Mark Arbib lingered too long. You can be more powerful working from the back door than you can from the front. But as Mark Arbib now knows, you can’t always determine how long that power will last.

Arbib was once Australia’s most powerful political fixer.

The senator, assistant treasurer and minister for sport made the announcement he’ll be retiring from parliament yesterday afternoon, five months before what’s always a major boon for a sports minister — the Olympics — and at the age of just 40.

But although he took out the No.3 spot on The Power Index’s political fixers list in 2011, it was a miracle that he even made the top 10 at all. — Angela Priestley (read the rest here)

How do you solve a problem like Clive Palmer? Sport’s battle of the billionaires just keeps on getting better. FFA boss Frank Lowy has today finally hit back at attacks by fellow rich listers Clive Palmer and Nathan Tinkler on how he runs soccer.

Shopping centre magnate Lowy has brought in his closest allies, CEO Ben Buckley and A-League chief Lyall Gorman, to decide how to solve a problem called “Palmer”, as he continues his attack on the sport’s ruling body.

Palmer has been agitating for the club owners to have more control over how soccer is run in Australia. He has also raised disquiet regarding a lack of transparency at the FFA, particularly as the A-League struggles to draw crowds and club owners wear the losses. — The Power Index (read the full story here)

Bruce Hawker: will work for Anna Bligh again, not Julia Gillard. Veteran ALP spin doctor Bruce Hawker has admitted he’s unlikely to work on Labor’s next federal election campaign after playing a starring role in Kevin Rudd’s disastrous leadership challenge.

Over the weekend, Hawker publicly advised Julia Gillard not to run in Monday’s leadership ballot as she did not have the support of the Australian people. He also warned that Labor could be out of power for a generation unless it returns to Rudd.

Hawker, profiled earlier this month as one of the country’s most influential spinners, has worked on almost every ALP state and federal election campaign for the past 15 years. — The Power Index (read the full story here)

Power Play: Let others do the lion’s share of the talking. The bona fide influential don’t seem to speak much at all. They are economical with their words. They choose them carefully.

They enjoy giving others the stage and find ways to gently encourage others to speak up instead. Power Players understand that (most) people like to tell their stories and to have the floor, but they rarely get the chance to. — Rose Herceg (read the full story here)

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey