From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Sad to see you go. While many have mourned the axing of satirical news show The Roast from ABC2, it seems ABC director of television Richard Finlayson is not necessarily one of them. In his weekly email bulletin to staff, he thanked “xxx and xxx” for their hard work. Bet they’re feeling valued right now.

“Farewell to The Roast After three brilliant years, the incredibly talented team from The Roast (Mark Humphries, Clarke Richards, Jazz Tremlow, Nick Richardson, Tom Glasson and Alex Lee) recorded their last show last week and went out with a bang, taking a typically hilarious swipe at the usual suspects. The show was custom-built for ABC2 and we’re looking at different directions for the channel in 2015. A huge thanks to The Roast team, xxx and xxx for their hard work, commitment and big laughs. And thanks also to the ABC team: Production Manager — Conroy Gannon, Production Executive — Lou Porter and Executive Producer — Janet Carr.”

Supply and demand: Northrop Grumman is coming! Celebrate, armchair generals, because popular American purveyor of things that kill people Northrop Grumman is setting up an Australian subsidiary. Northrop, which has only secured $220 million worth of defence contracts here in the last six years, hasn’t had a strong presence in Australian defence procurement compared to rivals with local subsidiaries like Raytheon (which has racked up $4.5 billion) and Lockheed ($2 billion, and Lockheed is flogging us the F-35, the world’s most advanced ground-based aircraft). Northrop aims to remedy that with Northrop Grumman Australia, to be launched in December by — if he’s still in the job — current Defence Minister David “put me in my rage cage” Johnston. The venue for this celebration? Why, the Australian War Memorial, the purpose of which is supposedly “to commemorate the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in war”. We’ll leave readers to judge how appropriate that is, except to note that without the endeavours of arms companies stretching back centuries, there’d be significantly fewer Australians for the War Memorial to commemorate on days like today.

G20 watch. Protests have already started in Brisbane ahead of this weekend’s G20 conference, even though the leaders from around the world won’t arrive until later this week. We’ve been taking note of the many security measures in place to thwart anyone with ill intentions, but there’s also an economic impact on the host city, right as all the economics are being discussed. Brisbanites get a public holiday on Friday, and some locals are planning on putting that day to good use. It’s been reported that holiday destinations other than Brisbane have experienced a spike in bookings for the long weekend, with some having to turn people away. This isn’t so good for local business in Brisbane, which are worried about their profits. One outlet has started a campaign for people to shop locally in an attempt to make up for the shortfall:

Got some G20 goss? Let us know.

Baby Digger on the way. South Australian veteran affairs minister Martin Hamilton-Smith has used the occasion of Remembrance Day to suggest that Australians should pay tribute to those who contributed to the war effort by naming their children after them. This got Ms Tips wondering what the most popular names were in Australia in the 1890s — the years in which many soldiers of World War I were born. There isn’t any Australian lists for the time, but the most popular names in the UK at the time were William, John, George, Thomas and James for boys and Mary, Elizabeth, Florence, Annie and Alice for girls. We hope the idea will catch on — fewer Abcdes and La-as in the birth notices could only be a good thing.

Christmas party watch. It’s that time of year where many minds move to the bar tab at the office Christmas party. What should we wear? How much free booze should we drink? (The answer is just enough that you remember all the good gossip to tell Ms Tips later). The federal Greens have invited Canberra-based journos to join them for a drink in the last week of Parliament for the year — we can’t wait for the stories. We hear that some departments of the Victorian government are a bit slow on the party planning — perhaps they are worried party policies might be different under new bosses if Labor wins the election. Every year we bring you the best tidbits from office Christmas parties around the country — if you’ve got some goss, you know where to send it, and you can stay anonymous if you wish.

What’s your refund policy? This redditor is struggling to get a refund on his ticket to Julien Blanc’s lecture on how to exploit and harass women:

Vic Votes round up. The Victorian Greens are advertising on Grindr again — this time they are using the gay hook-up app to warn users about Labor preferences and ask for donations, but what we found interesting was the line “don’t get screwed”. It’s eerily similar to the line used by the Australian Sex Party’s federal election campaign last year — “we’re fucked”. Surely we can think of a better metaphor here? The Sex Party will be launching its campaign at Madame Brussels tomorrow morning — the venue is named after a brothel madam from the 19th century, so it seems fitting. The Liberal Democratic Party will be launching its campaign tomorrow night in Melbourne, the big drawcards being federal Senator David Leyonhjelm and members of the Institute of Public Affairs Chris Berg and Mikayla Novak. In our ongoing coverage of the way political parties try to mine our information through official-looking postal vote forms, we hear from a tipster in the marginal electorate of Ivanhoe that he has received information on postal votes from both the major parties. While the Liberals supplied an envelope that was addressed to the Victorian Electoral Commission, the one from Labor MP Anthony Carbines was addressed to his office. Something comes to mind about not wanting to know what’s in the envelope, but who it’s addressed to — perhaps we should ask George Brandis?

And we have received many helpful suggestions in our bid for a soundtrack for the Victorian election:

Won’t Get Fooled Again — The Who

(Everything’s Coming to a) Grinding Halt? — The Cure

Stuck in the Middle With You — Stealers Wheel

Trains and Boats and Planes — Billy J Kramer (and cars)

You Shit me to Tears — The Tenants

You Can’t Always Get What You Want — The Rolling Stones

Running on Empty — Jackson Browne

And our favourite:

(East West) Tunnel of Love — Dire Straits

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

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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