'I put my hand out in greeting, but he announced that he only gave the Liberal Party handshake. What was that? The guy suddenly turned very sombreaHe placed one hand on each of my shoulders, winked, then abruptly kneed me in the groin. I doubled over in pain. The Liberal Party handshake. It set the tone for much of what was to follow, from the Right Wing at least.' John Hyde Page He was a good kid from the leafy eastern suburbs, the product of one of Sydney's oldest private schools. Then a chance encounter with the Young Liberal Movement changed his life forever. John Hyde Page joined the Liberal Party and was inducted into the black arts of backroom politics. He did the numbers, made the deals, and always regarded his factional opponents as the real enemy. Only towards the end of a long descent into doubt and disillusionment was he then forced to confront the possibility that he too was one of the villains. Once described in media as the 'mysterious John Hyde Page' and that 'scary conservative Christian', Hyde Page spent six years in the engine room of Liberal Party of Australia.
His account of how Australia's most successful political party is being gutted by forces of religious and ideological partisanship is both hilarious and alarming, and a valuable contribution to our understanding of contemporary politics.show more