Merlin’s beard, Rudd likes Harry. The latest ABC News online article has a picture of Kevin Rudd in his office. Couldn’t help but notice what one of the books behind him was…

My department boss says her Secretary head has assured her the government doesn’t intend to push the public service at all, it’s just another piece of bluff from Rudd. Apparently there are frantic moves happening between PM&C and other key Depts and the government to come up with a peace deal where the Government comes out smelling like roses. People in our section, as a group, have already told my boss to forget any more midnight rush jobs this year and that weekends are now off limits. One person in PM&C is said to have sent an anonymous email to Rudd’s office threatening not only more leaks but outright sabotage of some new draft legislation, unless Rudd backs off. It sounds like war to me. The rumour is there will be an announcement out of Rudd’s office next week.

The chief minister of the ACT, Jon Stanhope, is out of favour with the federal government over his push for gay legislation. Talk is he was favoured for a diplomatic posting until he ruffled feathers (again) with his pro-gay rights stance. He is now saying publicly he is staying around for the long haul but privately scurrying for an assignment that will allow him to leave ACT politics with dignity. ACT Labor insiders concede his government is on the nose and very likley to lose the next election in November.

A certain state minister in a trade related portfolio certainly believes that companies he visits should provide adequate compensation for that blessed experience. In recent times it was made clear to a respected German Instrument maker that an expensive navigation device would be appropriate compensation; whilst at a well known department store the offer of clothing at cost was inadequate, the garments in question should have been supplied without charge! No doubt his factional influence will keep him in a ministry, even while his personal actions bring public discredit on the Government in question.

How come the ABC has taken sides on the Henson story? The Henson tape I bought from an ABC shop has a rating of “E”. This is even lower than “G”! So how come then after the Henson sensation hit and the ABC ran the documentary the rating was suddenly “PG”? A friend pointed out to me today and he’s right. For the TV viewing the ABC went for “parental guidance,” but if you go into the shops the tape is still “E”. The website recommends the documentary to schools including primary schools. Henson has not been found guilty yet ABC sells this documentary rated “E”.

So I noticed a certain Prof Ian Harper commenting in an op ed piece in yesterday’s AFR, with the byline precede “The Treasurer is upholding a damaging banks policy”. Surely this is not the same Ian Harper who holds a key statutory economic position as Chair of the Australian Fair Pay Commission? Maybe he’s so uncomfortable with the new Government’s IR framework that he’s trying to get sacked….?

Meanwhile on the oily knoll: I saw an internal email this morning between Industry & Resources and a nameless Canberra-based economics consulting firm that predicts a fall in the price of fuel in September/October. My spy at the firm says the Rudd Government is known to be holding ground over fuel pricing for when fuel prices drop rapidly and they can claim FuelWatch is a runaway success.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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