THERE was no holding back for former independent State Member for the South Coast John Hatton when he agreed to have a biography written about him.
The title, Stench in the Parliament, indicates this authorised biography, written by former Bomaderry resident Ruth Richmond, is going to be hard-hitting.
Mr Hatton, who had a 22-year political career, said even he was shocked by some of the things he found about himself.
“I was unaware and shocked to find out that apparently I am the one true independent,” he said.
Over the years he did not kowtow to pressure nor did he accept offers of the speakership or ministry positions.
The book will be released later in the year.
“I thought about writing a book myself but you have to be unbiased. I was pleased when Ruth came along. She was more than thorough,” he said
“I told Ruth she could write what she wanted to write.”
He did proofread the book but only to check the facts - he had no say on the content or interpretation of the comment.
It details Mr Hatton’s political life and what drove him to fight so hard to fix the system.
The author was given access to Mr Hatton’s extensive records and attempted to get comment from all sides of the political spectrum.
Mr Hatton’s critics refused to take part but to balance things up comments from his critics, from Hansard and newspapers, appear in the book.
From Askin to Fahey, he saw many premiers come and go.
He pushed to make parliament more open and accountable and thought the reforms were made but was saddened to see some of them fall by the wayside.
Mr Hatton said one of the problems with the system was that the desire for power takes control, which is why he thinks state politics is in such a mess today.
Mr Hatton met the author and her husband Peter when they had a business in Vincentia.
He said Mrs Richmond was inspiring.
When she was 67, Mrs Richmond decided she would go to university and study creative writing.
She was so academically gifted her lecturers urged her to complete a Masters in Creative Writing and she decided to write a story of Mr Hatton’s political career.
Before she began, she was advised to do a Masters Degree in political research, which she completed with honours.
Four years of research later, she was ready to write Mr Hatton’s story.
All royalties from the book will go to the Salvation Army and any profits to a public purpose.
Meanwhile, Mr Hatton is still whittling away at the system.
In December, students at Wollongong University will be enrolling in a summer school to study a curriculum on community improvement designed by Mr Hatton.
The “how to, you can, we must bring about change” program is about fixing things from the bottom up.