Ministry reshuffle built on paranoia not progress

Abbott’s reshuffle may superficially appear to be a reset in preparation for 2015, but in reality it is more about the PM’s paranoia and tenuous leadership than it is about his Government’s rejuvenation.

Weekly column for The Drum.

MYEFO: why we should care

Having fulfilled its obligation to produce the MYEFO, and reached a shared understanding with economic and other commentators about the state of the budget, the Government must now set about the task of crafting its second budget.

Weekly column for The Hoopla.

Tribute to a Labor warrior

Whether it has been solving the mystery of the missing parliament house cafeteria pool tables in Senate Estimates, giving the Coalition grief in Parliament, or working tirelessly to rid his own party of the scourge of corruption, Faulkner has earned the respect of many political operators and observers.

Post for The Hoopla.

Please. Not childcare too.

Through hubris and a seeming inability to get the politics right on pretty much anything, Abbott has managed to destroy any chance of his PPL policy ever seeing the light of day. Even more concerning is that the PM’s poor political instincts may also hinder the development of future childcare policy.

Post for The Hoopla.

Here’s your lump of coal – Merry Xmas

It’s the political equivalent of opening a Christmas gift only to find a lump of coal. That’s how Australian voters feel at the end of this first full year of the Abbott Government.

Post for The Hoopla.

Are pollies’ kids fair game in political journalism?

mars-explorer-barbieIt’s time to end the use of kids as political props, and for campaign strategists to concede the value of doing so is outweighed by the additional burden it places on politicians’ families.

Column for The Drum.

Sorry Clive, honeymoon’s over

With any luck, the unedifying display of Clive Palmer attempting to bully journalists at the National Press Club yesterday will end his year-long honeymoon with the Canberra press gallery.

Weekly column for The Hoopla (3 free reads a month).

Chief of staff job too big for one person

It may be true, as one columnist noted on the weekend, that it was Peta Credlin who drew up Abbott’s successful strategy in opposition, and that the perception in “the prime minister’s office” right now is that a panicking party has forgotten “who put it in power”. But a great strategist in opposition does not necessarily make a competent Chief of Staff in government, or one that is able to adequately perform all of its functions.

Weekly column for The Drum.

Dragon’s diary: Tragedy and farce

Joosep Martinson/Getty Images

Joosep Martinson/Getty Images

I won’t add my thoughts to the likely millions of condolences expressed at the sudden death of Phillip Hughes. Mainly because I’d never heard of him until this week as I don’t follow cricket.

That’s not to say Hughes’ death didn’t affect me. I was reminded of my own fragile mortality, gave thanks for the health and safety of those I love, and also looked afresh at the week’s political antics.

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Jacqui Lambie has drawn out Clive Palmer’s bullying and diminished his power

The-Guardian-logoClive Palmer’s bullying attempts to bring his rogue senator into line will sit uncomfortably with voters who prefer to see him as a benevolent maverick.

Post for Guardian Australia.

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