Outsider knows what it’s like to be treated like a mushroom. He is not unfamiliar with being kept in the dark and being fed execrable information.
And thus your humble correspondent feels some sympathy for the Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, Senator Jane Hume, who was forced to admit to a Senate Estimates hearing that she was among the last to know about the six-figure expenses issue surrounding Australian Securities and Investments Commission chair, James Shipton.
Hume, somewhat embarrassed, admitted that she had only formally learned of the problems surrounding Shipton on the same Friday the ASIC chair announced he would be standing aside, albeit she stated: “I don’t think it is a problem that I was not brought into the loop on this”.
Outsider was pleased to note that Hume later told the committee that, in fact, she may have been less in the dark than it seemed because during a personal telephone call with Shipton on the Thursday he had offered a glimmer by alluding to some issues which might arise around ASIC’s financial statements without actually going into the details.
It seems to be the fate of junior ministers that they must live in the shade of their senior ministers, with Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, casting so much shade that Hume was left in dark.