Governance versus government. It’s hard to have much sympathy for Sol – but spare a thought for Telstra chairman Donald McGauchie. McGauchie and his fellow Howard Government appointee to head a sensitive board over at the ABC, Donald McDonald. The Government is sending a message to all future appointees – we’ll give you your job, then cut you loose. If you do your job properly – if you act in your organisation’s interests, not ours – then we’ll p-ss all over you.

Ah, those good old Blair days. This morning’s AM featured plenty from the British Labour Party conference in Manchester. But listen to the audio. There, in the background, you can hear Wonderwall playing. Poor sods. Still stuck in the Cool Britannia groove. Nostalgic for the days of Tony Blair’s bright promise back in 1997.

Glasgow beats Belfast. There’s growing discontent in the NSW ALP hard left about Doug Cameron’s attempts to roll George Campbell. Campbell has been a mighty disappointment – but it’s thought that if he were to go, a woman candidate for the Senate might present a fresher voice. After all, replacing an old style union hack with a Belfast accent with an old style union hack with a Scots accent would just play into the Government’s hands in the WorkChoices war.

Coalition kissing cousins. It’s always pleasant to have Laurie Oakes agreeing with you. He shared our observation on the length of service of the state Liberal leaders – and in his Bulletin column today he says of the Nationals “Increasingly Liberals see them as more of a burden than a useful electoral partner. The criticism is rarely aired publicly, but raise the matter in private and you find plenty of Libs who don’t hold back.” And he has a cute quote. Worth a read.

Work experience boy. Iron Mark and his latest book came up in the NSW State Parliament last night – prompting much eye-rolling at the memory of the former federal Labor leader and the exclamation from senior minister and former party state secretary John Della Bosca: “Jesus, I gave him his first job!”

Coalition partners. Staying in the bearpit, last night Labor and the Coalition fiddled with provisions in electoral bills to allow Liberal/National and Labor/Country Labor coalitions to get around bans that prevent parties in the two houses from recommending votes for each other. The Greens’ Lee Rhiannon rightly objected that this prevented minor parties and independents doing the same thing. At which point pugnacious Treasurer Michael Costa chimed up with “We’re talking about Coalitions here, like the one between the Greens and the Stalinists.”

It’s in the mail. Is the Queensland Liberal Party really threatening to sic the learned friends onto Australia Post over poor delivery of election campaign direct mail? If so, is it just a handy way of putting off paying a very big bill for postage?

Peter Fray

Support journalism that makes things better, not worse.

Rupert Murdoch had never had a US president in his pocket before Donald Trump landed there in 2016.

This week, we explored the relationship between the two men and why Murdoch should be held to account for the making of Trump.

Where do you start with dismantling the media empire that delivered us a phenomenon like Trump?

Here’s one thing you can do: Support the journalism that makes things better, not worse.

Subscribe to Crikey today with the promo code MADEMEN and get 50% off an annual membership.

Hurry, 48 hours only.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW