Forget a love-in with Queensland Nationals, forget the warm and fuzzy leadership of Dr Nelson. Down in front of the student union office at Melbourne University today, the Young Liberals are back to core Liberal values. A sign is being displayed “End Poverty, Get a Job”.

Regarding Friday’s tip concerning Big W’s plasma TV let-down. Maybe you should have checked the car boots of Big W employees for signs of large cardboard boxes on Thursday. I know of at least one staff member from a Victorian regional store who fronted up to work early on the morning of the big special and bought the Sanyo TV for just $750 after they included their staff discount (it was advertised in the catalogue at $794)! No wonder all the customers missed out! Pretty poor form I think — what ever happened to competitions and promotions not being available to staff and their immediate families?

More on the Big W big plasma con: Both the national catalogue and website heavily promote the plasma at this bargain price. Only 5,000 were bought from Sony, with stores receiving 30 each. It doesn’t take Einstein to figure that a Plasma at a 40%+ discount in the Olympic lead up will be wildly popular, making the first commitment, rendering the first commitment in their Merchandise Policy a joke “BIG W makes every effort to ensure stock is available when advertised”: In fact all units were sold out in the first hours of a 14-day sale. No rainchecks and the Advertised Merchant Policy of “a comparable item (if available) with the same reduction in price” is being met with “no comparable item” retorts. An absolute disgrace.

There’s probably a straightforward explanation, but it seemed curious that Caroline Marcus’ story on Peter Lloyd in today’s Sun-Herald mentioned he came out six months ago as g-y, but her piece for The Age did not. Any reason?

Swan watch 1. The 40 black swans shot in East Gippsland were starving as a result of the current agriculture driven algal bloom killing all sea grass, sea weed,mussels and sand worm in the lakes. So the problem was created by the very industry that got the permit to kill. “A Catchment 22 Situation”.

Swan watch 2. After watching The Grates rip it up at the Oxford Art Factory last night, I nipped over the road to have a beer at The Brighton Hotel. Who should I see there but the Federal Treasurer, obviously there to catch up with his daughter Erinn and her band Nina May.

How safe is the hull of the MV Cape Don? NSW Maritime’s forced removal of the MV Cape Don from its berth at the Old Coal Loader in Waverton, Sydney is less than three weeks away! Hopefully consideration has been given to the state of the ship’s historical “bottom” as there is about seven tonnes of oil and fuel onboard. What happens if there’s a leak as the ship is yanked off its mooring and towed to Snails Bay? Lots of muck and pollution in Sydney Harbour, that’s what! The ABC’s Stateline program looked at the ship last Friday but did not cover the old dear’s derrière.

NSW Treasurer Michael Costa has unfuriated his comrades in the State Labor Party by pulling out of two fund-raising functions at which he was billed as the main guest speaker. He apologised saying that he could not in clear conscience support a function organised by the party while it was actively campaigning against the Iemma Government’s plan to privatise the power industry. Well, the right-wing Young Labor branch in Sydney’s eastern suburbs will be holding a trivia night tonight (Friday) at Randwick Labor Club and Costa has agreed to be MC. “It should be an amusing night if nothing else,” emailed one of the organisers, Louise Easson. It certainly will. Young Labor’s left faction has got wind of Costa’s guest appearance. “We encourage people to go to the club and to give him (Costa) a warm reception when he arrives.”

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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