Putting words into Gillard’s mouth. The rumours about a new speechwriter for the Prime Minister just won’t go away. Despite Julia Gillard’s office denying to Crikey yesterday any recruitment search was happening, we’re assured by another insider the talk is “on the money”. They speculate: “I hear that Tony Blair’s veteran speechwriter Peter Hyman has been asked to offer suggestions from London and may join his old friend now in the PMO, John McTernan.”

Clues on PM’s pro-gay, anti-nuclear stance. Also yesterday, we featured a yellowing magazine snippet from Julia Gillard’s student politics days, with the then candidate promising “action on women’s rights, anti-nuclear policy and homos-xual rights”. We weren’t sure what publication or era it came from, but our friend Stilgherrian offers some insight:

“I am fairly sure it is from the 1981 or 1982 here-are-your-candidates handout for the student elections at the University of Adelaide. I know this because I recognise the layout style that was used at the time, and because I was supporting some guys who were running for something else on the same sheet. Note that there’s nothing listed past the 1980-81 stuff, and if I recall correctly the elections were held in September or so, with positions starting the following academic year.”

Another reader backs the timing, and reckons it appeared in uni paper On Dit promoting the election of delegates to the Australian regional committee. Any other clues? Let us know on email

Christmas blues at hard-working Aunty. We seem to have opened a wound in reporting the ABC won’t hold its traditional Christmas party at Ultimo HQ. There’s lots of anger directed at Mark Scott — or the “MD who stole Christmas” as one staffer unkindly wrote to us — and a lot of gloom about working so hard without recognition. “No official send-off for colleagues made redundant, but Maurice Newman of all people is given a flash dinner for 300 guests,” one moans. “Why then am I surprised that there is no Christmas celebration for staff this year? And yet to be honest I am. It is pretty mean.”

And this not uncommon rant: “When the best we can view on the ABC is a celebrity vehicle about ‘niceness’ [that would be Myf Warhurst’s new show], or telephone interviews at global hotspots with journalists who work for other organisations that don’t subscribe to the ABC’s charter — telephone hackers anyone? — when Scott and co have trampled over the gift that is the ABC, then the gloom at Ultimo will be felt more widely.” Ho, ho, ho …

ABC shops miss countdown excitement. ABC Classic FM counted down its listener-voted top 100 20th century pieces over the past few weeks, culminating in a top-five concert by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra on Saturday. The accompanying CDs were to be available in ABC shops from yesterday. But as one music fan reports: “I asked for the CD set, got a blank look, a look at the computer. ‘Hmm, it’s out December 5, which is … today. I’ll have to ask,’ the person exclaimed after looking around nervously. Back he came. ‘Sorry, we are not expecting it. I can take an order …’ No, I will buy it somewhere else was the reply. Which I did (and will download to the iPod).”

Crisis: a lake of blue and green. It’s the national lake, in the national capital. So why the drama over Lake Burley Griffin? A Crikey reader reports from Canberra:

“It’s time for the annual National Capital Authority crisis in Lake Burley Griffin! In previous years we have had blue-green algae (caused by heat, drought and low water levels), high bacteria (too much rain, apparently), and for this years’ long-awaited crisis: oops, there’s nothing wrong with the weather. But our intrepid NCA comes to the rescue by lowering the lake, uncovering rocks, mud and goodness knows what else. (Admittedly, no bodies of swimmers, yet.)  And surprise, surprise, having created artificial drought conditions they’ve brought on blue-green algae and — hey presto! — we have ourselves the requisite annual crisis. When will Canberra’s lake management be handed over to a competent body? Enough is enough.”

We’re now on LBG watch. Keep us updated on the algae growth …