The brewing story of the week has been the appropriateness of the function John Howard hosted at Kirribilli House during the recent Liberal Federal Council.
The event was drinks on the lawn to which were invited all the conference delegates and the business observers. The focus has been on whether the business observers paying their $8,000+ were engaged in a fundraiser.
It is important to note that the Liberal Party did NOT promote the reception as being at Kirribilli House in any of the pre-event publicity. In fact there was blessed little pre-event publicity - I had to ask three times for the forms to be able to register and fork out my dough.
When you come to the function how much of a bait was it to have to queue for buisses from the Westin Hotel at 5pm for a 40 minute trip through peak hour traffic to get the opportunity to have drinks and canapes from 6pm to 7pm and then wind your way back on busses for the dinner back at the Westin. Many of the business observers, while appreciating the opportunity to see the "big house", were really questioning the use of their time sitting on busses for drinks that could have been held in the city.
So maybe the issue is not the imppropriety as such, but the simple lack of judgement. Perhaps it should have been reserved for the good folk of the Party and simply let us professional "hangers on" go home!