From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …
Eine Kleine Windparkmusik. Barrister and human rights advocate Julian Burnside QC has commissioned composer Lyle Chan to create a piece of music Wind Farm Music — dedicated to Tony Abbott, which will have its world premiere nextk week when the Seraphim Trio perform it at Melbourne’s State Library. Burnside is an old hand at music commissioning, having paid for about “20 to 30” compositions in recent years, but he says this is the first time he’s asked a composer to respond to a particular brief.
“I said it had to be for a piano trio, it had to be between two and four minutes long, and it had to incorporate much-loved melodies from music of the Romantic period,” he told Crikey sister site Daily Review.
“I like commissioning music, but this is the first time it’s for making a political point. When Tony Abbott said ‘Wind farms are ugly’ — which implies that open-cut mines are not — this was a small way of making a point.” Composers have long used their music to make points, but it’s less common for music to be commissioned with a particular political point in mind. “A couple of times music I’ve commissioned has made reference to refugees, but that was not through any input from me.”
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Lyle Chan will hold the intellectual property to the Wind Farm Music, but Chan has made the score freely available to anyone to download, play and record. Burnside hopes that trios will play the piece and put it on YouTube. He hopes that by making it freely available on the internet and having performances on YouTube, it will be played (and heard) by as many people as possible around the world.
Wind Farm Music dedicated to Tony Abbott will be performed at 12.30pm at the Cowen Gallery at the State Library of Victoria on Tuesday, August 19.
Brandis gets hysterical. Fashion plate and Attorney-General George Brandis yesterday, while addressing his favourite topic of national security during Senate question time, twice referred to Labor Senator Penny Wong as “hysterical” when Wong suggested that Brandis had misled the Senate over his department’s handling of a letter from Lindt Cafe gunman Man Haron Monis.
Wong: You misled the Parliament for three days! The first law officer of the land! You’re a disgrace, George!
Brandis: Senator Wong, you are becoming hysterical! Just calm yourself, Senator Wong. Just calm yourself .… Senator Collins, let me make two points in response to your question, if I can be heard over the shrill, hysterical screeching of Senator Wong.
Brandis was asked to withdraw his comment by Greens Leader Richard Di Natale, but declined. It comes just weeks after Brandis issued what could only be described as a hysterical press release calling for Labor to reconfirm its commitment to national security after the ALP national conference passed a motion to review the controversial mandatory data retention laws:
“Alarmingly, the convention also cast doubt upon Labor’s support for mandatory data retention laws, which they supported in Parliament earlier this year.
“Bill Shorten and Mark Dreyfus must stick to their word and recommit the Labor Party to this legislation, which introduced important safeguards and oversight arrangements including significantly reducing the number of agencies that can access the data. Mr Shorten must confirm that if elected, he will not repeal our data retention laws. The Australian people deserve the certainty that our national security agencies will continue to have access to the data they need to investigate and interdict terrorist networks.
“Bill Shorten must remember that the nation’s security, and the safety of its people, should be the first priority of any government.”
The review itself is already enshrined in the legislation, but Brandis was beginning to doubt Labor’s willingness to quietly pass all the national security laws he wants.
Work it. Speaking of Minister for Art (that he likes), Brandis flew into Canberra airport on Sunday looking particularly fetching in a woolen jumper in shades of indigo and heather that Triple J’s Alice Workman later tracked down as a Country Road number from a few years ago. Of course, the Twitter crowd found that good style never goes out of fashion, and fits anywhere. Among our favourite memes was this:
Hartcher and Credlin’s bar trip. Last week we reported a tip that Fairfax’s political and international editor Peter Hartcher’s relationship with the office of Prime Minister Tony Abbott had soured as early as late 2013. Hartcher told us he would not comment on his relationship with sources, and he said in any case his relationship with the PM’s office would not have affected his work. It has since been drawn to our attention that The Australian reported that in March 2014, Hartcher was seen at the hip Manuka bar Public dining with Abbott’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin. Perhaps things were on the mend by then?
‘Very Young Labor’. Well after a month worth of factional wheeling and dealing, the Victorian Young Labor conference did take place over the weekend, although the results from the vote for president are still being counted, and may not be known for a few days. There were three candidates in the end Josh Gilligan, Will Bennett and the left’s Annalivia Carli Hannan. We hear from a tipster that Carli Hannan is likely to come out on top, after deals between the right factions fell apart. We hear that the numbers fell away for Bennett and Gilligan after a split in the SDA faction between the right and the Somyurek moderates at the last minute, where those who split joined the ShortCons to form Centre Unity and supported Carli Hannan in exchange for positions on the executive committee. One source says: “It will be hard for Gilligan to take the presidency with his main backers in the SDA split and the rest of the party supporting the left”. Sources say both former Victorian MLC Adem Somyurek and Senator Stephen Conroy got personally involved in steering their factions, with Conroy stepping into the fray first. Somyurek was recently forced to resign from his job as small business minister after bullying allegations were made against him. A tipster said “it’s highly unusual for senior party to step in and was a bit of a shit move from Conroy”. We called both Conroy and Somyurek this morning, but didn’t hear back by deadline.
We’ve also heard from some attendees who are quite disgruntled at the way the conference was run, saying it felt “sleazy”, with powerbrokers filling in ballot papers for members of their factions.
These flyers were also dropped from a balcony at Melbourne’s Trades Hall onto the crowd while they were waiting to vote, but no one claimed responsibility for the dodgy photoshop job. Ms Tips was surprised anyone in Young Labor would get the reference to the show, which aired when their parents were children.
Rear Window looks forward. The Australian Financial Review’s Rear Window gossip column mostly chats and chides and looks back to the past. But every now and then it goes in for a bit of prognostication. Take today’s effort on Page 45 of the AFR, headlined “Green and Greenhill out to lunch”:
“Westpac director Ewan Crouch lunched at Sydney’s Azuma on Tuesday. Also enjoying the sashimi was one of the key figures in Mike Baird’s poles and wires sale, Deutsche Bank’s infrastructure Bruce McDiarmid, and on another table, jacuzzi fiend (and Greenhill banker) Peter Wilson.”
Amazing, fancy being able to see the dining list for one of Sydney’s premier Japanese eateries a day ahead of time. Now about that $40 million AusLotto tonight?
Freedom from conspiracy. Human Rights Commissioner and fan of freedom Tim Wilson will take part in an OurSay forum this Friday at 5pm to be broadcast online. OurSay forums work by users submitting questions online, from which the three top-voted are put to the speaker. The leading question so far asks Wilson what he thinks about euthanasia and the right to die, but from there things get a little weird. The second question questions how people can protect themselves from governments forcing vaccination on their children and the third leading question includes the line “Forced Fluoridation is a violation of the UN Nuremberg Code” and doesn’t actually contain any question at all. There are some other sensible questions in the mix, as well as others on halal meat and the effects of wi-fi on human health — we’re not sure if we’d prefer to watch Freedom Boy answer a sensible question or just deal with the truthers.
Call a subeditor. These advertisements for the Daily Tele have turned up in the middle of the cafeteria at News Corp in Holt Street Sydney, but it looks like maybe they were also subbed in New Zealand — or maybe a newspaper should be judged on its apostrophes? Mumbrella is reporting that they’ve been fixed — lucky, as Uncle Rupert is back in town.