McIver: the powerbroker behind Newman. If Campbell Newman becomes the premier of Queensland this Saturday, Queenslanders can thank one man, above all others, for getting him there: Bruce McIver.

Although the cattle truck driver turned president of the Liberal-National Party can’t guarantee Newman will win his seat come Saturday, he had the clout to put him up for the job in the first place. Since then, he’s reportedly overseen the pre-selection of almost every LNP candidate standing at the election.

It’s a remarkable achievement, given McIver’s only really played the political game since 2005. Even more remarkable is his ability to bring the dollars to the LNP (it helps to have friends like Clive Palmer on board).

We named him No. 5 on the Political Fixers power list last year because, as well as pushing Newman up the party line, he orchestrated the 2008 merger of Queensland’s two right-of-centre parties.

DJs chief lives to fight another day. David Jones chief executive Paul Zahra put on a brave face this morning, upon announcing a 19.6% fall in net profit for the retailer for the six months to January 28.

But Zahra, facing speculation that his time in the top job may soon be cut short, didn’t sugar-coat the forecast for the next year. Indeed, he said, we can expect trading conditions to remain flat.

Still, Zahra has unveiled a detailed plan for transforming the business. He said DJs will be investing in technology to increase its product offerings, integrating its digital platforms, upping its staff numbers and opening six new stores, among other things. Let’s hope the board continues with its undivided support for him.

Hadley vows to never get on Twitter. There’s no sign of any rapprochement in the long-running war between 2GB shock jock Ray Hadley and independent MP Rob Oakeshott. Hadley, No. 3 on the Megaphones power list, yesterday slammed Oakeshott as a “registered halfwit” and “recalcitrant dope” for refusing to appear on his program to answer questions about a trust fund he set up in 2003 as a NSW state MP.

Oakeshott pledged to donate $20,000 a year to the Mid North Coast Youth Fund once he had access to his superannuation. Last week, one of the former trustees told Hadley that the trust is no longer active and the matter has since been raised in parliament.

The broadcaster said it was a disgrace that Oakeshott (who tweets under the moniker @oakeymp) was answering questions about the trust on Twitter instead of on his program.

“I will never go near Twitter,” Hadley thundered. “How in God’s name people have got time to sit down in the real world and say ‘I’m wiping my backside now’, ‘I’m brushing my teeth’, ‘I’m combing my hair’, ‘My wife looks sexy in a dress’ or ‘The kids are watching TV: how cool’s that’. Get a job! Get a life!”

Underbelly author to take on Stokes. He knows the dark side of Australia’s largest cities like the back of his hand, but what can crime writer Andrew Rule tell us about Kerry Stokes?

We’ll soon find out. The co-author of the Underbelly books has told The Australian he’s writing a biography about the 71 year-old media boss. Rule says Stokes has agreed to be interviewed, and will even hand over some personal records, but will have no say over the book’s content — other than checking for factual errors.

The Power Index reckons it’ll be a compelling read — as do the four publishers currently bidding for the rights to the book.

But don’t wait for Rule’s book to learn about the billionaire’s ultimate rags to riches story. Paul Barry profiled Stokes, who was No. 5 on the Media Maestros power list.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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