From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Posties sacked. Seems some Australia Post casuals have been given the sack; this came from an on-call casual who’s worked with them for “many years”:

“On Tuesday I got home and, along with all the other casuals, was phoned by my contract company to say there would be no more casual work, effective immediately. I’m not sure who will deliver all that mail, nor why Post CEO Ahmed Fahour thinks removing so many experienced on-call workers, in a business subject to massive fluctation, is a good idea.”

A spokeswoman for Australia Post said:

“Due to the fluctuating requirements of our national retail and logistics business, Australia Post engages a casual workforce to draw on as required …  We have just come out of our peak Christmas period where a large number of casuals were engaged and as we return to normal volumes, those casuals may no longer be required.”

Crikey is off to post the 2013 Christmas cards today; sounds like delivery could take a while.

Trouble at The Oz? We hear a whisper that someone working on The Australian’s Canberra online coverage has quit — too many videos of Dennis Shanahan in front of a book case perhaps?

Crikey’s fantasy Q&A. We hope you’ve all set your alarm clocks for 9.35pm Monday to watch the rivetting excitement of Chris Evans and George Brandis going head-to-head on the ABC’s Q&A. Tips is of the view that the show would be better if there were fewer boring politicians and more fascinating people flanking the “silver fox” Tony Jones.

We are crowdsourcing the best fantasy Q&A panels, and will submit our faves to the program’s EP, which no doubt they will love to receive. We had a strong response from readers to our initial shout-out for suggested panellists, alive or dead, maximum five (although some of you flaunted that rule). Here are some early favourites; if you think you can do better, email us here.

  • Judith Lucy, Sarah Silverman, David Marr, Hetty Johnston & Alan Jones (submitted by James Burke, who sent us seven different panels)
  • “Paul Keating (he could easily carry the show on his own). Though since he thinks that Q&A needs a ‘hip flask of mace’ to get through, add John Elliott, Germaine Greer, Catherine Deveny, John Doyle, John Hewson” (submitted by Dave Smartt)
  • Oscar Wilde, Slavoj Zizek, Peter Cundall, Cate Blanchett, Anne Boleyn (submitted by Cass Selwood)
  • Anyone but a politician, anyone but a politician, anyone but a politician, anyone but a politician, anyone but a politician (submitted by Andrew Dempster)

But our current favourite panel, submitted anonymously, is this:

  • Since they all apparently have “questions to answer”, Craig Thomson, Eddie Obeid, Peter Slipper, Mary Jo Fisher and Geoff Shaw.

Now that would be a panel worth setting the alarm clock for.

*Heard anything that might interest Crikey? Send your tips to [email protected] or use our guaranteed anonymous form.