A glimpse at Amanda Vanstone’s very ‘elegant’ Italian Christmas card. Plus, which state Labor president is dumping on their Premier and other tasty tidbit tips and rumours.

Thought you might be interested in this lovely Christmas card dispatched from the classy Aussie Embassy in Rome. It was “designed” by Amanda Vanstone’s poetry-writing husband, possibly on a bulky 1988 computer. Even the Italian is old-fashioned and clunky. The style-conscious Italian recipients must be wincing.

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One of my kids works in retail, selling kitchen ware and stuff. Last year during the pre-Christmas rush, they’d have to decline a transaction (due to insufficient funds) once or twice a week. This year it’s happening a couple of times a day or more. Things may not be as rosy as some think.

In an electronic newsletter today, Queensland Labor President Dettmer basically dumped Premier Bligh in a vat by calling for a full debate on privatisation.

As the ALP preselection for the Federal seat of Macquarie edges closer to a resolution, Balmain Bob Debus’s protégé Socialist Left contender Sue Templeman is trying to score cheap points by painting Blue Mountains mayor Adam Searle as prodevelopment. Media outlets are being flooded by claims Searle is losing control of Blue Mountains City Council by calling a meeting between Christmas and the New Year.

Sadly, the “shock -horror” campaign misses a few points of law. The meeting on December 30 was instigated by three councillors, not Searle. Under the Local Govt Act, the mayor has no choice but to call a meeting within 14 days. The meeting is to consider a rescission motion that aims to stop community consultation and the public display of a community needs study.

The Socialist Left in the Blue Mountains (aided and abetted by Bob Debus, Luke Foley, Doug Cameron and Anthony Albanese, who are all pushing Crows Nest business woman Susan Templeman) are determined to stop the community going to a poll on the future of the town of Springwood and if they can damage Searle along the way, well then, everyone’s happy. Searle has long supported a process of community consultation. His take differs somewhat from interests groups who feel the only people allowed to have a view are those who think like they do.

In fact,  one interest group called “Save Our Springwood”, has members who are also members of the local Socialist Left zone and Springwood Branch of the ALP. The Left campaign to have their woman installed is beyond nasty. Many businesses in the sleepy little town of Springwood are doing it tough as a lot of locals shop in Penrith, where parking and choice factor strongly in their minds.

It might be time the loony Left political elite in the Blue Mountains start thinking more about the community needs and less about political point-scoring.

I have been living overseas for about six months, and to save a small fortune on transfer fees, I opened an account with a bank overseas. When transferring money from my bank in Australia to my overseas bank account, the money showed up in less than a business day. When I transferred the leftover amount back to Australia, it was the same.

However, when I make a BPAY transaction or transfer money to a bank account at another bank in Australia, it takes three business days. Can anyone “in the know” explain why this takes so long compared to an international transfer, and what the bank is doing with my money in the meantime? I make all my transactions via internet banking.