Comment & opinion Feed

The nightmare of war that is with us forever

A critical precondition for peace is that people must desire it fiercely enough to argue, fight and even die for it. This is what we all may be doing soon enough if China uses force to conquer Taiwan and the United States intervenes

Image - Spiros Karkavela (Art of Future Warfare)
Art by Spiros Karkavela (Art of Future Warfare)

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - One of the unfathomable mysteries of human nature is the instinct to pursue violence and war.

History is, in many respects, just one long and dismal story of seemingly endless warfare.

Continue reading "The nightmare of war that is with us forever" »


Sweeping reform is not on Albanese’s agenda

We must harden up and put our collective shoulders to the wheel to make our country more economically resilient and self-reliant, as well as to repair our much neglected and grossly inadequate defence forces

Anthony Albanese (The West Australian)Anthony Albanese has taken over a country in which laissez faire capitalism has wrought its magic, enriching the few at the expense of the many (Caricature from The West Australian)

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - Australia's 'timid' government (Keith Jackson’s descriptor) has sniffed the wind and knows that, while Australians were intensely unhappy with the previous government, they were not necessarily going to buy into demands for thoroughgoing reforms of the current system.

In particular, a large majority of voters still fondly imagine that the serious problems now manifest in the health system, aged care, disability services, public transport and housing can be magically fixed without, if not an increase in taxation, at least the abandonment of the unjustified and inequitable tax cuts which passed into law before the recent election.

Continue reading "Sweeping reform is not on Albanese’s agenda" »


Bigmanship: the deliverer of corrupt leaders

A corrupt politician’s strong tribal identity can create an impossible situation for honest candidates to succeed, and so the corrupt are re-elected

Caricatures from Wantok newspaper
Caricatures from Wantok newspaper

SIMON DAVIDSON

PORT MORESBY - Despite colossal efforts by international partners, NGOs and other entities to rid us of corrupt leaders, we are again confronted by their resurgence after the just completed national elections.

As I see things, this is due to three cultural factors that are the salient catalysts that cause voters to install corrupt leaders election after election.

Continue reading "Bigmanship: the deliverer of corrupt leaders" »


Sachs’ & the New Appeasers have it wrong

Sachs appears to be one of the New Appeasers whose starting premise is that Putin is a rational actor, not an unrepentant neo-imperialist whose territorial aspirations cannot be satisfied through negotiation or by conceding land for peace

Putin and Macron
Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron - the table perhaps symbolic of the distance between Putin's goals of empire and the New Appeasers desire for peaceful resolution

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - In his recent speech, ‘The world imperilled at the end of US leadership, Jeffrey Sachs has advanced several propositions that are highly contestable.

Professor Sachs evidently believes that the underlying cause of the Russia-Ukraine War was the constant expansion of NATO – a military alliance of 28 European, Canada and the USA, which strongly supports NATO’s expansion.

Continue reading "Sachs’ & the New Appeasers have it wrong" »


The US is sick: Time to think for ourselves

Australia should be encouraging Pacific Islands nations to join it in forming a regional bloc that thinks for itself, makes its own rules and sees to its own future

Wake-up-america
This World War I propaganda poster has new meaning as the US faces threats at home and abroad

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Jeffrey Sachs speaks a lot of sense but, as he says, no one wants to listen to him.

There are a lot of people like Sachs who people go out of their way to ignore. Among them are climate scientists and epidemiologists.

Continue reading "The US is sick: Time to think for ourselves" »


The silencing of Covid truth teller, Dr Berger

David Berger has been forced to submit to a Communist style re-education program and humiliation where he has to explain how he has behaved discourteously, unprofessionally and offended the community. If he does not comply, this skilled, ethical and courageous doctor will face deregistration because he told the truth

Berger
Dr David Berger - Covid truth teller who the Australian authorities are trying to silence as they seek to cover up accountability for over 10,000 deaths and hundreds of thousands of seriously ill victims

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - There has been an outpouring of support for Australian doctor David Berger, whose social media activity has been censored and registration as a doctor threatened because he tells the truth about the incompetence of the Australian government’s handling of Covid.

Dr Berger has been an acute reporter, knowledgeable analyst and severe critic of how Australian governments have failed the public in their handling of Covid.

Continue reading "The silencing of Covid truth teller, Dr Berger" »


Chinese now a real threat in the Gulf of Papua

Lying, obfuscation and diversion are all part of well-established Chinese strategy to confuse or misdirect putative enemies and gullible others as to its real intentions. What Chinese diplomats are saying about the development at Ihu clearly fits this category

Capture
Speaking before 3,000 representatives to the National People’s Congress in Beijing in March 2021, president Xi Jinping proclaimed his country had been the first to tame Covid, the result of “self-confidence in our path, self-confidence in our theories, self-confidence in our system, self-confidence in our culture”

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - I worked as a kiap in the Gulf Province (or District as it then was) for two years from mid-1969 to mid-1971.

It was a very impoverished region then as it is now.

For this reason, any major development project is likely to be welcomed by the local people.

Continue reading "Chinese now a real threat in the Gulf of Papua" »


Pre-poll incidents foretell election violence

One key test for PNG’s fragile democracy will be women’s political representation. PNG is one of only three countries to have no female legislators in its national parliament

Election and security officials plan the movement of supplies  2017 (Commonwealth Secretariat)
Election and security officials plan the movement of supplies,  2017 (Commonwealth Secretariat)

TEDDY WINN
| Griffith Asia Insights

https://blogs.griffith.edu.au/asiainsights/

TOWNSVILLE - Papua New Guineans will go to the polls on 2 July - the tenth time citizens have exercised their universal suffrage since the first post-independence election of 1977.

The process started with the issuing of writs on 12 May.  Sadly, the country lost its deputy prime minister in a fatal car accident the day before, resulting in the deferral of nominations by a week.

Continue reading "Pre-poll incidents foretell election violence" »


When your guardians become grand thieves

Do the people understand exactly what is happening – and how it is happening, and to the benefit of whom? No, too often they don’t. They are not told. These things are not explained to them

Oates cartoon
PAUL OATES

CLEVELAND QLD –There is an argument put forward that, if everyone knows their taxes and public resources are deployed in a transparent and ethical way, where then is the corruption?

And if people vote on issues that have been fully explained to them by their elected representatives, where then is the ignorance?

Continue reading "When your guardians become grand thieves" »


Violence, voting fraud to blight 2022 election

The 2022 election is shaping up to be the most violent ever despite the government purchasing armoured vehicles, imposing a ban on the 50,000 illegal firearms in the country and support from the Australian Defence Force

Election - Men queue to vote at a Highlands election (Treva Braun)
Men queue to vote at a Highlands election (Treva Braun)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The shooting of a returning officer, 30 other deaths in electoral violence, candidates’ supporters burning rivals’ vehicles and other violence have already marred Papua New Guinea’s upcoming general elections.

In a pointed article for the Asia & the Pacific Policy Society, academics Henry Ivarature and Michael Kabuni have expressed fears that the elections due to start on Tuesday 2 July are shaping up to be as bad as what was said to be “the worst one ever” in 2017

Continue reading "Violence, voting fraud to blight 2022 election" »


PM Marape’s compromised & corrupted Pangu

It was Michael Somare’s Pangu that knew the way to independence. Now under James Marape, ‘Pangu ino save lo rot’. Pangu doesn't know the way

A

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI – ‘Pangu save lo ro’ (Pangu knows the way) is a motto made popular by the late Sam Basil.

It refers to the Pangu Pati that attained independence for Papua New Guinea in 1975 led by the late Michael Somare.

Continue reading "PM Marape’s compromised & corrupted Pangu" »


Time is up for right wing cheerleader ASPI

From the outset ASPI was a highly politicised right wing think tank. It’s now reached its use-by date & should put down the megaphone

Aspi graphic

BRUCE HAIGH
| Pearls & Irritations

ORANGE, NSW - The Australian Strategic Policy Institute, ASPI, was conceived as a body to provide the government with the advice it wanted to hear.

It was commissioned by prime minister John Howard in August 2001 to undertake ‘policy-relevant research and analysis to better inform government decisions and public understanding of strategic and defence issues'.

Continue reading "Time is up for right wing cheerleader ASPI" »


No excuses: it’s time you voted for women

Aren’t you tired of voting for male candidates after 47 years of terrible results? What more excuse is there not to vote for female candidates?

Kabuni - Women voting (Commonwealth-Secretariat)
142 women have nominated for next month's national election– just 4% of the total of 3,493 candidates. And, of Highlands candidates, a meagre 1% are women

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI – Since Papua New Guinea’s first election after independence in 1977, of the 983 MPs elected only seven (0.7%) have been women.

In the national election to be held next month, 142 women have nominated – just 4% of the total of 3,493 candidates.

Continue reading "No excuses: it’s time you voted for women" »


A rough guide to a challenging future

Neo-liberalism's inherent flaws and contradictions have created mountainous debt and numerous socio-economic dysfunctions which have left the world’s economic and financial systems dangerously exposed

A Rough Guide to the Future

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - As an historian I am very wary about trying to predict the future based upon what has happened in the past or even what is happening in the present.

The record of those who predict the future with confidence is that they have been almost invariably wrong.

Continue reading "A rough guide to a challenging future" »


Don’t be fooled by the two bother brothers

Marape is as power hungry as O’Neill. They're just two Highlands egos preying on the emotions of uncritical voters 

O'Neill and Marape
Peter O'Neill and James Marape - "Papua New Guineans, don’t be fooled by these two power hungry guys"

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI - When addressing a crowd of Pangu Pati supporters in Morobe Province a week ago, prime minister James Marape issued a challenge to his predecessor, People’s National Congress (PNC) leader Peter O’Neill, and his supporters.

He invited O’Neill to a debate and dared him to explain to the country what he had done for Lae and Papua New Guinea during his eight years in office (2011-19). Marape.

Continue reading "Don’t be fooled by the two bother brothers" »


Australia’s aid program needs to be focused

While rebuilding a strong and effective aid program will take time, there are already in existence opportunities to increase funding for highly effective multilateral programs

The 30-year demolition of Australia's foreign aid (Australian Council for International Development)
The 30-year demolition of Australia's foreign aid budget, 1972-2022 (Australian Council for International Development)

MATT MORRIS
| Twitter | Edited

CANBERRA - Poverty reduction and the United Nations’ sustainable development goals offer a good guiding framework for development aid.

Within this, however, Australia needs to carefully prioritise its aid spending both within countries and in its global programs.

Continue reading "Australia’s aid program needs to be focused" »


Kramer on China, PNG & backdoor diplomacy

Good relationships, earned trust and gradualism can get you a long way in Papua New Guinea. But so can bribing the right people

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Bryan Kramer - Corrupt PNG politicians and other conmen are experts at building relationships, and Australia seems not to recognise this

PHILIP FITZPATRICK & PAUL OATES

On Monday the ABC’s Patricia Karvelas interviewed prominent PNG politician and immigration minister Bryan Kramer for Radio National Breakfast. A number of PNG Attitude contributors heard the exchange and told me they were impressed by it, so I asked two of them to share their thoughts - KJ

Continue reading "Kramer on China, PNG & backdoor diplomacy" »


Solomons deal puts Australia in crosshairs

Australia must be agile in building a foreign policy that can balance its relations with both the United States and China

Albanese Biden et al
Anthony Albanese, Joe Biden, Narendra Modi and Fumio Kashida - geniality marked the recent Four Eyes summit in Tokyo but China's ambitions for the Pacific Islands could mark the onset of a new Cold War

MUHAMMAD ABDUL BASIT
| Independent Australia

SURFERS PARADISE - The recent China-Solomon Islands pact has sent waves of discomfort through the US and its allies, particularly Australia. Security concerns have been felt in Canberra to Washington.

As China allegedly seeks to develop a military base in the Solomon Islands and increases its sphere of influence, the power dimensions in the region may change.

That makes the – yet unrevealed – agreement a matter of curiosity and serious concern for Australia and its allies.

Continue reading "Solomons deal puts Australia in crosshairs" »


Wong & Wang hit Pacific as US bungles bloc

Biden’s failure to include a Pacific Islands nation in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework may prove to be a shocking oversight

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Foreign ministers Penny Wong and Wang Yi -  as Biden makes a strategic blunder, the contest for influence in the Pacific Islands heats up

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The Chinese and Australian foreign ministers are arriving in the Pacific Islands today on separate missions to reinforce their influence in the region.

And, as US president Joe Biden announced the creation of an Asia-Pacific economic bloc to counter China’s dominance, China proposed to 10 Pacific Island countries that they enter into a cooperation agreement covering policing, security and data communications.

Continue reading "Wong & Wang hit Pacific as US bungles bloc" »


New Asia-Pacific economic bloc excludes PNG

Bloc map korea
US president Joe Biden on Monday in front of a giant map of the Korean peninsula. If the goal is to stifle China, why overlook the Pacific Islands?

KEITH JACKSON

The omission of PNG and the Pacific Islands from the alliance is both a misguided decision and a missed opportunity

NOOSA – It’s a bold if obvious idea that crept onto the agenda while we in Australia were having a general election.

It’s also a flawed idea but, given its general air of contempt towards the Pacific Islands, I’m not surprised the Morrison government let it slide.

Continue reading "New Asia-Pacific economic bloc excludes PNG" »


The timely end of a dangerous government

Teal albo top
Anthony Albanese has to prove himself capable of sorting out the considerable mess that Scott Morrison has left behind

KEITH JACKSON

If Albanese exercises democracy and wisdom in the cabinet room, we will have the best government we can have - and nobody can hope for anything more than that

NOOSA - Yesterday’s man under pressure has survived to become today’s hero – and I’m going to explain why.

For many Australians, the Labor Party’s win in Saturday’s national election seemed an unlikely victory.

Throughout his period as opposition leader, Anthony (Albo) Albanese had sought to present a target so small that nobody could take clear aim at it.

Continue reading "The timely end of a dangerous government" »


Note to candidates: Avoid unwinnable seats

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Governor Gary Juffa - a formidable politician and not someone an inexperienced candidate would want to take on

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI - I once listened to a talk on a case study drawn from the Oro provincial election of 2017.

It dealt particularly with the challenges women face in elections.

Being from Oro, I listened with interest but was disappointed when I heard the findings, which were not a good reflection of Oro politics.

Continue reading "Note to candidates: Avoid unwinnable seats" »


The mess that is the Pacific workers scheme

AABUL RIZVI
| Pearls & Irritations | Edited

Exploitation and abuse of Pacific Islands workers will be turbocharged as their numbers are being ramped up

CANBERRA - One of the symptoms of exploitation in the Pacific Access Labour Migration Scheme (PALMS) is the number of workers who abscond from their employer and apply for asylum.

Since late 2019, over 3,500 people from the Pacific Islands and Timor-Leste have applied for asylum.

Continue reading "The mess that is the Pacific workers scheme" »


Tok stret ia: Is PNG thoroughly corrupt?

A MPs wait to receive a foreign leader. How many are corrupt
Members of Parliament wait to greet a foreign leader. How many are corrupt?

MICHAEL KABUNI
|Academia Nomad

It’s not just a few people doing the wrong thing. It’s most people doing the wrong thing

WAIGANI - The average turnover of Papua New Guinea’s elected politicians is 50%; at each national election about half of the incumbents lose their seats. 

This is one of the highest rates in the world and has been the case without exception since the first post-independence election in 1977.

Continue reading "Tok stret ia: Is PNG thoroughly corrupt?" »


Dividing not blending: multi-culturalism in Oz

Capture
Google 'typical Aussies' and this is what you get - a representation of the Anglo-Celtic constituency

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Australia certainly has a multicultural society with a wide range of different cultural and ethnic groups among its population – 278 in all.

However Australia has an unsuccessful multicultural society mainly because of the power imbalance between 277 of those groups and the old Anglo-Celtic establishment.

Continue reading "Dividing not blending: multi-culturalism in Oz" »


‘I’ve changed!’ Scomo’s big last lie

A
Scott Morrison - political abuser reaches the bargaining stage of grief

NICK FEIK
| Editor | The Monthly

MELBOURNE - On Friday, prime minister Scott Morrison came as close as he’ll ever come to conceding that most people don’t like him.

He also said that “there are things that are going to have to change with the way I do things”.

Continue reading "‘I’ve changed!’ Scomo’s big last lie" »


MPs stick around up here in Wide Bay

A Llew-OBrienKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The south-east coastal Queensland seat of Wide Bay comes up for grabs again next Saturday when Australia holds its federal election.

Given the wobbly state of my health, a couple of days ago I cast a postal vote at the very desk where I sit writing this. So I'm in for getting rid of the Morrison government.

Continue reading "MPs stick around up here in Wide Bay" »


A most desperate need for good leadership

Democracy-problemsSTEPHEN CHARTERIS

CAIRNS - In Abraham Lincoln’s time, messaging was limited to horse and rider and, as electronics became better understood, the telegraph.

News slowly developed as a commodity but, back then, it was largely confined to industrialised countries.

An event of significance happening in mid-19th century India might have appeared as a footnote in the London Times many weeks after the event.

Continue reading "A most desperate need for good leadership" »


Lies have power in age of political fiction

A FrankBruni
Frank Bruni

FRANK BRUNI
| The New York Times

DURHAM, USA - Imelda Marcos’s sandals lived better than I did. I just discovered that.

I was reacquainting myself with that whole sordid history — with the unfathomable extravagance that she and her dictator husband, Ferdinand, indulged in before they were run out of the Philippines in 1986 — and found an article on Medium that said that her hundreds upon hundreds of shoes occupied a closet of 1,500 square feet.

Continue reading "Lies have power in age of political fiction" »


Democracy’s flaws. Could they be fatal?

A Democracy in Crisis (Kal  Freedom House)
Democracy & Human Rights in Crisis (Kal,  Freedom House)

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – There has developed the most depressing reality that people can be seduced by falsehoods once they opt to suspend disbelief and accept as true that which has been fabricated.

In 1858 Abraham Lincoln famously said, ““You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Continue reading "Democracy’s flaws. Could they be fatal?" »


Morrison is in breach of govt integrity laws

Scott Morrison (Mick Tsikas  AAP)
Scott Morrison's government has demonstrated a flagrant disregard for legal requirements and ethical norms (Mick Tsikas, AAP)

MICHAEL KEATING
| Pearls & Irritations

The establishment of an anti-corruption body has been long promised in both Papua New Guinea and Australia, but has never happened. Voters understandably explain this reluctance as an attempt to avoid scrutiny of how public money is spent and of other crucial decisions – KJ

CANBERRA - There is a legislated process prescribing how government grants should be administered, but it clearly is not being followed and we need an integrity commission to enforce it.

An important issue for many voters in the current federal election – particularly the 'Teal Independents' – is government integrity and the need to establish a national integrity commission with teeth.

Continue reading "Morrison is in breach of govt integrity laws" »


The huge damage of political managerialism

A managerialism topCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – Right now, we have a complete overload of dumbness to contend with around the world.

Let me give an example from a field I know something about - hospitals and aged care.

In these health industry sectors, there are some functions that can be effectively outsourced but they are substantially fewer than you might assume.

Continue reading "The huge damage of political managerialism" »


Rabaul, Anzac & memories of war & peace

Anzac - dawn service rabaul
The RSL Cenotaph, a clear sky and a calm morning provided the perfect setting for this year's Anzac Day dawn service in Rabaul 

SUSIE McGRADE

RABAUL – In a year that marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Rabaul, more than 80 people attended Rabaul’s Anzac Day dawn service this year, which was hosted by the Rabaul Historical Society at the RSL Cenotaph.

The battle saw a small Australian overwhelmed by Japanese forces in late 1942 and it became the as the main Japanese naval base for the Solomon Islands and New Guinea campaigns.

Continue reading "Rabaul, Anzac & memories of war & peace" »


The great ‘My Aged Care’ package scam

A my-aged-care Simon Kneebone
Illustration by Simon Kneebone

GARRY LUHRS

“I always like to firm up vinaigrettes with some facts” – Garry Luhrs

The email came with a tantalising opener, “Hi Keith - I would like this scandal to be advertised far and wide.” In my business, it doesn’t come more pulse-racing than that. The missive came from former kiap and forever humourist Garry Luhrs, but it had a serious message. “This misappropriation of aged care funds is right across the board. Every provider appears to have front trotters and snouts in the trough. They seem to be creaming up to 70% of the funds as administrative expenses. This requires a Royal Commission. Any assistance that you can provide will be greatly appreciated.” So folks, if after reading Garry’s revelations you find you’ve had a similar experience, just drop him an email or a note in the Comments section and make sure Garry adds your case to the growing list - KJ

WUNDOWIE, WA - Greetings and salutations, survivors of the great PNG experiment who are still on the perch!

Lend me your eyes and ears. I am in search of volunteers who would like to be recruited to accompany me on my last patrol.

Like Don Quixote I have picked up my drooping old lance and am setting out on this last epic patrol to tilt once more at the windmills of an uncaring bureaucracy.

Continue reading "The great ‘My Aged Care’ package scam" »


Wisdom of Solomons? No, another stuff up

dads army dionne gain
'Dad's Army' (Dionne Gain, Sydney Morning Herald)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – In Australia the issue was characterised incorrectly by the media as an ‘agreement to allow Chinese armed forces to protect Solomons infrastructure, less than 2,000 kilometres off Australia’s east coast’.

This was a significant overstatement. Under most definitions, the role of police is hardly considered to be ‘armed forces protecting infrastructure’.

But, you know, journalisms.

Continue reading "Wisdom of Solomons? No, another stuff up" »


Still the bell tolls: Brisbane’s Kristallnacht

Night of Broken Glass Brisbane
Ding Chee's shop was attacked and looted by a racist mob, which rampaged for four hours. There was little hindrance from police

CHEK LING
| Pearls & Irritations | Edited extracts

MELBOURNE - It happened 133 years ago. Yet the Chinese Question remains, having now mutated to the China Question.

Meanwhile the burden upon the Chinese as scapegoats, at the altar of racial purity in the first instance, cultural cohesion a century later and more recently the issue of national sovereignty continues unabated.

Continue reading "Still the bell tolls: Brisbane’s Kristallnacht " »


Australia: More PMs than PNG but….

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James Marape and Scott Morrison. By the end of June both may be out of a job

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

PORT MORESBY - Australia and Papua New Guinea head to the polls - in May and June respectively - and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison and his PNG counterpart James Marape risk losing their grip on power.

If PNG appoints a new prime minister, it will be our fourth since 2002. If Australia gets a new PM, it will be it sixth over the same period.

Continue reading "Australia: More PMs than PNG but…." »


What Christ’s resurrection means in 2022

Ukrainian President  Volodymyr Zelenskyy  April 2022 - right man in right place at right time (Wikimedia CommonsZelenskyy)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy,  April 2022 - the right man in the right place at the right time (Wikimedia Commons)

PAUL COLLINS
| Pearls & Irritations

CANBERRA - In the last two months we’ve seen hope, and extraordinary leadership, come literally out of left field in the person of the 44-year-old Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Talk about the right man in the right place at the right time, although the ‘place’ is the vicious attack on Ukraine by Putin’s Russians.

Continue reading "What Christ’s resurrection means in 2022" »


Did Zed go to Honiara to learn or to tell?

KEITH JACKSON

A Capture
Manasseh Sogavare and Zed Seselja pose stiffly for a photo after what seemed like a waste of time and jet fuel. Zed appeared to drop into Honiara empty-handed to praise Manasseh for a statement he made a couple of weeks ago and to express concern anyway

UPDATE

NOOSA – Australia’s international development minister Zed Seselja flew to Honiara today to reiterate his government’s previously expressed ‘growing concerns’ about the Solomons’ warming ties with China and a mysterious naval facility the Solomons knows nothing about.

It's highly unusual for a minister to travel overseas during the caretaker period of a national election, so reasons portentous looked at hand.

But now Zed's back to Aus, the trip appears more as a bit of campaign fluff to try to show Morrison et Fils are on the ball when it comes to pushing back against China.

Continue reading "Did Zed go to Honiara to learn or to tell?" »


Brief encounter, big step: Nudging closer to Indonesia

PM Marape and President Widodo in Jakarta
James Marape and Joko Widodo meet over tea in Jakarta

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Papua New Guinean prime minister James Marape’s flying visit to Jakarta late last week drew much criticism on PNG social media because of the size of the accompanying delegation.

The cheap criticism obscured the mini-summit’s importance as an encounter where Marape and Indonesian president Joko Widodo were able to meet privately and face-to-face.

Continue reading "Brief encounter, big step: Nudging closer to Indonesia" »


China & the Solomons: Just how smart is Australia?

KEITH JACKSON

Sogavare and Xi
Manasseh Sogavare and Xi Jinping - security deal caused an Australian meltdown

NOOSA – In late October 2010, then United States’ secretary of state Hillary Clinton was in Honolulu nearing the end of a comprehensive tour of the Asia-Pacific region.

In two weeks Clinton was to visit Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia, and high on her agenda were discussions about military cooperation and action “to respond to a more complex maritime environment”.

Continue reading "China & the Solomons: Just how smart is Australia?" »


The aid gap: inapt activity v resigned inertia

dependency theory
Dependency Theory

STEPHEN CHARTERIS

CAIRNS – “We have the local knowledge, we live it -” Dr Momia Teariki-Tautea, PNG Attitude, 29 March 2022

I thank the doctor for his truism, but I would ask whether Papua New Guineans have applied it?

I suggest the knowledge Dr Teariki-Tautea speaks of is ignored by nearly all administrative arms of the PNG government.

Continue reading "The aid gap: inapt activity v resigned inertia" »


Problems of our own need reforms of our own

Dr Joe Ketan -
Dr Joe Ketan - "Foreign consultants who piggyback on development aid have often been responsible for bad advice"

JOE KETAN

PORT MORESBY - A quick glance at Papua New Guinea’s recent history will tell you that there are certain things that you would have done it differently if you had your time over again.

But time does not stop or rewind, although sometimes history seems to repeat itself over and over.

Continue reading "Problems of our own need reforms of our own" »


Democracy under pressure in PNG & Oz

Akakis (Hindustan Times)
Illustration - Hindustan Times

Chris Overland:
Social Stability vs Individual Rights

ADELAIDE - Democracies are both difficult to create and difficult to govern successfully.

First and foremost they require a remarkably self-disciplined population willing to voluntarily conform to a broadly agreed set of ideas about how their society is ordered and governed.

Continue reading "Democracy under pressure in PNG & Oz" »


Ulli Beier: A personal recollection

Ulli Beier
Something of a metaphor. Ulli Beier with monkey idling in the shadows on his shoulder

ED BRUMBY

MELBOURNE - It is 52 years since I attended Ulli Beier’s classes in African literature at the University of Papua New Guinea.

Now as then, and like many others, my view of him remains conflicted.

Maebh Long has laid bare, eloquently, his hypocrisy and deceit which, back then, was a matter of considerable gossip, on and off campus.

Continue reading "Ulli Beier: A personal recollection" »


Guns & politicians: no special privileges please

Kabuni - Rainbo PaitaMICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

PORT MORESBY – Recently, there have been two gun incidents in Port Moresby involving politicians.

The most serious of these occurred when a gun allegedly belonging to a PNG politician was accidentally discharged killing a bystander.

Continue reading "Guns & politicians: no special privileges please" »


In a world of violence, is it forlorn to hope?

Fitz - Illustration by Dola Sun (National Public Radio)
Illustration by Dola Sun (National Public Radio, USA)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Politicians and other reprobates are known to rely on a suite of well-worn axioms as they go about their nefarious dealings and machinations in office.

One of these is the accepted wisdom that if a lie is repeated often and loudly enough people will eventually come to believe it is true.

Continue reading "In a world of violence, is it forlorn to hope?" »


Three summits in Brussels as Ukraine fights back

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A Russian armoured personnel carrier burns amid damaged and abandoned utility vehicles after fighting in Kharkiv (Marienko Andrew, AP)

CHRIS OVERLAND & KEITH JACKSON

ADELAIDE & NOOSA – As the Ukraine War moves to its one-month anniversary, the more important Western nations are tonight holding an unprecedented series of three summits in Brussels - NATO, G7 and European Union, all in a row.

They do so as the outcomes of the war remain uncertain, but as Vladimir Putin’s destruction and terrorism continue.

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On the death of Ben Micah: Admission & contrition

Ben Micah
Ben Micah lived the high life while, along with many cronies, stealing the money that kept PNG and its people poor. Micah's now dead but corruption is well and truly alive

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The veteran New Ireland politician Ben Micah died on Wednesday morning after a suspected heart attack. He was aged about 63.

Micah had previously been admitted to Port Moresby’s Pacific International Hospital.

I republish below an extraordinary mea culpa Micah wrote two years ago, when he seemed to realise his political career might be over (although cronies say he was contemplating standing again in this year’s national election).

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