The truth behind the Japanese defence pact. Anthony Albanese kindly read a bit of David Barnett’s John Howard biography into the Hansard record in 1998 that might explain the new Japan defence pact. It tells what happened when a young Howard met Billy McMahon: “An appointment was arranged with McMahon in his office in parliament House. Howard was ushered in, and Bill McMahon jumped to his feet. ‘No,’ he said. ‘I don’t want to see him.’ Then McMahon, who also had an appointment with a Japanese delegation, stopped himself. ‘I thought you were Japanese’ he said.” Curiously, a former Howard minister has been known to refer to the PM as “The Japanese Ambassador”.

Clean fight. Is a Victorian Labor activist under investigation by the police for allegedly falsifying electoral documents helping on the NSW campaign?

Campaign effort. Have the NSW Liberal state executive really applied a freeze on processing new membership applications – when it looks as if the party is in need of a little help?

Queensland Libs fundraising wheeze. While Printergate – and associated – allegations continue to circulate, the Queensland Liberal Party have devised a new way to raise a few bob. State Director Geoff Green has written to members informing them of the Secretariat’s next campaign training school. Green writes: “In a year that has already shaped up to be the biggest election challenge ever experienced by most Coalition Members and Senators, I cannot stress enough how important it is for your key FEC campaign volunteers to attend.” Indeed – but there’s a catch. “Normally, the campaign training school attracts a fee of $250 per person,” Green writes. “However, as I value your FEC campaign volunteer’s attendance, I am waiving the standard fee for a $100 payment per person.” Given the state of the Queensland Libs and the state of the polls, why are they scaring off potential attendees with a fee?

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Peter Fray
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