians enjoy lowly status in the respectability stakes. Broken promises, speaking with a forked tongue and partisa... Read More
Watching Andrew Bolt on ABC TV’s Insiders yesterday, I wondered when last he was subjected to the same critical judgment to which he so eagerly subjects others. This prompted the idea for a series on The Political Sword on how we perceive our political journalists, with Bolt as first under t... Read More
Spin doctors love slogans. Their focus groups test them for efficacy. They launch them, repeat them incessantly until their use-by date, then go onto the next. They know the corrosive effect the negative ones can have on those to whom they’re applied. The media too lo... Read More
Isn’t it curious that the conservative side of politics, the free-marketeers, are now at loggerheads with the banks. All the more so with a leader who is an ex-merchant banker.
It was the previous Treasurer who defended so fiercely the independence of the Reserve Bank, and indeed... Read More
It’s almost a year since John Howard parted the scene, but his mantra “Interest rates will always be lower under the Coalition” still rings in our ears. It was powerful, memorable and effective, except at the last election, when so many of the people stopped believing it, o... Read More
This morning on ABC 774 radio, Kathy Bedford, a temporary morning announcer, raised the matter of a brutal assault on Dr Mukesh Haikerwell, past President of the AMA, that resulted in his being admitted to the Western General Hospital in suburban Melbourne for ‘brain surgery’. Fo... Read More
When Brendon Nelson unexpectedly pipped Malcolm Turnbull for leadership of the Coalition last year, even although the Liberal convention is to allow the Deputy Leader to choose a portfolio, it was expected that Nelson would offer Turnbull the post of Shadow Treasurer. That’s what happe... Read More
It might surprise those who believe the media, particularly News Limited, is anti-Government and pro-Coalition, that some Coalition supporters believe the media is pro-Government and not nearly hard enough on Kevin Rudd and his ministers. Perspective governs perception. For those who b... Read More
When the Prime Minister announced his recent trip to the US, the ‘cringe dwellers’ emerged in numbers. First the Opposition coined what it thought were cute descriptors: ‘Kevin 747’ and ‘Prime Tourist’, which apart from giving it some amusement, exposed an... Read More
10 days ago Malcolm Turnbull became Leader of the Opposition at a time of intense political activity and global financial turmoil. This is one view of how he’s travelling.
As argued in another post: Will the real Malcolm Turnbull please stand up? Turnbull’s performance va... Read More
How do you react to journalists who quote ‘informed sources’ or ‘senior public servants’ or ‘experienced politicians’ but never name them? How much credence do you place on such anonymous sources? How reliable do you believe this ‘reporting&rsq... Read More
Just when it was hoped that a change of leader might bring a less opportunistic approach to opposition than did Brendan Nelson, Malcolm Turnbull outdoes his predecessor by turning up the heat on Kevin Rudd about his visit to the US.
We all know why Rudd is going – to speak to the... Read More
Political commentators thrive on controversy, upheaval, changing fortunes, changing circumstances. They particularly enjoy a contest between political parties, between opposing leaders and between ministers and their counterparts, and the more bloodshed the better. They are like specta... Read More
The Liberal Party is still mourning its loss of Government. As pointed out by Maxine McKew on the ABC TV’s Q&A last Thursday, Peter Costello’s Memoirs, written well after the loss, express surprise that a Government that had done so much, which had governed Australia during s... Read More
When Malcolm Turnbull first entered parliament he cut an impressive figure. Good looking, personable, articulate, experienced, knowledgeable, well informed, and credible. His utterances exuded common sense. He said what he thought, and it sounded convincing. He came with a ... Read More
How many times have we heard that ‘being Opposition Leader is the hardest job in politics’? Almost since the day Brendan Nelson was elected we have heard this mantra from Coalition members, increasingly in recent months as Nelson’s performance failed to improve. There... Read More