Articles on John Howard

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As the opinion polls continue to show the government flagging, Malcolm Turnbull has slid into the ‘beleaguered’ column. AAP/Mick Tsikas

The prime ministership is not terminal – but it needs the right person for the times

The Australian prime ministership has never been easy, but the most successful tenures have been those in which the person has matched the circumstances.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull still can’t seem to distance himself from coal. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Coal and the Coalition: the policy knot that still won’t untie

The Turnbull government is still tying itself in knots over the future of coal, as literally decades of policy turmoil on climate and energy continue to roll on.
Choosing Cairns or Townsville as a northern Queensland capital would set off a political storm, as would new regional governments around Australia. Dan Peled/AAP

If we scrapped the states, increasing Canberra’s clout would be a backward step

Federal politicians and the public like the idea of abolishing the states. But consider the likely result: a more powerful Canberra, with regional governments amounting to glorified shire councils.
Paul Keating took the prime ministership with a ‘comprehensive plan to get the country cracking’, but the task was daunting. National Archives of Australia

Cabinet papers 1992-93: the balance of head and heart

Labor’s project of economic transformation hit some harder realities as Paul Keating assumed the top job. And a new push on remaking Australia stirred a brooding reaction of its own.
We thought Malcolm Turnbull had nailed his colours to the mast on climate policy - but maybe not. AAP Image/Joel Carrett

Another prime minister, another endorsement for coal – but why?

Malcolm Turnbull has said coal will be important for "many decades to come" – joining a long line of prime ministers who talked big on climate policy but found themselves talking up fossil fuels.
Is it time to do away with honorary titles? Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Why do we still hand out honorary academic titles?

The decision to award former Prime Minister John Howard an honorary doctorate was criticised. So what are honorary titles - and why do we still have them?
Australian wind energy has been under a cloud for much of its decades-long history. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Attacks on renewable energy policy are older than the climate issue itself

Skirmishes over funding for renewable energy research are just the latest battle in a saga that stretches back to the early 1980s – years before the public became widely aware of the climate threat.

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