When Lin Hatfield-Dodds announced in a blaze of publicity that she was withdrawing from the Olympic torch relay, she gave the impression that she did so with the full support of the various organisations with which she claims allegiance – Uniting Care Australia, the Australian Council of Social Service and the Uniting Church. The only problem is that she did not get the imprimatur of these organisations before she dragged them into the drama. And ever since, trouble has been slowly brewing. It is all likely to come to a head this week, with the boards of both Uniting Care and ACOSS meeting in Canberra, and people talking of censure motions and disciplinary procedures. The decision caused particular problems for the Uniting Church, because it really is a broad church – so broad, in fact, that it includes many Chinese congregations, which were outraged about their church being portrayed as anti-Beijing Olympics. The Uniting Care network has similar problems, because it has firm roots in parts of the Australian Chinese community and some major Chinese donors have threatened to pull their funding. CEOs of some major Uniting Care agencies are particularly grumpy, because while we run large, complex operations like aged care services, Lin only runs a very small national secretariat, so while she leveraged off the size of our operations to get publicity for her announcement, she does not have to deal with any of the consequences. Even Lin’s friends at ACOSS have got the sh-ts at being dragged into the mess because apparently the first most of them heard anything about it was via the TV news.

Who said he was leaving? A Coalition member’s office dispatched a press release this morning using the filter that identifies whether the recipients are on the Coalition side or not. A ping came back from a recipient that was “affiliated with other political parties.” One P. Costello, MP.

The Government “GOLD” directory still lists Nick Minchin as the Vice President of the Federal Executive Council.

While the media scrum was camped outside celebrity tax cheat Glenn Wheatley’s South Yarra mansion all day yesterday covering a non-story, a genuinely newsworthy drama was occurring in a neighbouring ‘burb. The body of a woman was found in a parked car in Green Street, Windsor. While police attended the scene, the parking inspector who discovered the deceased was happy to tell passers-by that more than $4,000 cash was found stashed in the car.

Regarding Rodney Adler – “Address unknown”? Nah! Perhaps you might tell them?

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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