But he
got first class honours in downward envy:
Australia’s new Assistant Treasurer
Peter Dutton had to battle through university for a decade, failing subjects in
government, finance and accounting, according to a copy of Dutton’s academic
leaked to the Courier Mail.

Has the odd bit of sniping from Kevin Rudd at junior dons Peter van
Onselen and Wayne Errington developed into a full blown feud? The pair had a
piece in the Courier Mail on Monday on when it’s acceptable to give former
politicians diplomatic roles. It called Rudd’s comments on speculation over
Robert Hill’s future “silly.” On Wednesday Rudd hit back – with a response that
included this par: “This is not the first time Van Onselen – who was once a
Liberal staffer – has been
critical of me. In an article last December, written with another academic, I was
accused of being ‘too forensic’ on the AWB.” Very heavy Kevvie, it seems!

Troubles with technology: It appears that sloppy texting by a senior
Canberra Press Gallery journalist has resulted in four local lasses – some
government staffers – discovering that they have much in common. Maybe more
than they’d like.

and unhappy:
Has the PM landed himself in the middle of a Tassie controversy
over proposals from the commonwealth to proclaim Marine Protected Areas on the
east coast, affecting the scallop and crayfish industries by making Eric Abetz
Fisheries Minister? Yesterday’s Hobart Mercuryreports on “surprising
criticism” from local Senator Guy Barnett.

The majesty of the law:Section 92 of the Constitution famously states that “trade, commerce and intercourse” among the states “shall be absolutely free.” And we
understand that Section 92 had an outcome on the election results at last
weekend’s Young Liberal AGM – and therefore on the makeup of the grown-up
party’s federal executive.

DIMIA’s value for money: From today’s Age:
“The cost of maintaining the Howard Government’s processing centre on the tiny
island of Nauru is now estimated at $1 million a month, more than six times the
estimate given when the last big group of asylum seekers left the island in
November. The centre is now home to just two Iraqi men who were found to be
refugees, but were refused protection by Australia after receiving an adverse
security assessment from ASIO…”

What’s with Gillard’s Costello obsession: A Q&A with Julia
Gillard’s from The Age’s (Melbourne) magazine has almost got us wondering:

Which Melbourne person would you least like to
sit next to on a tram? Peter Costello. Maybe not, that’s a bit mean, poor old
Pete. I do occasionally have to sit next to him on planes, whereupon he makes
many jokes at my expense.

Is it your ambition to be prime minister? I
didn’t used to sit in kindy dreaming about it. I’m pretty sure Peter Costello

Is there
a frisson of sexual tension there?