From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Shorten’s shame. Unions and the Labor Party rushed to tell us just how many people would be affected by yesterday’s penalty rate changes: 650,000 would be worse off, according to the front page of The Sydney Morning Herald. So why couldn’t Labor leader Bill Shorten find just one worker who would actually be worse off to stand up at his press conference and talk about how much money he would lose? It didn’t take long for the media to work out that Trent Hunter, who stood up and told everyone how hard done-by he would be, was covered by the enterprise bargaining agreement at Coles, and thus unaffected. As a bonus, he’s also a union representative and has campaigned for the Labor Party. Shorten defended Hunter on Studio 10 this morning: “There is nothing wrong with being a union rep. He is a keen young fellow. He does depend on penalty rates, at the moment he is under a union agreement.” Not only was it a political failure, but it was damaging — Ms Tips is aware of a scared Coles employee who rushed to assure colleagues that they would be unaffected by the announcement.

Harrison v Seven: update. The judge in the Seven v Amber Harrison case has delivered his full written decision this morning, with the restrictive suppression order remaining largely in place. The next steps are that Seven needs to sue Harrison next week so that there can be a further hearing on FridayMarch 3. If Seven doesn’t sue, then nothing further would happen but Harrison would need to apply to have the suppression order removed, if she can be bothered or has the legal resources to take that step. Don’t be surprised if Seven keep paying lawyers more shareholder funds to go on the front foot again against Harrison next week.

Anti-Safe Schools fools in WA. It’s been a while since a tipster has shared political junk mail with us, but it has been worth the wait. Despite the controversy over the Safe Schools program being a largely federal issue, a tipster sent us through flyers made by someone trying to make it an election issue in the upcoming Western Australia poll. Distributed by an organisation calling itself “All Kids Matter Australia”, the flyers warn of WA Labor and the Greens plans to push for a further Safe Schools roll out in WA. The flyers says Safe Schools “encourages” cross-dressing, boys and girls using each other’s bathrooms and (*gasp*) playing sport together, and while it doesn’t recommend a specific vote, it is clear in who you ought not to vote for — it mentions Labor and the Greens.

The website is registered to James Craig Parker. Is this the same James Parker who addressed Christian advocacy group Family Voice Australia in 2015? The group has been vocal opponents of Safe Schools and marriage equality.

Crikey contacted the email address attached to the website registration, but didn’t hear back before deadline.

Bishop and the beast. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is in the UK at the moment and took the chance to have a photo op with her British counterpart, Boris Johnson. The photographer caught this moment of J Bish helpfully fixing Johnson’s tie:

As Australians well know, Bishop is a lady of style at all times — even when working out. Perhaps she could help him out in the active wear department. Johnson was snapped this week in a running outfit that showed he hasn’t heard of the active wear craze:


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Peter Fray

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