Tony Abbott has scored a coup in securing the services of the government's just-returned senior spy in London. Mark Higgie, who joined Abbott's office as his foreign affairs adviser this week, was until December the spook-central Office of National Assessments' man in the UK -- which means Australia's rep to the high-powered Joint Intelligence Committee (of the Iraq war "45 minute" claim).

We imagine it must have been an interesting conversation when Higgie announced his departure to ONA's new boss, former Paul Keating adviser Allan Gyngell.