A Vulture Fund is a hedge fund that buys up National debt at a tiny price because the debt is about to be defaulted, and pursues it vigorously through the courts. Liberia, a Nation in deep poverty, one of the World’s poorest Countries, had debt that was bought up by a Vulture Fund owned by Hedge Fund manager Eric Hermann. He took war torn, poverty stricken Liberia to court, in which his Vulture Fund won £12m from Liberia – 5% of their annual budget, for debts from 1978, before his Vulture fund was even set up. The debt, plus interest earned the Vulture Fund a nice profit, that would otherwise be used to build half a million homes in Liberia. The funds thrive on poverty. In 2010 a bill came through Parliament aimed at stopping these Vulture Funds. It took up a lot of time, and right at the last minute looked likely to pass. Tory MP Philip Davies then penned an amendment to try and stop the bill passing. It didn’t stop the Bill. But suddenly, a Tory MP on the front bench shouted “object” (a silly Private Members bill rule), and so the bill failed to pass. All the Tory front bench sat with their hands over their mouths so no one would know who made the bill fail. #realbrokensociety
According to the Telegraph:
Six-year-old Abdullah Qadoos was hit by cluster bombs fired by the British Army as they took the Iraqi city of Basra in March 2003. Shrapnel smashed through the window of his home, cut off his arm and tore open his abdomen.
– The UK government banned clusterbombs years ago. But a loophole in the law means banking institutions can invest in companies that manufacture clusterbombs. Royal Bank of Scotland, which is pretty much owned by the taxpayer, has invested more than £115m in Alliant Techsystems and Lockheed Martin – two clusterbomb manufacturers. Given that Cameron deplored a “culture that glorifies violence“, will he be closing this loophole? Well, no. Of course not. Mainly because when a kid suggests looting a Footlocker on Facebook it’s a great evil, but when rich companies fund violence, it’s fine. Number 10 said:
The issue of indirect financing is for individual institutions to consider. We as a government have made it very clear that direct financing of cluster munitions is illegal. We would encourage NGOs to come together and engage with the banks to find a mutually agreeable approach to indirect financing.
– Encouraging banks to self regulate? Really?
Ex Chief Exec. of RBS presides over bank that loses £24.1bn of other peoples money. The biggest loss in Corproate history. Described by the Guardian as one of the 25 people at the heart of the financial meltdown Worldwide, and is punished, by having his pension reduced to £342,500 a year from £555,000 a year. Meanwhile, a man in Manchester is about to face jail for “looting” an ice cream cone and two scopes of ice cream. #realbrokensociety
Jeremy Isaacs, donated £190,000 in the past five years to the Tories, and who happened to be the boss of the Asia/Europe branches of Lehmann when it collapsed and engulfed the World. #realbrokensociety
Npower just announced profits of 130% larger than last year. Still, they think raising gas prices by 15.7% is “necessary“. Elsewhere, Bolton County Council have had to sell a painting by the great English painter Sir John Everett Millais to an American art collector, meaning the painting will probably never be in this country again, just to help fund its arts and culture sector which has been needlessly slashed. #realbrokensociety
“If you are old enough to commit these crimes you are old enough to face the punishment” bleated David Cameron, in response to the rioting across England two weeks ago. In the 1980s, Cameron was a member of the notorious Bullingdon Club Elite, who ritualistically smashed restaurants and pubs up. New members only become aware that they have been accepted, when they find their rooms trashed and smashed. After rioting, the Bullingdon Club chant: “Buller, Buller, Buller! Buller, Buller, Buller! We are the famous Bullingdon Club, and we don’t give a fuck!“. When the Bullingdon club were out one night, a plant pot was thrown through the window of an Oxford restaurant. Eye witnesses say they saw a bunch of men including David Cameron run away. This week, two men imprisoned for 4 years for inciting riots on facebook which didn’t actually lead to any trouble. #realbrokensociety
Sir Philip Green was asked in 2010, to write a report into Government spending and procurement. He reported that there were mass failings in Government procurement. The entire procurement professional dismissed the report as nonsense. Philip Green’s Arcadia Group business has thus far avoided £25bn in taxes. In 2005, his dividend on 92% of the shares in Arcadia, gave him £1.2bn. My home city of Leicester was found to be home of a sweatshop factory in a basement, where workers were paid less than minimum wage, providing clothes for Top Shop. Top Shop is owned by Sir Philip Green. Meanwhile, a rioter is imprisoned for 6 months for stealing a water bottle worth £3.50. #realbrokensociety
Clive Goodman, jailed in 2007 for hacking the phone of Prince William, had penned a letter to the News of the World, which stated that Coulson among others, had regularly discussed phone hacking, and told Goodman that if he didn’t implicate the News of the World in the scandal in 2007, he would be given his job back when he got out of prison. The letter was sent from the solicitors Harbottle and Lewis who are investigating internal N.O.T.W emails, to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee two days ago. Hacking into the voicemail of dead schoolgirls, and then covering it up, and then becoming the Prime Ministers chief of communications. #realbrokensociety
The Minister in charge of deciding whether Murdoch should be allowed to buy BSkyB, and decided in favour of take over, is Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt. In 2009 a ‘sleaze watchdog’ found that he had allowed his friend to stay rent free in his tax payer funded house, whilst claiming expenses for both of them. Fraud, I believe it is known as. Will he face jail for looting the public purse? “If you are old enough to commit these crimes you are old enough to face the punishment” according to Cameron. Well, no. He said sorry. So he only have to repay half of the £20k he fraudulently claimed. Whilst claiming for that house, he was also fraudulently claiming for mortgage payments on another house. But it’s okay. He said sorry. #realbrokensociety
One in four UK households are now classed as fuel poor. Fuel poor means when the cost of heating your home exceeds 10% of annual income. Roger Carr, the Chairman of Centrica which owns British Gas and has just announced a 25% increase since December 2010, is also the President of the CBI. The CBI have called for deeper spending cuts than have been so far imposed, and have opposed any tax rise on Capital Gains tax. Effectively, meaning they wish to see Winter Fuel Allowance for the neediest cut drastically, but the taxes on their huge profits lowered. #realbrokensociety
The maximum tax credit of £54 a week for families with a disabled child will now be cut to £27 a week. Thousands will be plunged into poverty due to this cut. Meanwhile, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, who is worth £7.5million, pays himself in dividends rather than a salary from his company Castlemead, saving him money on tax. Also, to avoid the 50p top rate of tax, he moved his shares into his wive’s name, who pays a smaller rate of tax, allegedly saving the Transport Secretary £25,000 a year. On Question Time, he called it “rearranging my affairs“. #realbrokensociety
I think it’s about time the Prime Minister instilled a sense of humanity and moral decency in his own household before he continues this ironic moral crusade.