It is worth noting that dislike of Stephen Conroy is not confined to the Left of the ALP. Many on the Right can’t stand him either and even his fellow roosters have their reservations about the brutality of his factional approach.

Descriptions I have heard from his colleagues include devious, grubby, sleazy, untrustworthy, vicious and psychopathic, all from the Victorian Right. The nicest thing I have ever heard said about him was: “Stephen’s not really that bad – until you get to know him.”

All of which leads to the question: how did he ever rise to the giddy height of deputy leader in the senate if he hasn’t a friend in the party? A mystery indeed.

And PS: If you must refer to critics of our Dear Leader as Howard haters, could you also refer to his apologists in a similar sneering manner – Howard huggers, perhaps. Given the depth of the divisions our “For all of us” Prime Minister has inflicted on the country, a touch of even-handedness seems only fair.