I think this is a terrific speech from Tony Abbott at the Liberals 2013 campaign launch.
At around 29 minutes in he talks about trust and competence giving accurate character assessments of the Labor leaders of the past few years.
It takes an insight into yourself and an assuredness in your own character and integrity to campaign on personal attributes. Criticise others and you invite them to reciprocate. Tony Abbott was no fool, he had long experience with Labor's response to attacks - they fire back in spades. The fact that he was prepared to expose himself to the attacks he knew he'd trigger says a lot about his altruism and genuine motivations and priorities.
He did it because a leader's character is important - where a leader's character and background are suspect we should know about it.
Even their own Party recognised that Rudd and Gillard were diabolically bad. No one could now deny that their personal performances were a legitimate issue during the campaign. But the criticism of character and the effects on the country can only come from one place. The opposite side. It's the other side that makes it an issue, not the media, not the commentariat - it has to come from the political opponents.
Shorten's character is at least as much of a concern as Rudd's or Gillard's for a potential prime minister. His background is arguably more sinister and entangled with corrupt union and Labor Party dealings that either Gillard or Rudd. Yet none of that is in issue in this campaign.
That can only be due to Turnbull and his failure to make it an issue. And I think he has decided not to because Turnbull believes he'd suffer at least as much damage as Shorten in any public examination of the character and background of the two potential leaders.
That selfishness has effects beyond the outcome of this election. By not calling Shorten out, Turnbull tacitly endorses his prior behaviour and his personal suitability to stand for the leadership of the country. That tacit endorsement beggars belief and represents another ratcheting down of the standards this country expects for itself.
Whoever wins this election - Turnbull or Shorten - Australia is already the loser.
Here is some of the material Turnbull has turned a blind eye to.