Dear diary. Will Bob Carr’s diaries be subpoenaed
before the Eddie Obeid/SMH damages case is over?

The invisible leader. Name the Leader of
the Government in the Senate. Go on. Hard, isn’t it? Nick Minchin isn’t just
getting flak from his colleagues for doing little in the Finance portfolio to
stop the Howard Government’s tax and spend mania. He’s also under criticism for
his low, low profile.

High security. Crikey hears of more
problems this week with the new security system on the ramps leading up to the
doors of Parliament House – quite a lot more, including some involving
Commonwealth cars. “The bollard always wins,” an attendant joked.

Student
culture lives.
Voluntary student unionism hasn’t meant the end of undergraduate
humour, if this invitation is anything to go by: “Flinders University Liberal
Club VSU Pub Crawl – Come and spend all your saved
student fees on drinks.”

Internal polling? What’s behind the talk in
Canberra of an exodus of Labor staff?

Very exclusive. A further fact on the
Senate’s defeat this week of the Greens’ bid for an inquiry into the Exclusive Brethren
denomination – the Democrats have only not voted with the Greens on a motion on
one other occasion since July last year, when the new Senate came into being.
Says something for the motion – and for the Democrats’ attempts to distinguish
themselves from Bob Brown’s crew.

Bilbies the new parrots? And here we thought that Ian Campbell’s best friend was the parrot (having saved it from all those nasty wind thingies). But for the environment minister it’s a bilby on the shoulder and an Australian take on a old piratical tradition. Thanks to James Norman for the pic…

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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