Politics, Politicians and Political Parties

From episode 126

15:01 How can a political party get away with favouring the top 1%. Why doesn’t the democratic process kick in to get rid of these guys? Why do the other 99% allow it to happen? Martin Wolf says you need 3 things. The first is intellectuals who promote the debunked trickle down effect. The second is an elite class who control the political process. The third is a divide and conquer approach to the lower classes. Identity politics is playing a key role in that third component.

From episode 121

1:12:10 We look at political donations generally, the lobbying industry and donations in the Queensland State election as well as the priorities of the One Nation Party.

1:20:06 The Qld Premier has vetoed a Federal loan to the Adani mine on the basis of a conflict of interest.

From episode 120

37:39 The Australian Federal police raid on the AWU is not a good look for our democracy. The government has already had a royal commission looking into the union movement and this looks like a government abusing its powers. The next thing we know they will be accusing Bill Shorten of sodomy.

Pauline Hanson suggested that minister Cash is a victim of a witch
hunt by the union movement and she managed to say this with a straight face.

1:23:04 Jackie Lambie and the Senate crossbenches are looking at an admirable reform in relation to lobbying. Michael West has done a study of the Australian situation regarding lobbying.

From episode 119

28:24 The Pew research centre recently looked into the grand challenges facing us in the 21st century and one of these challenges turns out to be the breakdown of trusted information sources. They went on to conduct a survey of a large number of technologists, scholars, practitioners, strategic thinkers and others and ask them whether they thought the problem with fake news would get better or worse over the next 10 years. 51% of the experts expected things would not improve while 49% thought they would.

Of the people who thought that things would not improve, their main reasons were that humans are selfish, tribal, gullible convenience seekers who put the most trust in that which seems familiar.

Also, there are strong incentives for the rich and powerful to disseminate false information but little incentive for the truth.

Of those who thought that things would improve, their main reason seem to be that technology would improve to provide better filtering and algorithms to weed out fake news and they also thought that ratings would become important and trusted.

Following are some quotes  from experts who felt that the situation would get worse

  • It comes down to motivation. There is no market for the truth, the public isn’t motivated to seek out verified vetted information, they are happy hearing what confirms their views and people can gain more creating fake information than they can keeping it from occurring.
  • Too many groups gain power through the proliferation of inaccurate or misleading information. When there is value in misinformation, it will rule.
  • Big political players have just learnt how to play this game. I don’t think they will put much effort into eliminating it.
  • Overall at least a part of society will value trusted information and find ways to keep a set of curated quality information resources. This will use a combination of organisational and technological tools but above all will require a sharpened sense of good judgement and access to diverse sources. Outside this, chaos will rain.
  • It is too easy to create fake facts, too labour-intensive to check and too easy to fool checking algorithms.
  • The incentives are all wrong. there are a lot of rich and unethical people, politicians, non-state actors and state actors who are strongly incentivized to get fake information out there to serve their selfish purposes.
  • Human beings are losing their capability to question and to refuse. Young people are growing into a world where those skills are not being taught.
  • A growing fraction of the population has neither the skills nor the native intelligence to master growing complexity.
  • And finally, from someone who felt more optimistic about the future “even now, if one wants to find reliable sources, one has no problem doing that so we do not lack reliable sources of news today it is that there are all these other options and people can choose to live in world where they ignore so-called reliable sources or ignore a multiplicity of sources that can be compared and focus on what they want to believe. That type of situation will continue. 5 or 10 years from now I expect there to continue to be many reliable sources of news and a multiplicity of sources. Those who want to seek out reliable sources will have no problems doing so. So the responsibility is with the person who is seeking the news and trying to get information on what is going on. We need more individuals who take responsibility for getting reliable sources.”

From episode 99

32:55 We look at Andrew Robb and the topic of political donations

From episode 94

31:29 Major discussion. The need for lobbying. We are wasting our time waging a grassroots battle. To reinstate secularism we need to focus on influencing powerful people.

Democracy for Realists

Voters are too busy to care about policies but even if we convince the grassroots, they will vote for a party based on tribal affiliations, not on policy platforms.

Lobby groups don’t waste time changing public opinion. They go out and lobby powerful people.

When people identify with a group, they will follow whatever the group leader pushes.

All we are doing is preaching to the converted.


Only just found this podcast. LOVE IT

Really great to see some honest conversation, that doesn’t seem concerned with making the truth more palatable for the fair of heart. I think we really need a lot more of this.


Great listen

Fantastic podcast and gets better every episode. BUT if you can’t handle the truth about the dismal state of Australian politics give this one a miss.

The Happy Dog

Look forward to this podcast every week

This is an entertaining and intelligent discussion of politics, religion, education and other important issues in Australia. If you’re not interested in politics or if you’re confused by it then you need to listen to these guys. They remove the mystery and put forward an analysis of the issues that will entertain and inform you.


Ep 81, one of the best and most enjoyable

Wel done Trevor and Hugh, one of the best Eps to date. Professional delivery by both.


Episode 68 right on the mark

This episode was just the right length, but more importantly, was a little more measured in addressing the topics. I admire the Iron Fist in the way he can craft rational statements about appalling behaviour in the topics discussed, and I found the 12th Man to be a good balance to the Iron Fist. I wish the Velvet Glove wouldn’t giggle at important topics or when religious thinking is described – we already find them ridiculous, but laughing every time is a bit much after hours of listening to episodes. This is a fun but semi-serious podcast that everyone should listen to, and I thank them for making the time to produce it.


Keep it going…

A refreshing podcast. Rational discussion on topics many won’t tackle honestly. I don’t agree with everything you say but I love the way your subject matter is explored and sometimes debated. Great work guys.


Making baby Jesus cry

Don’t listen to these baby eating heathens, God will kill an angel for every episode that you listen to.


Presenting the Inconvenient Truth

These guys are at the forefront of challenging religious privilege. If you want to be up-to-date on all the wacky goings-on by the religion pushers in this world and their attempts successful or otherwise to influence the political and social spheres of our lives then this is your podcast. We need more of this advocacy for a secular world view. Be like me or Bill and don’t miss an episode.


Christmas Special

All podcasts are great but the christmas special takes the cake. Excellent show guys.


Australian Centred Debate

This podcast is great for those looking for debates about secularism, religious power structures and Western liberal democratic ideals, all with a focus on the Great Southern Land. The two main protagonists bounce ideas off each other and occasionally guests are brought in to give different perspectives (I love to hate Right Wing Tony!). These are not Left Wing Nutters, I know as I tend to that description too often myself and disagree with them at times. Rationality and free thought rule! The boys don’t mind if you throw in your two cents, in fact, I think they love to hear from the public. Very worth a listen.


Great Job

I look forward to this show each week. So informative! Thank you.


Stumbled upon

I stumbled on this podcast and enjoyed a number of podcasts. I love the deconstruction of the arguments and the range of topics. The input of the 12th man, right wing Tony and in particular Hugh Harris and Objective morals and Moral relativism. I am a atheist/secularist and would love to see you guys on Q&A keep up the great work. Secularism is a fight worth fighting for.


Not getting any worse

I’ve been listening for a year now and you haven’t gotten any worse. It’s nice to hear a good Australian perspective with varying views. Keep it up.


Always well worth the time

The Fist and crew do a great job of debating and dissecting a range of secular topics. Great work, and always an amusing listen.


Well balanced podcast

I’ve been listening since the first episode and it has proven time and again to be my favourite podcast. The guys have a balanced view of the world and politics. Well worth a listen.


Back catalogue

Greeting Fist, Glove and Man. I’m working my way through the back catalogue and enjoying it immensely. Your discussions contain the kind of intelligence and fluid thinking with a touch of irreverence that I have been looking for in a local content podcast. Keep up the good work.

Tony W

Love your work

Love your work, your podcasts are excellent and your political commentary and general banter really improve my day! Thank you!


Sensible Secularists

A provocative and informative discussion of current affairs at the intersection of religion and politics. The perfect antidote to religious privilege and snowflake culture. Best listened to at 1.5x speed.


Episode 139 Comedy Classic

G’day Iron and Velv. When I found you blokes, I had finally found some Australian voices of reason and common sense. After listening to a chunk of the back catalogue and keeping up to date with the podcasts, I became a patron, you fellas should be on the Senate. Anyway, episode 139 was a little strange at first, until the nutter came out. And then, oh mate, it became comedy. Where did you dig up that crazy nutter? Thanks Fist and Glove. Watley


Hi guys, many thanks for

Hi guys, many thanks for your podcast which I have just discovered. I am looking forward to exploring the back catalogue. It’s great to hear Australian voices doing such a podcast. One thing though – it’s a bit blokey. Ever thought of having some women on?

Ms McIntosh


Possibly my favourite Aussie podcast. Nice one to do the gardening to!


Great Aussie Secularists..

Finally found some Aussie voices speaking about our issues with Australian accents and with Aussie guests from a secular point of view. Great work guys!



Congrats on 3 years! I’m a fairly new fan (thanks to Caitlin Langley) and this is becoming one of my favourite podcasts. Keep up the great work. – Andy Dowling, Andy Social Podcast / Self Starter Podcast / Bass Player in LORD (don’t worry, we’re not a Christian band!).

Andy Dowling

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