Labor are keen to win the NSW federal seat of Calare and are set to have a high profile candidate stand against sitting member John Cobb who now has a knife edge margin of just 1.3% after the recent distribution.

Telstra insiders have been commenting lately that the ascension of David Thodey to the CEO’s office has been remarkably free of the normal blood-letting-disguised-as-restructure that normally follows a change at the helm of a large corporation. Well, wait no more — retrenchments started yesterday in Network Services arm of the business, with rumours of many more to follow. Stand by…

Old is new at Myer as the owners get ready to flog the business later this year. For the coming Spring Summer season, Myer has launched a new brand, Innovare, which features exclusive women’s shoes from Italy. Desperate measures? Innovare was a long standing private brand at Myer that was dumped by management about six years ago because it was comprehensively rejected by customers.

In its final days, staff knew that customers would not buy the brand even at almost 99% off (90% off, take another 30% off, take another 50% off — you get the picture). In the end, staff at Myer Melbourne almost resorted to staking lip liners, mascaras and other assorted Innovare product in boxes in the Bourke Street mall under “Please Take” signs.

You think they could at least have come up with a new name this time around.

Airlines aren’t the only transport companies that provide poor service — bus companies can be just as bad. My wife recently travelled to Melbourne by Greyhound bus. However, she and two other travellers were left stranded at 9pm at Southern Cross Station in Melbourne when the bus for the return journey didn’t arrive. The Greyhound office was closed and there was no information as to what had happened to the bus. My wife had to arrange to be picked up by her brother and then get back into the city by taxi early the next morning.

The story she got from the now open Greyhound office was that the service had been cancelled and she had been placed on an earlier bus that had left the previous evening. Greyhound had thought that an email sent the Sunday before was sufficient notification of this change. There was no recognition by Greyhound that as the tickets had been paid for in advance, the company had some obligation to provide the service that had been purchased and if it was unable to do so, to make an effort to contact the purchaser directly and offer alternative arrangements. There was also no recognition by Greyhound that not everyone who is travelling has access to email.

Greyhound require internet bookings to include a phone number, but they never bothered to use the information to contact my wife by phone. My wife says she will never travel by bus again.

Re. Mike Carlton’s departure from 2UE and re-appearance in the Sydney Morning Herald. Did anyone notice the other key report on Friday and Saturday? Annabel Crabb is leaving Fairfax to go to the ABC where she will spearhead the broadcaster’s ambitions in commentary and chat. Fairfax therefore needed a replacement. They knew Carlton was becoming available. After all his million dollar salary was 2UE’s equivalent of Eddie McGuire’s $4 million effort at the Nine Network. Carlton knew that he was a goner and then Fairfax threw him a lifeline, which he grabbed. At 2UE watch Steve Price, he’s another overpaid ratings underachiever.

The Nine Network has been quietly offering the Winter Olympics, Summer Olympics and Logies to Ten and Seven. It seems the banks behind CVC which owns the majority of PBL Media, are increasingly nervous at CVC’s ability to repay the $3.8 billion in loans. In bad news for Nine Foxtel is planning eight Olympic channels for the Summer games in London in 2012. Foxtel is eying the possibility that it can effectively grab the games because of Nine’s financial weakness.