Sunday, March 19, 2006

Inside the Queen's lunch

The Hugog's celeb watcher, Cyril De Metre, has an access-all-areas pass to the big events around town. Our man De Metre has just recovered from the Commonwealth Games hospitality circuit to file this report:

COMMONWEALTH GAMES LUNCHEON - The Queen and Prime Minister John Howard, Wednesday 15 March 2006, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne.

THE GOSSIP:

KEMP-ALSTON LOVE FEST: Federal sports minister, Senator Rod Kemp, and former Liberal colleague now High Commisioner in London, Richard "tricky dicky" Alston, couldn't keep their hands off each other. It was as though they were long lost brothers. They were heavily engaged in conversation oblivious to their surroundings...What were they talking about? Was Senator Kemp being given a rundown on how to be High Commisioner? Is it possible that Senator Kemp is being groomed to take over Alston's position in London VERY SOON? This would involve, at the very least, a minor Cabinet reshuffle if Kemp is shunted out after his "farewell tour" of the Turin Winter Olympics and CommGames. Watch this space.

HIDE THE TROOPS: John "Little Digger" Howard, loves to celebrate his love for our military heritage. But it came as a surprise when his Department's minders "ordered" the Navy Band, which was upstairs in the Gallery of the old Exhibition Building, to keep a low-profile, and not lean over the railings. Out of mind, out of sight. Hmmm that won't go down too well with our fighting men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.

HIDE THE PM: It seems the Queen is a lot tougher than our PM. After lunch, Her Maj was brave enough to face noisy protestors as she left the building. Not so our PM. He escorted the Queen out the door and quickly returned and waited till the brouhaha outside died down.

BOLT'S SUPPORT: Herald Sun hitman, Andrew Bolt-action-sniper-rifle, was there to lend moral support. The PM, as he re-entered the building, saw Bolt and grabbed his hand for dear life and shook it like a drowning man. None of the other media rated so much as a lukewarm smile from Howard.

FAINE'S MATES: ABC Radio celebrity Jon Faine gets accused of being a trendy left-winger but he seemed very comfortable in the presence of conservatives Senator Rod Kemp and Richard Alston. All three were cracking jokes and laughing about the protestors outside. But Please John - get rid of those shoes...brown casual loafers don't really match a dark formal suit! I know you're trying to cultivate a Man of the People image. But you're trying too hard, and it doesn't really match the "company" you now keep.
UPDATE: Lawrence Money in The Age reveals that Faine used his loafers to squash "a large and evil-looking black spider" live on air on Monday, saving guest Sue Natrass from a horrible fate. How gallant!

TWO QUEENS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE: The over 1200 guests at this Banquet were amazed to see two "Queens." One was obviously Liz the Second but at the far end, sitting on table 61 was "political drama queen" Andrew Olexander, rebel Liberal State MP. Liberal leader Robert "Popeye" Doyle was placed at the opposite end of the building, away from both "queens."

THE RACE FOR FLEMING: Former Australian champion athlete Jane Fleming is being "chased" by both major political parties to become a Member of Parliament, either at state or federal level. So far, it's neck and neck between the parties for her signature, and political types were snapping at her heels over the canapes.

Cheers, Cyril De Metre.

HUGO SAYS:
A comprehensive report from our man on the spot. Cyril is a well-placed and tenacious newshound who'll provide regular updates from inside the lunches of power.

I don't know Jane Fleming, but in sports-mad Australia an athlete of her calibre would be a scoop for any party. Now she apparently just needs to decide which flavour party suits her politics...Maybe the Libs should cut out the middle man and offer her the Sports Ministry, allowing Rod Kemp to take a plum overseas posting?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Rob Irwin said...

I love it. Just like Crikey used to be. This will go far, Hugo! (If only we could get you off blogger and onto something like WordPress... which you can transfer your Blogger entries to, I hasten to add!)

4:54 pm  
Blogger Hugo said...

Thanks Rob! This is the start of a journey and glad you're along for the ride. I'm comfy with this format for the moment, but am open to suggestions.

4:55 pm  

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