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Articles on Political history

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The days when Qantas flew the flag as an iconic government business and public service still inspire public nostalgia. AAP/Paul Miller

Public’s view of the politics of privatisation comes full circle

Sometimes in politics Newton’s Third Law – for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction – is applicable. Australia has a long history of public ownership, but it also has a long history of…
Incognito: Wicks’s leaks saved two generations billions in child benefit. Anthony Devlin/PA

Wicks leak was a courageous act which saved child benefit

The children of this country owe a debt of gratitude to Malcolm Wicks, who died last year. If you have ever benefited from child benefit, you have him to thank. While Wicks was dying he wrote a memoir…
The full story of the Keating years – and their aftermath – is both far more complex and contentious than the man himself would have us believe in his ABC interviews. AAP/David Crosling

Keating: interviews for the true believers

The ABC’s four-part series of interviews with Paul Keating, which has just finished airing, displayed the former prime minister and treasurer in all his complexity, both at his best and at his worst. This…
Kevin Rudd leaves parliament with his future as uncertain as his legacy. AAP/Daniel Munoz

The Rudd legacy: we need to talk about Kevin … or do we?

Should we care about Kevin Rudd’s legacy? Will anyone care? Australian political historians gaze with envy at the United States, where past presidents are revered and books about the “founding fathers…
The business community may try to get as much out of Tony Abbott as possible, but do they recognise the clear differences between a CEO and a prime minister? AAP/Bianca De Marchi

Beware PM, CEOs don’t get politics

The recent demands of business leaders for prime minister Tony Abbott to immediately reform the industrial relations system, rather than wait three years, should serve as yet another reminder of why corporate…
Julia Gillard has returned to the public spotlight just months after she was deposed as prime minister, and will likely remain front-and-centre in public life. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Life after the prime ministership: a trek through history

Former prime minister Julia Gillard has returned to the spotlight after maintaining a dignified silence since her removal as Labor leader in June. Since the defeat of the federal Labor government, she…
The twin defeats of the Whitlam government in the 1970s was the last time the ALP truly looked forward in regrouping and reforming to win back government. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Heeding the lessons of history: how can Labor recover?

How can Labor regroup after the trauma of its defeat at the federal election? The best example the past offers is how the party rebuilt after the tumultuous prime ministership of Gough Whitlam in the mid-1970s…

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