Firstly, the word ‘sift’. It means to sieve in order to remove the coarser particles, to examine information or evidence to select what is important. I shall give it a go but allow me to say that I hate being a boring ‘know-all’.
One of the most important attributes that people in public office must have is the ability to absorb the blows and punches thrown at them. The first mistake their inexperience will have a bearing on is to treat it as personal. They usually do. Once you are elected to Parliament, you are public property.
Don’t be a wimp and go home crying to your wife or husband! I always remember Papa Tom say in his American dialect, “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!”
I intend to generate my own referrals to the past, my interesting and sometimes difficult times in public office. Of course I will not hesitate to comment on any interesting political or public issues of the day. That is what sifting and sieving is all about!
Of course I’ll try and create a few laughs as well. There are too many stroke patients around. One of the problems is not having enough humour and laughter to release stress. I try to be my own chief assessor. I compartmentalise my problems. Place them in separate boxes. Work, fitness, health, bills, tax, home life, friends and side interests such as politics, rugby, boxing, and kick boxing.
I am also an avid reader. You will never see me far away from a book. I usually read myself to sleep. I have a huge collection of books from political icons to mafia dons, top cops, top drug cartel kingpins, great judges and lawyers especially Peter Williams QC.
I also read good fiction, my favourites are John Grisham, Wilber Smith and Jeffrey Archer.
Walking is my passion, I get miserable if I don’t walk. The rain usually takes care of that.
Of course I forgot to mention my Commander in Chief, my wife of 50 years this year, Nane. We debate, we joke, we argue – then have a good laugh! As I am a good keen eater, I have to make sure who wins the arguments or no dinner for Papa! We’ll take on more serious stuff later on.
Kua rava teia (enough). Ka kite!