Peter Cosgrove will likely do a reasonable job as governor-general. The main prerequisites for the position are community respect, an unblemished past and a small-p political sensibility -- the sort Quentin Bryce, who otherwise filled the role admirably, failed to display with her comments about same-sex marriage late last year. Cosgrove certainly is well-regarded -- he was Australian of the Year in 2001 -- and his career suggests he has functioning political antennae.

As for an unblemished past, well, we’ll get to that.