We don’t have to go any further than the ubiquitous fluro vest for confirmation that image is as important to Tony Abbott’s election prospects as it is to Julia Gillard’s. The Opposition Leader’s man-of-the-people persona is as strategically fabricated as Julia Gillard’s portrayal of the strong, compassionate protector. On Monday night, in the first instalment of Lateline’s feature […]

Image: it’s politics’ dirty little secret. Despite protestations that our voting decisions are driven by parties’ policies, the truth is our choice is significantly influenced by the image our political leaders project. We don’t like to admit we’re that superficial, that we could choose a government on the colour of a man’s tie or the […]

I’ve written before that Twitter has become an unexpected school of politics, providing a unique forum for people with less knowledge of our civic processes to learn from those with more. When those discussions are taking place, Twitter is vibrant and all-embracing democracy at its best. Well, Wednesday night was NOT one of those times. […]

Here’s my latest at AusVotes 2013… Modern journalism is impoverished by the anachronistic need to be first. Once upon a time, in the pre-internet days of the mechanical printing press and morning edition newspapers, there was real value in getting a story first. A scoop, leak or exclusive wasn’t just about journalistic cachet, it was […]

Here’s my latest post for the AusVotes 2013 federal election blog… The most significant thing that emerged from the mea culpas and post mortems that littered the coup-that-wasn’t battlefield was the notion that journalists are willing to be made patsys. What other explanation can there be for the role the media played in the Rudd camp’s most […]

You might recall I said in my rant about the #AshbyInquiryNow campaign that: “there is much that is just plain wrong in the Slipper/Ashby saga: the Coalition turned a blind eye for many years to Slipper’s suspected abuse of entitlements; the Government chose him as Speaker despite similar knowledge; Ashby deceived and manipulated, giving little […]

I’ve written before about the Canberra Press Gallery’s changes of heart when it comes to Tony Abbott. Back in October last year, I pondered whether the tide was beginning to turn when a slew of serious journalists simultaneously started to question the ongoing viability of the Opposition Leader’s negativity and policy free zone. While Abbott’s […]

Before I get to the substance of this post, I’d like to provide some context. I’m a former Liberal staffer. The last time I was employed as a political staffer was in 1993, and I’ve never worked for the Liberal Party since, nor am I member of any party. I do not vote, and have […]

On two recent occasions I’ve actively supported the limitation of someone’s freedom of speech. I joined the campaign to shame advertisers on Alan Jones’ radio program to withdraw their support. And I rallied people on Twitter to lodge complaints against a pro-ana Facebook page. Initially, neither action sat particularly comfortably with me. While I’m not […]

It’s probably not cool to blog about a book that mentions you, but I’m going to do it anyway because the release of Greg Jericho’s book this week has been excitedly anticipated by sections of the political blogosphere and Twittersphere for what seems like forever. Yesterday, the book officially hit the bookshops, although dead-tree copies […]