For earlier items on The Political Sword and TPS Extra at a Glance click here.
Trump is just part of the problem
Ad astra, The Political Sword, 26 October 2016
There are two outcomes of the US presidential election that should horrify us all: Trump wins or Trump loses.
We can see from his words and actions that on the personal front he is an ugly misogynist and a womanizer, yet is disrespectful of so many of the women who have entered his ambit…
The horror of his winning leaves little to the imagination…but while a Trump loss could hardly be worse than a victory, it would be foolish to believe that it would be without trauma at many levels. This piece attempts to tease out the possibilities.
All hail the mighty banks
Ken Wolff, The Political Sword, 23 October 2016
Banks have been in the news recently and there is a clear difference in the approaches of the government and the opposition. While some may suggest that Bill Shorten is being populist in his call for a Royal Commission into the activities of the banks, particularly the ‘big four’, it is clear that Turnbull’s approach of calling them before the parliament’s Economics Committee once a year has been a sham.
Planning - Turnbull’s black hole
Ad astra, The Political Sword, 19 October 2016
Let’s stand back from the daily tumult of federal politics momentarily, hard though it is to ignore, and look into the distance. What do we see? Given that politicians believe their role is to make this nation a better one for us all, where is the evidence of them planning to make it so?
Let’s talk about ‘traditional’ values
2353NM, The Political Sword, 16 October 2016
Donald Trump, in his mind anyway, is the next President of the United States of America. Last week, he was in deeper hot water than usual when a tape of a conversation between Trump and a reporter from Access Hollywood
regarding his sexual exploits with women, made a decade ago, was released. Trump released an apology around midnight on 7 October: “I’ve said some foolish things, but there’s a big difference between the words, and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women.”
The Turnbull endgame – again?
Ad astra, The Political Sword,12 October 2016
It was Karl Marx who said History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.
Malcolm Turnbull gives contemporary credence to these words. Seven years ago, in August 2009, as Malcolm Turnbull’s time as Leader of the Opposition seemed close to its end, I wrote The Turnbull endgame?
Four months later he was gone, replaced by Tony Abbott by just one vote. The leopard has not changed his spots. What was written about him then, applies now. This piece highlights the striking parallels between now and then.
Turnbull – Abbott from a better postcode
2353NM, The Political Sword, 9 October 2016
Assuming the Opposition agrees, there will be a plebiscite on the proposition to allow same sex marriage in Australia in February 2017. The independents in the parliament have (mostly) stated their positions on the matter and the Greens are against the plebiscite but in favour of same sex marriage.
The neo-liberal execution of democracy
Ken Wolff, The Political Sword, 5 October 2016
In my inbox each day I get an e-mail from The Washington Post called The Daily 202. This year it has been, as is to be expected, mostly about the American Presidential primaries and forthcoming election but, in reporting Bernie Sanders’ primary win in West Virginia back on 10 May, it stated the win was not really about ideology but disaffection: “Americans, collectively, are not as angry as watching cable TV would lead you to believe. But many poorer, less-educated folks who have been left behind in the 21st century — the ones who have seen their wages stagnate, their opportunities for upward mobility disappear and their life expectancies shorten — are looking to disrupt a status quo that has not worked for them.”
That’s what Sanders and Trump are both promising to do.
Do politicians make you sick?
Ad astra, The Political Sword
, 2 October 2016
I expect most of you would answer with a resounding YES
. They make us sick when they lie, break promises, assail us with mendacious rhetoric, engage in adversarial behaviour, fail to recognise this nation's problems, seek to blame their opponents for any ills we have, and exhibit incompetence in doing what they are well paid to do. They make us sick, though, in other ways - through their legislative actions. This piece will describe how policies can and do result in illness in individuals and groups in our society.
Are governments ready for the coming economic and social changes?
Ken Wolff, The Political Sword, 28 September 2016
In 1930 John Maynard Keynes predicted widespread technological unemployment ‘due to our discovery of means of economising the use of labour outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for labour’. In the decades since there has been rapidly increasing technological change but employment has generally been increasing, matching population growth, although not without winners and losers. The creation of new jobs often lags behind the pace of loss of jobs and those who have lost jobs are not always the ones who take the new jobs — they are often taken by the new generation.
Who is the culprit?
Ad astra, The Political Sword, 25 September 2016
When you reflect on the dilapidated state of federal politics; when you question how on earth we have become encumbered with so many appalling policies, do you ever ask: 'Why is it so?' I do often. And when I do, one culprit emerges over and again. Who is it?
What is Modern Monetary Theory and will it help?
Ken Wolff, The Political Sword, 21 September 2016
Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is a macroeconomic theory for the current age in which governments have abandoned the gold standard and also floated their currencies. It is ‘macroeconomic’ and ‘monetary’ because many of its conclusions relate to the money supply in an economy. Does it offer scope for a new economic approach recognising people? Can it better assist responses to robotics and computerisation than current economic approaches?
It’s all about me
2353NM, The Political Sword, 18 September 2016
At the risk of earning a Godwin Award in the first sentence, according to those that staffed his office, Hitler was a kind and paternal man. Apparently Goebbels was kind to his family as are no doubt most of the world’s leaders today. However, the same people that make sure they are kind to their staff, helpful for their friends and make sure they have a positive influence in their children’s lives can make the lives of people more distant from their immediate family absolutely horrific.