Politics with Purpose (2012) by Lindsay Tanner is another book from the prolific writer and Australian politician. The book is a collection of speeches and short essays by Tanner.
Tanner covers everything from globalisation to his favourite books and music.
Tanner writes well. He’s clearly a very bright person.
The pieces are grouped into Politics, Relationships, Values, Justice, Living, Economics and Labor. Tanner shows breadth and depth in what he covers. The book is, in a strange way, autobiographical. It shows Tanner’s roots in where he came from in Orbost, his musical and literary tastes, his belief in the ALP and a considered, thoughtful, centre left view of Australia.
Tanner is also aware of the massive growth of the state over the past 50 years and where it has happened, namely in transfer payments. There is quite a bit of point scoring against the Liberal Party but as many of the pieces were speeches by a politician it’s understandable.
Tanner’s 10 laws for politics are fun. His view on the plot to remove Rudd and the workings of the Rudd government are also interesting. Tanner thinks that removing Rudd was unwise and that fundamentally attacking Rudd is attacking at the foundations of any justification for the current government.
The book is very easy to read, Tanner’s clear writing style and the length of the pieces means it can be easily read in a few hours. It’s hours well spent that remind the reader that Australia does produce thoughtful clever politicians.