Rudd’s campaign diary shores up support. Kevin Rudd’s I’m-very-happy-being-the-foreign-minister campaign collides with the Queensland election battleground where the former PM is pitching in to help out local candidates. Party moles tell us he’s made it clear to Anna Bligh that he will go anywhere and do anything to keep the state in Labor hands. His choice of candidates raises questions, according to our source:

“This weekend he is launching the campaign of Simon Finn, the Bligh minister whose seat overlaps Rudd’s neighbour Graham Perrett. Finn is a powerbroker in the Socialist Left, is very close to Bligh, and is likely to be able to sway a number of people Rudd’s way if it comes to a leadership ballot and he feels disposed to help Rudd.

“The other even more interesting thing about the launch is its location: Rudd is attending the home of Cam Crowther who is one of Bligh’s key senior advisers, a secretary of the local branches, and is the go-to guy to direct all the local campaigns for the Socialist Left in southern Brisbane. Given Perrett’s stupid whining about quitting if there’s a leadership challenge, some see Crowther as the obvious candidate to step up and run for Perrett’s seat. Certainly Crowther would see himself that way. And now it seems Rudd is already preparing the ground for just that eventuality.”

Greens line up on Gillard s-xism charge. Bob Brown’s defence of Julia Gillard and charge that much of the criticism against her is s-xist wasn’t some off-the-cuff comment, reckons one anonymous tipster: “This is a well-thought-out strategy that the Greens have been working on for weeks. Polling has shown it will win support for Gillard and stifle Abbott. Even before Brown hit the airwaves yesterday, Green hacks were hitting talkback radio and social media.” Does it show, as our source suggests, the Greens machine is the sneakiest of the lot?

Morale low in Vic government ranks. A Spring Street mole reckons plenty of good staff are planning to walk from Victorian government ranks for greener pastures thanks to the 10% staffing cuts — “leaving behind a pile of dead wood and fewer useful people around to hold it all together”. “It’s not the most inspiring place to work right now and looks to be only getting worse. It’s still early days but the ship is definitely starting to sink. Myopic ministers and department heads don’t seem at all concerned,” they say.

Tele challenged on exclusive claims. The Daily Telegraph declared its front-page story today about Peter “rat” Slipper’s call for more pomp in parliament was a scoop. Trouble is, Fairfax’s Canberra Times had the story three days ago. Its gallery journos are now mocking the Tele, posting the Crimesstory on the noticeboard with a message: “So what’s the definition of exclusive?” The photo comes via Fairfax reporter Bianca Hall (@_Biancah):

Government website so last decade. Seriously, our cartoonist rightly asked on encountering this message on the Australian Business Register website? Good luck if you’re using a browser from, say, this century …

Peter Fray

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