GO & A
rates really badly with a bill I put up in 2012. Of course people deserve penalty rates for working on the weekend but, in the change of leadership, the extent of that bill actually hurt a lot of folks. And in South Australia I should have made a decision on privatisation earlier. I tried to get a compromise when I should have said no. When it’s wrong, it’s wrong. You have to stick to your guns… even if you’re carrying a staple gun.
GQ: See, you’re always joking yet you often describe yourself as a ‘miserable bastard’. Why? NX:
I feel the weight of the world on me… but maybe it’s just the bursitis in my shoulder.
GQ: Thanks dad. Another irony is that you’re a Greek Orthodox boy who went to a Methodist school. NX:
That’s what screwed me up I reckon. I was introverted and socially awkward. Hopeless at sports. Almost pathologically shy. It was an all-boys school and I only had three real friends, but I’m still in touch with them – a Malaysian-chinese guy, a Lebanese lad and a Dutch bloke who’s now a GP. Teachers used to call us ‘The United Nations’. I was an outsider. Nothing much has changed.
GQ: So just how did this pathologically shy kid become the mouth of South Australia? NX:
I don’t know. There’s a place between self-doubt and self-confidence; I’ve had to try harder to bridge it because at times my self-doubt has been crippling. And at other times it’s driven me.
GQ: You aspire to be a hermit and your home is famously monastic. Can you describe it for us? NX:
Messy. Minimalist. God