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Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s fortunes from now on will swing from poll to poll. AAP/Lukas Coch

Living by the polls will be Abbott’s fate from now on

The cameras were in the cabinet room on Monday, apparently so the TV stations could get footage of the new lineup after last year's reshuffle. But also Tony Abbott wanted to get a message out – one he's trying to turn into a prop for his leadership.
Hizb ut-Tahrir, represented by spokesman Uthman Badar, has courted controversy and been criticised by Tony Abbott in recent times. AAP/Dean Lewins

Explainer: what is Hizb ut-Tahrir?

Hizb ut-Tahrir is not a political party. It is not active in any Islamic schools, mosques or institutes. It does not have any real influence on Australia's Islamic community.
When Manal Kassem laid her bridal bouquet at the tribute to the Lindt Cafe siege victims in Sydney, onlookers applauded – no-one cast doubt on her sincerity as a Muslim in the way Tony Abbott’s words have done. AAP/Supplied

Playing the Muslim card: Abbott’s loose lips threaten to sink unity

By casting doubt on the sincerity of Islamic leaders when they condemn terrorism and extremism, the prime minister risks alienating Muslims and dividing instead of uniting the Australian community.
Having Julie Bishop potentially in a leadership field imposes a restraint because of the uncertainty of the result. AAP/Ross Setford

Abbott gets poll help as Bishop complicates leadership question

As Liberal MPs gather for more testing days in parliament, a Fairfax/Ipsos poll showing improvement in the ratings of both the Coalition and the prime minister should help Tony Abbott fireproof himself…
AAP

Iraq: graveyard of the believers

What is it about Iraq? This poor benighted country has suffered from the consequences of tribalism, imperialism, factionalism, despotism, to say nothing of religious rivalries that still prevent the country…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott confers with his chief of staff, Peta Credlin, during question time. AAP/Lukas Coch

Why Credlin is seen to have gone too far as PM’s right-hand woman

Peta Credlin is in the classic "double bind" of all women in power: if they take charge, they transgress the gendered expectations that "female qualities" are best suited to a supporting role.
Unlike early 20th-century prime minister Alfred Deakin, Tony Abbott has no language for reaching out to the Australian people. Library of Congress

Alfred Deakin provides a contrast to an Abbott lost for words

Alfred Deakin knew what he believed in; it helped him to believe in himself, and to survive three terms as prime minister.
Gillian Triggs has been subjected to sustained attacks from government MPs and The Australian newspaper in recent times. AAP/Lukas Coch

Team Australian: government’s media ally has helped stitch up Triggs

The attacks on Gillian Triggs are the latest in a series of campaigns The Australian has waged against those in public life with whom it disagrees or against whom it has a grievance.
Tony Abbott’s proposed national security changes have the potential to exacerbate the underlying causes of violent extremism and further damage Australia’s social cohesion. AAP/Lukas Coch

Abbott’s national security changes are unlikely to make us safer

Australia’s response to terrorism must not be rooted in short-term political gains, but in a larger strategy that takes into account the problems leading to social disaffection.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott insists that ‘the system’ let Australians down in the case of siege gunman Man Haron Monis. AAP/Paul Miller

Abbott fires up on national security but how safe can we really be?

Tony Abbott insists that “the system” let Australians down by not heading off siege gunman Man Haron Monis long before he ever got near the Lindt cafe in Martin Place. “This monster should not have been…
The Abbott government’s expedited passage of national security laws in 2014 demonstrated an underlying disrespect for the legislative process. AAP/Nikki Short

‘Good government’ gets lost in the pursuit of national security

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has made two key pledges in recent weeks – to begin “good government” and to no longer give “the benefit of doubt” to people suspected of planning terrorist activities in Australia…
Bill Shorten is in a difficult situation with national security legislation. AAP/Lukas Coch

Shorten likely to stay glued to Abbott on national security

The national security debate, involving potentially life and death issues but heavily overlaid with politics by an embattled government, is tricky ground for the Labor opposition. Opposition leader Bill…
Tony Abbott’s statement to parliament on national security is to come amidst a difficult time for the prime minister. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Abbott’s stoking of terrorist fears may be a political sideshow

Prime Minister Tony Abbott looks set to make a case for further sweeping national security changes in the wake of recent terrorist attacks and arrests. Speaking in advance of a statement to parliament…

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