Infighting hits Qld Greens … Overington recalls The Slap … News Ltd hacks dress for Xmas party …
From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …
Bickering in Qld Greens. A party insider from north of the border tells us there’s been plenty of infighting around who sits on Queensland’s Greens state executive. Apparently there’s the faction of ex-Democrat Andrew Bartlett, and then there’s the anti-Bartletts.
“Bartlett made a bid for control of the party, running a ticket contesting all of the positions on the state executive. The Bartlett faction won six of the nine positions, a stranglehold which was further strengthened when the person elected to the secretary position resigned from the post within a few weeks of being elected. The position was filled by another ex-Democrat in Bartlett’s faction. This win hasn’t made him any more conciliatory.”
Our anti-Bartlett mole reckons he’s railed internally against what he perceives as poor basic administration of the party, which has not gone down well with some.
Crikey contacted Bartlett, who said he did not have a faction, but there was a group which ran as a team for the state executive (sounds a bit like a faction to Tips, but let’s not quibble) with the aim of improving the effectiveness of the party’s administration. Two of the group were ex-Democrats. When asked about the tip, Bartlett said “I suppose things like this … obviously indicate that somebody’s not happy”. He said any infighting “seems very benign to me” compared to his previous political experiences.
The Slap.The Australian’s former media diarist Caroline Overington has now left for the greener pastures of The Australian Women’s Weekly, where she’ll be working alongside buddy Helen McCabe.
We hear the two-time Walkley winner broke down during an emotional farewell speech to colleagues at News Limited’s Holt Street headquarters earlier this month. Overington became particularly emotional while thanking editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell for standing by her during the dark days of November 2007.
“She mentioned the war!” one surprised Oz hack told Crikey. They’re talking, of course, about the infamous event at a polling booth in Sydney’s eastern suburbs at the 2007 election where Overington verbally abused and slapped Labor candidate George Newhouse. Mitchell allowed Overington to come back to work after a break, and she’ll always be grateful for it.
Media clangers. Inspired by claims that Gippsland radio recently reported a certain ex-MP had died, but got it wrong and found the man was still alive (the whole affair was much to the consternation of a listener who was a friend of the ex-MP), Tips sent a shout out for your favourite media stuff-ups.
One respondent fondly recalled the time Richard Wilkins from the Today show reported on the death of actor Jeff Goldblum, while another claims Steve Price once told 3AW listeners the Queen Mother had died when she hadn’t: “It seemed that someone at BBC TV was putting together or reviewing a TV obit for the Queen Mother when someone else ‘clicked’ onto it in another edit booth, that someone else was an Aussie who thought he had an ‘exclusive’ re: the death and rang Price in Australia”. Is that story on the money?
UPDATE: A tipster has added to the mystique re the Queen Mother, suggesting it may have been Murray Olds at 2UE and not Steve Price at 3AW who brought her to a premature end. Can you help us with the answer? Email us here.
We also enjoyed this leak: “In the late ’60s (or early ’70s) a radio jock on Radio 3UL in Warragul (Gippsland again) ducked out for a quick leak while a 45 record was on … and inadvertently locked himself out of the booth. A lot of dead air while he frantically organised to get a key — it was late at night hence no one around to help him out.” A walk in the black forest, anyone? (If you know what that reference is to, you are a geek like this Tips scribe).
Party party party! Well, it’s that time of year again — time to drink warm champagne and tell amusing stories to your bored boss at the Christmas bash. The crew at News Limited have been told to dress to a theme of “festive sparkle” as they hit Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion next month, where dancing has been promised. Moles tell us this is the party few journalists go to — it will be hard to tempt them from Surry Hills to the ghost lands of Fox Studios.
Crikey just loves a good staff party, so please send us your invitations, anecdotes, Secret Santas, photocopies of the accountant’s bum, whatever. Who is putting on the most lavish bash? Which workplace has organised the worst? And don’t forget those Christmas gifts from management — are the days of the glorious staff hamper gone forever? We’d love to know what you got in yours. Email all gossip to us here — and for the top secret, top-shelf gossip, feel free to stay anonymous.