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Prime Minister Scott Morrison cheers in the sheds after a NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the North Queensland Cowboys in Sydney, 2019. Craig Golding/AAP

The larrikin lives on — as a conservative politician

A new Quarterly Essay explores the modern political exploitation of a long-standing Australian male image, that of the larrikin.
John Howard confirms the nation’s involvement in the war in Iraq in March 2003, a decision subject to remarkably little oversight by comparison to Australia’s allies. AAP/Alan Porritt

When Australia goes to war, public trust depends on better oversight

It is important to restore public trust in any future decision for Australia to go to war. For this, a system that provides better democratic accountability is essential.
One of Tony Abbott’s first acts on coming to office was to remove Martin Parkinson (left) as Treasury secretary. AAP/Saeed Khan

Review: Political Amnesia – How We Forgot How To Govern

Debate, serious discussion and deliberation are valued highly in a democracy not just for their own sake, but because they are considered essential to testing the quality of ideas and arguments.
What do we learn about Labor leader Bill Shorten from David Marr’s new Quarterly Essay? AAP/Andrew Brownbill

Review: Faction Man – Bill Shorten’s Path to Power

Faction Man is a product of Black Inc. From their perspective, Bill Shorten – and his fascination with grimy Labor machine politics – is an alien figure.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s conduct as a student politician is under scrutiny after the release of the new Quarterly Essay. AAP/Lukas Coch

Much ado Abbott nothing: Marr’s Quarterly Essay misses the mark

There is a limit to what any writer can do in 20,000 words, so not too much should be expected of the essays in the Quarterly Essay series. Nevertheless, a number of them have been influential, including…

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