About Senate preferences: the NSW Greens have a deal with Labor to swap Senate preferences in NSW. This is part 2 of the deal. Part 1 was the NSW State election where the NSW Greens delivered preferences to Labor in 23 marginals, in return for Upper House preferences, and worked well. Part 2 is the same thing federally, but only for NSW seats and Senators. Note that the Australian Greens is made up of independent, affiliated state parties, who run their own affairs. Other states may have other arrangements and deals.

Obviously a sense of foreboding in the PM’s household. Seen shopping in the women’s section of Target at Chatswood – Janette Howard. Does this tell us something about her fiscal outlook!

It is not just the Overseas Trained Doctors who have failed the General Practitioners exam who are being imported to Australia and working without supervision. There have been major ructions from the fellows within the Royal Australian College of Physicians over the past year because their college has allowed the importation of Overseas Trained Doctors who have failed the RACP exam and who are actually replacing Australian graduates in some rural hospitals. Hospitals love the OTDs because they will not complain about service reduction lest their Visa 457 be withdrawn by the employer.

It is no wonder that John Howard is staying on the Eastern seaboard this week, a very unpleasant reminder of his bast-rdy pulled into Fremantle Harbour in WA on Wednesday, in the shape of a large orange cargo ship flying the Norwegian flag; none other than the famous Tampa.

ALP insiders are still struggling with Isaacs candidate Mark Dreyfus – smart bloke, but not good with people. Whilst seen as a future AG, he is struggling with grassroots campaigning in the marginal seat. As one nark put it, he’s a great bloke for a speech, but don’t ask him to stay for a beer, or chat over a cup of tea. Dreyfus himself in an AFR profile (29 September) highlighted the same problem: “I have to work on changing the way I speak … listening to people in an electorate is very different than speaking to judges and juries, but I am enjoying the change”. Given his history earning $3,000 a day for the Victorian Government and his advocacy about a toxic waste dump, expect to see Victorian ALP Party officials, play hide the candidate over the coming weeks.

Ed – And will the person who keeps sending us that tip about Peter Garrett and the dismembered corpse please stop.