Wonder if NineMSN meant for The Australian to give out their URL for a new Olympics website today in the paper — it’s obviously not ready yet.

The ATO has implemented new rules effective 1 July for identifying that callers to their hotlines are who they claim to be. Not a problem in theory. Except as someone on their phone line told me this morning “they didn’t bother to let anybody know about these new requirements, so it’s causing lots of problems”. Plus if you are someone authorised to deal with the ATO on behalf of a company e.g. your employer, in order for the ATO to be able to speak to you, you need to provide them with details in relation to your personal tax affairs, so they can ensure they are talking to the right person. Examples of what they may want or need from you (every time you call) are at least 3 of – your date of birth, home address, bank account details and details from your last notice of assessment, including income and tax amounts. I’m sure plenty of people will have a problem disclosing these details in an open plan office, on a regular basis, just so they can do their jobs…

Interesting to see “prominent” adolescent psychologist Michael Carr-Greg weighing into the child n-dity debate by taking issue with Age art critic Robert Nelson. Dr Carr-Greg said he thinks “ordinary Australians can and do interpret what (Mr Nelson) has done as furthering the s-xualisation of children, and no amount of misconstrued psychobabble is going to change that” (The Age, Friday 11 July). Some Crikey readers may find this surprising and confusing, given that impotence treatment spruikers Advanced Medical Institute have cited support from Dr Carr-Gregg in defending numerous complaints from parents about the effects on children of exposure to its “Longer Lasting S-x” billboards and radio ads. In February 2007, AMI told the Advertising Standards Board that Dr Carr-Gregg “is of the view that you should start s-x education confrontation (sic) of this subject (premature ej-culation) as early as possible” and that “it is naïve and unrealistic to think that young teenagers (8-14) are unaware of the subject nor should they be guarded from it”. So whose psychobabble is being misconstrued here?

There is much speculation about Christine Jackman’s forthcoming book, Inside Kevin07, due out in a few weeks time after extracts in The Australian next weekend. A few who have seen it say that it is a smartly written inside account which reveals some new things, but not everything. However, it does pinpoint accurately that the “brains” behind Kevin07’s successful election strategy were his long-time stafffer Alister Jordan, ALP National Secretary Tim Gartrell, and then NSW ALP Secretary Mark Arbib. It shows that Kevin07 went to great lengths to include Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan from time to time on big decisions. The book includes some snippets from the party’s polling and research. There are lots of interviews with key players. Stepping into the limelight for credit this time are Neil Lawrence and his advertising team and Tony Mitchelmore for his focus group work. Some other important but largely unknown party figures also get due credit for their behind the scenes work. David Epstein, Rudd’s chief of staff, appears only as a minor player, largely insignificant. The book is said to be the best of the lot on Kevin07 and the election, but is also known to be the “official” version. Of course, Kevin07 is the godfather to her son Riley. Jackman is married to The Australian’s Chris Mitchell too. So, it’s all in the family. Look for the extracts on Saturday, 19 July. (CRIKEY: and a big hello to all our other friends at MUP publicity.)

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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