Perrett resigned to Rudd re-ignition? Labor MP Graham Perrett vowed to quit the party if Julia Gillard is rolled and Kevin Rudd returned to the leadership. And with that prospect growing more likely by the day, apparently Perrett is preparing the way. As one local whispered to Crikey:

“Perrett seems so sure of a Rudd comeback, he is making it clear to all his branches that he is preparing his promised departure. Perrett  hasn’t been to a branch meeting in weeks, has unfilled vacancies on his staff that he isn’t bothering to fill, and he has been a complete no-show on the local campaigns … It is an open secret in Moreton that Perrett has already given up and is planning a post-parliamentary career. If you want any surer sign that Rudd is about to challenge and win, don’t bother looking any further than Graham Perrett’s empty diary. The retirement is obviously imminent.”

Operatives are still insisting state government adviser and Labor Party branch player Cameron Crowther is eyeing off Perrett’s seat if he does quit. Our spy says he’s been “doing the rounds” of local branches. We put the question to Crowther a couple of weeks back when Crikey first raised the prospect, only to be told: “I’m not a public figure and I don’t make media comment, especially about anonymous gossip.”

Young Labor Left picks winners. YLLers are nervously examining the leadership options. At least one member hopes they don’t have to decide who to back:

“I think a caucus meeting should be held ASAP because this whole leadership debacle … may come to a point where we have to take sides, may God forbid … My reasoning is, us in the left have fought for years for control of this party and when one of our own undermines that it destroy’s [sic] our credibility, so I recommend that we convene soon so that if this whole rubbish about the leadership comes to a head, at least we know where we stand and who we support.”

Dear reporters with pea-sized brains … Finally and importantly on the leadership rumblings, this note appeared on the press gallery noticeboard in Parliament House today (and captured by AAP reporter @adamgartrell). Reporters were seen heading out to talk to real people after reading it …

Pink batts fix job falls behind. We hear — and not for the first time — that the outfit contracted to clean up the pink batts mess, Transfield Services, is not meeting its contractual requirements despite being paid millions of dollars by the federal government. We’re investigating …

Qantas pilots head out the back. We suggested on Friday that despite recent redundancies not a single Qantas pilot had lost their job. “True,” an insider tells us today, “but dozens of them took unpaid leave and are now outback, flying the bush or working overseas.”

Parody performance from rude attendant. Also at Qantas, a report from the pointier end of a recent flight from Sydney to Frankfurt via Singapore of a “star performance in bad manners” from one senior flight attendant: “Premium economy passengers seated near the front of the section were left in no doubt that they were clearly inferior beings to those people travelling in the business-class compartment. Comments included phrases like ‘terrible  attitude’, ‘total lack of professionalism’, ‘appalling’, ‘a parody of the comedy shows on this very subject’. Not the way to retain customers.”

NSW Art Gallery in need of repairs. Ben Eltham reported on Friday the big pay day for incoming NSW Art Gallery director Michael Brand. But one Sydney arts lovey reckons he’ll be worth every cent of his $445,000 annual salary if he can fix chronic problems at the gallery:

“New thinking is needed in a major way at the art gallery. Not just in steps to change the hanging strategy (greatly out of date) and the quality of public programs (too patchy, same old roll call of speakers), but also in improvements in simple user-friendliness. The gallery must be the only public building in Sydney which refuses to signpost toilets, lifts for the disabled, and hides the days’ programs behind a pillar so that it only becomes visible as you leave the building! While the distribution of public and private resources to working artists — visual, music and theatre — needs to be gallantly addressed, if we get a new director for the gallery to take on the old brigade of ‘do nothings’ it will be a worthy first step of lifting the gallery into the 21st century.”

Peter Fray

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