Cherchez les femmes. Look down the list of NSW Liberal Party candidates. What’s missing? Women. Women candidates. Less than a sixth of the candidates are women. Is this something to do with the rise of the religious right? Or is the hard right’s criticism of the moderate forces in the party true – that they are the faction that dare not speak their name.

Recompense for the rodent? New Minister and old Crikey regular Senator George Brandis has sent an aide-memoire to his Ministerial Correspondence Unit. Instead of the usual – and correct – “Dear Prime Minister”, all letters from the frontbencher to the great man are to begin “My Dear Prime Minister”. Recompense for “the rodent” incident that got the 2004 campaign off to such a lively start?

Now that will appeal to swinging voters. The South Australian Greens marketing officer has come up with a t-shirt slogan that will really win over all those disaffected Dems and doctors’ wives: “Give a Sh-t, Vote Green”. Too many bongs, too many vegan beers.

Upping the numbers? It hasn’t had much of a run on the mainland, but Andrew Wilkie, the former spook who quit over Iraq and ran against John Howard in Bennelong in 2004 has been chosen to run as Bob Brown’s number two on the Tassie ticket for the Greens. It’s going to do wonders for their chances of holding a quarter of the Senate spots from the Apple Isle – and was all forecast by guess who last year.

Today’s special birthday. All best wishes to Robert Mugabe, who celebrates his 83rd birthday today with a cake-and-fizzy-drinks party funded by deducting money from public servants’ wages and bullying near-bankrupt businesses for donations to raise the 300 million Zimbabwean dollars (about $80,000), reports The Times. Guests are expected to hear a long address from the Most Consistent and Authentic Revolutionary Leader (his official title).

Lookalikes. It’s complete. Janette Howard has finally, completely and utterly metamorphosed into Hyacinth Bucket. Does this mean the PM can now go?

  

Send your snippets to [email protected].

Peter Fray

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