Crikey has 2150 subscribers who get daily email updates totalling about 20,000 words a week so why not get on board by subscribing for a measly $55 here and read our best stuff every morning in your inbox.

Thursday’s sealed section email included an extended analysis of who in the business world should and shouldn’t have been gonged on Australia Day. We also had a piece on the way the unions have controlled the Ansett administration and details of more fear and loathing within the Democrats over Natasha’s trip to New York.

Hillary is increasingly providing her material to subscribers such that on Wednesday our paying customers got a special mid-week political column from our Howard government insider.

One of our biggest ever sealed sections went out on Tuesday, January 29, with 20 different items including the following:

In today’s update we have the following items:

Match fixing in tennis

Natasha’s university debts and Woomera stunt

Marat Safin’s blondes – The Age reveals all

Humorless Queensland Young Libs

Packer sacks Palm Beach gardener by fax

New Henry Thornton site

Dynamic Den Napthine chasing good press in Werribee

Who the sports hacks barrack for

Two missives from Rachel Morris

A subscriber claims he knows of a Russian player on the tennis circuit who throws the first set of matches and doubles the prizemoney through betting with the likes of Ladbrokes. Tennis is actually more susceptible than cricket to match fixing so this could be an emerging story.

Two sealed sections were sent out on Friday, January 25, with Hillary Bray providing a special mid-week column covering all sorts of great political gossip and Stephen Mayne updating on various legal and media battles, including a fascinating story about Steve Price getting caught on the grass.

Meanwhile, the sealed section sent out on Tuesday, January 22, included the following items:

* 2UE brings out the lawyers on Parrot bloopers tape

* Ross Stevenson on cash for comment and Steve Price’s homophobia.

* The colorful Maroochy Shire Mayor Alison Grosse.

* Dodgy time of share dealings at Greens Foods.

* Dems in big trouble in South Australia.

As an example of our sealed sections, check out some of this material that has been sent out to subscribers since we launched in February 2000.


Crikey has been reliably informed that Paul Keating collected between $2 million and $3 million from Colonial for his role in securing them a lucrative licence to operate in China.

This raises some pretty serious issues about disclosure and ethics in Crikey’s book. Everyone knew that the Chinese were going to award one Australian insurer a licence.

National Mutual lined up Bob Hawke to open a few doors, Colonial countered by taking on Keating and AMP were judged to be pretty incompetent in their endeavours.

You therefore had a two horse race in which one of two former Labor PMs were set to make millions. Knowing that this sort of money could be in the offing after political life, is it possible that both Hawke and Keating dealt with the Chinese Communist dictators in a more sympathetic way than was justified. Sucking up to them in political life has certainly enriched them both in the world of business.

The same applies for Keating and the corrupt Suharto regime because Keating has profited extensively from his dealing in Indonesia.

This leads to another interesting question. Will the Commonwealth Bank retain Keating on the Colonial Asian advisory board after it completes its takeover.

Afterall, the CommBank was highly embarrassed by 60 Minutes last year when it was revealed that Keating made a $4 million profit from selling the piggery to Indonesian interests yet the Commonwealth Bank dropped about $12 million.

The CommBank’s head of government affairs, John Fahey’s former chief of staff David McLachlan, did a terrific job for the bank heading off any inquiry because it was thoroughly justified and necessary. Many questions have still not been answered.

So will the Commonwealth Bank retain Keating on his big retainer in Asia once the deal is done. Let’s hope not.