Rose Tattoo frontman, sometime actor, men’s health and youth advocate, and recipient of the Order of Australia, Angry Anderson has now added “politician” to his list of titles.
A member of the National Party since 2011, Anderson has flirted with the prospect of entering politics before, but only now has he been endorsed to stand for a seat in the September Federal election.
The National Party have pre-selected the 65-year old rock star to run for the New South Wales seat of Throsby, which includes the south coast town of Illawarra and areas of Wollongong and the Southern Highlands.
It is currently represented by Labor’s Stephen Jones, and has been safe in the hands of the party since it was first established in 1984. They have faced little competition in the nearly 30 years in power, and just last year Jones had a comfortable win with 50% of the vote.
Talking to the ABC, Anderson admits he is a little green when it comes to the world of politics, but it is his role as a charitable community worker that drove him to this decision. “Many years have drawn me to this moment – music was waning and I wanted to do more in a community sense.” – Angry Anderson
“I’m not a practised politician, but I thought about this from a heart point of view, and at the age I’m at I’m wondering what more can I do to help my fellow Australian,” he says.
“Many years have drawn me to this moment – music was waning and I wanted to do more in a community sense,” he say of his shift to politics. “It’s [community work] been a huge part of my life and has been just as rewarding as my music. Politics is a natural extension and there will be one more voice in parliament for the people who have been forgotten or left out.”
He stands for rectifying several societal issues that are sure to align with many peoples’ beliefs, such as “the demise of family values, neglect of mature aged workers, small businesses shutting down and ‘government departments running our lives’,” as the Rose Tattoo singer states.
To the potential criticism of looking at things too simply, Anderson calls himself “a simplistic person who looks at things in a simplistic way,” and he “doesn’t want to get bogged down by the myriad of complexities of issues.”
Anderson has been the subject of media attention before for his controversial views on asylum seekers, and appeared in the latest season of SBS documentary series Go Back To Where You Came From.
Having once stated “We should be very careful about where certain Muslims come from and what they believe,” the reality show reportedly softened his views, as he later confessed to News Ltd, “I see them as people driven by a desperation you and I simply can’t understand.”
Anderson came very close to becoming a Nationals candidate for the NSW Liberal-held seat of Gilmore, also on the south coast, earlier this year, but had to pull out when music commitments got in the way.
When it turned out that Rose Tattoo were scheduled to perform in Perth at the same time as the pre-selection ballot was to be drawn in March, Anderson decided to put politics on the backburner.
Not anymore, as Gary Anderson (as it will read on the ballot paper) will be one of three candidates vying to take the Illawarra seat from Labor’s Stephen Jones. Also throwing their hats into the ring are the Liberal Party’s Larissa Mallinson, and truck driver and Councillor, Peter Moran, who will be contesting the seat for the third time for the Greens Party.
Regardless of his relative political naivety, Anderson is nothing if not enthusiastic about his foray into the Parliamentary world. “I’m putting myself [to] the task of learning as much as I can.”