Very few Pacific islands would opt for their current status if offered a choice to return to their pre-colonial lives. This could be more than a post-modern fantasy
CAIRNS - If you look at history through a Bougainvillean lens, independence is obvious and non-negotiable.
But the same sentiment applies to practically every other island group in the Pacific region.
Prior to European colonisation every island was an independent entity unto itself.
And today I would venture that very few would opt for their current status if offered a choice to return to their pre-colonial lives.
It seems to me that such a return is not entirely in the realm of fantasy.
It would replace the artificially cobbled together post-colonial nation states that bear little or no relationship to traditional genealogical, language or geographic fealty.
It would become a loose federation of self-governed mini-states under an umbrella organisation not unlike the European parliament and the European central bank.
For those who seek the brighter lights, the rest of the world is open for them to pursue whatever dreams they may have.
Under current arrangements, what I fear most for the region is the slow and inexorable erosion of culture and environment, and the stripping away of resources we are witnessing now.
The current situation was never in the interest of Pacific peoples and it never will be.
The regional failure to provide basic services to burgeoning populations coupled with the gross inequity that is the result of the neo-capitalist model is poison for Pacific communities and Pacific nations.
In my view they could all do much worse than take back their traditional independence and exclude much of what is toxic from the outside world.