Tips and rumours

From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Abbott clan can hold a tune. Spotted at a Sydney party last weekend: the PM’s sister Christine Foster, who was in good spirits, belting out Sing (you know the tune — “Sing/Sing a Song/Sing out loud/Sing out strong”). Wearing purple polka-dot sweater and jeans, Foster sang a capella. “She has a fantastic voice, really belted it,” our spy reported.

Seems like Foster is a musical type — she was snapped at a Lesbians in the House gig at the Opera House a few years ago. From what he hear of the PM’s singing voice, it’s best if he leaves it to his little sister. There are other pollies who can nail karaoke, though — Albo is pretty comfortable behind the mic, and Christine Milne does a fine version of Islands in the Stream. We’re told Springsteen fan Wayne Swan has also tried his hand at the Boss’ anthem Born to Run. “Not bad,” said our spy. Staffers for Arts Minister George Brandis used to be famous in press gallery circles for their karaoke prowess — is that still the case?

Crikey loves hearing your reports of well-known people out and about, so don’t be shy — pass on your gossip here. And if you’re lucky, Ms Tips will tell you which press gallery journos dominate the stage on karaoke night.

LNP movements. We heard a rumour of a change in the office of Tracy Davis, Queensland’s Minister for Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services in the Newman government. We can confirm that chief of staff Tim Rawlins has quit to “take up a position with another organisation”. He’s to be replaced by James Martin, formerly COS to Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey. Our tipster asked how many staff have left Davis’ office in recent times.

Tassie’s racist sheep: episode 3. This week Crikey Tips has been on the trail of this mysterious black sheep leaflet, which purported to be from the Liberals and appeared in some Hobart letterboxes. We solved it; it’s something to do with an exhibition at MONA. Now the MONA supremo (and the closest thing Hobart has to a resident celebrity), Berriedale’s David Walsh, has apologised for the leaflet.

In a blog post titled “A letter of apology to Tasmanian Aboriginal people (and anyone else we have offended),” Walsh points the finger at Swiss artist Christoph Buchel for putting on a presentation “that we are uncomfortable with”. Walsh says Buchel printed and distributed some “inflammatory material”, despite being told not to. This seems to be the black sheep leaflet.

Well, who’d have thought it — artists can be difficult. And by the way, is it true that Walsh has a window installed in the floor of his living room so he can watch what’s going on in the MONA gallery below?

Listen in to the controversy here. The Victorian media has been ablaze with the story of Liberal types receiving an interesting email, it’s not clear from whom, revealing a leaked off-the-record conversation between former Vic premier Ted Baillieu and Sunday Age political editor Farrah Tomazin. Some call the saga “Vicileaks”. Anyway, according to this email, the conversation reveals Tomazin and Baillieu plotting to undermine Liberal colleagues. It comes as many Victorian Liberal types express consternation with Big Ted, who intends to run for another term at November’s state election.

We’ve tracked down a link to the 11-minute audio on Soundcloud, so you can listen for yourself. It seems pretty innocuous to us. Baillieu discusses Liberal politicians in not-always-glowing terms (given they knifed his premiership, is it any surprise?), but stops short of anything too damning. He briefs Tomazin on the relationships between MPs, and as the off-the-record conversation comes to a comfortable end, tells her to not use any of it.

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8 Responses

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  1. The MONA/David Walsh apology was reported on ABC local radio as having more to do with a faux ‘test your DNA for Aboriginality’ service, not the black sheep leaflet.

    by Mark Duffett on Jun 25, 2014 at 2:21 pm

  2. and in the Mercury…

    by Mark Duffett on Jun 25, 2014 at 2:40 pm

  3. if only Franklin and Ablett played soccer..

    by Jaybuoy on Jun 25, 2014 at 2:46 pm

  4. Thank you Mark. The apology itself was vague in terms of what it was actually apologising for.

    by Cathy Alexander on Jun 25, 2014 at 3:57 pm

  5. Indeed Cathy, I almost put ‘apology’ in scare quotes with that in mind.

    by Mark Duffett on Jun 25, 2014 at 5:24 pm

  6. It’s a good indication of the state of Gnome that they were happy with the original political poster - the wording, sicherheitschaffe means ‘safetysheep’ which is not an appellation that I would seek for myself.

    by AR on Jun 25, 2014 at 5:28 pm

  7. The PUPmeister seems a little punctuationally challenged - the quote must surely be around “newspaper”?

    by AR on Jun 25, 2014 at 5:37 pm

  8. Clives tweet spot on.

    by Bill Hilliger on Jun 25, 2014 at 9:36 pm

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