Year

2007

Degree Name

Masters by Research

Department

School of History and Politics - Faculty of Arts

Abstract

John Hatton stretched the limits of the role of an Independent Member of the New South Wales (NSW) Legislative Assembly further than any politician preceding him. This study is an authorised empirical biography and examines how John Edward Hatton exercised the role of an Independent Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in NSW Parliament during the years 1973-1995. It will show how he acquired power, define the nature and limits of his power, and describe how he influenced government to meet electoral needs, to fight corruption, and institute parliamentary reform. This will include an examination of the man, and his background before entering Parliament, which will show how themes of obligation and probity arose, and how they informed his personal and political behaviour. The scope and limits of his influence will be shown by examining bi-partisan political strategies, the constraints of parliamentary procedure, the working of the bureaucracy and the judiciary. It will compare Hatton's response to these things with that of other Independents, place his career in a social, political, economic and cultural context, and show its significance within the body of literature relating to the role of the Independent. As an empirical biography it will demonstrate that biography is a genre which enhances historical record and that this biography has a significant place in the existing body of literature.

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