ATO outsources its call centres. A twist to our list of complaints from customers left waiting on hold by the Australian Tax Office: a reader points out the ATO has a tender out to outsource customer service functions. The “Outsource Contact Centres” contract will build external call centres to “increase operational flexibility and agility”, “increase ability to meet service levels, particularly during seasonal peaks” and “manage various call and work type/s on behalf of the ATO”. Will service levels improve when the task is outsourced?

The LNP Twitter insider. We love an anonymous dirt-digging Twit. Step forward @LNPInsider, a somewhat disgruntled party hack saying what Liberal-National Party members aren’t supposed to say. A few choice cuts from the past 24 hours:

“Can our shouting and distraction tactics take attention off our sheer hypocrisy and unethical tactics tomorrow? Time will tell..”

“For someone who wants to lead Queensland, Campbell Newman sure doesn’t know about a lot of stuff. Our dirt unit, his personal finances..”

“There is no umbrella big enough to shield against the oncoming shirt storm and we are worried.. Watch this space”

“That unspoken rule about not attacking staffers is clearly a thing of the past. We best be careful.. ours are as dodgy as they come”

As one Crikey reader noted: “@LNPInsider knows a little bit more than he/she probably should.”

Pope King-hit in LNP embarrassment. Here’s @LNPInsider on ex-News Limited hack turned endorsed LNP candidate Gavin King: “We really need to take some light off r-pe blamer Gavin King.” Well, indeed. King’s columns for the Cairns Post — one of which, as Crikey has previously pointed out, offered unfortunate “uncovered meat”-style analysis — continue to attract attention. Enemies have today pointed to another one from 2008 in which he describes the sight of the Pope on TV as an “image of horror and doom”, a man who “attracts lunatics and fruitcakes as followers”. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church is an empire “responsible for evil deeds” and he has “unshakable thoughts of loathing … for what the Pope represents”.

“Surely,” writes Crikey‘s tipster, “Cairns’ Bishop Foley and the thousands of Catholics in Cairns would find these comments deplorable and a disqualification to serve the community in public office. One also has to wonder what Tony Abbott, his federal LNP leader, thinks of his new party member and candidate’s views on his beloved Catholic Church.” Quite. Former party secretary Joel Harrop quit last week — as revealed by Crikey — but King is taking it all in his stride. From his Twitter account yesterday: “My brilliant campaign team has had a huge few days of work as we ramp up our activity now I’ve left the Cairns Post.”

Labor has a spam problem. It’s not just Young Labor members being spammed by David Latham in his run for the Policy Forum internal election. “I have not been a member of the ALP or Young Labor for years and I also am bothered by his obnoxious messages,” writes one correspondent. “Although he’s not the only one. The ALP insist on continuing to email me even though I resigned my membership years ago, despite repeated requests to be taken off any and all of their lists.”

AMP fall all for charity. Why are journalists throwing themselves off the AMP building in Sydney, as we rumoured yesterday? Turns out it’s all for charity — the Abseil for Youth event on October 21-22 is run by the Sir David Martin Foundation, which supports several Mission Australia services for young people in crisis. Fair enough, then.

Don’t hold your breath for The Oz. “Having just recently moved I decided to indulge in a good old-fashioned newspaper subscription to both The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian. Filling in the online forms, I sent them both off on October 4. The SMH was delivered first thing the next morning. The Australian, I was advised, would start on October 10. I’m still waiting, but having gone through this before with The Oz, I’m not holding my breath.”

Telecommunications system of Cuba? As Stilgherrian reported yesterday, Malcolm Turnbull cited Cuba as wrecking ball of the NBN. But as one reader notes: “I had lunch with a friend today who just returned from Cuba. Thinking about Turnbull’s comments yesterday, I asked him about internet speeds. He told me the internet speed is woeful, still at 56kps. By my calculations, that makes the NBN 1785 times faster. Pretty interesting comparison.” Indeed.

Peter Fray

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