Thomson makes more trouble for Labor on pokies. Craig Thomson’s decision to rush into print today and claim credit for Julia Gillard’s abandonment of the mandatory pre-commitment poker machine scheme is a shocker for Labor on several levels.

Firstly, Thomson’s intervention, via the pages of Sydney’s biggest selling newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, has again made himself the centre of attention — a gift from political heaven for Tony Abbott and the Coalition. Yesterday, the opposition leader flagged his intention to use Andrew Wilkie’s defection from the Gillard government to refocus attention on Thomson’s alleged misdemeanours as boss of the Health Services Union. That task just got a lot easier now the “tainted” Thomson, as Abbott calls him, has broken his silence. — Matthew Knott (read the full story here)

Howard defends his record on tariffs. John Howard’s not going to let the car industry assistance debate stand in the way of his legacy. The former PM has hit back at claims his government left the car industry “in limbo” upon losing the 2007 election.

Last week, The Australian Financial Review published a story claiming Howard had not decided whether or not his government would phase out industry assistance for the car manufacturing industry, arrangements he had announced in 2002 to support local manufacturers deal with reduced tariffs. — The Power Index (read the full story here)

Power Play #11: be imaginative. Every Power Player knows that imagination is gold. If you don’t got one, get one. And fast.

Imagination is the one thing you never have to attribute to someone else. It can dig you out of a hole. It can dazzle your team. And most importantly, it tells the world that you are able to conjure up out of absolutely nowhere something magical and brilliant. — Rose Herceg (read the full story here)