What could best be described as a butt-kiss masquerading as a biography has hit the shelves – for the second time in three weeks. A Truckie’s Dream  The Allan Scott Story: His Official Biography has been re-released this week by Wakefield Press, two weeks after it was originally published.

The first release was pulled from shelves shortly after its arrival, due to Scott –powerful trucking magnate and famed owner of Mt Gambier’s Border Watch newspaper – having “a change of heart”, according to the publisher. Written by former Scott employee and Border Watch manager Graham Greenwood, the 148-page book is an unrelenting tribute to “the Boss”, as Greenwood refers to Scott.

“Allan Scott is a legend”, Greenwood informs readers in the book’s introduction, and the tone is just as sweet throughout the remaining chapters. Greenwood, who currently sits on the board of the Scott-owned Border Watch, was commissioned by Scott to write the book, which certainly is not a warts and all story.

The book reveals Scott’s personal beliefs, which include compulsory military service for young people, John Olsen being SA’s worst premier and not doing business on a Friday. Mr Scott is described as a “dreamer who tries to live out his dreams”, which started with the purchase of a 1953 three tonne Dodge, with the transport magnate beginning carting super, hay, grain and stock in the Milang area.

Interestingly, the book reveals that the Dunstan Labor Government brokered a loan from state insurance company SGIC to enable Scott to buy his controversial Border Watch newspaper in 1977, as he was unable to afford the $500,000 price tag.

Scott went on to purchase several other newspapers in the Northern Territory, SA and Victoria, before later selling them and retaining only the Border Watch and Penola Pennant.

Ironically, Scott thought the media was “unfair”, despite his routine use of the Border Watch to voice his own opinions publicly (he regularly comes under Crikey and Media Watch scrutiny). “They (the media) have always been prepared to have a crack at me,” Scott is quoted as saying in the book.

“I don’t know whether it is jealousy because I am successful but if I were to go broke I would be the greatest person in the world. It’s crazy really. I just don’t talk with them (media) any more.”

The book includes some interesting family photos, and Greenwood has also managed to sneak in a photo of himself with “the Boss”. But cleverly cropped out of that pic is a former editor, Kieran Iles.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey