Dear Christian Could you please explain to me why it is that whenever there is 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?

Dear Victoria That raffle guess isn’t bad. You’ll find the bottles are there to get autographed by the Dear Leader for backbenchers – so much quicker and easier than taking them round to the PM’s office to be signed. Most of them will end up among the posher lots in fundraising auctions but, yes, others will be prizes in fundraising raffles. This is politics: anything for a quid.
Dear Christian I noticed on an extract from proceedings in the House on Lateline during the week that Malcolm Turnbull is now almost in the middle of the front-on shot behind the PM. During the early days of the Kirribilli Hillbilly’s reign, an old mate, adept at the art of media tart, also managed to get his smile on the dial. What are the machinations of attaining this media-exposure prize?

Dear Anon The old grab-a-seat-two-rows-behind-the-leader-show-up-on-the-tele trick, hey? Normally to get one you have to (a) be pretty easy on the eye and (b) hold a marginal seat. If you can, have a peak around Kimbo at Kate Ellis. That shows you how it works. Wentworth isn’t a marginal and if this piece from the Sydney Star Observer from last year is anything to go by, there are plenty of people in the electorate better qualified to comment on Turnbull’s spunk factor. Perhaps it’s all down to his natural charm and ability.