Meanwhile, over in Manchester, the UK Labour Party conference is in full swing. Crikey‘s correspondent-at-large Guy Rundle reports from the Old Dart:

Ed Miliband has won the party leadership, and has offered the shadow chancellorship to his brother David, who is considering whether to take it up, or punch him in the face and take a gig at Harvard. David paid the first installment on his revenge by giving a better speech than his brother. David assured the party there were no hard feelings, calling his brother “special” so many times it was starting to sound like an am-dram performance of Of Mice and Men.

Ed Balls was named as a likely shadow chancellor (shadow chancellor — is that a great DC comics hero or what?) if David knocks it back — an appointment which would give the Tories more ammunition to say that the ‘rEds’ had taken over the party. John Prescott made a play to be treasurer of the party, and failed, sending him out of Labor office after half a century, not all of it frankly humiliating.

Lib-Dem Chris Huhne was seen hanging around a few fringe meetings, talking about Lab-Lib-Dem pacts, like a 60-year-old at Glastonbury who thinks he’s at Glastonbury, 1973. And The Guardian spent a fortune getting John Harris to do what every desperado does, a Dylan ‘homesick blues’ parody. The money you don’t pay for their website at work. Ed Miliband speaks tomorrow as leader — as soon as Aardman has finished animating him.

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As a Crikey subscriber and someone who began working as a journalist in 1957, I am passionate about the importance of independent media like Crikey. I met a lot of Australians from many walks of life during my career and did my best to share their stories honestly and fairly with their fellow citizens.

And I never forgot how important it is to hold politicians to account. Crikey does that – something that is more important now than ever before in Australia.

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