Attending a Liberal Party fundraiser for Malcolm Turnbull in Melbourne last night, I was astonished that upon leaving guests were presented with a Liberal Party show bag — boldly branded “The Australian” newspaper. So much for subtlety, The Australian ties its colours firmly and proudly to the mast. Given the feigned horror The Australian has expressed about lobbyists and undue influence, you would think there might be concerns about perceptions of the blurred role of the Fourth Estate.

In 1996 Harry Connick Jr. appeared in a sketch on MAD TV in a Baptist preacher sketch with “blackface.” In the sketch “Revs. LaMont Nixon Fatback” and “Dr. Michael Cassidy” talk about “the true meanin’ of Chrimmah”… all the things you can do with a “Hair Connick, Joonyah” Christmas CD when you’re all alone during the holidays.

Somehow I suspect it’s likely to be a bit of a talking point today after last night’s Hey Hey incident… Connick Jr. will also appear on Australian Idol this Sunday night.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooKaCbMvaZ0[/youtube]

Seems Peter Dutton mysteriously stopped tweeting on the 21st of September — around the time that the deal with Margaret May to step down was arranged I suspect (she announced only a week later). He hasn’t been back to the twitter bar since…

My local free paper, the Logan West Leader, had an article about Councillor Hajnal Ban (Logan City Council) not being worried about Peter Dutton, as she has nominated for LNP preselection in the seat of Wright. She suggests Malcolm Turnbull should be more focused on the ETS and his party, rather than pre-selections. She goes on about being a LOCAL. Sounds like she’s worried.

There is an interesting story about a senior (Adelaide) Advertiser journalist throwing a punch or two late at night in parliament house some years ago against a still-sitting state MP. That journalist is still with the Advertiser in a senior position but banned from Parliament House. The MP?

Re. The Woodside story in The West on Tuesday. You missed the point that Woodside CEO Don Voelte sits on the WAN Board … so Kerry Stokes was “in the story”.

Schoolgirl sailor Jessica Watson was escorted the whole way from Southport to Sydney by another vessel — she indicated in her blog she was escorted the last few miles into Sydney Harbour. Jessica Watson was offloaded by an experienced sailor charged with teaching her to sail earlier this year on a voyage from Cairns to south-east Queensland — the widely experienced sailor deemed her a “risk”. Jessica Watson refused to climb the mast on said voyage to check rigging.

She has no knowledge of corrosion on a boat and could not use basic tools. The intended first leg of her voyage takes her north of New Zealand and means she will not round the “five capes”. This course also puts her in an area of serious weather events. Finally, everyone should read the full report of her collision with the tanker off the Queensland coast on her first attempted voyage to Sydney.

The report is full of damning conclusions.

Investors beware. Tasmania again makes the grade as the highest land taxing State, by a mile, sorry, hectare. At the lower value end, the relative comparison gets worse but tax on, say, non residential land with a total value of $750,000, Queenslanders would either pay $2000 or $0 if jointly owned. The other States don’t seem to differentiate on the basis of how many owners there are. They all get slugged as if the were the sole owners.

From lowest to highest, Western Australia would tax urban land $1035, Victoria $1725, South Australia raises the bar at $5420, then New South Wales at $6212 and greedy little Tasmania at a whopping $9837. Land valuations have risen sharply in Tasmania in the last 12 months, so many self-funded retirees are facing increases of twice that of their 2008/2009 charges.

Easy money for the Government.