Movements in the Press Gallery… Last weekend The Australian announced Brendan Nicholson was leaving The Age to join The Oz at the end of the year. He will replace Patrick Walters, who is going to Paris. Fairfax bureau chief Phil Hudson is also leaving, replacing Gerard McManus (who left after being asked to return to Melbourne) at the Herald-Sun. Anyone seeing a pattern here? At this rate the operation to combine the Fairfax Gallery offices will be a doddle. AAP Gallery bureau head Kate Hannon departed suddenly yesterday. Nine News executives are also in Canberra today to discuss their bureau’s future. Elsewhere, Rick Wallace is rumoured to be moving from The Oz’s Victorian state politics round to become Tokyo correspondent, replacing Peter Alford.

Hot on the heels of “Hey Hey it’s blackface“, are the latest contributions on Facebook from Victorian MP Bernie Finn, Member for Western Metropolitan in the Victorian Upper House.

Finn has again applied for endorsement at the next state election by the Liberal Party. Just wondering how the MP will communicate with his local constituents, especially those not white or of his faith?
4PM addition: Bernie Finn has told Crikey that he voted for the “his policies” option in this Facebook poll. “It had nothing to do with race,” Mr Finn said.

With all the kerfuffle going on concerning the Hey Hey it’s Saturday skit, I wonder whether the Astor Theatre will continue with its Al Jolson Tribute show, Mammy

The AFR article on the front page of October 13, 2009 quoted United CEO Richard Lupin decrying the skill shortage, claiming it was due to training suffering during the financial crisis (well it didn’t help but as the Association of Consulting Engineers of Australia found in a recent survey the skill shortage is endemic rather than cyclical) and a tightening of the 457 business visa program.

On the same day, the front page of The Age‘s business section reported that United CEO Richard Lupin was facing a shareholder revolt over a $2.25 million bonus paid to him in 2008, despite the fact he failed to meet KPIs.

Maybe if United had put the money into training, their workforce instead of paying him an obscene bonus, the shareholders wouldn’t be so unhappy and his company wouldn’t be facing such an extreme skill shortage …

In a touching and tender moment, Myer CEO Bernie Brookes presented recently departed ex-Chairman Bill Wavish with his signature CEO’s Achievement Award at the brand’s in-house awards night in Melbourne last week. Normally reserved for deserving team members from the national office or stores, staff were aghast when Bernie made the announcement. Bill graciously accepted the award and spoke for about 30 minutes, reminding the gathered managers just why he received the gong (profit growth driven by cost reduction, which by and large has made things very difficult for the average Myer employee over the past three years).

Seems taking home upwards of $70 million from the Myer float is not enough for Bill, who left the brand mysteriously in the weeks before the float announcement. He now has a lovely crystal trophy which can sit on the mantlepiece (beside his dino fossils) and big fat Myer cheque.

The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby publicly claimed at a Legal Aid Conference in Sydney last November that gay and lesbian couples who lost money because of changes to Centrelink entitlements would be nonetheless happy, because apparently losing one quarter of your measly pension is a massive statement of principle. Nobody dared to mention why the lobby forgot to urge for a grandfather clause.

Similarly, the lobby, which had previously confined itself to such inner-city bourgeois priorities as building superannuation nest eggs and raising designer children had thought that asking for marriage equality was asking for too much. That was, of course, until they realised that just about every man and his poodle in Australia actually supports the right of all adult citizens to legally formalise their relationships.

This is what happens, I guess, when the inner-city gay and lesbian elite determine what is best for all us gay and lesbian plebs out there.