Australia is a team worth being on

Australia is a team worth being on

Team Australia isn’t a bad side to be on.
Team Australia isn’t a bad side to be on.
LAST month, Prime Minster Tony Abbott declared that migrants needed to sign up to “Team Australia”.

“My position is everyone has got to be on Team Australia — everyone has got to put this country, its interests, its values and its people first,” he said.

His critics pounced and his comments were derided as jingoistic or, worse, interpreted as a threat. You’re with us, or against us. Our way, or the highway. Continue reading

The great Australian Speech Impediment

The great Australian speech impediment
August 4, 2014 – 12:15AM
55 reading nowComments 206 Read later
Dean Frenkel
submit to redditEmail articlePrintReprints & permissions

Australia has a national speech problem that nobody is talking about. Despite a healthy rise in literacy and numeracy rates over the past century, most people, including the Prime Minister, still have poor speech skills. Yet this is not widely acknowledged as a problem.

Though verbal expression training is an essential skill for everyone, it is largely absent from our school system and, on the whole, standards of communication are unacceptably low. While Australians are usually more charmed than bothered by this, it should be considered as a national speech impediment. Continue reading

Aspirational leader is careful with the P-word

Aspirational Opposition Leader is careful with the P-word

Date February 1, 2012 Category Opinion

Jacqueline Maley

TWO things happened when Opposition Leader Tony Abbott addressed the National Press Club yesterday.

First and best, Mr Abbott invented a new form of political promise, a quaint thing called a policy ”aspiration”, or alternatively, a policy that is ”in prospect”.

Some Coalition policies are commitments – paid parental leave, the repeal of the carbon tax.

Tony Abbott at the National Press Club yesterday: Policies on the menu, but no self-analysis. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Others, we learnt, such as certain tax cuts and the National Disability Insurance Scheme, are more like frocks you hold up to your face in the mirror for a bit to see if they match your colouring. But the invention of exciting new categories of promise never did a politician any harm.


It was Mr Abbott’s great political role model, John Howard, who spoke of core and non-core promises. He paid no great price for his linguistic stretches. Continue reading