B.C. Liberal insider Martyn Brown says it was during the BC Rail corruption trial that he began thinking about the need to reform the province’s troubled political culture.
Brown, the chief of staff to premier Gordon Campbell, was the only major witness called to testify before the case was settled with guilty pleas from the two accused ex-government aides.
He spent several weeks on the stand back in 2010, most of it being cross-examined by the defence, which despite best efforts, elicited no bombshell admissions. “I don’t recall,” would appear to be the most common response, judging from the news coverage.
But as Brown tells it in an ebook published this week, those days spent on the hot seat, groping for answers, was when he began to recognize the misspent aspects of his life as a political operative. “That unpleasant experience taught me a lot about how little we truly remember or absorb of the myriad events and inter-actions that fill our daily lives. The blur of life passes through a gauze-filtered observation and partial perspective that, if honestly tested, yields only flashes of imperfect perception. This work was largely prompted by that learning experience.”