From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Back to the campaign trail in Herbert? The recount of the votes in the seat of Herbert was completed last night, with Labor’s Cathy O’Toole claiming victory on Facebook over Liberal-National MP Ewen Jones by a margin of 35 votes. There have been multiple reports of locals in Herbert missing out on voting, including hospital patients and military personnel, missing ballots during counting and counting mistakes in the north Queensland electorate. It now looks like voters could be heading back to the polls.

Senator Ian Macdonald has criticised the process to The Australian, after acting as a scrutineer for the LNP.  “Instead of a break, I expect we’ll be into campaign mode again,” he told the paper. Turnbull has been in Townsville to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lavarack Barracks and this morning appeared on both ABC Radio and 4CA Cairns, the local talkback station. He talked up Jones, who yesterday told reporters that light rail could be an option for Townsville as part of Turnbull’s Smart Cities plan. That sounds like a campaign to us.

The cat fight in British politics. British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson may have given up on dreams of the prime ministership, but that doesn’t mean that one of his colleagues has also given up on getting to the Prime Minister’s address. Palmerston — a cat who lives in Johnson’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, performing mousing duties — snuck in the front door at 10 Downing Street, only to be removed by police officers.

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Photos at the UK’s Telegraph show the black and white kitty looking very unimpressed with this result and trying to stare down the police officer who removed him. It’s possible Palmerston was waiting for Larry, the “chief mouser” at No. 10, with whom he has reportedly been brawling in recent weeks. According to the Tele, Larry has a history of fighting with neighbourhood cats; Treasury’s cat Freya was retired to the country after a cat fight with the country’s most powerful moggy. For those so inclined, the paper is also running a poll in which readers can choose sides — Larry or Palmerston.

Bolt’s book: where it belongs? A tipster tells us he spotted Andrew Bolt’s book — but not at the front of the bookstore, where Bolt wants it, or even on the politics shelves: “Seems like Bolt’s autobiography isn’t selling too well, found some of them on the side of the road in Redfern with their covers torn off — maybe returned to publisher?”

Blue Monday to Friday, I’m in love. Many of our politicians were spotted at Splendour in the Grass over the weekend, and there was even a special live version of Q&A for the young people who needed a break from the Avalanches or Flume or camping. A tipster tells us that deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek was seen at both The Cure on Monday night and at New Order when the band toured a few weeks ago. “Good to see at least one Australian politician not afraid to support ’80s post-punk,” our tipster (who also shares the appreciation) told Crikey.

So just who is Don Dale? In the light of the juvenile detention in the Northern Territory scandal, a tipster asked us: “Who actually is Don Dale? And who would want a prison named after them?” Dale was a Country Liberal politician who held the seat of Winguri in the NT Legislative Assembly from 1983 to ’89, when he resigned because of ill health. He passed away in 1990.

Julia Gillard on Hillary Clinton. Former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard has been at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, and wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times in which she backs Hillary Clinton for president of the United States and reflects on her experience as a female leader and the attacks she faced:

“When I was prime minister, I created a carbon-emissions trading program. The debate grew vicious, with the leader of the opposition attending a protest next to signs that described me as a witch and a bitch.

“No one called for my execution by firing squad, as a supporter of Donald Trump did for Mrs. Clinton, but a radio talk-show host did say I should be put in a bag and dropped in the sea. Witches can’t be drowned, I cynically joked.

“I have often reflected how powerful it would have been if, at that moment, a male business leader, especially one who opposed my policies, said, ‘I may not support the prime minister politically, but Australia must not conduct its democratic debates this way’.

“Unfortunately, that never happened.”

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

Peter Fray

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