NSW Liberal mutterings

Two exciting new conspiracy
theories are emerging from the NSW Liberals – claims of secret meetings
between state director Graham Jaeschke and deputy leader Barry
O’Farrell and reported sightings of state executive heavies Geoff
Selig, Rhonda Vanzella and Nick Campbell together. What gives?

Immigration conundrum

Federal
Labor and the Greens have agreed to support a Senate inquiry into the
government’s handling of the defection of former Chinese diplomat Chen
Yonglin while they still can. A motion to establish the inquiry will be
introduced into the Senate this morning.

They might like to consider this question. Yesterday the ABC
reported how the Immigration Department found itself on the defensive
again, with officers attempting to explain why Chinese officials had
been allowed to interrogate asylum seekers being held in Australian
detention centres. If Chinese diplomats had to go to Baxter and
Villawood to interview their nationals when did the Pakistani
ambassador interview the Bakhtiyari family to get passports organised?


Ranking the maidens

Is that title sexist? I apologise – but we are talking about a beauty contest of sorts here.

Cheeky 18-year-old Victorian blogger Benedict Spearritt is ranking the
maiden, sorry, first speeches of the Class of 2004 on his website. How
did they measure up in their attempts to win the affections of the
parliament? Why not kick off with a review of Peter Garrett’s effort here.

Consulting room

A
reader asks: “Could you please explain to me why it is that whenever
there’s footage of the inside of the Government Party Room you always
seem to see a couple of bottles of plonk placed strategically in shot
on the table that Howard and Costello sit at? Do some of them need a
heart starter to get ’em going before a meeting? Do they have a raffle
which is drawn at the end?” Easy-peasy. Christian Kerr is in the
Consulting Room tomorrow morning dissecting the body politics. Any
other questions? Get them to [email protected]