Writing in the Australian today, former Senator Graham Richardson suggest that:
The only way to end all speculation and corruption with donations is full public funding of election campaigns. It is big bucks and bound to be unpopular so would no doubt require bipartisan support.
The only way? How about having better quality people in the political “system”? How about having a political culture where it is the people first and the party second? How about politics is not about whatever it takes.
But hey. Maybe Richardson made a mistake. You know, like this little ditty as reported in the AFR.
On December 6, 1994, Richardson, who had retired from politics eight months earlier, faxed hand-written instructions to the manager of his account, called Streeton Foundation, at Swiss finance company EBC Zurich.
Richardson was a political operator without parallel but a novice to the world of high finance. Did he get the details wrong?
“Ref Streeton Foundation,” Richardson wrote.
“Please pay value 30 December 1994 $A1.0 mill as per separate instructions [from the account at EBC Zurich]. Graham Richardson 6-12-94.”
The handwriting, in documents obtained by Israeli journalist Shraga Elam, is clear. What happened to Richardson’s money next isn’t.
EBC records, revealed by The Australian Financial Review in 2009, show the money was transferred on January 5, 1995, to Dennis Jamil Lattous in Beirut.
According to a new book, that was the wrong name. Somewhere during the transmission of Richardson’s other instructions an “f” became an “s”.
The money ended up in the account of Dennis Jamil Lattouf, whose family is a business partner of former Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid, according to journalists Kate McClymont and Linton Besser in their new biography, He Who Must Be Obeid, launched on Wednesday.