Get Flegg. Is the Courier-Mail out to get Bruce Flegg? Crikey hears that on a hospital visit yesterday of brave efforts to get the Queensland Liberal leader to stand next to signs reading “Emergency” and “Casualty”. They didn’t come to anything – but Flegg’s minder, former South Australian state MP Angus Redford, helpfully threatened to throw a photographer’s camera off a balcony. But The Courier Mail had got a great yarn. “The headaches were the last thing the accident-prone Dr Flegg needed, particularly on the day when he was accompanied on the hustings by Laraine Blades, an adviser with the deportment and grooming company June Dally-Watkins. Billed as Australia’s ‘first school of personal and professional development’ the company claims it can assist clients with hands-on training, “unlocking their potential to ‘Be the Best they Can Be’.” Meanwhile, today’s Courier Mail carries the result of yesterday’s poll: “Has Queensland Liberals leader Bruce Flegg been getting a hard time? Yes 57% No 43%”. And today’s question is, hilariously, “Should we have more politicians with real-world experience?”

Settling in. A Victorian state election is looming, but one Labor celebrity MP still hasn’t got settled down in the electorate they won four years ago. Their outer suburban electorate is full of four and five bedroom homes, but they’ve slunk back to inner-city Richmond. A constituent bailed them up on the subject at a shopping centre recently, only to be told by the MP “I haven’t found a house big enough.” How big do they want?

Prickly pineapples. Courier-Mail journos haven’t taken kindly to The Australian’s coverage of the death of their long serving Canberra correspondent, Wally Brown. “He was underestimated because his outlet was the Courier-Mail,” The Oz quoted Laurie Oakes as saying. “If he had worked for a Sydney or Melbourne newspaper, he would have been a huge name in journalism in this country.” And they seem to recall how during the dismissal days how Brown and Oakes worked side by side – and how his copy was shared around the Herald & Weekly Times papers.

We’re all going on a summer holiday. Tony Blair has been sunning himself at Cliff Richard’s villa in Barbados – and his Barbadian counterpart is on holiday in Britain. Owen Arthur, the island’s leader, is sampling the delights of the midlands industrial city of Birmingham, according to The Times.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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