From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

A healthy sense of humour. Greens supporters in Melbourne were invited to celebratory drinks on Friday night to get some face time with new leader Richard Di Natale and new co-deputy leader Scott Ludlam. When the new Greens leader spoke to the crowd, it’s possible he gave away a bit more than he bargained for when it came to his relationship with Labor leader Bill Shorten:

“‘He pulled out a sheet of paper and started to quote Bill Shorten, ‘Senator Di Natale would continue to advocate for the issues that the Greens regard as important. Labor’s priority is to protect living standards, jobs and a secure economic future. The Greens have other priorities,’ he read. He continues quoting: ‘I’m proud to lead the only political party that gives members a say in choosing their leader.’

“‘Fair enough, but you weren’t elected like that, Bill.’ Burn. ‘Last conversation I had with Bill he offered me the job as health minister in a Labor government,’ Di Natale said. The crowd boos. Wait, was that a joke?

“He finishes: ‘We gotta help Adam [Bandt] keep Melbourne.’ Bandt, despite living three states closer to this address than Ludlam, was nowhere to be seen.”

Di Natale has been busy positioning himself and the Greens as the party for the progressive mainstream, so our tipster wondered if he really was the type of guy Bill Shorten would want in the Labor Party. We asked Di Natale’s people if he was in fact joking, and when Shorten had supposedly offered him the role. We were told it was part of a “jestful conversation” earlier this year when the two were both speaking at the same conference and took turns to make their doorstop appearances with the press. We do still wonder what the relationship will be between Labor and the Greens under the new leadership — sometimes it seems that they enjoy fighting each other more than the party across the aisle.

Bandt challenger named. Speaking of Bandt and the battles between the ALP and the Greens, the Melbourne branch of the Labor party voted for its candidate to take on Bandt in next year’s election over the last two days. Local members voted convincingly for Sophie Ismail, with 183 votes, while Davydd Griffiths (partner of former Victorian member for Melbourne Jennifer Kanis) garnered 114, Richard Foster 40 and Ian Rogers 7. In the two candidate preferred, Ismail beat out Griffiths 202 to 135 votes.

While the winner of the vote by members still needs to be rubber-stamped, it is hard to see how any objections could be raised to Ismail as the candidate. Ismail, a lawyer, has worked in the human rights branch of the federal Attorney-General’s Department and the employment sector. Her Facebook page says that she lives in Melbourne with her partner Bethany, and she migrated to Australia with her parents when she was 11. An ALP source who spoke to Crikey said she would give Bandt a run for his money: “If we can’t beat him with the lesbian, human rights lawyer with refugee parents as our candidate then we never will.” We’re looking forward to watching Melbourne in 2016.

Tis but a scratch. Staying in Melbourne, Anthony Albanese will be manning the decks at Bella Union next Monday as part of a fundraiser for Andrew Giles. Bella Union, the bar inside Melbourne’s Trades Hall, has hosted many quality parties, but we’re not sure if anything can top a party where Albanese is in charge of the music. According to the Facebook event “Albo will be dropping the beats and telling it like it is”. And yes, the ad features Sexy Albo …

Unfortunately, Albanese hasn’t come up with a cool stage name for the night — perhaps you have a suggestion to help him out? If you are wondering what kind of music is on the menu, Albanese hosted Rage in 2013, and his playlist is on Spotify. It features The Triffids, Bruce Springsteen, The Smiths, The Killers and Billy Bragg. Ms Tips approves. Solidarity Forever isn’t on the list though — maybe he will just belt that out a cappella.

Bendigo Library cancels David Day. The fallout from the stoush between Paul Keating and biographer David Day has reached regional Victoria, with the Bendigo Library cancelling an appearance by the writer last night. Day and his publisher HarperCollins settled with Keating last week, apologising and agreeing to pulp unsold copies of the book Paul Keating: The Biography, which featured untrue claims that Keating has dyslexia. When the library announced the cancellation on Facebook, it linked to the article reporting the settlement, leaving no doubts about why Day would not be appearing.

One Nation — definitely Pauline’s. Yesterday we reported that One Nation had applied to change its name to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, with the notice from the Australian Electoral Commission appearing in the paper yesterday. We wondered why the party would bother to make such a change as it seems that Hanson’s name is inextricably linked with One Nation forever more. A spokesperson told us One Nation is trying to replicate the party’s success of the 1990s:

“One Nation is going back to its original launch name of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (1997). The name change is to inform the public that Pauline IS still with One Nation after the 2013 federal and 2015 QLD State elections and that she is now the leader. The name change will also allow candidates to run under Pauline’s name on the ballot paper and voters will know that they are voting for not only a representative of One Nation, but a representative of Pauline’s. Pauline’s name is recognised throughout the country and people know her values and where she stands, they also recognise that she is fighting for honesty and integrity and will hold politicians accountable if elected.”

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

Peter Fray

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