At the same time, the character needed to speak with some authority on a variety of topics. 

As a result, it took a while to slot the pieces of the jigsaw into place.

For a start, the character needed to be a politician, but not one cast from the current career model. Given that he'd be criticising the government of the day, he could not be a Coalition member. 

A possible scenario where he might even end up as Prime Minister meant he needed to belong to the ALP. 

Party discipline within the House of Representatives suggested that a Senator might have more freedom to go "off script" in public pronouncements.

Other considerations meant it was fairly apparent that I was looking at a Senator from one of the Territories. 

He would need a back door that would allow a switch to the Reps if a change became necessary.

Given a scenario where Our Politician would have to be the second Labor senator, the Northern Territory seemed a better fit than the ACT. He would run, more or less, as an Independent. 

At the next election, the party's preferred candidate would retain her seat. Desmond Ballantyne would draw enough votes away from the Country Liberal Party candidate to keep him just short of a 34% quota.

And the character needed the right back story. Ballantyne's Background delivers a no-frills "family history" that ticks most of the required boxes. The Section 14 kerfuffle provided an opportunity to fill in the rest of the Ballantyne family tree.

But, with the back story in place, several episodes more or less complete and Ballantyne and the Sanctity of the Confessional well underway, the project ground to a halt.

There were several reasons for the halt. 

© Ian Hughes 2017