Wilson Tuckey’s conscience vote. Wilson Tuckey may have fulminated against his colleagues who crossed the floor over the refugee bill, but he’s been known to exercise his conscience on the floor of the House. Remember all the talk last year in the House over the execution of convicted drug smuggler Van Nguyen in Singapore? Remember how the debate on a motion opposing his hanging finished up?

The Speaker—The question is that the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition be agreed to. All those of that opinion say aye; I think the ayes have it.

Mr Tuckey—I ask that my name be recorded as the sole objector to this motion.

The Speaker—The member can have his name recorded. The question is therefore resolved in the affirmative, and I add that as Speaker I will willingly convey the sentiments I have been asked to convey…

A challenge for the Queensland Libs. The Queensland Libs had a few problems in the 2004 poll dealing with Ingrid Tall, their candidate for the seat of Brisbane and a campaigner for same sex relationship rights. Their official campaign bio left the space labelled “martial status” free. Which makes us suspect that they won’t be inviting Tall back to be a candidate now that the news is out that Tall remains with partner Yolande Yorke – and is believed to be expecting her first child.

Ramsay doth protest too much… A Crikey subscriber writes with this insight: “Incredulous muttering burbled around the 2006 Victorian Rural Press Club Journalism awards on Friday night when Victorian Farmers Federation President Simon Ramsay took to the podium and sledged Crikey for running ‘untrue’ rumours of his obvious ambition to pursue a Liberal Party political career. Age scribe Paul Austin had previously picked up on the VFF-Liberal love-in but Ramsay’s reference to a ‘federal’ seat was surely a stuff-up – Crikey never revealed a jurisdictional preference – making his clumsy clarification all the more interesting.”

Dedicated follower of fashion. Mark Steyn, beware! Ministers Alexander Downer, Nick Minchin and Santo Santoro might be fans, but pollies are fickle creatures – as I discovered in a second-hand bookstore near chez Downer a few years ago.