From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …
Halls (and desks) of power re-visited. Former NSW premiers Morris Iemma and Nathan Rees are co-launching a book about corrupt former NSW politician Eddie Obeid, He Who Must Be Obeid, on July 30 at NSW Parliament House. Written by the two journalists who broke the most serious stories about Obeid, Fairfax’s Kate McClymont and the ABC’s Linton Besser, the book chronicles the life and times of a man whose brazen misdeeds were said to be on a scale “unexceeded since the days of the Rum Corps”. The event is predicted to have more lawyers attending than journalists, and drinks will be held afterwards in Obeid’s old room at Parliament House. The current occupant of room 1122, National Party MP Melinda Pavey, has given permission for the attendees to come and sit at Obeid’s old desk and reminisce about a man who has starred at several recent NSW corruption hearings.
Carbon tax savings washed away. As the carbon tax moved to its demise last week, businesses scrambled to make clear that they wouldn’t be passing on cuts, from prices they never raised. First off the mark was the House of Parliament Channel Seven beer fridge, just about the only place to get a drink after about 6pm in the mausoleum-on-the-hill. This notice was up about as soon as it became clear that Palmer’s PUPs were finally going to wave the repeal through. No word yet from Nick Cater as to whether this marks the left-liberal bias of the commercial media.
Tweets out of tune. Twitter buzzed over the weekend that the Liberal National Party was paying users to tweet negative comments about the ABC, with one user tweeting this photo that purported to be a receipt of payment from “Media Services LNP”:
Some users were quick to outrage over the comments, but it didn’t take long for the tweets, and the payment to be proven as bogus:
The spam Twitter accounts referenced can be found here, copying a tweet from a genuine user. While it does seem that spam accounts have been programmed to tweet negatively about the ABC, ZDNet’s Josh Taylor also points out that bots have been used to support ALP policies. While the conspiracy is interesting, it’s unlikely that either party is actually using bots to tweet messages that support their lines, the bots are more likely to have just caught onto popular hashtags that happen to be political.
Stud taken out to pasture. Scone Equine Hospital has moved to wind up former billionaire Nathan Tinkler’s horse stud, Patinack Farm, filing a claim for unpaid debts rumoured to exceed $300,000, which will be heard in September. The move could not come at a worse time for Tinkler, who is struggling to complete the $150 million purchase of Peabody Energy’s mothballed Wilkie Creek coal mine in Queensland. That purchase was believed to be part-funded by the sale of Patinack Farm for a reported $130 million-plus, to a consortium led by mysterious Dubai-based Cibola Capital. That sale too appears yet to complete, and recently hit a snag when billionaire Gerry Harvey admitted Tinkler still owed him millions of dollars and had put a caveat over Patinack. If both the Patinack and Wilkie Creek transactions unravel, Tinkler’s recovery could prove short-lived indeed.
Murdoch filling holes at News corp. Rupert Murdoch has flown out of the country, but not before a parting tweet about his exciting week feting the Oz during its 50th birthday celebrations.
Speaking at a lunch in Melbourne on Friday, Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood was asked — but refused to speculate on — what holes Murdoch could be referring to. If you’ve got a theory, get in touch.