From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Empty chair at the SMH. Who will be the next editor-in-chief at The Sydney Morning Herald?  The role is vacant because in the latest round of Fairfax musical chairs Fairfax business honcho Brett Clegg headed to News Corp, to be replaced by SMH editor-in-chief Sean Aylmer. Hot tip in the newsroom for Aylmer’s replacement is the paper’s news director, Darren Goodsir, seen as popular, affable and likeable.

Labor’s email stoush. An all-in email spat over Labor’s new policy on asylum seekers is captivating some members. One Daniel Pocock emailed a fair whack of Victorian ALP members to express his views that the policy should make Labor members ashamed; a Vicki Shuttleworth hit back, calling for him to be removed from the ALP email list for using the party database to broadcast his own views. Here’s a few snippets from the brisk to-and-fro; you can read a fuller email trail here.

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A good cause? Embattled MP Craig Thomson will be rattling the can for his legal defence fund at his $150-a-head fundraiser in Sydney tonight. The speakers will be the ever-surprising Bob Ellis, celebrity lawyer Chris McArdle, and Thomson himself. The former Labor MP is facing charges of using union funds for pr-stitutes and adult moves (he’s facing a judge-only trial).

Crikey was keen to attend to hear why people should donate their hard-earned to help Thomson — and we thought the event held out great promise for our Sydney colour writer — but sadly we’ve been told we can only attend the event if we donate $150. Given the plethora of worthy causes out there, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to do that. But if any of our readers are going along — or know someone who is — be sure to tell us what happens. And Craig — here’s a plea for you to let us in!

After all, he’s the person you turn to for “getting things done” (Thommo tweeted this pic today) …

Leaders meet at alluring convention. Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd were at S-xpo in Brisbane today. OK, we should explain. Tony Abbott was at the Brisbane Convention Centre to speak at the National Small Business Summit this morning. In a neighbouring hall, the annual s-xfest was opened by a fairly poor Rudd impersonator. The two didn’t meet, and Abbott declined the chance to shake some hands at the convention. We’re not sure why …

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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