Megaphones Watch. Comrade Janet identifies with the plebs, guess who came to dinner at chez Bolt, and Tim Flannery gets one up on Ray Hadley. Here’s what Australia’s most powerful Megaphones have been up to over the past week.

Janet Albrechtsen: “Last week in Geneva, Sotheby’s sold a 110.03-carat yellow diamond ring for a record price of more than $12 million,” the economic rationalista writes today. “It seems that F. Scott Fitzgerald was right. The rich really are different from you and me. In terms of uncertainty, they like to buy diamonds. The rest of us are left to watch the ensuing calamity. And to read about it. And hopefully learn a little.” — Matthew Knott (read the full story here)

Bandt wins GQ ‘pollie of the year’. Greens MP Adam Bandt has received a publicity boost as one of GQ Australia’s ‘Men of the Year’, taking out the men’s mag’s award for ‘Politician of the Year’.

The rookie crossbencher, and one of the 43rd parliament’s most powerful MPs thanks to his casting vote, made it on the list as one of the few pollies “fighting for what he actually believes in”. “He speaks from the heart, answers questions directly and seeks to represent the people who put him in power,” the magazine gushes. “In short, Bandt’s what we want our elected representatives to be.” — Tom Cowie (read the full story here)

Steve Hambleton’s AMA can boast another win. Our No. 9 most powerful lobbyist, the Australian Medical Association’s Steve Hambleton, is proving his worth by hitting the headlines once again. This time regarding news that recent reforms giving community nurses the power to write prescriptions have so far failed to take off.

Hambleton has welcomed the findings that only 7,541 prescriptions were written by nurses between November 2010 and June 2011 – a far cry from the anticipated 133,742 – according to a report in today’s Australian Financial Review. — Lucy Clark (read the full story here)

Clive Palmer bags US-Australia military base deal. Cashed up iron ore kahuna Clive Palmer has once again lashed the Gillard government, this time over its perceived closeness to US president Barack Obama.

Palmer said yesterday in Melbourne that the decision to allow increase the US military presence in Darwin was a “poke in the eye” for China, according to reports. He said this was the reason why more business leaders did not turn up to last week’s presidential dinner held in the parliament house great hall. — The Power Index (read the full story here)

Peter Fray

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