From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Tasmanian Liberals are no sheep. When this flyer — apparently from the Liberals — appeared in Hobart letterboxes last week, some locals were outraged by the racist overtones. Others thought it must be a parody.

We thought the flyer seemed odd — the slogan on the bottom left is the official Liberal slogan, but the one on the bottom right (“our land — our future”) is not. We asked the Tasmanian Liberal party if it had come from them and they said no. We have a few theories on the source of the flyer — they’ve been seen around the University of Tasmania campus, so could they be from an enterprising student activist group? Some redditors noticed the image takes its inspiration from a flyer created by the Swiss People’s Party — a right-wing populist party that used the image to promote a policy to deport foreigners who commit crimes in 2007.

Another option: MONA has been the talk of the town in Hobart after the popular DarkMoFo festival over the weekend. We’ve asked MONA if it’s the work is a provocative piece by one of their artists (and there is a Swiss artist on the bill). We’ll let you know what the museum says. Former journo Ryan Sheales has tweeted a claim that the flyer is “an art installation”. We’d love to know who put this out, so if you know the truth, get in touch.

No gays at the opera? Really? As Crikey hit deadline today, news broke that Opera Australia has parted ways with Georgian opera singer Tamar Iveri, who was under fire for homophobic statements on her Facebook page (she claimed her hubby had made them). Iveri was due to perform in Otello, which opens in Sydney in two weeks. Opera Australia took a bit of time to respond to this situation. And unrest from staff may have contributed to the decision to release Iveri from her contract — we got this tip from a well-placed mole this morning, before the news broke.

“OA management’s baffling silence and non-position on the matter is making things very difficult for the vast majority of employees who do not share these views and want her gone. Reactions are ranging from upset and disappointment to deep distress and no current employee feels safe to speak out against management’s stance for fear of losing their jobs.”

Newtown left feeling cold. Coldplay released its videoclip for A Sky Full of Stars last week, just 48 hours after it was filmed in the main drag of Sydney’s Newtown, but it seems locals were left feeling used and abused. Tips found this blog post by James John McCallum, which details the way locals were treated by the band and its security,very interesting:

“… what’s got me annoyed, my good man, is the lack of respect the crew, and thereby yourself, have shown to members of the Newtown community who had no interest in your clip, and who have been done wrong by its presence.”

Labor battles on in Qld … It’s hard being a Labor type in Queensland, where the ALP holds just eight of the 89 seats in Parliament. But it sounds like there might still be perks; a tipster asked the question “how many ex-Labor heavyweights are now holding overpaid jobs in Queensland’s utilities? And contract positions?” We rely on our northern readers to answer that for us.

… and watch out for Rudd junior. Jess Rudd, daughter of King Kevin, is moving back to Australia from Beijing (she’s written about the decision today, here, and she’s been tweeting about it this morning).

With Labor’s feeble showing in Queensland (see Tip above), might we suggest a shot in the ALP arm via Rudd junior entering politics? Jess Rudd is articulate, a successful author, and has her mother Therese’s communication skills and common sense (unlike Kevin). There was some talk Jess might have contested her father’s federal seat of Griffith last year, but she tweeted at the time (from Beijing): “For now, this is where I belong.” Jess, who is 30 and has a young family, might not race straight into politics, but she’s one to watch for the future. Queensland election 2015? Federal election 2016? And if you think a woman can’t be a pollie with a young child, look at Penny Wong.

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

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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