From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …
Examiner down a captain. The editor of the Fairfax-owned conservative rag The Examiner in Launceston has resigned to become a senior advisor to newish Premier Will Hodgman. Martin Gilmour was editor of The Examiner for four years and had spent another 32 years with the paper before that. Of course, his departure has set tongues wagging about his replacement. Currently holding down the fort while a new editor is found are deputy editors Mark Baker and Barry Prismall. Prismall might be a familiar name to some Crikey readers — earlier this year we wrote he was the third most powerful person in the Apple Isle. A heavy lifter in politics who’s worked for ex-Liberal senator Guy Barnett in the past, Prismall is prolific and highly respected in Launceston. We’d be surprised if he weren’t on the shortlist to be Gilmour’s replacement.
Mie dies. Before Sharri2000 but after Rudd2000, there was Mie Freedom, a spoof Twitter account in the same style of Mamamia founder Mia Freedman. That account has now been retired by its owner, revealed yesterday to be Junkee assistant editor Alex McKinnon. Mie Freedom began shortly after Junkee scooped Mamamia for Mumbrella’s Media Brand of 2014 award, and frequently made fun of the newer youth media brand, along with Freedman’s other supposed nemeses like BuzzFeed, Kim Kardashian and Sunrises’ Kochie.
Armchair psephology. Scottish voters are going to the polls later today to vote on whether to break away from Great Britain. Most polls seem to be too close to call, with the ayes nudging above the naes in some late polls. The Economist, an outlet incidentally opposed to Scottish independence, has pointed out how difficult it is to conduct polling on this type of referendum.
“Polling before general elections has improved hugely since the early 1990s, as more and better data have enabled pollsters to select more representative samples of the electorate. But the Scottish referendum is a one-off, and cuts across party lines. Some people who voted for the secessionist Scottish National Party in the past will reject independence, for example. So pollsters have to tweak previous levels of support for the political parties when composing their samples.”
Weapons stock go up. Oh, what a lovely war: Crikey has been keeping an eye on how the US defence companies that stand to benefit most from the return to Iraq have been faring since August 7, when President Barack Obama announced airstrikes against Islamic State. MacBank, AMP, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac will all be delighted to know that, having reached a historic high last week, the share prices of Raytheon, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman again reached new highs Tuesday and again, overnight, all broke Tuesday’s records. Raytheon is now up 13.7% since August 7, GD is up 11.7%, Lockheed is up 8.7% and Northrop is up 9.7%. In the same period the Nasdaq is up 5% and the Dow up 4.7%.
Commbank and bitcoin. Ms Tips always wonders who actually reads the terms and conditions, but luckily for her, one of our tipsters has had a close read of the Commonwealth Bank’s Business Security Guarantee, to find this restriction on international money transfers:
“We can refuse an application for an IMT if we believe that processing it would offend against any policy or law relating to money laundering, or the national interests or security of any State. We can also refuse to process an IMT because the destination account previously has been connected to a fraud or an attempted fraudulent transaction or is an account used to facilitate payments to Bitcoins or similar virtual currency payment services.”
No breaking laws, no money laundering — that makes sense — but no bitcoin? While the virtual currency is used by some shady corners of the internet, it is also becoming more mainstream — even the Australian Tax Office recognises it for tax purposes, but not as money or foreign currency. We asked the CBA why the restrictions exist but didn’t hear back before deadline.
Bernardi and burqas. The Australian media is blanketed with coverage of raids across Sydney and Brisbane this morning, but of course Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi only notices one thing:
Crowdfund to go to class. With The Guardian having lost a hundred million quid over the past three years, they may be looking for alternative sources of income. Crowdfunding is one solution, or running masterclasses on it. For $349 A Rational Fear’s Dan Ilic, will spend a day teaching 16 people how to raise money — getting a cool five grand minus room hire for one day’s teaching possibly being No. 1. The dress code is casual — “Dress code: There is no dress code for Masterclasses. Please wear whatever you feel comfortable in.” Maybe wear a shirt you can afford to part with.