New Zealand right now has far more important fish to fry than the state of democracy in Fiji. Namely, the survival of our economy through to the year 2011.
Our handling of the current regime under Labour was deplorably clumsy, inept and bordering on malevolent. Thus far, Murray McCully is showing little improvement. The basic realpolitic seems to have escaped the notice of the poobahs in MFAT and Mr McCully.
Fiji really doesn't need new Zealand's patronage.
Were we still a wealthy country, well up in all the desirable OECD rankings, it might have been a different story but today, thanks to our Tricky Fiscal Fool and Shifty ex PM's profligate waste of $100 bil over the last nine years, we have little economic clout to back our belligerency in the South Pacific.
In short, we have become a laughing stock. We are being well and truly done over by a bunch of coconuts while the civilized world looks on and laughs. Our diplomacy is a reflection of our bumbling and maladroit national cricket team which gave 'the lip' to the the most successful Australian captain in test history as NZ notched up yet another abject defeat.
Prime Minister Key needs to quickly divorce himself and his government from the disastrous policies of the retrospectively self legitimized corrupt Clark regime. He needs a circuit breaker. Adolf suggests he adopts a leaf out of George W Bush's book and engages in some immediate personal diplomacy.
He should hire an executive jet and quietly fly to Fiji for a personal meeting with Commodore Bainimarama. There, he should establish with the Commodore the identity of a special envoy from New Zealand who will be acceptable to the regime and the NZ government and he should agree that this envoy will be devoted full time to re-establishing cordial relations between the two countries and to assisting Fiji realign its constitution in order that truly free and fair elections can, for the first time since Independence, be held.
Who might that be? The only prerequisite is that the person must not be of an academic and/or leftist persuasion. No more hand wringers. We need someone who is a realist and who can make tough calls.
Ratu Sir Owen Glenn? Sir Wilson Winneray, Buck Shelford? Richard Prebble? David Kirk?
It is easy to forget that had New Zealand suffered under an electoral arrangement such as that currently inflicted upon Fiji, New Zealanders would never have been able to vote out its own corrupt and inept government on November 8th 2008.
That is the real evil Commodore Bainimarama seeks to redress and to date he has acquitted himself well in resisting the cloddish attempts of New Zealand's arrogant officials to deflect him from his objective.
Face of the Day
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