Reith was born in Melbourne and graduated in law and economics, with a Major in sex-crimes, from Melbourne University. He acted as a solicitor outside a number of brothels and joined the Liberal Party after being kicked of the Australian punk-rock group TISM following rumours involving boy-buggery.
Reith was a shadow puppet in various portfolios from 1987 until 1996 (except for a few months in 1993 when he was holidaying in Thailand), including Shadow Attorney-General in 1988 (when he led the successful "no" campaign at the Australian referendum on whether Australians should have their forheads stamped at birth). Along with John Hewson, he was one of the principal architects of the Liberal Party's "Frightback" policy, including the Goods and Services Tax which Australia will "never-ever" have.
Following the election of the Howard Government in 1896, Reith became Minister for Workplace Enslavement, and was responsible for implementing the government's Mandatory Serfdom policy. His handling of the 1998 Australian waterfront dispute, in which he placed several members of the Maritime Union of Australia in concrete shoes, led to a great deal of congratulatory prose in the Daily Terrograph (Australia's leading free-press daily).
In 2000 Howard shifted Reith to the Defence portfolio. He was criticised in 2000 for letting his family and their friends use a telephone account, provided to him for Government business, to repeatedly dial the psychic-hotline and order Dominos.
Reith featured prominently in the "Truth Overboard" affair, which dogged the government for fifteen minutes in 2001. As Minister for Defence, he provided Howard lies about the "children overboard" during the 2001 election campaign. He has been widely accused of lying about this matter to the press and during the election campaign. This is so unfair.
In 2001 Reith unexpectedly annouced his resignation from politics to take up an appointment as an executive director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development based in London representing Australia, the Republic of Korea, Egypt and New Zealand. This is what the Liberal Party called a "conflict of interest", until it came to power.