Articles on Robert Menzies

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Tony Abbott has flagged a plebiscite, or ‘people’s vote’, on same-sex marriage. AAP/Mick Tsikas

A plebiscite on marriage? Robert Menzies didn’t need it

Every generation in the last 150 years has seen in Australia a contest over marriage which reflects shifting positions on its defining features, and its associated rights and obligations.
When Australians hear about Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s dire warnings and counter-terrorism raids, they could lose historical perspective on the threat posed by Islamic State. AAP/Mal Fairclough

With jihadists among us, is IS more of a threat than communism was?

Dire government warnings and counter-terrorism raids in our suburbs paint a picture of the worst threat Western nations have ever faced. A little historical perspective is in order.
Robert Menzies meets the US defence secretary, Robert McNamara, at the Pentagon in 1964, the year before committing Australia to the escalating war. Wikimedia Commons/PHC/Ralph Seghers

Fifty years ago today, Menzies’ call on Vietnam changed Australia’s course

The anniversary of Menzies' fateful decision to commit troops to the escalating war in Vietnam marks a turning point that is at least as significant as the Gallipoli landings for Australia today.
The public response to the eulogies to Gough Whitlam testifies to the power of oratory that draws on and gives fresh life to memory. AAP/Alan Porritt

Memoria in Memoriam: Whitlam’s farewell invokes power of oratory

In a playful rhetorical flourish at the Sydney Town Hall on Wednesday, Indigenous leader Noel Pearson monumentalised Gough Whitlam’s prime ministerial legacy, Monty Python-style: What did the Romans ever…
Kevin Rudd faces the media after losing the prime ministership in the 2010 party leadership spill. AAP/Alan Porritt

Why would anyone want to be PM? Understanding what it takes

Why would anyone want to be prime minister? Why indeed? It is a job that will almost certainly end in failure. Only one prime minister in the last 100 years has left office at the time of his own choosing…
Robert Menzies may be a Liberal hero for John Howard and his successors in the current government, but his budgets fit their definition of ‘disaster’. AAP/Alan Porritt

Menzies, a failure by today’s rules, ran a budget to build the nation

Robert Menzies left Australia in far worse financial shape than he found it, at least according to current treasurer Joe Hockey’s favourite debt and deficit benchmark. Having inherited budget surpluses…

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