Beyond infancy

Today is the first birthday of The Political Sword.  Tomorrow it will be beyond infancy.  The first piece on TPS was a welcome message on 13 September 2008, followed the next day by a piece on the hot topic of the time In search of the political Holy Grail – the Rudd Government narrative. [more]

But I started blogging before that.  In June 2008, irritated by the way journalists seemed to borrow phrases, ideas and stories from each other ad nauseam, I wrote a piece Is the media in Australia suffering from groupthink?  Having got my annoyance off my chest, and wondering how I might get it published, I emailed Possum asking where I might send it.  In his reply he indicated that he was thinking of adding to his Possums Pollytics website a section for such pieces and that he would make my piece the first post on what he called The Possum Box.  I am most grateful for the start Possum gave me.  I was surprised to get about 30 comments.  The first two were from Just Me and Janice, who have been regulars ever since.  Thank you both.

Over the next couple of months I sent several pieces to The Possum Box, and got a good response.  Encouraged by this, when my IT professional son-in-law offered me an off-the-shelf blog engine to set up my own blog-site, I grasped it eagerly.  Having had years of experience with a medical website, I felt able to manage the new site which I christened The Political Sword – with the strap-line: For putting politicians and commentators to the verbal sword.

Since then I have posted over 130 pieces.  Many regulars have followed the posts and have made hundreds of thoughtful and at times detailed comments.   Bushfire Bill has been one of the most regular contributors, making comprehensive well-informed comments that have been greatly appreciated by me and other bloggers.  Thank you BB.

May I thank all respondents for their comments, always courteous, thoughtful and informative.  As a result the site has taken on a style of its own which is rather unique.  There have been almost no unpleasant comments, and none of the ranting biased remarks that are commonplace on many blogs run by the newspapers, and in particular blogs run by some way-out journalists.

Looking back through the postings, many have been about Malcolm Turnbull, starting on 19 September, shortly after he became leader, with Will the real Malcolm Turnbull please stand up? followed by The Turnbull Report Card 10 days in, then Malcolm’s at it again.  Next came The genius in the Opposition, Turnbull’s benchmarks for failure, Why does Malcolm Turnbull make so many mistakes?, Opposition ship docks for repairs and What is Malcolm Turnbull up to?  Then there were The Turnbull answer to the Rudd essay, The Turnbull Twist,  Dear Malcolm,  Why is Malcolm Turnbull so unpopular?, The curious case of the man who forgot the GFC, Stop at nothing – Malcolm Turnbull’s fatal flaw?, the heavily satirical piece after the OzCar affair Don’t blame me,Turnbull in a China shop, The Turnbull endgame?, The Turnbull reply to the latest Rudd essay, Brendan Nelson says leadership is everything - how does Malcolm Turnbull rate? and more recently A state of unhealthy denial afflicts the Coalition, The fatal march of the fiscal lemmings and The dark art of opposing The reason for this preoccupation is that Malcolm Turnbull has drawn attention to himself in the worst possible way, and thereby has repeatedly invited comment.  There is little in these pieces that would warrant rewriting in the light of events over the last twelve months.

Links to other sites

To make the site more useful to visitors, some additional features have been added.  Links to these are in the right column under ‘site pages’.  Clicking Blog Watch leads to a page where thirty of the most popular political blog-sites related to federal politics are listed, thirteen of which are updated regularly, many daily.  The idea behind this is to provide a convenient conduit for visitors to most of the commonly visited political blog-sites, including links to many individual items at those sites.

There are also four links to the websites of the four parties, where bulletins are posted regularly by each party: Government Watch, Liberal Watch, Nationals Watch and Greens Watch.

Finally, there is Sword Watch where all postings to The Political Sword are listed in reverse chronological order.  Each is linked to the relevant piece.  There is a brief description of the piece and the date of posting.

I hope visitors have found the site interesting and informative.  I appreciate all the effort put into the comments made by the scores who have chosen to make a contribution.  I have responded as often as I have been able.  I hope you will continue to visit The Political Sword.   Your comments will always be welcome.

Although it is but one among many, collectively I believe such political blog sites contribute to political discourse in this country and may influence some of the mainstream journalists and commentators towards more objective and balanced reporting and expressions of opinion.

To mark this occasion the colours of the site have been changed.


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Acerbic Conehead

13/09/2009AA, congratulations and many happy returns!


14/09/2009Many happy returns Your site is my favourite and I visit every day. Thankyou for your blog and the links you provide YOU MAKE MY DAY.

Possum Comitatus

14/09/2009Happy Birthday! It's amazing how time flies with these things.


14/09/2009Happy birthday and many more to come, whilst I don't have the verbal and depth skills of a BB and many other contributors I hope my sarky bits do not displease. Prior to the 2007 election Possum was a great uplift to us political tragics, when despair set in he was there to show the way. I feel this blog will carry on in the same vein. a sort of Voice in the wilderness 'John the Baptist'. keep up the good work. Bill


14/09/2009A good start, and a brighter future ahead. Thanks for the reading, AA and commenters.


14/09/2009Congrats Ad on a grate blog.

Bushfire Bill

14/09/2009This site wouldn't be worth anything without your excellent posts, AA. I first saw your stuff on Possum and knew immediatley you could write, and that what you had to say was worthwhile reading and thinking about. When I noticed you had your own blog, I became a fan. Nice of you to make that appreciative comment about my contributions, but you are a real writer. I just rave. Best wishes for the next year, and the year after that. BB.


14/09/2009How time flies AA - many happy returns and thank you for all your thought provoking posts over the past year. Like BB I also became a fan of yours when I read your first post on Possum's site. BB don't be modest - your contributions are those of a 'real' writer as well and it seems I am not the only one who has become a fan of yours LOL. BTW I'd love to meet your cat which rules the roost at your place. I've had a number of these feline characters over the years and each of them came to me as strays looking for a good home to run.

Paul of Berwick

14/09/2009Yes, well done. Goes to show, that the hoi polloi appreciate excellence. If TPS wasn't, then it wouldn't be around. Keep up the good work. Paul


14/09/2009Congratulations AA. I loved your first piece on Possum re 'groupthink'. I printed it off and read it often to remind that there is much great comment and opinion to be found elsewhere than the MSM. May Political Sword continue for years to come - it is a welcome haven.


14/09/2009There is a great need, a huge gaping hole, in Australian political reporting, for in -depth, relatively objective, intelligent and informed analysis of the spin/propaganda that is regularly served up to the public disguised as media reporting. And this site has gone part of the way to filling that hole. Long may it prosper and grow. Well done Aa. And you too, BB.

Ad astra reply

14/09/2009Thank you all for your very kind remarks and good wishes. The warmth of your comments is what makes running [i]The Political Sword[/i] such a delight. Your contributions give rise to a charming and informative kaleidoscope of opinion. Quirky comments and the sarky ones to which you refer Bilko, add splendid colour to the site. Using Lyn’s expression, your complimentary comments have ‘made my day’.


14/09/2009Wow, I come for my regular check in with you, AA, and other regulars, and, and, in addition to all of the compliments posted above, add mine for the quality of your analysis and willingness to engage with people who respond to what you've written in an obviously thoughtful manner. Does a lot to set the tone for a blog. Many happy returns, AA.

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14/09/2009monica Thank you. I shall try to continue the fruitful dialogue I’ve enjoyed with the regulars, who add so much vibrancy to the site, and of course to any new visitors who leave a comment.


15/09/2009I turn to this site for a healthy dose of sanity and an intelligible point of view bereft of nitpicking, backstabbing and abusive comment on a number of political blogs. Keep up the good work.

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15/09/2009bilgedigger Thank you. I'll keep trying to be sane and intelligible. I've just posted another piece: [i]Should mainstream journalists be political cheerleaders?[/i]

Sir Ian Crisp

15/09/2009Well done!

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16/09/2009Sir Ian Thank you - much appreciated.


17/09/2009AA, Happy belated birthday. I can remember reading your first post on the Possum Box and thinking yeah, this lad's alright. Now it's a year later and I regularly check out your site. The MSM sticks it's sour teat in my face every time I open my browser, so it's a joy to read your thoughtful and insightful commentary. Thanks. Having said that, I'd still like you to dangle the Sword over Labor a bit more. The Libs can't even do opposition properly, so someone needs to keep the government accountable. The gov needs someone (who isn't a nutter)to yell at them and tell them when they're making mistakes. The Net Filter is a good example - how the hell do they think it will actually work? Anyways, thanks for your good work and looking forward to more posts... cheers Rob ps: congrats also on the distinct lack of snark in the comments too: you seem to attract a higher class of commentor! pps: without turning this into a Bushfire Bill fan page, I gotta say he is one cool dude. He says he "just raves", but I've seen a lot of raving on the net, and BB's stuff is tops. Long may he rave!

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17/09/2009Rob Thank you for your generous remarks. I do look for Government faults and misdemeanours to address on [i]TPS[/i], but find few; maybe that's a reflection of my biases. The one you mention - the Internet filter - is an issue I do not understand. There are trials going on at present but I haven't heard anything about them lately. Parents seem to favour a filtering process that reduces exposure of their children to undesirable material, but avid Internet users are upset about restriction to their access and the consequent slowing of the system. I'll keep an eye out for further information on this matter. I do agree with you comments about Bushfire Bill - his contributions are a valuable part of [i]TPS[/i] and much appreciated by visitors to the site. You're right about the high standard of comments this site attracts, which add so much to each piece. I have never had to delete an undesirable comment. The only deletions are the occasional 'pingbacks', which are meaningless.
I have two politicians and add 17 clowns and 14 chimpanzees; how many clowns are there?