There is an extraordinary story bubbling away in Australian politics. The leader of the opposition, Tony Abbott, has seen his poll ratings plummet after it was briefed to the media that he would rather attend last week's Conservative Party conference than visit Australian troops in Afghanistan.
The truth of the matter is actually rather more complicated. Mr Abbott was already scheduled to go to Afghanistan - but after he had been to the UK where, amongst others, he met David Cameron and Margaret Thatcher. The Australian government were well aware of the visit, as,with British politicians, all visits need to be cleared by defence officials.
The Australian media were briefed that Abbott was refusing to make a joint visit with Australian PM, Julia Gillard. When the media then went to Abbott for a reaction he couldn't tell them of his plans to visit the war zone for security reasons. My source says the trip had been planned for months, Gillard's was last minute.
So, one wonders who briefed the media and what their motives were? Has serial back-stabber, Ms Gillard, struck again? Strewth.