Mr. Furse, thank you for making time in your busy schedule to have this interview.
The pleasure is entirely mine, Ms. McMillan. It’s only a few days till the citizens of Hathian cast their vote and I am grateful for every opportunity to explain my reason for running.
You are a new face to local politics. Your very short resume describes you as ‘warehouse worker’. Don’t you think running for mayor is a rather ambitious career step?
(laughing) I assume it is! I’m not really a politician, not as a career move. Nor do I intend to become one. I am a registered citizen and tax payer here, so I guess I qualify as much as the other candidates. But in trying to reopen the old factory in Fishtown I have run into so much bureaucracy and problems that I decided to go to the trouble of registering as an official candidate and at least attempt to make a change.
Does that mean one of your platforms is reducing bureaucracy?
Absolutely! You have no idea how many times I have been to Town Hall to fill in forms in attempts to get electricity and a telephone line hooked up to the factory. A lot of the energy and tax money that goes into forms processing could be very well put to better use!
Like what? Isn’t your party GHRIP here to mostly benefit companies?
Whomever gave you that idea? (pauses for a moment, then shakes head vigorously) It’s true that GHRIP, or the Greater-Hathian Re-Investment Party in full, has a role for local and national companies. We want to re-invest tax money where it will benefit people most: in stopping crime, stopping corruption and making Hathian a safer place.
That sounds like a slogan our local Police officers would use. Are you planning to take over their job should you be elected?
(smiles enigmatically) Not at all! The Hathian Police Department has some very fine men and women who work hard each day to reach the same goals. You might say our goals are complementary instead of competitive. But sadly, our Officers are understaffed and overworked. Why? Partly because there is not enough tax money to train more of them.
You talk a lot about tax money. Where does that put the companies you mentioned? How will they benefit?
Ms. McMillan, the factory I’m trying to reopen is the perfect example. I can’t hire workers, because I’m not connected to mains power. I want to invest in Hathian society, but the lack of infrastructure and the bureaucrats at Town Hall are blocking my efforts so far. If we can fight bureaucracy, we can spend more money on infrastructure and public services like the Police Department and Hospital, leading to a better quality of life. I have been talking to a number of companies who are willing to invest into our infrastructure.
You almost make them sound like charitable organizations!
I do, don’t I? (laughs sheepishly) That’s because I’m enthusiastic about these plans. No, they’re not doing it for charity. They’re doing it because they see a lot of potential here with a good return on investment. How long has it been since Katrina struck, Ms. McMillan? One year? Two? And don’t you think it’s a telltale sign that you can’t easily get electricity in Fishtown? What has Town Hall been doing all this time?
I guess they’ve been making the best of the situation?
I guess they have. But perhaps their best has not been good enough. The world does not end beyond the town limits of Hathian. There’s lots of people in Black Bottom, Fishtown, students at CU… all trying to make a living and a future. That’s why our party strives to make Greater-Hathian a better place, not only Hathian itself.
The logo of your party is a big fist holding what some describe as a marihuana leaf. Do you plan to legalize drugs?
(blinks, but only for a moment) No, I can be very clear about that. The logo shows green leaves and the rays of our sun. That is because we believe in looking into alternate sources of energy like sun and wind energy. (laughs) You might call that a hippy ideal, but I do not smoke pot!
Yet you talk about (and I quote) “putting the power back where it belongs: in the hands of the people”. That sounds a bit anarchistic to me, some might even call you a communist.
Ms. McMillan, I can see you did your homework and I commend you for that effort. What I mean with that statement is that I want to empower people. If we want to make Hathian a better and safer place, we need to work together. Not by enforcing rules, but by getting people involved. People like you and me, trying to make a living from one day to the next. That’s not anarchy, that’s simply community spirit.
I have been told that spooky graffiti stating “GET A GHRIP” is showing up in back alleys. And people wearing jackets with “GHRIP Security” have been sighted in town. Is your party responsible, Mr. Furse?
One of the goals of our party is to make the streets a safer place, and we will contribute to that goal in any way we can. But I can assure you that my schedule does not leave time to sneak around town with a spray can! (laughs again, when his organizer beeps as on cue) And with that I think I must rush to my next appointment with the Hathian Electricity Board!