Koperberg bid needs emergency services? Are moves to hand NSW Attorney-General Bob Debus’ seat of Blue Mountains to Rural Fire Service boss Phil Koperberg being held up by local faction follies? Debus is planning to jump in late December, Crikey is told. His supporters in his own faction aren’t happy at being kept in the dark – including, apparently, local party heavy and former Greens activist Naomi Parry who has had her eyes on the seat. As, apparently, does staffer and former federal candidate Jenny McAlistair. The federal redistribution isn’t helping, either. The draft boundaries for the seat of Macquarie have given a boost to the ALP – provoking preselection stirrings.

NSW Libs falling short. The Newspoll today won’t do anything for morale in the NSW Liberal Party. Not that they were feeling all that optimistic as the March election looms ever closer. At the moment, party hardheads hope they might win back Manly and Pittwater and maybe a seat in Sydney’s south, but that’s about it. Indeed, they may be put to shame by the country cousins. The Nats have high hopes for Tweed, Tamworth, Namoi and one or two others.

New Labour, old donors. The cash for peerages scandal seems to be hitting donations to the big British political parties, according to just released figures. The Guardian notes how Labor is being “kept afloat” by the trade unions, something that “does not sit easily with the mass-membership, pro-business modern party that Tony Blair claimed to launch when he took office.” The news isn’t good for the Tories or the Lib-Dems, either. There’s a push for public funding of the parties, as in Australia. But the Daily Telegraph observes “The parties should simply spend less, particularly during general elections, when millions are squandered to no perceivable effect. If they cannot live within their means and raise their own funds, they should go out of business.”

Epping all over? Pru Goward’s Epping hopes have been dealt a blow by the Daily Telegraph today – but now Crikey hears that the soft right are concerned about backing Deputy DPP and right to lifer Greg Smith. And there’s another complication, too. We’re told a good number of delegates from the stacked Cherrybrook branch have problems understanding English. That sounds as sleazy as the Victorian ALP’s Khmer capers.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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