A simple solution for Tony Abbott. I don’t understand the suggestion by some commentators that Labor has presented Tony Abbott with a difficult decision over legislation designed to overturn the recent High Court decision on asylum seekers.

To me the attitude that Liberals and Nationals should take is simple. Support the legislation to allow the sending of boat people to other countries for processing but with the proviso that only countries that are parties to the United Nations refugee treaty are permissible destinations for the Immigration Minister to exercise his otherwise unfettered discretion towards.

With this simple amendment the harassment of Labor over its Malaysian solution can continue while removing any legal impediment to a future Coalition Government re-opening facilities in Nauru.

Waiting the best policy. Staying out of the formal race does not appear to be doing Sarah Palin any harm in her efforts to become the Republican Party presidential nominee.

During the debate between the declared candidates in Florida this morning our time, the former Governor of Alaska was watching proceedings on television as the latest opinion poll showed that not participating in these early events had seen her emerge as the third most popular choice.

Eight candidates took part in the CNN televised debate

Palin’s support among Republican voters in the CNN/ORC International Poll is back to 15% — behind Texas Governor Rick Perry who is the candidate of choice for 30% and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at 18 percent but well ahead of the other woman Tea Party favourite Michele Bachmann.

The poll result compares with the latest reading of the Crikey Republican Candidate Indicator which still haw Mitt Romney a narrow favourite over Rick Perry to finally emerge as the nominee.

The slowing world. Further evidence of a stalling world-wide economic recovery comes from the OECD’s composite leading indicators (CLIs) for July 2011. Designed to anticipate turning points in economic activity relative to trend, the CLIs continue to point to a slowdown in economic activity in most OECD countries and major non-member economies.

The CLI for the OECD area fell 0.5 point in July; the fourth consecutive monthly decline.

Compared to last month’s assessment, the CLIs for Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Brazil, China and India are pointing more strongly to a slowdown in economic activity. The CLIs for the United States and Russia are now also pointing more clearly to a slowdown in economic activity than in last month’s assessment.

The outlook for Japan continues to indicate a potential turning-point in economic activity.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey