What’s weighing on Wayne Swan’s mind?

Labor’s budget strategy might be utterly stuffed, but Wayne Swan isn’t worried about his job and doesn’t think he’ll be reshuffled.

“I just think it’s idle speculation – I don’t know where it’s come from and I’m completely relaxed about it. These things occur from time to time in politics,” he said yesterday.

Indeed. We understand that much more important things are weighing on his mind – like getting the journo who recently told him to his face he was “a f*ckwit”. Who was the miscreant? Readers, we’d love to know.

Are the defectors telling us anything?

So we now have two would-be Chinese defectors, Chen Yonglin and Hao Fengjun. Hao has told Lateline his countrymen “have spies in the consulate but they also have a network – spies they’ve sent out.”

And are they also saying something by both going to Immigration, rather than ASIO? Something about this network’s reach?

Trouble at t’mill

More cold scones at Yarralumla. Staff from the Office of the Official Secretary of the Governor General are holding a lunchtime rally outside Government House today to protest stalled pay negotiations.

The Community and Public Sector Union says the OGG management has failed to make an acceptable wage offer, despite almost nine months of talks. And the union seems to have further evidence of the government usurping the role of the governor-general and status that goes with the role.

“The pay rates in the OGG are generally around 4% behind other departments doing comparable work,” says CPSU Lead organiser, Vince McDevitt. “For example, a gardener working in Government House grounds is paid several thousand dollars a year less than a gardener doing the same job at Parliament House.”

The Consulting Room

Why is Kim Beazley talking about basing himself in Sydney when it might be more helpful if he moved to Burkina Faso? Several questions along this line have arrived for our political correspondent Christian Kerr. The Consulting Room will be open tomorrow. What do you want examined? Queries to the [email protected].