Who do we trust and distrust?

Lack of trust – indeed active distrust – of Scott Morrison was a major factor in his electoral defeat. Indeed, eight of the top ten most distrusted politicians in Australia were all LNP MPs and/or Ministers according to the Roy Morgan Research regular Trust and Distrust survey in research before the last election. read more

A case study in clusterf.ck PR management

It turns out that the BoM fiasco (see the last blog) is now a great case study in clusterf.ck PR crisis management.

The Saturday Paper has got the full inside story of the disaster and put it on this weekend’s front page – and it’s worse than the blog thought. The blog had wondered about toxic managers and their impact on culture in this saga and that is allegedly a large part of the BoM situation. read more

The BoM and the c word

One of the characteristics of a good consultancy – in any area – is when they forfeit potential fees by telling a client they shouldn’t actually do something they are considering.

The experience of the BoM with its rebranding exercise – now an issues management disaster – is a prime example. read more


Some readers have been having problems with the post on Barry Jones’ Michael Kirby Oration. When they click on Read more nothing happens! We are investigating and hope to get it fixed soon.

A living legend pays tribute to another living legend

Two grizzled battlers – picture and caption courtesy of Barry Jones

Barry Jones and Michael Kirby are living legends. Recently Barry gave the 2022 Michael Kirby Justice Oration at Victoria University College of Law and Justice. His topic The Death Penalty, Populism and Democracy.

Barry gave the blog permission to reproduce the speech. It’s a bit longer than the usual blog posts but it’s an important, elegant and profound contribution to Australian and international, legal social and political debate – as well as a deep analysis of why capital punishment is wrong and why Michael Kirby’s career has been so important to Australia. The blog will be back with its own contributions next week. read more

Signs of hope in classrooms

The usual suspects in their regular appearances on Sky News After Dark or on the hustings are horrified by what they think is going on in our schools. Yet seeing what is actually going on is heartening for the rest of us.

Recently I had the chance to see at first hand the reality of a classroom for eight year olds in a government school. It was Grandparents and Special Friends Day when students Grandparents were invited along to have a look at the school, visit classrooms and see what the students were studying and doing. read more

The Optus data breach apology disaster

The Optus data breach has provoked many reactions – from disgust to dismay.

The full page ads the company placed in newspapers around Australia had a cloying insincerity that would have embarrassed Uriah Heep.  It included phrases that could only have been workshopped by a group of people who had no experience in expressing thoughts with any authenticity – or any sense of real contrition- while being overlooked by the company’s lawyers. read more

How bad can climate change impacts become?

For a variety of reasons climate researchers have been reluctant to make predictions of climate catastrophe although the 1988 Toronto Conference declaration did describe climate change as “second only to a global nuclear war.”

Now 11 scientists, including the ANU’s Will Steffen, have produced Climate Endgame: Exploring catastrophic climate change scenarios – a PNAS paper published in August this year. read more

Commemorating 150 years of the Seamens Union

A September 21 2022 address at the commemoration to mark 150 years since the Seamens Union was founded

Today I want to talk about five people who represent what the Seamens Union and its successor bodies have stood for.

First, George Sangster. He was the first Labor councillor elected to Port Melbourne Council. He was also the first Labor member of Parliament for the Victorian seat of Port Melbourne. read more

An insider’s view of how public relations really works