The UK Economy in Serious Debt Trouble

Britain’s debt levels are dangerously high and are damaging the economy, according to one of the world’s leading financial watchdogs.

It means the country is in the danger zone following a ten-year borrowing binge under the last Labour government, a hard-hitting report from the Bank for International Settlements has revealed

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) said government, corporate and household debt in Britain jumped from 223 per cent of gross domestic product in 2000, or £2.18trillion, to 322 per cent, or £4.68trillion, in 2010. That is the equivalent of £180,000 per household

In 2010, Britain had government debt of nearly 90 per cent of GDP, corporate debt of 126 per cent and household debt of 106 per cent.

UK PM David Cameron should seriously re think his commitment to phasing out the production of energy based on burning of fossil fuels as it is going to cost the UK economy at least £300 billion over the next 10 years to go renewable energy (which we all know works intermittently).

What is it with Labor and debt? They’re like junkies to a needle.

While our government debt of 15.4% of GDP is low compared to the UK, the trend is more concerning.

Andy Semple

Follow him on twitter @Bulmkt

US CEOs Earned More Than Companies’ Tax Bills

Not the best look for capitalism…

Twenty-five of the best-paid chief executive officers in the U.S. earned more in salary and other compensation in 2010 than their companies’ federal income tax expenses as disclosed in public filings, according to a report by the Institute for Policy Studies.

The Washington-based nonprofit group’s report, released today, examined 100 publicly traded U.S. corporations with the highest-paid CEOs. It found that companies whose CEOs’compensation exceeded reported tax expense in 2010 had average global profits of $1.9 billion.

Companies in this group, according to the report, included EBay Inc., General Electric Co., Verizon Communications Inc., Boeing Co. and Dow Chemical Co.

Continue reading US CEOs Earned More Than Companies’ Tax Bills

Andy Semple

Follow him on twitter @Bulmkt

Julia Gillard’s asylum-seeker solution in tatters

THE High Court of Australia has effectively ruled that the Gillard government is incompetent and incapable of delivering on its most fervently-held policies and beliefs.

This is an amazing judicial destruction of a government policy; there is no grey, no political compensation and no solace for Labor in the High Court judgment ruling “invalid” the Gillard government's Malaysian solution to illegal boat arrivals.

The High court has demonstrated that from the beginning this prematurely-announced policy was without legal foundation. Australia had no grounds to send boatpeople to Malaysia without processing in Australia, no grounds to send children, and the agreement with Malaysia announced on July 25 was “not legally binding”.

While Julia Gillard has allowed images of people being put on planes bound for Malaysian refugee camps to form the edifice of her Malaysian solution, the basis for that political-inspired imagery has lacked political integrity, legislative remedy and, now, most importantly, legal force.

via www.theaustralian.com.au

Make sure you click the link to read the whole piece…

I still Hate the Murdoch Media: Bob Brown

Greens leader Bob Brown has renewed his call for an inquiry into Australia's media because he says news reporting and opinion has become increasingly blurred.

The Greens leader singled out The Australian, labelling it a "viewspaper" that mixed news with editorial opinion.

Don’t forget what Green deputy leader Christine Milne had to say when she appeared on Q&A on 25 July.

"The Murdoch press has been running a very strong campaign against action on climate change.

"The bias is extreme, in The Australian in particular.

"You'll see column inch after column inch of every climate sceptic in the country … You'll find day after day a real attempt at regime change…

"And one of the useful things about the hacking scandal in the UK is that it will lead to an inquiry into the media in Australia.

"We are at least going to see some real discussion … around issues such as the level of ownership and dominance of the Murdoch press in several capital cities in Australia.

"We'll also have a look at a range of other issues, including who are fit and proper people into whether we need that test into people to be running media outlets. It's time we had a good inquiry and certainly bias is certainly going to be one of the things that's certainly to be looked at."

How interesting that none of these Greeno politicians are talking about the Left-wing bias of, the ABC, The Age or The Sydney Morning Herald.

Seems in progressive green-land there is “good” media and “bad Murdoch” media.

Lastly, if you have not as yet read Andrew Bolt’s column today – how Julia Gillard tried to kill a story – please do as he is spot on.

I am glad Andrew Bolt didn’t pull the pin and that his employer has let him speak without fear as it is so important that people like Andrew be freely allowed to question those with boldness.

Menzies House would also like to reassure its readers that we will continue to speak without fear and question with boldness.

 

Andy Semple

Follow him on twitter @Bulmkt

From One Stuff Up to Another, the Hits Just Keep on Coming

The Gillard government's "Malaysian Solution" has been thrown into disarray after being ruled unlawful by the High Court.

If the government now abandons the plan, it will still be bound under the deal to accept 4000 extra refugees from Malaysia, while being unable to send 800 asylum-seekers there for processing.

Malaysia, people smugglers, in fact the whole world is now laughing at us.

If incompetence had a name, it would be the Gillard Government.

Surely it is now time for this poor excuse for a Government to go. I know the independents will also get slaughtered at the next election, but if they want to leave parliament with some credibility and self-respect, they should withdraw support for the Gillard government ASAP.

Australia cannot afford to wait two more years.

Read the Ruling: Summary of the judgment

I wonder if Julia Gillard will now also blame News Limited?

Andy Semple

Follow him on twitter @Bulmkt

WikiLeaks On Bill Shorten

A confidential cable leaked today by WikiLeaks from the US consulate in Melbourne contains an extraordinary portrait of federal Labor MP Bill Shorten as a power hungry sycophant and contains similar allegations from last year that the foreign power is being provided detailed inside information about government ministers and the ALP.

The cable, covering a meeting on the 11th June 2009, appears to be in part an audition piece, with Shorten presenting his Prime Ministerial credentials to the US Consul General. In the leaked document he talks about his ambition, criticises the union movement, plays up his friendship with Melbourne business elites, and is disappointed about being overlooked in a recent cabinet reshuffle.

Aware that the US Consul General in Melbourne is largely concerned with US business interests in the country, Shorten was at pains to show he was no mere union lackey. “Shorten was highly critical,” noted the US diplomat, “of current Australian union leadership”. He goes on to outline his business-friendly credentials, including his “MBA from Melbourne University”, talking about how close he was to “to the late packaging mogul Richard Pratt”, and throwing his union comrades under a tram by pledging that “in comparison to other union leaders, he is willing to listen to business concerns”.

via www.crikey.com.au

Our Great Democracy, under siege from within…

John Citizen examines the Gillard Governments contempt for free speech: 

I've said it once, and I'll say it again: Julia Gillard and the broader ALP hate democracy and they hate freedom of speech. It is starting to come to light the lengths to which Gillard has gone to silence those who dare question her or her government. It has been revealed that News Ltd entities, including The Australia, had intended on covering a story regarding the previous relationship between our Prime Minister and former Australian Workers Union state secretary Bruce Wilson. Wilson, for those who may not be aware, is a criminal, a thief who stole from the union and betrayed the hard working members who he was supposed to be representing. And yes, this occurred while Wilson and Gillard were in a romantic relationship. Now while Gillard was not aware of Wilson's illegitimate dealings or ill-gotten gains, it does call into question the issue of her judgement, especially in light of the current Thomson Affair. So how does this relate to the media? Well, showing her true union heavy colours, Gillard decided to lean on The Australia and bully them into submission…

After hearing what News Ltd, and especially her arch-enemy The Australian, were up to, Gillard reportedly went ballistic, losing it at the thought that a private media enterprise would have the nerve to publish a story in the public interest. So what did she do? Call lawyers and consult on potential defamation? Seek an injunction to stop the story from going to print? Oh no, these methods are fair and transparent; no, she would take action into her own hands. Gillard herself called John Hartigan, the Chairman and CEO of News Ltd Australia, as well as Chris Mitchell, the editor-in-chief of The Australian, and let them have it. Reports are coming out that she went "ballistic, nuclear" and called again and again in a harassing manner, demanding that they leave the story alone or "face the consequences". This was undoubtedly in reference to the suggested media inquiry into News Ltd and the threat of a forced break-up of the organisation. In response, the story was buried, one of Australia most popular commentators, Andrew Bolt, was shut down and told not to make any reference to it, the organisation was, essentially, silenced.

This, quite frankly, scares me. When you have a leader of a nation, who was democratically elected, calling and harassing the head of a media network and DEMANDING that a story which would paint them in an unfavourable light is buried, then you begin the decent down a slippery slope. Let us consider, for a minute, that News Ltd had told Gillard where to go, what then? Would her next step be to send in the police, claiming some phoney cover such as national security? If the police are not available, then why not send in the troops? Then, in the longer term, why not just nationalise all media outlets so that they all dance to the beat of the same propaganda drum? Some of you may think that I am being a little over the top, but when the Prime Minister personally intervenes in the affairs of a private organisation simply because she doesn't like what they are saying, then I think that we, as citizens of a democratic, free nation, need to start asking a few of these tough questions that Gillard believes News Ltd need to answer! I'll start:

Prime Minister Gillard, why is it that you hate freedom so much?

Why do you want to silence those brave enough to ask the tough questions? Is it because you have something to hide?

How could you not have known what Wilson was up to? Were you involved?

How can we trust you give that you are so proficient in the art of deception and speak nothing but lies?

This whole event has made me sick. It is disgust the casual disregard that the PM shows to the freedom of both the citizenry and our media. The media must – must! – always be free to expose incompetence and corruption. Gillard and her government are both incompetent and, I believe, corrupt. The only thing which is currently standing between us and Gillard's true tyranny are News Ltd and, unlike Bob Brown, I thank God for the likes of The Australian and other outlets willing to pursue our elected officials and hold them up to the bright spotlight so that the public might see what they are really up to. Before I sign off, I have one final question for Julia Gillard:

Prime Minister, when will you do what is in the best interest of this great nation and end this farcical government and it's rein of incompetence?

John Citizen is a university lecturer of psychology, and blogs at http://johncitizenisright.blogspot.com/. You may follow him on Twitter @john_is_right

 

Bolt Considered Resigning Over Censorship of Kernohan Allegations

Yesterday we leaked a link to the the explosive Robert Kernohan statutory declaration which alleged fraud, corruption, cover-ups in the Union Movement, and questioned Julia Gillard's judgment in and complicity regarding her involvment.

In doing so we noted that Andrew Bolt originally posted some extracts from it online (which were later taken down) and that Mr. Bolt's blog's yesterday alluded to his potential departure from political writing, and many of thought the two matters were connected.

In his column today, he explains what exactly took place – and why he seriously considered resigning.

Here are some extracts

The Prime Minister overstepped the line when she called the chairman and CEO of News Limited, John Hartigan.Calls that look like an attempt at censorship have many sinister overtones, with threats of inquiries and forced sales left hanging in the air.And I ask her: What are you so afraid of? What else would you stoop to in order to cling to power? I was considering resigning as a News Limited columnist.I thought this company that I love, that I have long admired for its defence of free speech, had caved in to pressure from a Prime Minister to close down reporting of a matter of public interest.

That matter was Gillard's former relationship, professional and romantic, with union official Bruce Wilson who, unknown to her, was ripping off employers and members of the Australian Workers Union, of which he was state secretary.

Posts from my blog were pulled on Monday, although I believe they were fair, accurate and in the public interest

Make sure you read the whole thing, and, if you have not read it already, you can find our original post linking to the Robert Kernohan declaration in full here

Confidential cable described Mr Turnbull as “impatient” and “abrasive”

Malcolm Turnbull "cared only about Turnbull" and some Liberals supported his leadership only because they wanted to set him up to fail, Howard government minister Mal Brough told US officials.

Mr Brough, the former indigenous affairs minister, lost his seat in federal parliament at the 2007 election that swept Kevin Rudd to power.

But his electoral defeat did not stop him subsequently offering his political insights to the US embassy in Canberra.

A confidential cable – dated June 26, 2008, and provided to the WikiLeaks website – relates a conversation in Canberra between Mr Brough and the then US ambassador Robert McCallum.

Mr Brough told Mr McCallum that the then opposition leader Brendan Nelson was a good man but the public had not warmed to him and his poor polling was unlikely to improve.

He predicted that Mr Turnbull was likely to take over as Liberal leader but would ultimately fail.

Continuing reading confidential cable described Mr Turnbull as “impatient” and “abrasive”

 

Andy Semple

Follow him on twitter @Bulmkt

EXCLUSIVE: Robert Kernohan Stat Dec Alleging Severe Misconduct Leaked

An anonymous source has just sent us a link to a purported statutory declaration by Robert Kernohan, former President of the Victorian Branch of the AWU, making serious allegations and implicating Julia Gillard in wrongdoing. It discusses all the fraud in the AWU in the 90's, implicates a lot of people for misappropriation of funds, details offers of ALP safe-seat preselection to silence people, and so on.  

An extract of this was posted online a few days ago, and it was mentioned on 2UE radio, and it is my understanding that this statutory declaration formed the part of Glen Milne's column in The Australian, which was later removed with the Australian issuing a retraction, stating that elements in the piece relating to Gillard were inaccurate

I must stress that I can not vouch for the accuracy of any of the claims made in this document. Crikey today has a lengthy piece setting out that the allegation that Julia Gillard lived in a house purchased by embezzled funds as "false", and attacked the credibility of the author. As such – as with all things – it should be treated with a healthy degree of skepticism at a minimum. 

However, with the events of the last few days surrounding this document, and as someone who has always believed in transprancy and openness, I feel that, as it is an important part of the media story that this document should be made availiable to the public.

You may download the Statutory Declaration from this site

Tim Andrews