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Who would you name as the most frustrating political identity you’ve ever had to tolerate?

That’s a tough one. Most of the people I’ve come across in politics, I’ve probably wanted to strangle (or worse) at some time or another, though I get on quite well with them now. As a general rule, if you have ever been in, are currently in, or aspire to hold office in local government, you’re on that list. If you’re a candidate who insists on running your own campaign, you’re almost definitely on it.

If I can give specific examples without giving names, one was a local Councillor who I helped get elected, but whose sheer irrationality at the time almost exposed me to legal action—on a number of occasions. Another was a former Councillor who insisted on running his own campaign, despite being absolutely clueless when it came to his electorate or non-local-government campaigning in general; he’s now a state MP.

However, there were also a couple of former NSW Young Liberal Presidents (who’ve never been in local government) who I loathed during their terms, incidentally.

If you were ever to write your memoirs of your time in the NSW Young Liberals, what would be the title of the book?

Amway on Crack or (if I can’t get the IP rights) Group Sex in Mongolia. Both would be particularly appropriate.

How do you handle the fact that you are in a political party in which the majority are evil, selfish arseholes?

With a lot of patience, although to be fair, most of them aren’t evil, just misguided, ignorant, ill-informed and/or apathetic; this means that often, the arseholes hold sway.

The traditional stream of modern Liberalism draws from philosophers such as Mill, Bentham, Burke, Keynes and Adam Smith; whilst these thinkers aren’t exactly my bread-and-butter (qv), in many cases, there isn’t too much dissonance that a middle ground can’t be found. So, although we may have philospohical differences, I feel that we can work together.

Sadly, not all Liberals feel the same way. Most of the dyed-in-the-wool conservatives in the party are actually fairly accommodating; they know I’m not a Communist, so they don’t really have a problem with me.

The so-called Hard Right, on the other hand, often do—but they’d hate me anyway, because I’m not one of them: I gave up on the whole fundamentalist hatemonger thing when I was a child.

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