Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

About Possum

The History of Possum Comitatus

Possum was once a group character comprising of 4 economists that haunted the politics and economic forums of the intertubes for a number of years. In April 2007, 3 members of the Possum collective moved on to pursue new and interesting flamewars in non-political areas, developing a new group character specifically for that purpose.

Being the sole remaining Possum, during the process of deciding what to do with the character I became not only an accidental blogger, but an accidental poll analyst. As a result of the popularity of the blog, to this day the Possum Comitatus character is and shall now remain the pseudonym of a single writer; Scott Steel, a 34 year old from Northern Bayside Brisbane that has a keen interest in politics and econometrics.


30 Responses to “About Possum”

  1. Peter R said


    This self-outing is in many ways a bit of a let down. I’d always assumed or hoped that you were Glenn Stevens of the RBA and ran this site between pullings of the interest rate lever. :mrgreen:

    Great site and great work!

  2. dany le roux said

    I think Mark from LP knows who you are.All this time I thought you were from Canberra (not part of Mexico).

    I also thought all along that both sides of your brain would have to be incredibly large to the extent it was easier for me to think of you as a couple.Perhaps I am a little bit correct.

    The quality of the writing is exceptional for this field of interest and the vocabulary you use has some Pommie idiomatic influences so that if ASIO were to ever track you down it would be as a press gang to co-opt you as K Rudd’s speech writer.You and E.C.

  3. mbahnisch said

    I think Mark from LP knows who you are.

    I don’t!

  4. Grateful said

    I don’t know who you are and part of me doesn’t care that I don’t know. The part of me that does want to know also wants to nominate you for a Wakerley for some of the best journalism I’ve read. I would also like you to have a larger audience and write for one of the papers but I expect the Courier Stale would want to dictate the party line and dumb you down. I’d like to think that with your current audience you have a better audience than the CM.
    Is it true or did you read it in the Courier Mail?…..or The Australian?….or the Daily telegraph? ….or the Sun Herald?
    Please keep up the good work in the “off season”

  5. dany le roux said

    The last sentence of this comment at LP implies an exposure to Possum by Mark Bahnisch which goes beyond the internet.


  6. feral sparrowhawk said

    Looks like I was wrong. I thought some of your comments suggested someone who had been on the inside of campaigns. I guessed your desire for anonymity was a result of being an ALP campaign guru who wished to be able to speak freely without being told to shut up by his/her party, or have the mainstream media jump on any comments as being the word of the party.

    I was even wondering if you might not be Bob Hogg.

  7. Enemy Combatant said

    Fishing doesn’t become you, FS. You’re a sparrowhawk, not a freakin’ osprey!
    I am given to understand that the marsupial of whom you speak, one Possum Comitatus, sleeps days in a Bribane tree-trunk hollow. Hoggy beds down most nights on Sydney’s lower north shore with his main squeeze, the Member for Bennelong.

    You know what, ‘Hawkie, for an avian detective, you’re pretty ineffective.

  8. Feral sparrowhawk said

    I wasn’t fishing, I swear. I was owning up to how utterly wrong I had been. If possum had posted anything about his identity before I had missed it. My conclusion had come from this chain of thinking:

    1 Possum seemed to know more than was likely (although certainly not possible) for someone who hadn’t been actively involved in campaigns on the inside.
    2 Possum’s politics clearly ruled out that being in the Libs, Family First etc.
    3 If anyone this good was in the Greens or Democrats I would probably know.

    Conclusion an ALP person. Why the pseudonym? All sorts of possible reasons, but one would be a desire to speak in a way the party hierachy might not like, therefore probably a member of the left or an (internal) independent.

    Hogg fitted the bill on the basis that he’s certainly knowledgible/thoughtful enough, and would have very good reasons to maintain confidentiality, but I always figured there would be plenty of others who might suit as well.

    However, it seems I failed at the first step – from the sounds of things Possum’s knowledge comes from his economist training and outside observation, rather than status as an insider. So you’re right on one thing – I’m an ineffective detective.

  9. Paul the (much maligned) Red said

    Perhaps an investigation of the origin/meaning of “comitatus” would provide a clue. Is this not a Greek appellation, or am I missing something? Possum, I’ve got a great recipe for souvlaki, if you send me your home address, I’ll send it to you.

    Or is it perhaps a scientific term for the the hibernating habits of the garden variety possum?

  10. Rates Analyst said

    The man himself would be able to provide further details, but I remember reading that it is some play on words of Posse Comiatatus, which is in wikipedia here.

  11. Howard Stinks said

    She is Barry Humphreys sister Edna.

  12. Rocket said

    Just now recovering from the election, found this thread.

    The picture of a possum had blinded me until election eve to my old Latin “I am able” meaning. So I went looking –

    Comitatus means company / army / kingdom. Posse Comitatus Act (1878) in USA limits Federal powers.
    Could this mean “I may be legion” – sounds like the words that came out of someone possessed in the New Testament!

    Most amazingly – animal name possum comes from USA opossum, Algonquian Indian name “wapathemwa” – not Latin, so plural truly is “possums” a la Barry Humphries!

  13. dany le roux said

    What I said at 2,

    There is a small barge near where the Syd to Hob ends which sells the most perfect fish shaslick.
    The fish distinguishes itself from Sydney fish by being almost perfectly white.
    Very yummy.

    Bon chance.

  14. jim said

    I’m sorry. I’ve said it before. If PC is not Pru Goward there’s something very strange going on here. Look at the piccy top left.

  15. jim said

    Ahem. Sorry. Top right.

  16. alan B'stard M P said

    Top work this. Nick Possum should be made into a radio play!

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