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The Hon. James Eric Wesley Bradford MP, BL, MA, known as Jim Bradford (b. December 12, 1960) is a Georgeland Conservative politician currently serving as Leader of the Opposition in Parliament of Georgeland. From 2007 to 2010 he was Treasurer in the government of Luke Macaulay. Bradford has been a member of the Georgeland House of Commons for the seat of Lowton since 1997.

Bradford

Hon. Jim Bradford MP

Born in Usk, East Mainland, Bradford was the eldest of four brothers. His father Samuel was a grazier and former police officer while his mother Judith Kane Bradford a successful lawyer and businesswoman in her own right, considered a pioneer for women in business during the 1950s.
Bradford was home schooled for the early part of his childhood before the family moved to Santa Christina and Bradford enrolled in St. Martin's Boys Grammar. He did particuarly well in mathematics and music, for which he had considerable natural aptitude.
In 1978, Bradford enrolled in the University of Mainland and attended the school's Santa Christina campus. He studied for a joint Law/Economics degree and participated strongly in campus activities as a member of several clubs including the Mainland Players, the campus theatre troupe. Bradford has since admitted he harboured a dream of being an actor but gave it up to enter politics.
In 1980 Bradford joined the Young Conservatives, having been attracted to Tory politics through his parents and his friends. He was President of the Conservative Club at UM from 1981 until 1982, and the state President of the Young Conservatives from 1984 until 1986.
Bradford earned a Masters Degree in Economics and left university in 1984 for a private-sector career, initially for Tory think-tank United Future but later for investment bank Goldman-Hughes.
In 1995, Bradford sought Conservative pre-selection for the Senate but was unsuccessful. In 1997, he won preselection for the Commons seat of Lowton after the retirement of Colin Evans and easily won the seat at the election that followed.
In Parliament, Bradford wrote two books on economic theory and became a leading advocate of a more market-liberal approach, putting him at odds with the government on several occasions. Part of the majority Tory faction known as the "Meds", Bradford was promoted into the Shadow Cabinet in 2001 as Shadow Minister for Health. The decision puzzled many, as it was generally thought the Health portfolio would be a waste of Bradford's economic credentials.
The 2002 election was fought on the issue of stem-cell research - the Commons had blocked government legislation on the matter. Bradford was a leading figure in the debate over cloning and stem-cell research, and debated the matter live on television with Health minister Christine Hinkle during the election campaign. The Tories lost the election, however, and leadership speculation increased. Mary Byrne was replaced as leader by Michael Fisch, for the second time, who appointed Bradford to the key position of Shadow Minister for Finance and Government Accountability.
In early 2003, Fisch's deputy Nick Sheridan resigned after making comments during a television interview to the effect that women should remain at home. Bradford publicly repudiated Sheridan's position, the first Shadow Minister to do so. When Sheridan resigned, some in the party urged Bradford to run for the deputy leadership but he declined, and Luke Macaulay was elected unopposed.
When Samuel Richardson became Opposition Leader in 2003, he began to utilise Bradford's portfolio more and government accountability and overspending became an election issue in 2005. At the election of that year, Richardson won a number of Liberal Democratic seats. In the post-election reshuffle, Bradford was moved from Finance to Home Affairs, with suggestions that Richardson wanted Bradford to have a range of policy experience in preparation for him to be Richardson's successor. Bradford also became Manager of Opposition Business, another key position.
In April 2006, Richardson died suddenly from a massive heart attack. Bradford, like the rest of the party, was shocked by the leader's death. At the leadership election to replace Richardson, Bradford initially declined to stand before eventually relenting, and chose to contest the May 6 ballot. Bradford's candidacy split the party's right-wing vote between himself and Mary Byrne, allowing Luke Macaulay to easily win the ballot and become leader. In a gesture of reconcilation, Macaulay appointed Bradford as Shadow Treasurer.
Economic management was a key theme of the 2007 election, fought due to the Senate's rejection of a "mini-budget" which would have given large grants for urban development. Bradford led the charge against the mini-budget, labelling it pork-barrelling, and instead proposed his own fund for urban development based on greater investment in infrastructure.
At the election, the Conservatives won a majority and Macaulay became Prime Minister. Bradford was appointed as Treasurer.
Bradford handed down his first budget in October 2007. In that speech, he committed the government to a switch to a different financial calendar, beginning in March rather than January, as early as 2009. Bradford had advocated such a move since his university days. The financial calendar was switched in March 2010.
During the global financial crisis, Bradford was a leading advocate of strong government action to reduce unemployment, but was criticised for what some on the political Left saw as overly harsh spending cuts. Despite the economy showing recovery by 2010, the spending cuts were a key election issue in the 2010 election which the Conservatives lost. On August 12, Bradford challenged Luke Macaulay for leadership of the party and won by a narrow margin against Macaulay, Nick Sheridan and Martin Higgins. Bradford became Leader of the Opposition on August 13 and announced his Shadow Ministry on August 19.
Bradford is married to Lynne and has four children.

Trivia[]

  • Bradford's maternal grandfather was Chinese. Though he does not consider himself to be of Chinese ancestry per se, Bradford has stated he feels a connection to Chinese culture because of his grandfather. He speaks fluent Cantonese.
Preceded by
Lawrence Porter
Leader of the Georgeland Opposition
August 13, 2010-
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Luke Macaulay
Leader of the Conservative Party of Georgeland
August 12, 2010 -
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Xavier McLaren
Treasurer of Georgeland
July 6, 2007 - August 13, 2010
Succeeded by
Adam St. John
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