From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Sisterhood and publishing deals. Melbourne University Press boss Louise Adler this morning entreated the sisterhood to call out the sexism that surrounds Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin:

“Peta Credlin has been pilloried as the co-Prime Minister, the Boss and the Enforcer. She’s apparently formidable, driven and, of course, a control freak. Her hair, her height, her preference for leopard prints have become suitable subjects for public discussion engendering suspicion, scuttlebutt and background briefings.”

The piece is a stirring defence, but one tipster has asked if it is not without self-interest. Adler published Abbott’s book Battlelines and was also was the only advocate for Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North on the Prime Minister’s Literary Award panel — the PM’s personal pick. Is she angling to get a deal on Abbott’s next book?

Siege safety. While the siege in Martin Place in Sydney is still underway as we press publish, we hear from a tipster in the public service that they have received an email labelled a “balanced reaction to a hostage taking 1000 kms away”:

“Dear All,

Given the events currently taking place in Sydney, all staff are encouraged to take extra care today. As a precautionary measure we advise all staff to remove identifying lanyards when not on the premises …

Remember, if you see or witness anything that may seem suspicious, or have any concerns report it!”

Remembering Stella. A memorial for comedian and disability activist Stella Young will be held in Melbourne on Friday, and we hear that organisers are working around the clock to make Melbourne Town Hall accessible for the event, which is expected to attract thousands of people. The service will also be broadcast on the big screen at Fed Square — a venue that can be difficult to access in a wheelchair. According to our source, there’s no venue in Melbourne designed for an event of that size that is easily accessible for people with disabilities — and what a searing indictment that is.

Christmas Party Watch. We continue Christmas Party watch in our last week of publication before a festive break, and we hear that many departments of the Victorian Public Service have foregone the office party altogether — the new government has already been accused of being wowsers, cancelling an election party and planning to breath-test MPs, but that seems a little unfair. One tipster also heard some private-sector suits chatting about their festivities, saying “well, they made so much more money than they could spend this year, so it’s all going to drinks at the Christmas party …” We’re guessing they don’t work for a media company.

Kris Kringle ideas. If you need a present for someone you are less than friendly with, how about these condoms? Nothing will kill the mood like a photo of the Prime Minister on a prophylactic:

Hack Attack hacked. Nespresso advocate George Clooney is one of many members of the Hollywood elite to have fallen victim to a giant leak of emails between Sony executives, including an email sent about his film based on Hack Attack, the book by journalist Nick Davies on the UK phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid empire. While we would comment on the irony of emails about a movie on hacking being hacked, it appears Clooney expected his correspondence wasn’t completely private, including a note for “those of you listening in”:

“how much fun are we gonna have…the stakes are higher than citizen kane…if we tell the truth in a compelling way…rupert won’t get time/warner…cnn won’t be fox….i’m so excited to do this film..and for those of you listening in…i’m the son of a news man…everything will be double sourced..so come on with your lawsuits…f***ers…”

LNP survey — be honest. Since Friday’s tip on the “15-second survey” by the Queensland LNP, some helpful tipsters sent us the link. The survey has just one question, and you can pick as many issues as you want as being “important to you”. Ms Tips couldn’t decide within 15 seconds, and we hear from some tipsters that they found the options available didn’t really reflect their priorities — there’s a box at the bottom for “fixing one problem in your local area” . We’re sure our Queensland readers could think of some creative answers.

Tabloid monikers — how’d you go? Ms Tips has spent a somewhat frustrating morning wrangling spreadsheets of the 300-or-so answers submitted to our tabloid moniker quiz, which media reporter Myriam Robin put together on Friday. While we’re still sorting out exactly who won (no one got everything right, but some of you came close), here’s a sneak peek of the answers. Enjoy!

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

Peter Fray

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