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Tips and rumours

Jun 11, 2014

Tips and rumours

Investing in Australia a waste of time ... Question time sales ploy ... The voices in the PM's head ...

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From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Abbott is hearing voices. While Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been getting quality time with his conservative kindred spirit Stephen Harper in Canada, one tipster has asked why Abbott is rarely seen without an earpiece.

“I’ve noticed under the Abbott prime ministership that he frequently uses an earpiece on local media, however the last photo in a news.com.au report on his trip to Canada would indicate that he is using one overseas as well. To be fair, it could be for translation — the Canadian accent can be pretty thick.

“Given the types of questions political leaders are often asked nowadays, it’s probably not reprehensible to have someone feed them some lines and facts as they answer questions. However using one in a press conference with a foreign leader who isn’t also wearing one makes you look like a bit of a dill. I wonder if they will let him use one in the White House Brady Press Room … One thinks not.”

Aussie Book Fest expensive and disorganised. Organisers of London’s Australia and New Zealand Festival of Literature,held last weekend, are breathing a sigh of relief. The headline bravura performance by Clive James has pretty much justified the holding  of the otherwise all-but-invisible occasion — into which the Australia Council is rumoured to have sunk more than $75,000. That included a second, emergency payment, when it became clear that the festival couldn’t transport the large roster of  Oz-based literati it had booked on its own dime. Will there be a repeat performance? If so, it won’t be with the original staff, many of whom departed during the chaotic months leading up to the festival’s launch.

PM wasting time in Canada? While Tony Abbott is seeking to woo Canadian investment in Australia, some are a little sceptical of the benefits. A manager for Australian-US global fund manager Bronte Capital told clients on Monday night to “keep it brief. Don’t waste his time or yours”:

“I want to be blunt. There are advantages in investing in your own country: you know it better. You are less likely to make mistakes. And there are reasons to invest overseas: you can get exposure to industries and economic cycles that might not be available at home. You get diversification. Also every now and again a foreign market can become very cheap (not everywhere is in a bull market simultaneously). None of these reasons apply to a Canadian investing in Australia.”

Habits die hard on what remains of the Left. A visitor to the National Tertiary Education Union in South Melbourne was surprised to see a photo of “el Che”, Ernesto Guevara, occupying a non-ironic pride of place. The NTEU leadership has rattled back and forth between active support for Labor and the Greens for years now. How long before they crack altogether, and head to the pampas?

Question time drumming up the dollars. Labor MP Andrew Leigh seems to have come up with a novel way of selling copies of his e-book. The member for Fraser tweeted this graph yesterday, showing that his mentions in question time correlate with sales of his e-book. Quite a few of our pollies have published missives, we wonder if they might consider getting more active in Parliament to move a few more units.

  *Heard anything that might interest Crikey? Send your tips to boss@crikey.com.au or use our guaranteed anonymous form

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