Bankside Chambers, the Chambers-of-choice for former Attorney General Chris Finlayson QC, published an online interview with their profile tenant and relating to his latest book on life in politics and why he chose to enter the political world.
The latest book, Yes, Minister, has received high interest and follows the former Minister of Treaty Negotiations’ earlier book Treaty Settlements and the Future of Aotearoa New Zealand. The interview indicates that he intends a third literary outing with a book to be edited by former himself and publishing essays from other Attorneys General from other parts of the world.
Yes, Minister is a memoir, or a ‘sketch of my time in parliament’, of the ‘Key years’ and he speaks with great respect for his former boss and selected colleagues, while pouring scorn upon others and the political system that has permitted too many average political no-hopers to enter the political fray as seat warmers.
Never one to mince words, the book is written in both Indian ink and hydrochloric acid with many lawyerly observations on various jurisprudential matters and the need to properly understand the difference between co-governance and co-government.
Why politics, the Bankside interview asked? It was either being a “back room person” or “ending up on the bench because that was certainly where my career was going,” he observed. When the political opportunity arose he took it to do the work he sought to do after being given a ‘very high rank’ in the National Party.
Now, the political days are gone and his focus is the law once more. Politics, he notes, should not be a profession, but rather something people contribute for a period and, like himself, leave.