Style guide

Posting on Pearls and Irritations (updated November 2019)

We welcome your contributions.

In order to keep our workload under control and to publish articles efficiently and accurately, we ask contributors to keep articles to about 1 000 words, and to follow these simple guidelines. You will be advised when the post has been published. Please do not send emails to enquire about your post. Any changes after posting involve extra work that we would prefer to avoid.  Please use British spellchecking – not U.S.

Below is an illustration of our post by email layout from one who might have contributed had Pearls and Irritations been active in 1949.

Send it as a normal e-mail. The main requirement is that in the body of your e-mail there are four places where you should insert special codes in square brackets and lower case. They must be embedded in your email to configure various aspects of the published post.

Your E-mail Header

Below is how you should fill in your e-mail header in Outlook, Apple Mail etc.

From: (Your e-mail software automatically includes your address)
Subject: BEN CHIFLEY. The Light on the Hill (YOUR NAME IN CAPS, full stop, title in normal mixed case)

The text of your e-mail (no line spaces before the text)

I try to think of the Labor movement, not as putting an extra sixpence into somebody’s pocket, or making somebody Prime Minister or Premier, but as a movement bringing something better to the people, better standards of living, greater happiness to the mass of the people. [more]  (This summary, up to 5 lines, will appear in the daily email. Note the italicised font and the code [more])

I have had the privilege of leading the Labor Party for nearly four years. They have not been easy times and it has not been an easy job. It is a man‑killing job and would be impossible if it were not for the help of my colleagues and members of the movement. (Single spacing between paragraphs.)

We have a great objective ‘the light on the hill’ which we aim to reach by working for the betterment of mankind not only here but anywhere we may give a helping hand. If it were not for that, the Labor movement would not be worth fighting for.

If the movement can make someone more comfortable, give to some father or mother a greater feeling of security for their children, a feeling that if a depression comes there will be work, that the government is striving its hardest to do its best, then the Labor movement will be completely justified.

It does not matter about persons like me who have our limitations. I only hope that the generosity, kindliness and friendliness shown to me by thousands of my colleagues in the Labor movement will continue to be given to the movement and add zest to its work.

Chifley was the 16th Prime Minister of Australia, in office from 1945 to 1949. (A brief c.v. in italics should be included in all your articles. If you have a website yourself you may wish to reference it with a hyperlink from your name.)

Conclude your e-mail with three more codes

[category politics] (Use a category for your article from the list on right side of website)[status draft] (John will make final decision to publish from drafts posted to the website.)[end] (Nothing below this line will appear on your article when posted)

We don’t use footnotes. Graphs and tables can be included (resolution 640 pixels) but if you’re posting by e-mail and wish to include them please contact Ian McAuley who can give you a hand (ian at

When posting by email, italics and bold formatting work well, but colours and other font changes do not. If you wish to use hyperlinks embed them in relevant text, and check that your hyperlinks are live. Avoid hyperlinks for pay-walled pages. Hyperlinks to previous P & I articles will be added by an editor.

And finally – after publication, check the website to view comments on your post.