One bite at a time

Culture is a cruel mistress

By John Preston Radio—Created by Visnezh—Freepik.com On the ABC’s Radio National’s morning program the other day, presenter Fran Kelly chided Federal member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson MP. Henderson used the interview to persistently belt her political opponents rather than debating regional rail links between Geelong and Melbourne—the issue she had been invited onto the program Read more about Culture is a cruel mistress[…]

A horse for your communications wagon

457 visas—A horse for your communications wagon

By Emily Edmunds and John Preston The Easter long weekend was a busy one for the Prime Minister’s communications team. The Prime Minister’s polls were problematic: his party’s conservatives were restive, former prime ministers were offering unsolicited advice and Coalition voters seemed to be drifting away—many of them to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. The government had Read more about 457 visas—A horse for your communications wagon[…]

Ad-Hominem-Fallacy

The ad hominem delusion that infects our public debate

By Susannah Bishop and John Preston We like to believe we’re a culture of tolerance and understanding. We’re in the land of ideas. Mercifully—at least in Australia—the days of being imprisoned for disagreeing with those in power are long gone. Also gone is the risk of torture and inquisition, the fear and hushed tones of dissident Read more about The ad hominem delusion that infects our public debate[…]

Greek orator

Critical reasoning and strategic decision making—Analysis, values and persuasion in public policy

By John Preston In ancient Greek mythology, Theseus—the founder of Greek democracy—entered the Labyrinth on the island of Minos and conquered the Minotaur. Theseus was renowned for his great strength, courage and—above all—wit. Today’s regulatory and policy environments are a labyrinth worthy of Theseus. Public policy professionals—tasked with producing coherent and effective regulations—must display Theseus-like Read more about Critical reasoning and strategic decision making—Analysis, values and persuasion in public policy[…]

The Gordian Knot

Ready, steady, go! – Bridging the science—influence—policy divide in public sector policy

By John Preston Let’s face it; if facts were enough, we wouldn’t still be discussing the science of climate change, would we? And yet here we are. Why is this? Could the problem lie with the fact that we don’t equip our scientists with the skills they need to influence policymakers—particularly where there are competing claims? Read more about Ready, steady, go! – Bridging the science—influence—policy divide in public sector policy[…]

Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Changing 18C—Why knowing your environment could help

For some, the debate about changing free speech provisions of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 is a tenth-order issue. The Deputy Prime Minister, for example, has been quoted in Fairfax papers as saying, “It is definitely not the issue people are talking about in the beer garden on Friday night or at the counters of banks, or to Read more about Changing 18C—Why knowing your environment could help[…]

Trump communicates

The magic of Trump

Donald Trump amazed us all and became President of the United States. You may, like us, be a little baffled by this but, when we delved into his communication and presentation style a bit deeper, we began to understand why it worked. This is how he did it: He didn’t speak like a politician (and Read more about The magic of Trump[…]

abstract-bridge

Cliché of the day

In our world, and especially the world of government, clichés abound. A handy backup in case inspiration fails to strike, overused phrases and metaphors are kept under every politician’s tongue. Here is our hated cliché of the moment: Unpack BAD: ‘Let’s unpack this’. Here, ‘unpack’ means to examine something; to take an issue apart and discuss Read more about Cliché of the day[…]

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