tip off

Tips and rumours

Who won Parliament’s State of Origin? … Abbott HQ continues tight grip on senior roles … medical cannabis use for epilepsy …

From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

NSW wins State of Origin. NSW has trounced those Cane Toads in the State of Origin. The federal parliamentary version, that is, which was staged this morning on a freezing, foggy Canberra day …

Proudly wearing the blue and celebrating their victory we can spot Coalition MPs Alex Hawke (who remains eternally youthful in appearance) and Angus Taylor. Labor MPs Pat Conroy and Matt Thistlethwaite joined the fray, along with Turnbull staffer Jon Dart. Among the losers in maroon there’s Barnaby Joyce (giving Hawke a Latham-style bone-cruncher in the pic), Labor MP and racy novelist Graham Perrett, and the LNP’s Bert van Manen and Mal Brough (nice to see Brough is doing something in Parliament after all).

Hawke told Crikey it was a magnificent effort by NSW, with Lib Taylor and the ALP’s Conroy scoring a try apiece — “Labor Liberal combo there, it was a bipartisan agreement”. However, Hawke lamented that the Queensland team were “dirty players” and Joyce was “almost crying” at the end. “Barnaby gets the ball, he runs in one direction, he never passes it and he never stops — he plays like he plays politics,” Hawke summed up. The NSW MP reckons the result is an omen for the real NSW team in tonight’s match (the Cockroaches will be aiming to go two-up in the match in Sydney).

And Ms Tips hears there was a surprise intervention by ABC stalwart Mark Simkin, who appointed himself video ref and reviewed a decision on whether a move by NSW player Hawke was a forward pass. Simkin ruled the pass was legal. We’d just point out that Simkin is from NSW. Is there some foul play at work?

Meanwhile, for those Crikey readers interested in real sport, you will be setting your alarms for 2am tomorrow AEST for the soccer. Right?

Coalition HQ tightens its grip. An anonymous tipster reckons the Abbott/Credlin team continues to interfere with senior Coalition appointments, leading to delays and inefficiencies. They “insist on checking EVERY appointment, e.g. Vets Review Board people accepted last September, Minister wants them, still not appointed, people having to fly interstate to cover, expensive and inefficient use of personnel, apparently same issue for other departments.”

We think this is about the Veterans’ Review Board, an independent tribunal that reviews various decisions affecting military veterans. Here’s the list of who’s currently on the board. But if this tip is about veterinarians, do excuse us. Woof.

Milne finds a dinner date. The Tory press has been gloating that dinner with the Greens was one item with no bids at an online charity auction associated with next week’s Mid-Winter Press Gallery Ball. Well, dinner with Christine Milne, Adam Bandt, Scott Ludlam and Scott Ludlam’s hair now does have a bid — and it’s from the Australian Forest Products Association, which is pro-timber industry. The AFPA’s bid is below. And from the AFPA’s anti-Green media releases, there will be plenty to talk about …

The auction closes at 5pm today, so there’s still time to get your bid in for dinner with Tony Abbott at the Lodge or Kirribilli (currently at $10,100). Meanwhile, dinner with Clive Palmer — “fine dining Canberra restaurant” — is at $3650. Would that be at the Wild Duck Chinese restaurant? We hope so.

The charity auction usually focuses on attending events with pollies, so we couldn’t help but laugh that the most bids is for AFL grand final tickets, with no politician in tow (25 bids). Check out the bids here.

Greenwald tackles the big issues. Not content with bringing the revelations of Edward Snowden on mass public surveillance by US authorities to light, journo Glenn Greenwald is now taking on this hot-button issue …

… because rescuing dogs in South America and rehoming them in the US makes so much sense.

Medical cannabis debate. This update from the health front:

I am in a epilepsy Facebook group and a whole load of people are giving their kids medical cannabis. I think this is wrong. It’s up to rat studies only. I feel like this is form of child abuse.”

We’re not sure if this is the page our reader means, but Epilepsy Action Australia recently pointed to a story about the use of medical cannabis (the group was not necessarily endorsing medical cannabis, just pointing to the yarn). Quite a few Facebook users commented on the post that they wanted to use cannabis to manage epilepsy, or had tried it and found it helpful (“calming effect,” one epilepsy sufferer wrote). An issue to watch, perhaps.

Vale Bozzie. It was with sadness that Ms Tips tuned into Queensland Nats Senator Ron Boswell’s last speech to Parliament (he’s retiring). Bozzie may seem shambolic and sometimes have egg on his tie, but he’s a shrewd political operator who should not be underestimated. In his honour, Crikey is reviving one of the best election campaign slogans ever. The kids in this vid are annoying, but we just love the banner …

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

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