Senior officers. Is Chief of the Army General Peter Leahy preparing to take over from Angus Houston? Will he be better for Brendan and John than Houston?

Rats not in the ranks. Dramatic last minute events have led to the withdrawal of Michael Photios from this weekend’s NSW Liberal Legislative Council Preselection. Following a coup by moderate powerbroker Sam Witheridge against Photios – possibly not unrelated to a Joe Hockey function a couple of nights ago – the new candidate favoured to win is Councillor John Ajaka. But a blunder may have cost Ajaka dearly. Alleged comments to preselectors on his potential fundraising prowess are causing discomfort. At the moment, the last thing the Libs need is an Eddie Obied of their very own.

Bl–dy kids! “The son of Treasurer Peter Costello doesn’t like the Young Liberals but speaks glowingly of his father,” the Hun says today in one of two – two – promos for a profile of 19-year-old Sebastian Costello in tomorrow’s Weekend magazine. “Dad doesn’t have a dart board with Howard’s face on it,” Sebastian says. “But I made him one once as a joke.” Sounds fun – but we’re more interested to learn that the lad is a communications student at RMIT. Does he want to do some work experience with Crikey? In Canberra, maybe? Next Budget week?