Christian Kerr writes:

Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone

will speak for as long as it takes when the Palmer Report is released
today, according to her spokesperson. When I wrote her speeches, I
calculated that she spoke about 150 words a minute. That means saying
“I’m sorry, I’ve failed, I resign” would take 2.4 seconds. So as long
as it takes? Stay tuned for plenty of dissembling.

Ready for action?
We might be about to redeploy troops to Afghanistan, but rumours remain
about discussions that took place 12 months ago between the government
and former chief of the defence force Peter Cosgrove about cutting 400
uniformed personnel – discussions that are now moving closer to action.

More on the Australian Electoral Commission
and its follow-up of non voters. Poll watchers are asking how many
prosecutions are in train, and if there is a difference between what’s
going on in Labor and Liberal held electorates.

Meanwhile, if AEC heavies

soon start playing with the software academics use to detect
plagiarism, don’t be surprised. They’re supposedly studying Crikey
reports v-e-r-y carefully in a search for scapegoats as they look for
someone to blame.

We feel a list coming on after seeing this item
on the wires this morning: “Queensland Premier Peter Beattie won’t
reveal whether he has told any of his Cabinet ministers they are ‘duds’
who should not stand for re-election. Mr Beattie, who has said he had a
‘no duds’ policy in relation to Cabinet ministers, today said he did
not consider Health Minister Gordon Nuttall to be a dud following
claims he lied to a parliamentary committee… ‘No he’s not [a dud],’ Mr
Beattie told ABC Radio National, but refused to say whether he had told
any of his frontbenchers they were duds or how many he considered were
not doing their jobs properly.”

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey