The end of the year is suddenly upon us. Next week is formally the last sitting week of the year, although the Government had been speculating that it might have an extra week because of the Senate’s sloth in considering bills.

The annual Prime Minister’s Press Gallery drinks are on at the Lodge on Tuesday night. Hopefully Mr Rudd will have overcome the cold he appears to have picked up while travelling, although it gave his voice a smokey, Jim Waleyesque timbre in Parliament yesterday. Tuesday is a popular date -- the Greens have scheduled their drinks at the same time, and the Opposition had theirs pencilled in for Tuesday evening as well.