Early in the book I quote PLATO:
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
This, is the reason I wrote the book. I did not write it for pecuniary gain.
I wrote the book to try and capture the cultures of careers I had, as I made my way through the odyssey, we call life, and to present the reality of these lives in the form of fiction, which compels readers to reflect.
Too often I have been either dismayed at the naivety or astonished at the gullibility, of people whom I thought should have better understood how the system works.
I hope to shed light where darkness has obscured reality of what really happens. I hope to help grown men and women, not be afraid of the light
Too many Kiwis seem to turn a blind eye to questionable outcomes within the system and injustice prevails. Courage is defending principles, not defending a rugby try line.
The book is a fiction. It is not autobiographical. But my exposure to the environments which I write about, “equipped me well”, to invent fiction.
For a kid raised in rural New Zealand; in a family close to pecuniary pestilence; who failed to impress at school sports or academia and was a father at 15; by the time I joined the police, I’d learned lesson number one: Good fortune is going to be hard work.
During a 21-year police career; from the first day I was on the beat in Auckland, to the last couple of incidents I attended, as the armed duty inspector confronting armed bandits at crime scenes; my career comprised of disproportionately more threats of injury or death than most cops, and, scrutiny in court sequels where the consequence of failure would have been more painful than any physical violence in the streets.
That’s just how my police career unfolded (although some former colleagues tell me that my resolve, may have been a factor).
The first 3 of my 9 years in parliament, was to experience another form of brutality. Unlike physical violence, blows inflicted in politics are more painful and the hurt last much longer.
My profile as the face of the hated Red Squad, made me a target for experienced MPs. In an environment where team support is a figment of a fool’s mind and having come from a police environment where survival depended on team loyalty of a level few would comprehend (but may do after reading this novel), I learned Bill Rowling’s lesson well:
“In politics, don’t worry about your enemies, you can always see them. It’s your friends you have to worry about. They come from behind.”
OUT OF THE INFERNO captures this corporate culture.
In National’s caucus, I made my own decisions and acquired the perception of, ‘loaner’. Worse still, as a back-bencher and later as Under-Secretary, I displayed the temerity to challenge the Prime Minister – live on TV on two occasions, identifying me as: “not controllable”.
The only legacy of these thirty years that I cherish, are my two children and my two university degrees.
Post parliament my life became another inferno.
When the cause of my divorce delivered a stiletto to me in my role as parliamentary adviser to Rt Hon Winston Peters, I was at the same time, a shareholding director of a Fishing company subsidiary.
“Conflict of interests”, hung above me like Damocles Sword. With Winston and fishing company directors, I was badly battered by media over false allegations of corrupt conduct. Court proceedings exonerated us, but as OUT OF THE INFERNO tells; perception lingers even though it is not reality.
From 2005 I lived abroad: from Zimbabwe to Zagreb; Denmark to Damascus; Moscow to Morocco. For hard work and taking risks, the Machiavellian Goddess of Fortuna, had finally rewarded me. These were golden years. A new life.
Today, I am the Honorary Consul for Morocco. In New Zealand I manage absentee Russian owned forestry and property assets.
Vicissitudes of Life