Friday, January 27, 2012


I'm going to attempt to blog more regularly and paste more than just my columns.

This comes from London's Daily Telegraph. It is by Peter Oborne.

Now we turn to the case of Stephen Hester, the chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, who is reportedly pressing for a substantial annual bonus in addition to his already colossal £1.2 million salary. There are no questions of integrity with Hester, as there are with Huhne and Laws. However, an extremely important issue is at stake, concerning the values that guide Britain as a nation.The key point to bear in mind is that Mr Hester is not a banker. He is a civil servant, heading an organisation which is 84 per cent owned by the British government. His immediate boss, Robin Budenberg, the chief executive of UK Financial Investments, earns just over £145,000 a year. Mr Budenberg in turn reports to Sir Nicholas Macpherson, Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, who earns at least £175,000.It is outrageous and insulting that Mr Hester should insist on such a huge salary, and beyond belief that he should be insisting on a bonus. Furthermore, it is important to bear in mind that he is by no means the hungriest RBS employee. His colleague John Hourican, the head of RBS’s calamitous investment banking division, is reportedly demanding more than £4 million.Consider this: supposing that Mr Hourican gets his bonus, it will pay him approximately £11,000 every single day – as a state employee. In just three days, it would surpass the amount that a young corporal, risking life and limb in Afghanistan, gets in an entire year.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Back again.

This is actually my third column for 2012. I'll post the others over the next couple of days. I've been a bit slack in keeping up to date.

This is about the need for Australia to keep "making things" and the importance of government in ensuring it continues to do so . . .