Following the massive police raids across Sydney and Brisbane last week, counter-terrorism measures were the overriding focus of political discussion, with shocking allegations about planned domestic terror attacks so far leading to very few actual charges but plenty of column inches, broadcast punditry and social media comments by the thousands. With the shooting this morning in Melbourne, that focus looks set to continue. The focus on those raids and further counter-terrorism legislation pushed Attorney-General George Brandis up to second, while LDP Senator David Leyonhjelm jumped into the list by pushing a specific ban on torture in the new laws.

PUP Senator Jacqui Lambie continued her rise up the rankings as she attacked burqas and sharia law, among other things. She eschewed the more common argument against sharia law that it runs counter to the basic democratic tenet of the separation of church and state, and instead went for the vibe that it is all about terrorism. Her parliamentary leader, Clive Palmer, immediately distanced himself from the remarks, and is now in an interesting position of how to manage the burgeoning profile and undoubted potential vote-winning ability of Lambie while still rejecting her less palatable comments.

Almost entirely missed among all of this was the announcement by China of strict regulations on the “cleanliness” of the coal they will purchase in the future, which could potentially have far more effect on Australia’s coal industry and emissions than any of the local policies that dominated so much of our national politics for the last 10 years. Indeed both Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane and Environment Minister Greg Hunt went down the list this week. It’s now possible that Tony Abbott will be Prime Minister during by far the biggest drop in Australia’s carbon emissions with by far the most telling immediate effect on our economy.

Crikey Political Index: September 11-17


Jacqui Lambie was a star on talkback this week, and as you might expect, not everyone was a critic. Almost no mentions of George Brandis, however.

Talkback Top Five

George Brandis also received surprisingly few comments on social media, staying well outside the top five, with economic matters actually still registering as the G20 and housing bubble talk continued to roll around.

Social Media Top Five


Violence against women, involving both sexual threats and physical assault, is a massive topic in the US at the moment, following incidents involving football players and the threats made towards Emma Watson. We seem not at all engaged with the issue, despite its far broader effect than our current topic of conversation.

Comparison of media mentions