Hillary Bray = tip top gossip. Nuff said.

Andrew Bartlett’s leader of the Democrats and Simon Crean’s still leader of the ALP.

All one big happy family, hey?

Playing our song

Andrew Bartlett decreed that his victory song would be that old Birthday Party rouser, Release the Bats.

But just think. If Brian Greig had come out on top he’d could have stuck with the Birthday Party motif too he and a certain porn obsessed acolyte surely would have got excited at the thought of Nick the Stripper.

The mercy seat

If we’re talking assuming the Democrat leadership and Nick Cave songs, Hillary really thinks the most appropriate track would be The Mercy Seat. It’s about someone going to the electric chair.

John Cherry has made all sorts of positive noises and Lyn Allison has agreed to become interim deputy leader while Osama and the rest of the NE work out when to hold a ballot for that job, but the problems still remain.

First is the matter of THAT 10 point plan and what to do about it.

Then there’s the petition launched against Andrew Murray (fallen off the back of the solar powered unicycle and available here ). He made it very clear last week that he expected whoever became leader to bin the charge sheet if they want to keep him on board. And what about this little exchange from last week:

—–Original Message—–

From: Andrew Blake

Sent: Wednesday, 2 October 2002 8:41 PM

To: Murray, Andrew (Senator)

Cc: Liz Oss-Emer; Norm Kelly; Rachael Jacobs; Jason Wood

Subject: Important Ballot Information – Please Read

I have received a valid petition – under section 14.9 of the National Constitution – to put the following question to ballot:

“Do you believe Senator Murray’s public statements on internal party matters have been against the best interests of the party? YES / NO”

I am planning to include the ballot in the next edition of the National Journal which the editor is hoping to put out in late October. I would also like to include two statements – one in the affirmative and one in the negative.

I would like Senator Murray (or nominee) as the “accused” and David Harcourt-Norton (or nominee) on behalf of the petitioners to provide a 500 word statement by 12 Midnight EST, Friday October 11. This deadline will ensure that the statements can go in the journal with the ballot.

Please feel free to contact me on 0404 — — or [email protected] if you have any queries.

Andrew Blake

National Ballots Administrator

—–Original Message—–

From: Murray, Andrew (Senator)

Sent: Thursday, 3 October 2002 9:19 AM

To: ‘Andrew Blake’;

Cc: Liz Oss-Emer; Norm Kelly; Rachael Jacobs; Jason Wood

Subject: RE: Important Ballot Information – Please Read

I do not intend to provide you with a statement. I do not accept the shameful parody that such processes represent.

Kapow! Zocko! Woo-wee!

It’s not all sweetness and light where Lyn Allison is concerned, either.

The leadership votes split roughly 50 per cent Bartlett, 35 per cent Greig and 15 per cent informal with the last lot largely made up of write-ins for Britney.

Allison may have been appointed interim deputy, but the fundis have foreshadowed a strong campaign against her in the ballot even if she’s the only candidate. There will still be a yes/no vote to confirm her in the role, and if a majority of members go for a write-in or simply reject her she won’t get the job.

There is a growing school of thought that claims the party is better off without a deputy rather than having her in the job.

There’s still plenty to come before we know if the Democrats are prepared to forgive and forget.

She would have wanted it that way

How very appropriate that on the eve of the announcement of her successor, Britney was able to play the victim as some cruel souls wondered why five of her staff had to fly into her hometown of Adelaide on the public tab for a farewell dinner.

Britney said it was appropriate and customary and that “it shouldn’t be a big deal” and that she was “very surprised political opponents are making it out to be such”.

Why they couldn’t have held the knees-up in Canberra when Parliament was sitting a week earlier and, presumably, they were all there is beyond Hillary but what a perfect end to Britney’s leadership. But still the victim. She would have wanted it that way.

Do the WA Dems exist?

No, we’re not going all deep and meaningful. We’re just looking at some other documents that fell off the solar powered unicycle.

Crikey understands that at the WA Democrats Divisional AGM last weekend, a motion requesting the executive to write to the Western Australian Electoral Commission stating that the Division was no longer eligible to be recognised as a party under state law was ruled out of order. This is despite the Western Australian Democrats having fewer than 500 members the number is estimated at around 360 and no state parliamentarians.

To top it off, a subsequent motion was carried to strike the first from the minutes of the meeting but just in case no-one at the WAEC reads Crikey, we understand that dissident Dems have got in touch with them yesterday afternoon.

PS One other source says the meeting itself was unconstitutional. Despite all these moles and leaks, however, we cannot confirm the rumour that the WA Dems voted to adopt the Itchy & Scratchy theme song as their own “They fight, they fight. Fight, fight, fight. Fight, fight, fight”.

Now be fair

The Western Australian Democrats have got enough problems at the moment, so will whoever’s responsible stop frightening the more sensitive members by logging into the divisional chatroom as “crikey.com”.

Overseas example

The Prime Miniature has been playing down talk of a crash in residential property prices. His loyal deputy is being a little more cautious, warning that housing prices (shock horror!) can actually go down.

And with John Major in the news again, the Government should have received a salutary warning.

It wasn’t all that bonking around that destroyed the Tories. It was losing their reputation as economic managers. A housing bubble broke and left middle-Englanders with negative equity.

Despite everything else despite all the appeals to ugly Australia that began with the pandering to Pauline Hanson back in 1996 even lukewarm Libs such as Hillary have been able to say that at least the Government have been good economic managers. Now, that may have gone out of the window, too, with the news last that the Budget blew out last financial year by a further $100 million to $1.3 billion. So much for Cozzie’s “guaranteed” surplus.

Finance Minister Ho Chi Minchin pointed to S11 and the tech crash. Other, more independent, observers were left asking how much the pre-election panic and the sloppy populist policies that went with it like offering all sorts of goodies to oldies without any means tests had to do with it.

The excuses offered by Ho represent one offs. The others are recurrent costs.

John Howard may well have managed to kick a hole in his own budgets well beneath the waterline one that will somehow need to be plugged if future Budgets aren’t to be awash with red ink. Oh dear.

Mark Latham stays testy

Drunk or insane? Who knows? The only thing that’s clear is that Iron Mike Latham’s obsession with Hillary Bray continues.

There he was in the pages of the Oz’s Media section last week, shouting from the rooftops that lobbyist Andrew Parker is Hillary. All this to avoid making a little retraction in the House. Does he realise how distressing this behaviour is for his loved ones and colleagues?

2GB’s happy snaps

Singo’s 2GB is getting publicity of a different kind, with the New South Wales Ombudsman being called in to investigate the influence 2GB broadcaster Ray Hadley had on a Hornsby City Council development decision.

Crikey, of course, already keeps an eye on Singo’s biggest star, the Parrot, to watch out that he’s not getting into any more Seed for Squawks deals or other scrapes.

It’s been interesting of late to see how the Parrot has sought to play down the Canterbury Bulldogs breach of the Thugby League salary cap and the brouhaha over the club’s controversial Oasis pokie palace project along with the allegations of impropriety against New South Wales Mineral Resources and Fisheries Minister Eddie “The Godfather” Obied.

Lo and behold, if you visit the 2GB site here and click on “Photos”, then “Boston Markets”, then “Alan Jones”, you’ll find some happy snaps of the Parrot enjoying himself at an OB with Bulldogs stars and is that, still at the Markets but under the “Official Launch” header, the Godfather, too, in the bottom picture in the light blue tie? Eagle-eyed readers, over to you.

Victorians on the move

Ten years after Jeff won a landslide his factional allies in the Victorian Liberal Party are sunk in deep despair. MLC David Davis is completely inconsolable, particularly now that the Doyle coup has dashed his friend Louise Asher’s chances of the leadership and jobs for the boys all round.

Talk now says that he is thinking of abandoning Victorian politics all together for the federal seat of Kooyong but has anyone told the sitting member, Petro Georgiou?

Now there’s a dead-cert vote winner

The first policy shots are being fired in the phoney war stage of the Victorian election campaign, with a brave salvo this week from the National Party.

A lot is riding on this campaign for the Nats. When their usual coalition partners in the Libs called in The Professionals, Robert Doyle and Phil “Brodie” Honeywood, the tough guys announced they were doing it alone and would contest all the Nationals’ seats.

So how are they going to reveal the true perils of socialism to rural Victoria? Never fear. The Victorian National Party will reintroduce compulsory head lice checks in the state’s primary schools.

Indeed, national education spokesman Peter Hall says the incidence of head lice has increased since the compulsory checks by school nurses were stopped. “It’s an issue of great concern to many parents who have contacted us,” he says.

“While it is acknowledged that head lice do not transmit infectious diseases, from a health perspective they need to be treated as soon as possible.”

“Often head lice can affect large numbers of students and disrupt classes significantly and in some cases even schools.

“It is a classic case where a little prevention is much better than a lot of cure.”

They certainly haven’t been left scratching round for ideas. No, with policies like that the Victorian National Party’s survival seems guaranteed.

Never heard of her

The South Australian Liberal Party bitter and twisted at being in opposition continues to plod sadly along, plagued by leadership rumours. The factionally peripatetic disgraced former minister Joan Hall now says she is doing numbers for aspirant Ian Evans. He claims to have nothing to do with her. And so it continues.

At the same time, it’s doubtful if Evans would even get the job. He and fellow contender Mark Brindle are both thought to be trying a little too hard by their jaded colleagues.

Cogitate, don’t litigate

Was a state premier charged over a break and enter incident while just a high spirited lad? We’re not saying, of course, that it’s got anything to do with the fact that his crown’s slipped a little of late, so cogitate, don’t litigate.

First the Falklands, now the CSIRO?

What is happening with the CSIRO’s e-mail news flash service?

The subscribers might be pointy-heads but very few of them speak Spanish and they have been frankly astounded to be sent Argetinian election material like this document here.

Hillary Bray can be contacted at [email protected]