Lachlan in for Rupert at News? No comment. Remember our suggestion on Monday that Mark Day was probably cutting close to the bone when he dropped news in his column that Rupert Murdoch was keeping the News Limited chairmanship warm for son Lachlan? Well a News spinner got back to us yesterday on whether Day was on the money — with a firm and expected “no comment”.

Day is no doubt sticking to his story and no doubt knows more than he’s letting on. We quizzed him about it today but he told us he had “nothing to add” and that “time will tell”. Time will tell, indeed.

Greens ready for double dissolution poll. An interesting letter from the NSW branch of Greens HQ fell off the cyber truck yesterday, showing the party really is preparing for every eventuality in this volatile political climate. Returned officer Chris Harris mailed members to inform them preselection for the Senate has opened and nominations are being taken until February 27. And then this:

“The State delegates Council has determined that there will be a ballot for both a half Senate election and a double dissolution Senate election. Please indicate whether you want to contest either or both of these pre-selection ballots.”

Does anyone really expect a double dissolution of parliament now? The Greens will be ready regardless.

Rudd (and Perrett) watch: ALP men align. We noted yesterday that Kevin Rudd, rather strategically, was preparing to launch the Queensland election campaign of minister Simon Finn at the home of Labor player Cam Crowther, who may be eyeing Graham Perrett’s seat if he follows through on his threat to quit the party if Julia Gillard is dumped. Another Queensland mole notes it isn’t the first time Rudd has support a Finn/Crowther event:

“The first time Graham Perrett opened his mouth to announce he would resign if Julia is dumped, Rudd did a press conference from a party being held for Finn and organised by Crowther that same weekend. It was covered in some of the press at the time and there’s some photos floating around the branches. Rudd would turn up to the opening of a parcel, but it is no coincidence he keeps showing up at Moreton ALP events organised for Cam Crowther and his cronies in the Socialist Left while nobody can remember him doing anything outside a campaign for Perrett.

“Maybe he’s playing favorites, but more likely he just knows which one is going to be around in the future and who won’t.  Or even more likely, maybe he just wants to schmooze the branch members in Moreton, and the Crowther cronies are the only ones doing the work to put on events: they are out on stalls every weekend, holding drinks nights most months and recruiting like crazy all in the name of getting Crowther into a career. They are shameless in their self promotion and have stacked their branch to be one of the biggest anywhere, all in Perrett’s backyard and he’s powerless to stop it. There’s no such thing as subtlety when it comes to ambition. What odds a bloodless coup in Moreton by May, straight after the state election?  Perrett sees the writing on the wall and that’s why he keeps saying he will quit.”

Another insider isn’t surprised to see Perrett in the gun. Forces were already circling, they say:

“Perrett has been a bad fit for the seat since day one, alienating branch members by failing to attend branch meetings and lining himself up with the coal industry who wine and dine him. Not the best way to please lefty environmentalist branch members in an inner-urban seat. The last straw for Perrett was the loss of David Forde (one of Perrett’s strongest backers) who recently resigned the party and is standing in the state election as an independent.”

Union boss flees from corruption claims. Who’s the union boss apparently forced out after managing dodgy contracts and being accused of having his hand in the till? We’re investigating …

The Boss headed for Australia? After the disaster that was Meatloaf, is Bruce Springsteen silly enough to front this year’s AFL grand final? That was the scoop on Melbourne radio 3AW this morning, only for music promoter Michael Gudinski to quickly deny the rumours to the Herald Sun. We’re withholding judgment on selling out until we have confirmation.

Our resident AFL watcher Leigh Josey notes the line-up of acts that have played that one day in September since Andrew Demetriou has been at the helm of the AFL is straight from a dusty vinyl collection (or Triple M playlist): Uncanny X-Men’s Brian Mannix, John Paul Young, Models frontman Sean Kelly, Sherbert’s Daryl Braithwaite, Goanna’s Shane Howard, Irene Cara, Cold Chisel’s Jimmy Barnes and Ian Moss, Mark Seymour of Hunters & Collectors fame, John Farnham, INXS, Lionel Ritchie and, of course, the tragic Mr Loaf. (Admittedly, a few local pop acts such as Guy Sebastian, Killing Heidi and Powderfinger have also squeezed onto the bill.) The Boss certainly would continue this solid rock obsession …

Peter Fray

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