Bob Carr didn’t want to go to Canberra. A Carr insider hoses down the rumours that the former Premier wanted to go to federal parliament:

“Perhaps a check of anyone how worked in the Carr office in NSW might have confirmed for Crikey the widely distributed view that the former Premier breathed a huge sigh of relief when he left public office for the tender fields of Macquarie Bank. Your story will only further confirm that he made the right choice. Shame on Crikey for providing further evidence that the media think they are the story, and not content with the havoc they helped create on Monday, aim to fill the rest of the week with similar “delights”. Give it up.”

AFP outside the Syrian Consulate. Yesterday we reported in tips on a “shiny, tomato red” Australian Federal Police police car hanging out in gentrified Darling Street, Balmain, wondering what on earth they could be doing — protecting a rich local? Not quite, according to few Balmain bugs. Said one:

“Feverish speculation is the new local sport, by everyone from kids at the bus stop to the ladies who lunch. The most consistent theory that I’ve heard is that the cops are guarding a Syrian diplomat.”

Added another: “Is the building in question number 340 Darling Street? It houses the Syrian Consulate.”

Ah ha! Balmain local number one added:

The notion of “guarding” is interesting, given they are just wedged in the roadside outside some sleepy shops, where the biggest scandal likely to erupt is someone complaining about their soy latte. Assuming the Feds are aiming more for the deterrent look. Like your previous correspondent I’ve wanted to go poke around and see what’s above the shops, but fear getting pinged in some ridiculous way for my curiosity. Be interested to see what other tips come in!

As would we. Keep sending them through please Balmainers.

Sorry your remote access will expire … today. Just another day in the hard-working offices of the Department of Parliamentary Services in NSW Parliament. From an email reportedly delivered to MPs after 5pm on February 29, 2012:

“Our records indicate that the RSA (remote access) token assigned to you is due to expire today. Unfortunately, there has been a delay in the supply of new tokens — the estimated delivery date for the new tokens is 12 March 2012. ITS has available a limited supply of interim tokens that can be supplied to ensure continuity of remote access in the period leading up to the delivery of the new tokens.

Could you please indicate, by replying to this email, if you require the supply of an interim token. ITS will contact you to arrange the replacement. Once the new tokens arrive, you will be contacted again to arrange for the provisioning of the new (permanent) token device. If you are happy to wait until the delivery of the permanent token, please do not reply to this email.

ITS will arrange to contact you when these arrive.”

Murdoch denies illegal activity unless there’s evidence. A media watcher pointed out an interesting story in the Irish press today, that reveal Rupert Murdoch’s beliefs on illegal activity have some blurry lines:

Billionaire owner of News Corporation Rupert Murdoch visited the staff of his Irish Sun newspaper in Dublin this afternoon.

Following lunch in the Merrion Hotel with paper editor Mike McNiff and journalist Paul Williams, Mr Murdoch told waiting media he came to say thanks to his Irish staff after the success of the first edition of the new Sun on Sunday last Sunday.

Asked if there was any illegality at any of his newspapers in Ireland, he said there is ”no illegality anywhere until it is proven.” Mr Murdoch’s media empire has been hit with allegations of phone hacking.

So unless we’re caught, we cannot do anything wrong?

Biscuits and the public service. Biscuitgate continues, with one ex-tea drinker giving their sad public service story:

“When I started in the public service back in ’82 there was a “tea lady” on the public service payroll, who purchased her supplies, made and then delivered, via “tea cart” hot tea or coffee to whoever desired same.

A few months later her service was reduced to a half day then shortly after terminated completely. As the ‘new boy’ I was selected as her replacement.

I immediately gave up drinking tea which conveniently left me out of the beverage drinkers group.”

ABC app fail. I’m in the ACT and while the ABC is a very good source of flood/safety information on radio and on its website, the iPhone app is missing some crucial information — read the 2nd, 3rd and 5th paragraphs!

Peter Fray

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