Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bananarama rules ok! At least for now!


Dinner was in Herne Bay on Saturday night and what a multicultural occassion it was.
The restaurant, Villa de'Vine specialises in French and Italian cooking and it just happened to have a Spanish theme night on, complete with pretty flamenco dancers.
Among the friends gathered, seated at my table was an exotic looking guy of English, French Hugenot, Fijian, Tongan and Samoan ancestry.
Anyway, this guy was born in Fiji, in Levuka, the old capital, where I spent a few fine days many years ago.
This guy has spent many years in Fiji and has returned five times since coming to New Zealand. He now lives in Ponsonby, has a well paid job in Newton and the humble looking family home is now worth $1.5 million, I was told.
Naturally, the issue of Fiji came up, something he says he is quizzed about at least once or twice a week.
Apparantly, Helen Clark and Kevin Rudd don't know what they are talking about.
The Fijian peoples are happy with Col Banararama and they support him because of how he has defeated the endemic corruption of previous governments. Any criminals, I was told, soon get a good beating in the army barracks.
Part of Fiji's problem is that it is not a united country. There are the native or ethnic Fijians who are loyal to various chiefs. There are the Indians who are loyal to each other. There are the Tongan-Fijians and a group from the Ellice Islanders who arrived several decades ago when their islands sunk due to mining or something.
And the politicians would corruptly feather the nests of their own supporters or the part of Fiji they felt loyal to.
The United Nations, I was told, stood for United Nothing. Their aid would disappear rather than go to where it was needed the most.
Was there a corrupt link between the Fiji Liarbour Party and the NZ Liarbour Party? I asked.
My friend did not know but said it could not be ruled out.
But what about democracy? I asked.
The people want that, it will return, but for now people are happy to support the military for its work in rooting out corruption and Col Banarama is doing is best to bring stability and prosperity for all Fijians.
So that is what I was told over the slow cooked Parisian duck and the Sauvignon Blanc from Italy, which isn't a patch on the Marlborough variety.
Now, I won't say whether my friend is right, but those who have direct experience of a place probably have a better insight to those stuck in ivory towers.
And it is from talking to Fijians we come across in our everyday lives that helps give us a perspective that you don't always get from the mainstream media.
Adolf and Whale Oil don't support military dictators, even though they support Col Banaramama. They do support him though, because their links to people living in Fiji tell them that for now the military coup is truly in the long term interests of Fiji, even though putting democracy 'on hold' may not at all seem right.

8 comments:

Psycho Milt said...

Was there a corrupt link between the Fiji Liarbour Party and the NZ Liarbour Party? I asked. My friend did not know but said it could not be ruled out.

"Was there a corrupt link between the Fijian military and right-wing NZ enthusiasts for military dictatorships?" I asked. My friend did not know but said it could not be ruled out.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Yes Milt, I must say I raised my eyebrows at that question. Of course, the question should have been "Are their any links between Qarase's SDL Party and the NZ Labour party and I suggest the answer is 'yes.' One does not need to ask if either is corrupt when one already knows they are. The SDL party and its cronies were the prime beneficiaries of corruption and pending legislation would have entrenched them in their positions at the trough.

BAinimarama did the only proper thing. He took over control, booted out the foreign trouble makers (pretentious journalists and meddling diplomats) and set about introducing a genuine democracy.

In this case, New Zealand and Australia have engaged in the most appalling mismanagement of diplomacy right on our doorstep.

Dear boy, even Chris Trotter can see the charade for what it is.

Psycho Milt said...

I'm sure it's not the first time Trotter's been an apologist for a dictatorship and probably won't be the last.

I'm sure there is less corruption in Fiji under Bainimarama - there always is under military rule, because soldiers will kill or beat whomever their superiors tell them to, with none of that messy nepotism, bribery and influence-peddling necessary. It's just not clear in what sense this constitutes an improvement, or something we should be enthusiastic about.

It's also interesting that enthusiasts for this military takeover talk about the "corrupt" Qarase govt, as though there were some possibility of obtaining a Fijian govt that isn't corrupt. Given that corruption is the unexceptional norm in Third World countries, you really need to come up with something a bit better than that as a reason for putting soldiers in charge of whether you get to keep breathing or not.

Anonymous said...

you really need to come up with something a bit better than that as a reason for putting soldiers in charge of whether you get to keep breathing or not.

Rather Bainimarama than Helen - under any circumstances whatsoever

Anonymous said...

So, according to you there is no possibility of Fiji ever becomming anything but third world and corrupt.

I do not hold that pessimism. The thing that freaks the likes of most so-called liberals and progressives is the prospect of their being called to account. In their minds there is always a way of explaining their way out.

Bainimarama called 'time' and said get out. Predictably the corrupt crones and gnomes of NZ politics were the first to bleat. Its too close to home for them to feel comfortable .

The more the Commodore gives the finger to these dingbats the more I like him. I beleive he has the genuine interests of the Fijian people at heart not political vainglory.

What a contrast to our wretched crew.

Psycho Milt said...

Keep it coming, anonymii - rightw-wingers showing their true colours in print is something I love to see.

Falafulu Fisi said...

FFM said...
There are the Tongan-Fijians and a group from the Ellice Islanders who arrived several decades ago when their islands sunk due to mining or something.

FFM , I have to correct you on this one. The Tongan-Fijians you mentioned are descendants from those Tongans who conquered/colonized/occupied the Lau Islands group (in Fiji) lead by King Ma'afu around the 1850s. The Tongan language is still the spoken first language of those Tongan-Fijians in the Lau Islands.

Bainimarama is absolutely doing the right thing in Fiji. Tribalism must/should be a thing of the past. It has no place in modern society. Tonga is moving in the same direction, although there is no coup in there, but King Tupou 5th, said, he wants to move in that direction because that is the wishes of the people. He can see that the writing is on the wall, if he doesn't do it voluntarily, then the people will.

Anonymous said...

--Keep it coming, anonymii - rightw-wingers showing their true colours in print is something I love to see--

We just want to see you happy!

If the good commodore has some spare time on his hands maybe he can be convinced to come on over with a few good men. There's so much to be done...waterboarding Winston for starters. Schmecking up a few Police commissioners, arranging transport to Guantanamo for the green rabble.

Happy darling?