Tag Archives: andrew forrest

When Frustration Over Politicians’ Deceit Spills Over

19 Apr

Regular readers know that there is far, far more to the story of the mining tax, and the knifing of popularly-elected PM Kevin Rudd, than what has been presented by politicians and the mainstream media.

[see Swan’s Anti-Australian Rant A Smokescreen For Treason; also The Galactic Hypocrisy Of Wayne Swan; also What Your TV Will Leave Out Of The Clive Palmer “CIA” Sound Bites]

Indeed, it is a veritable cesspool of international intrigue, plutocratic coercion and bribery, treason, and geopolitical manipulation.

So I am confident that many readers will, as I do, closely identify with the profound sense of frustration felt by all those who are awake to the far-reaching implications of the lies and deceit at the core of Australian politics; a frustration well enunciated here by Daily Telegraph writer Joe Hildebrand (h/t readers “Kevin Moore” and Twitter follower @Prronto for the link):

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Better Late Than Never: Hartcher’s Conscience Jarred

11 Mar

At last, a journalist from the lamestream media spots the galactic hypocrisy in Wayne Swan’s rants against 3 local miners.

Without actually calling it that, of course (emphasis added):

Swan’s pronouncements strike a jarring note, for three reasons. First, the contemporary playbook for “vested interest” campaigning was written not by the miners but by the unions.

It was the ACTU’s campaign against Howard’s Work Choices that established the power of an aggressive third-party thrust into politics. The union movement’s $30 million Your Rights at Work campaign discredited Work Choices, forced the Howard government into retreat and, finally, helped destroy the Coalition government. In the final humiliation, it even contributed to Howard’s loss of his seat of Bennelong. Swan was a beneficiary of this campaign.

Second, the miners that Swan demonised are not the miners that successfully emasculated his original mining tax. It was BHP Billiton, Rio and Xstrata that aggressively campaigned against the tax and funded its $22 million worth of lobbying and advertising, and it was Twiggy Forrest who went into private negotiations with Kevin Rudd to try to reach a compromise on the tax.

It was the three multinationals that helped discredit the Rudd government, accelerated Rudd’s downfall and forced the Gillard government to come to terms. Yet Swan does not mention these three multinationals in his critique of vested interests. Swan does not criticise the “vested interests” to whom he capitulated but the ones who were shut out of the negotiations. He is, in effect, punishing them for continuing to complain about a special deal to which he would not admit them.

The rest of Fairfax political editor Peter Hartcher’s article is well worth reading too. Even if it does continue to refrain from calling a spade a spade.

A little tip, Peter. That “jarring note” you feel, is called your Conscience.

The polar opposition between Wayne’s words, and his actions, pricks the inner sense of right and wrong once known as “morality” that we all possess, but few (especially politicians, and journalists) ever seem to recognise. Much less heed. And even less … act upon.

For the full story on Wayne Swan’s hypocrisy … and treason … not just on the mining tax, but on the carbon dioxide derivatives scam too, see this blog’s writeup of almost a week earlier – The Galactic Hypocrisy Of Wayne Swan.

The Galactic Hypocrisy Of Wayne Swan

6 Mar

The red mist has descended.

Your humble blogger is angry.

Very angry.

Wayne Swan has publicly attacked three local, homegrown Aussie miners.

Ms Gina Rinehart. Mr Clive Palmer. And Mr Andrew Forrest.

Wayne claims that he is fighting for a “fair go”, for “equality”, against “rich” “vested interests” that are “threatening our democracy”.

Oh really?

Wayne Swan did a secret, exclusive deal on the design of the mining tax with the Big Three foreign-owned multinational mining companies, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, and Xstrata, just before the 2010 election.

Wayne’s secret deal is widely claimed to favour the Big Three foreigners, at the expense of the much smaller local Aussie mining companies.

Wayne’s secret deal is alleged to have come about after the Big Three foreign-owned mining companies “gave the nod” for Julia Gillard to knife democratically-elected PM Kevin Rudd, and promised to pull their anti-mining tax ad campaign.

Tell us again, who is a “threat to democracy”?

Wayne Swan accuses three local Aussie miners – two of whom are self-made, from humble beginnings – of being “champions of privilege”.

Oh really?

Wayne is a career political hack, with an Arts degree, and zero business experience.

Wayne receives $346,000 per annum, $6,653 per week, paid for by the taxpayer.

Wayne voted himself an $84,000 pay rise late last year.

Wayne blew $75,440 of taxpayers’ money on empty RAAF VIP “ghost flights” to collect and ferry him around, in just 6 months last year.

Tell us again, who is a “champion of privilege”?

Wayne Swan is a vile, disgusting, public trough-swilling, grossly overpaid, thoroughly under qualified, pathologically dishonest, monumentally repugnant, morally destitute, vomitous, self-serving, bottom-dwelling, anti-Australian, treasonous, galactic hypocrite.

* I have chosen to keep this piece focussed on Swan and his attack on locals in the mining industry. I could write an entire new piece on other “vested interests” that Wayne oh so conveniently neglects to mention, much less publicly attack. For example, the unions who finance (and rule) the ALP, and the clubs industry whose “power” and political activism prompted the Labor government to brazenly renege on a written contract with Andrew Wilkie for poker machine reform. And that’s just for starters.

** The media in this country are deserving of very similar epithets to those attributed to Wayne Swan above. I am not aware that a single journalist has challenged Wayne Swan on any of the above facts.

*** Note well: this blogger is no fawning acolyte of miners, big business, or “free markets”. On the contrary, if it were within my power I would nationalise all mineral, petroleum, and natural gas resources – see “Why I Hang Farther To The Left Than Bob Brown”.

Swan’s Anti-Australian Rant A Smokescreen For Treason

2 Mar

Treasurer Wayne Swan has written an essay in The Monthly. Doubtless you will hear about it elsewhere.

What you are highly unlikely to hear, is Wayne’s essay being called out for what it really is.

An anti-Australian rant. And a smokescreen for treason.

How so?

Consider Wayne’s definitive paragraph:

But Australia’s fair go is today under threat from a new source. To be blunt, the rising power of vested interests is undermining our equality and threatening our democracy. We see this most obviously in the ferocious and highly misleading campaigns waged in recent years against resource taxation reforms and the pricing of carbon pollution. The infamous billionaires’ protest against the mining tax would have been laughed out of town in the Australia I grew up in, and yet it received a wide and favourable reception two years ago. A handful of vested interests that have pocketed a disproportionate share of the nation’s economic success now feel they have a right to shape Australia’s future to satisfy their own self-interest.

Note well.

Wayne uses his essay to single out and publicly attack three (3) Australian citizens.

All wealthy miners.

All … how shall I put this delicately … of ordinary physical appearance.

Or less delicately … fat and ugly.

Here is the photo used for the piece:

Billionaire activists: Clive Palmer, Andrew Forrest and Gina Rinehart. © Philip Norrish/Newspix; Greg Wood/AAP; Tony McDonough/AAP

Wayne has singled out this Terrible Three as somehow exemplifying the dangers of “vested interests”, a threat to “democracy” and “equality”.

Conveniently, Wayne neglects to mention a few relevant facts.

A lot of relevant facts, actually.

He neglects to mention that he and Gillard locked these 3 Aussies-made-good out of the behind-closed-doors negotiation of his “mining tax”, and that instead, he negotiated the design of the MRRT exclusively and confidentially with BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, and Xstrata – the Big Three multinational mining companies.

He neglects to mention that the final design of the MRRT favours the foreign-owned multinationalsquelle surprise! – and that it will in reality act as a tax minimisation mechanism that will not “spread the wealth of the mining boom”, but will instead help the multinationals to increase their oligopoly, at the expense of much smaller Aussie locals like Palmer, Forrest, and Rinehart.

(Do you think that just might have something to do with their choosing to become “activists” against this government’s policy agenda?)

And the carbon tax “vested interests”?

Again, Wayne very conveniently neglects to mention a few highly relevant facts.

He neglects to mention that the Green-Labor government’s anointed chief “designer” of the Clean Energy Future legislation, Ross Garnaut, is a career Big Banker and a member of the Trilateral Commission.

He neglects to mention that the choirmaster for the “eminent economists” who publicly sang in favour of the legislation, Saul Eslake, was at the time the director of the BHP Billiton-founded and funded Grattan Institute; the former chief economist for ANZ Bank; and is now employed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch – a major player in the international CO2 derivatives trade.

He neglects to mention that Mr Eslake conceded (right here on this blog) that 7 of the 13 “eminent economists” who co-signed the Open Letter in support of the government’s plan to “price carbon” were current employees of banks; that 3 more were former employees of banks; and that only 3 of the 13 had no past or present associations with banks “as far as I know”.

He neglects to mention that Mr Eslake conceded (right here on this blog) that “..it is true that banks might make money from an emissions trading scheme..”.

He neglects to mention that just 3 days after the announcement of the draft legislation, leading banks were already announcing plans to cash in via a new carbon derivatives market, one specifically allowed by two tiny clauses buried in the 1,000 pages of legislation; a new market whose value (to banks) would, in their words, “dwarf” the value of the underlying market for basic carbon permits.

He neglects to mention other “vested interests” in our society too – like the unions who finance and rule his own party, and the banks who our major political parties rely on for loans to finance their election campaigns. Conflict-of-(vested)-interest, much?

Wayne has cynically picked out three easy targets to attack, in his class warfare-inciting rant.

Three fat, unattractive, wealthy, Australian Tall Poppies*.

Wayne has conveniently neglected to mention his own appalling hypocrisy.

And his treason.

Because when it comes to Green-Labor’s two big “economic reforms”, loudly touted as being in the “interests of all Australians”, the truth is that Wayne is personally culpable for selling out the financial best interests of the Australian people to multinational miners, and Big Finance.

Foreign-owned “vested interests”, whose wealth and power make our homegrown Ms Rinehart, Mr Palmer, and Mr Forrest appear mere paupers by comparison.

Treasurer Wayne Swan is a cynical, dishonest, anti-Australian, treasonous hypocrite of the lowest order. A disgrace to morally sentient beings.

He revolts me.

UPDATE:

It is alleged that the Big Three multinationals approved the plot to remove elected PM Kevin Rudd (and with him, the original RSPT):

JULIA Gillard was “given the nod” by the big three mining companies — Xstrata, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton—to challenge Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership, knowing the advertising campaign against the mining tax “would be pulled”.

… The revelations come from an article written by Mr Rudd’s friend and actor Rhys Muldoon, published in the latest issue of The Monthly magazine.

Immediately after the coup, Wayne and new PM Julia went behind closed doors with the Big 3 – and only the Big 3 – and quickly locked in a new deal before the election. One that the Big 3 foreigners are “happy with”.

And yet, Wayne Swan has the unmitigated gall to author a rant singling out and publicly vilifying 3 of our homegrown Aussie miners as the “dangerous” “vested interests” threatening our democracy?!

To paraphrase Thomas Beckett:

Will no one rid me of this turdulent Treasurer?

* My sincere apologies for the use of wholly unfair and brutal artistic licence to Ms Rinehart, Mr Palmer, and Mr Forrest, whom I’ve never met and have no reason to doubt are hard working, decent Australians.

Gillard “Mad Dog’s Breakfast” Devours Australia For Benefit Of Foreign Interests

16 Jun

Have you stopped to think carefully … and deeply … about why a (supposedly) democratic and (supposedly) poll-driven government persists with pushing through big “tax” policies, when polls consistently prove that the majority of citizens oppose them?

Is it really a matter of high-minded “belief” and “principle”?

Or, is it really about something far more low-brow and prosaic – selling out Australia for the benefit of big foreign interests.

One only need pause to scratch below the surface of the political rhetoric, and reflect carefully on the evidence, for the answer to become crystal clear.

From The Australian, June 15, 2011 (emphasis added):

Mr Forrest [head of local Aussie miner Fortescue Metals] slammed the draft laws for the mineral resources rent tax, released on Friday, as a “mad dog’s breakfast” that would benefit Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Xstrata at the expense of the smaller, local miners – and that could trigger legal action if it went unchanged.

“I think there are many companies, a government or two, and ourselves, who will mount a High Court challenge,” Mr Forrest said.

“It is not my preference. My preference is to speak to the Treasurer, explain to him that the reason why the multinationals agreed to this tax in just three days from (Julia) Gillard being appointed (Prime Minister) was because they were protected from it and everyone else had to pay.”

The Gillard government’s carbon dioxide “tax” scheme is designed with exactly the same malevolent, Australia-loathing intent as the mining tax.

Global mining giant BHP Billiton’s South African CEO, Marius Kloppers, has been directly and intimately involved in the by-invitation-only, closed-doors negotiation over the design of both of our Green-Labor government’s great big new “tax” schemes.

Consider very carefully what Kloppers has angled for, in his sweetheart deal with Gillard on the carbon dioxide “tax”.

From The Australian, September 16, 2010:

A(nother) key consideration would be to give industries exposed to the tax a rebate, Mr Kloppers said, because without a global price, these companies would become uncompetitive and might consider shifting polluting assets to countries without a carbon tax.

Sounds reasonable, right?

Wrong.

It’s a sneaky, deceitful, anti-competitive, market-monopolising ploy. One that would completely absolve BHP of any costs at all under the “carbon tax”, while penalising all of their smaller competitors – our local, up-and-coming Aussie miners.

Which is why our much-maligned local Aussie businessman (and indigenous philanthropist of the first order), Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, was on to this scam like a flash.

From the Herald Sun, Sept 22, 2010 (emphasis added):

Mr Forrest said that Mr Kloppers’ carbon tax plan was designed to help BHP.

“He says you get a complete rebate if you are an exporter. BHP is a total exporter so he is embedding a tax that will be paid for by everyone else, a la the minerals resource rent tax.”

Consider too, the recent Open Letter by “13 leading economists” in favour of a carbon dioxide “pricing mechanism”.

10 / 13 of whom are directly connected to the banking industry.

An Open Letter whose leading light, former ANZ bank economist Saul Eslake, is now employed by the Grattan Institute.  An “independent public policy think-tank”.  One that was set up and funded by the Australian Government… and BHP Billiton.  An “independent” institute featuring none other than … you guessed it … BHP Billiton’s Marius Kloppers on its Board of directors.

“Independent” my @$$!

Let there be no misunderstanding.

Everything that this government does, is done with the deliberate intention of weakening our country – destroying our local industries, impoverishing households, and weakening our government financial position.

Why?  Because our every act of wilful economic self-harm, has benefits for non-local (ie, foreign) interests.

The evidence is unmistakable.

They really are, quite literally, selling us out.

Once upon a time, what they are doing was called “treason”.

And punished accordingly.

The MRRT and the proposed “carbon pricing mechanism” have both been deliberately designed – and secretly negotiated – to place an unfair burden only on local Aussie companies.  To the benefit of the monster multinationals such as BHP Billiton and RIO.

The carbon dioxide “tax” / trading scheme is deliberately designed to destroy our nation’s natural low-cost energy advantage (coal-fired power).  To the benefit of the international bankstering cartels such as Goldman Sachs and friends.

Consider also, this very interesting fact.

Our Green-Labor government does not even know – officially – who owns more than 60% of the $200 billion public debt they have racked up.

Now, the “independent” (there’s that word again) Reserve Bank of Australia “estimates” that 73% of our debt is owed to (unidentified) “non-residents” of Australia. But our government’s own department, the one that actually sells our debt, officially doesn’t have a clue.

The writing is on the wall, dear reader.

Because both of the two big economic “reforms” that are about to be legislated by our Green-Labor government – led by life-long “creeping communist” Julia Gillard – are designed to devour Australia.

For the benefit of foreign interests.

Joyce: ‘More Modelling Than Naomi Campbell’

3 Jun

Barnaby Joyce accuses Labor of using dodgy statistics in its propaganda for its Orwellian-named “Resource Super-Profits Tax” (RSPT).

From The Australian:

The Federal Government has more modelling “than Naomi Campbell” on its proposed mining tax, but none of it makes any sense, Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce says.

He has accused the Government of hiding behind questionable statistics in its push to implement a 40 per cent tax on the super profits of mining companies.

They’ve got more modelling than Naomi Campbell, but it’s all wrong,” Senator Joyce said today.

Indeed, the modelling is all wrong.

Professor Steve Keen, winner of the Revere Award for being the international economist who first and most cogently forewarned of the coming GFC, has demonstrated that Treasury’s modelling is based on economic fallacies and “a gaping hole in logic“, in a series of articles for Business Spectator.  They can also be found on Professor Keen’s DebtWatch blog.

Returning to Barnaby:

He took special aim at Treasury over pie charts Treasurer Wayne Swan used to back the Government’s argument miners have been paying half the tax they were paying a decade ago.

Respected business commentator and ABC TV’s Finance presenter, Alan Kohler, today checked the numbers for himself in a column for Business Spectator titled, “The Government’s RSPT Spin Is A Disgrace”:

Another big accounting firm, Deloittes, has gone through ATO data and demonstrated that the effective tax rate for Australian mining companies (company tax plus royalties) is 41.3 per cent, compared with the average across all sectors of 27.18 per cent. I went into the ATO website and did the same calculation: it’s true.

In one of its taxpayer-funded advertisements, the government says: “Before the last boom Australia got 1 in every 3 dollars of mining profits in royalties and resource charges, we now receive just 1 in every 7 dollars.”

This statement is a disgrace, even leaving aside the fact that we are paying for it.

Back to Barnaby:

Senator Joyce wants to see the figures Treasury used to formulate the charts, but Departmental officials have opted to stall at a series of Senate estimates hearings this week.

“The pie charts don’t make any sense,” he said.

“They’ve had four days to explain two pie charts and they can’t do it.”

Indeed, according to mining magnate Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest today, the head of the Treasury department Ken Henry – the architect of the now infamous Henry Tax Review – can’t even explain it himself:

Mr Forrest said Dr Henry had effectively conceded at a lunch with leading economists late last month that he was uncertain how financiers would view the rebate.

“When asked … he (Dr Henry) said, `I’m sure some clever banker is going to find out how to make it work’,” Mr Forrest said.

What he’s saying to the Australian people is that he doesn’t know.

“Ken Henry doesn’t have the answers and what I know with absolute certainty is that he didn’t consult with the banking industry, like he didn’t consult with the mining industry.

As this blog has highlighted many times, Treasury secretary Ken Henry is not fit to hold his position, and should be sacked.  The huge controversy over the RSPT only serves to confirm this view.

Yesterday Andrew Forrest revealed details of his own private conversations with Ken Henry over the RSPT, during which Henry admitted that the “logic” of his RSPT all rests on one critical assumption.  The fact that this assumption is dead wrong, further proves Henry’s ivory-towered, disconnected-from-economic-reality incompetence:

“Ken has described to me how the tax works and it relies on a critical assumption, that the so-called guarantee of 40 per cent of losses in bankruptcy actually has a value to financiers,” Mr Forrest told ABC Radio.

“If it doesn’t, then in Ken Henry’s own words, the logic of the entire tax collapses and this is just a 40 per cent take, which of course will then damage the industry.”

Mr Forrest said he had told Mr Henry that the 40 per cent tax credit guarantee on losses would be worthless to the mining industry as it would not be worth anything to financiers when they decided on loans.

“It theoretically works for economists in textbooks, it doesn’t work in the real world.”

Which is exactly what contrarian economist Steve Keen says is true about almost all mainstream economic thought, in his brilliant book Debunking Economics.

UPDATE:

From The Australian:

One of Australia’s most respected economic forecasters, Chris Richardson, has demolished the intellectual and economic modelling behind the government’s resource super-profits tax, effectively telling Treasury it got it badly wrong..

The assault on the fundamental logic of the tax will seriously embarrass the government and the architect of the tax, Treasury secretary Ken Henry, given their repeated claims that their model will not deter investment and the mining industry is merely running a fear campaign.

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