March 16, 2007 | Graham

Day for outrageous confessions

Not only has Khalid Shaikh Mohammed admitted to being behind every terrorist act of the 20th Century, apart from the assisination of the Archduke Ferdinand where he merely carried the drinks, but now Santo Santoro admits to not just one, not just two, not even three, but fifty or sixty breaches of the disclosure rules. You’d think he could be a little bit more specific than that, but I’ll bet it’s toward the higher end of the range.
I’ll also bet that there’s more truth in Santoro’s revelations than Khalid’s. When the CIA torture a suspect, they’ll say anything, but Tony Nutt from Howard’s office is of a completely different order of inquisitor.
And there’s an election to be won. Howard’s not about to let Santoro or anyone else get in his way.
While the CBio kerfuffle didn’t amount to anything much on its own, this does. You can’t accidentally overlook transactions of this number, particularly as you’ve just admitted you were paying close attention to your portfolio because one of your share holdings presented a conflict of interest. And there’s more to come. So far Santoro is being coy about what shares he owned or owns – just saying that they were all publicly listed. That might be, but not making the details of his share portfolio immediately available just spins the story out a bit longer.
The size of the portfolio will be an issue. Santoro said that he’s not a “share trader” because apparently to be that you have to hunch over your computer screen and ring brokers an unspecified number of times, but certainly more frequently than Santoro has. Well, 50 or 60 shares is a lot to have bought and/or sold during perhaps the last five years, and it makes you wonder which portfolio he has been concentrating on most – the one the taxpayer paid him to administer, or the other one. Maybe that’s the real reason he didn’t declare them in the first place. Or perhaps there is another one.
But it gets worse. Santoro’s immediate plans include trying to help the Prime Minister win the next election by, amongst other things, reforming the Queensland Liberal Party state organisation (source is news radio, so can’t provide a link). Santoro’s the reason it’s in the mess that it is. If he really wants to help Howard he’ll concentrate more on his share portfolio and stay out of site until well after the next election.

Posted by Graham at 3:08 pm | Comments (3) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. Apparently over 15 months, not 5 or 6 years – and it’s 72 transactions.
    How long before Howard decides it’s “not in the best interests of his party” to stay on? This latest imbroglio has taken the headlines at least partly away from his visit to Afghanistan – seems he can’t take a trick at the moment.

    Comment by alexmccoz — March 16, 2007 @ 4:36 pm

  2. Yeah, well I was relying on the dishonest so-and-so’s press conference. How can you tell journalists it’s 50 to 60 when it’s roughly 50% higher than the lower end!!!!!
    I’ve got a full list of the shares. He’s been a busy boy. I pride myself on knowing something about the sharemarket, but there’s a heap I’ve never heard of.
    And worse, some of them appear to run retirement villages or such like. “No conflict of interest” was another phrase from his press conference.
    He should resign from parliament, not just the ministry.

    Comment by Graham Young — March 16, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

  3. It’s a bit of a gift for the opposition. Opposition spokesperson puts on a poker face and seriously intones: “You’d really have to question the judgement of a Prime Minister who would appoint a person with such poor standards of honesty to a position of public trust affecting the welfare of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”

    Comment by alexmccoz — March 16, 2007 @ 5:16 pm

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