Last night I was a guest on a corporate table at Gerard Henderson’s Sydney Institute Lecture by Kevin Rudd, with Sydney’s social A-List present. Given all the negative commentary about the quality of the PM’s speeches, I was eager to see how he performed in person. As for delivery, he was flat and wooden, apart from a few decent jokes. As for the written speech, it wasn’t too bad, but he clearly needs new speechwriters. The language seemed to pedestrian to me, a novice in these things. At one point, a prominent newly-minted Labor Member of Parliament that I was sitting next to, chuckled when the PM said that he wanted a “new tradition of the reforming centre” of national politics. “How can it be a tradition, if it is new,” the MP said. Good point. Surely our new PM who inspired the nation with his “sorry” speech can do much better than this.

SBS has axed The Movie Show… or at least axed Fremantle Media…

The word around Wellington, New Zealand, is that Crosby/Textor are back in Wellington working for the NZ National Party. The National Party has previously admitted to using Parliamentary resources to pay Crosby/Textor for their help in 2005, but refuse to answer questions on whether they’re doing the same in 2008.

Who wants the moral high ground on the desalination plant option in Adelaide? The Liberal or Labor party? It’s there for the taking! All you need to do, is embrace the concept of zero brine discharge, courtesy of the CSIRO. Add a disused tank farm from a former oil refinery. Reline the tanks and you have the makings of a brine recovery process. Then add in the local economic development board and you may actually have new industries that value add to the desalination process. So who has the vision?

Bruce Hawker’s tendency to claim campaign responsibility for a range of campaigns when his involvement has been peripheral also has a number of non-Hawker Britton ALP campaigners off-side.

Further to your tips and rumours on Quest Newspapers in Brisbane. Staff are being shifted, resigning and not being replaced and generally treated like crap all while two new senior editorial positions have been created to achieve absolutely nothing except a few “jobs for the boys”. Stay tuned …

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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