Paul Keating says he liked the Liberal leader Brendan Nelson better when “he had the ring in his ear”.


Tim Fischer disagrees.

“I prefer him without the earring,” the one-time deputy PM said last week.

But what is the story of the earring? Where has it gone? Will it become one of those quasi-mythological objects, like Napoleon’s foreskin?

Crikey understands that the earring – a diamond stud – was an engagement present from Dr Brendan’s second wife of three, Kate.

He promised Kate he would always wear the earring. When they split the earring went. End of story. Nothing to do with ambition.

Still, there’s another story Crikey has heard that can’t go without mention.

A number of years ago there was a roast for Dr Brendan. Every male attending had to wear a fake earring or cop a $100 fine.

Crikey is told that if a camera had been in there, we would have shots to beat Alexander Downer’s fishnets.