John Button was a minister in the Hawke and Keating governments from 1983 until his retirement in 1993. As industry and commerce minister, he was regarded as the principal architect of modernised Australian industry. Before his death in 2008, Button wrote numerous articles and books, including Flying the KiteOn the Loose and As It Happened. In 2002, his Quarterly Essay, Beyond Belief – What Future for Labor? won the 2003 Alfred Deakin prize at the Victorian premier’s literary awards. The John Button Prize for non-fiction writing about politics and public policy was created in his memory.


John Button looks at what has gone wrong with the Labor Party. What has happened to the faith of the True Believers and why is the ALP so bad at recruiting new members?
Read An Extract

Beyond Belief represents one of the coolest and most disheartening accounts of a great political party this country has seen. This is the Australian Labor Party seen from the perspective of an elder statesman who has an absolute belief ... in the moral superiority of the Labor cause but who seriously doubts whether the ALP will ever achieve government again and who distinctly implies that in its present state it is not fit for it.

Peter Craven

He is one of the most senior and experienced Labor figures to contribute to the contentious issue of how to reform the Labor party, and his offering is the most radical so far.

The Age

John Button has thrown a grenade into the mix.

Kerry O’Brien, The 7:30 Report

Australia missed an opportunity when John Button never got to be prime minister.

Alan Ramsey, Sydney Morning Herald

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