My very first weekly column for ABC’s The Drum.

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Considered the holiest of numbers by Christians and Wiccans alike, the number three has eerily presided over our past political year. From people to politics and policies, the rule of three was ubiquitous.

What is this malaise that’s gripping Australian voters? According to the latest opinion poll we’re deeply unhappy with Julia Gillard (disapprove 50%, approve 37%) yet we still prefer her to Tony Abbott as Prime Minister (Gillard 42%, Abbott 33%). Even more confusingly, despite our concerns about Abbott, it seems we would elect a Coalition government […]

Last weekend the SMH’s political editor, Peter Hartcher, made an extraordinary claim that “Labor’s looming death as a stand-alone political entity is the biggest story in contemporary Australian politics.” Hartcher is an experienced and astute political analyst, having reported politics for the Herald not only from Canberra, but also Tokyo and Washington. However, his prediction […]

At the end of this week, just before the official start of summer, the Australian Parliament will rise, politicians will head home to their electorates and voters will focus on how many meats to serve on Christmas Day or the quickest route to the beach. For many, the summer break is for relaxation; yet for […]

As an old campaigner, I implicitly understand the need to condense complex matters into sound bites or slogans.  The problem with stripping the details out of an issue and reducing it to a memorable phrase is that people tend to defer to their own interpretation of what that phrase actually means. This can be dangerous […]

A confidence trick or confidence game (also known as a bunko, con, flim flam, gaffle, grift, hustle, scam, scheme, swindle or bamboozle) is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence. The victim is known as the mark, the trickster is called a confidence man, con man, confidence trickster, or con […]