From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Jones in the spotlight. We hear Sarah Ferguson’s next Four Corners will be on Alan Jones. Apparently she’s got quite a few interviews in the can and has been seeking one with The Parrot himself — no news yet on whether that’s come off. Should make for good viewing.

Vic govt reshuffles its advisors. Former Herald Sun state politics journalist Ashley Gardiner has taken over the role as media advisor for the Baillieu government’s education portfolio after an advisor reshuffle this morning. The Education Department has battled a string of debacles this year including the teacher strikes, TAFE cuts and the closure of Mowbray College. It appears Gardiner has deleted his Twitter account in anticipation of the new gig. We hear a number of other advisors have been moved around, but in a quick call to the Premier’s office, Crikey was told there had been no changes in the last 24 hours. A full announcement of the reshuffle is expected within the next few days. Know more? Tip us off anonymously …

Labor tunes out of council elections. The red banners and the Southern Cross on the mail-out election material might make you think otherwise, but Labor is not supporting any candidate in Melbourne’ Moreland Council elections on Saturday. In August the Moreland Leader revealed that the ALP had, “in the best interests of the party”, chosen not to endorse any members in the council elections. Perhaps the ALP is trying to distance itself from some of the embarrassing stoushes that erupted in the city’s chambers this term, including the expulsion of the mayor Stella Kariofyllidis and two other Labor-affiliated councillors from the party. One-time mayor of Moreland Lambros Tapinos has issued pamphlets that require a very keen eye to find his party affiliation. But he is a fighter, as Sydney Road retailers learned when he erected a statue to Spartan King Leonidas in Sparta Lane in 2009.  Crikey can only assume that the Spartan King must be a Tapinos idol. But we all know how that assault ended.

An end to entitlements floated with voters? Cuts to government entitlement programs announced in yesterday’s MYEFO haven’t gone far enough. It’s possible that one group of concerned Australians might want the cuts to go further. Crikey has been tipped that Newspoll recently conducted a survey with a grab bag of questions ranging from Queensland’s  LNP government to online gambling trends and overseas travel in Asia. But the alarm bells rang when questions turned to such topics as ending the aged pension and placing enforceable curfews on adolescents. A person who was polled told us this:

“They also asked a series of highly charged socio-political questions including curfews for adolescents, making mothers with infants and toddlers stay at home full time, and finally, removing the age pension and making adult children completely responsible for their parents. Yes, they really did put that as a question.”

If you know of any political parties which wants to end entitlements or move more toward a nanny state, drop us a line. We’d love to know who commissioned the poll.

Liberal Party website gets a spellcheck. Tips ticked off the federal Liberals yesterday for misspelling “environment” on their website (which is supposed to list policies). The website remains a little light-on for environmental policies, but at least they’ve spelled it correctly now. Baby steps.

*Do you know more? Send your tips to [email protected] or use our guaranteed anonymous form.

Peter Fray

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