Labor senator John Faulkner, it feels like, has been in the Senate forever; in fact, it's only 25 years, which is long enough, from the Hawke era to the Abbott -- if it deserves the title yet -- era. Four Labor Prime Ministers, ten (by my count, I might have missed one or two) leaders, a variety of ministerial positions, mainly in the defence and environment/miscellaneous portfolios. But his finest work was as Kevin Rudd's special minister of state, in which, however briefly, Australians got the sort of commitment to transparency and good governance that all governments should embrace and which all parties promise in opposition, but which none, ever, deliver.