The apathy and ennui of the Papua New Guinean people
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PNG politics: Parsing Peter O'Neill’s Christmas attack on Don Polye

Oneill & PolyeKEITH JACKSON explains and annotates Peter O’Neill (quotes from PNG Today)

THE Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, has expressed disgust and disappointment at the way in which the Opposition has sought to drag politics to a new low over Christmas.

I have a desperate need to project perceptions of my own flaws on to others.

“I had hoped that in 2016 the nation would have a mature and responsible Opposition, but with the way Mr Polye has sought to manage his affairs in this last week of the year I expect we will be disappointed.”

Polye's landing some body blows on me which I hope you don't notice.

“The people of Papua New Guinea are sick and tired of the cheap and personal gutter politics we have seen from the Opposition Leaders in this term of Parliament.”

The people of PNG are increasingly sick and tired of me.

“Papua New Guineans want debate on policy on substantive issues that matter to the lives of the men, women and children of our nation.”

True – and they also want honest, accountable and competent government, which I have difficulty in providing.

“The paranoia the current and previous opposition leaders have displayed is not the standard that is needed this country.”

I am made very uncomfortable when the Opposition calls out my significant failings as a leader.

“Be mindful that the Opposition misleads media with the expectation that some journalists will not check facts.”

Journalists know when something is factual; it’s when I say it.

“Polye’s latest misleading claims related to land - because he knows there is no more emotive issue in our country than land ownership.”

Unfortunately Polye seems to be on to something and I need to shut debate down.

“He further continues to make unsubstantiated claims of conspiracies between government agencies, that he often claims have to do with undermining opposition.”

Yes, he’s definitely on to something.

“I can assure the media who received these latest Opposition statements that there is no truth to his claims.”

My bad, his claims are almost certainly 100% correct.

“I urge all journalists to fully investigate the claims made by Polye, which is the role of the independent media of our nation, and not simply publish unsubstantiated drivel.”

Journalists should do what I tell them.

“The Leader of the Opposition must focus on policy alternatives and not personal attacks on Members of the National Parliament."

Keep off my turf. Personal attacks are the preserve of moi and only moi. 

“We have all had enough of desperate politics. If the Leader of the Opposition has nothing to offer our nation but cheap shots and slander, he should step aside for another member of the Opposition to take his place.”

I wish.

"Is there someone in the ranks of the Opposition who can debate on policy and substance?”

If so, I’ll also attack them vehemently.

“The 2017 elections will be the most important in the history of Papua New Guinea, and we need the people of our nation to hear debate on the serious issues of the economy, climate change, education, healthcare, infrastructure and law and order.”

I face a real threat of being tossed out in 2017 and I want you to understand that my legacy of moral rectitude, scrupulous honesty and wise governance is not one you should too easily spurn.


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Mathias Kin

FO from here, Susan Merrell. PNG Attitude ino blo kain olsem yu!

Effrey Dademo

Susan Merell and her silly website are no match for PNG Attitude.

Ben Howard

Susan Merrell and Tiffany Twivey are close associates of Isaac Lupari and Peter O'Neill.

Michael Dom

Keith, I concur - that is precisely how I read the PM's speech.

Phil Fitzpatrick

She's certainly got an interesting website.

A lot of it is about her but she reports on some interesting things like policemen pissing in the mouths of arrested women.

She's got a vendetta against Sam Koim, which must be reassuring for him.

She's part of the PNG mix and interesting to follow - but then again, I'm a fiction writer.

Ben Howard

Susan Merrell is jealous of you Keith.

I wonder whether she may have been the author of the original hubristic media release - KJ

Peter Kranz

Well that's a relief. For a moment there you had me thinking we had to take you seriously.

Susan Merrell

There is no such person as Ms Merrell.

Peter Kranz

I seem to remember some time ago that Ms Merrell vowed never to grace these pages again. I think that was when she was whitewashing Julian Moti.

The fact that she can't resist jumping in to support O'Neill speaks volumes.

Susan Merrell | From Facebook

Keith, I've always found you breathtakingly arrogant but this is way beyond the Pale. Parsing indeed! I'd call it cynical and twisted interpretation based on the bias of a PR agent.

Susan Merrell is a self-styled “freelance political journalist”, allegedly a paid spin doctor for Peter O’Neill.

A few months back PNG Blogs ran this piece on her, I have no way of vouching for its accuracy....

And in 2013 PNG Attitude published this profile on Ms Merrell by Sonja Barry Ramoi....

Perhaps Ms Merrell would like to clarify her current employment arrangements so readers can judge for themselves whether her opinions on Mr O’Neill and his rivals are to be taken as serious commentary or just paid (or, Heaven forfend, pro bono) propaganda - KJ

Mathias Kin

Francis, yes they will get him back...but he will not be in that seat as PM. He is finished. And then em bai kisim blong em!

Keith, I love this! Great read. No wonder they cancelled your visa early this year from entering Ialibu Pangia.

I am going to print this for some of my friends in Kundiawa and for the SWA wall at The Tribe at Mt Wilhelm Lodge.

Happy New Year 2016 to you Keith, Phil, Ben, Francis and all you great friends here.


Francis Nii

I so wish that the Judiciary or the law settles the pending legal issues against him before 2017 elections. I maintain that judiciary is the only hope for rendering justice on this man.

Otherwise he is a demi god of the Ialibu-Pangia people and they will get him back in parliament in 2017.

Paul Oates

Keith, If only our joint submission to government was ever looked at we might have jolted a few out of their comfort zones.

Chris Overland

Great translation of Mr O'Neill's "pollie speak". George Orwell would be full of admiration for your ability to decipher this tosh and so reveal its true meaning.

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