Election campaigns hide at least as much as they reveal. Voters who are paying attention could be left with the impression, for example, that Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten are warm and cuddly personalities.

Well, perhaps on their good days. All successful politicians have some ability to charm voters. But both these leaders are highly ambitious, driven people who have clawed their way to the top over the odd dead body. As former NSW premier Neville Wran once put it, in a comment applicable to all political parties: “You get nothing in the Labor Party without getting up to your armpits in blood and shit.” Morrison, as a former NSW director of the Liberal Party, and Shorten, as a factional numbers man, have both done their share of political bloodletting.

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