Friday, June 10, 2016


At present our Prime Minister is making an official visit to a near neighbour, Island State and independent Fiji. Does he have some fences to repair and damage to mitigate.

Having gained post colonial independence from the British Empire half a century or so ago the journey from colony has been littered with massive problems.
Racial, religious, social, and hierarchical, the remnants of colonial rule left things less than ideal from  the inept efforts of the UK government in its headlong rush to divest its colonies with scant regard as to how the people were to assume power  when suddenly left to their own devices.

Ian Smith in Southern Rhodesia saw the chaos coming down the line and tried to halt the descent into murderous mayhem with tribal and cultural power groups vying for supremacy.
The outcome when subsequent UK leadership with complicity from Media and UN sponsored do-gooders cleared the path for the megalomaniac Mugabe to slaughter or imprison his opposition to create a dictatorship that transformed "The Bread Basket" of Southern Africa to "The Basket Case" of the region.

Fiji was set up for a similar chaotic mess.
A hierarchal tribal power system for ethnic Melanesians and an almost equal number of Indians brought in from the Subcontinent to work the sugar cane fields for the major industry bequeathed by the colonial masters all with a serious overlay of Methodists with typical religious fervour in a belief that they knew best, things did not last long.
A fiercly Fijian  Military intervened several times first led by a Colonel Sitiveni Rambuka, then George Speight had a go initiated in both cases by a threatened Fijian Indian political party. Finally "Frank" Bainimarama said enough, moved against the government of Qarase and smashed the corrupt machinations of chiefs then the church and finally the media who all for various reasons wanted democracy if not denied then at least proscribed to preserve the ethnic Fijian domination of rule.

While Tonga laboured under an almost monarchical system, new Caledonia became a French sponsored state, Indonesia attempted to absorb East Timor, The Solomons descended into it's own special chaos, Frank's very laudable and subsequently proven moves to truly democratise Fiji became the cause celebre for denigration and ostracism by dumbarse big brother states New Zealand and Australia.

While Islamic states enact barbarism through Sharia Law, anti Semitism, and religious domination that has thousands of infidel slaughtered annually it has all the hallmarks of a Gilbert and Sullivan Opera when the anti Frank  brigades acted out their farce on the world stage.

As claimed above you would struggle to make it up


Shelldrake said...

A great summary. My god I anticipate a vile back lash to this. The truth always hurts for the so called but faux democracy shrill.

Anonymous said...

So what's new, this has been happening for a millennia. human nature and human failings are not defined by time or geography of birth. The collapse of the Roman Empire and hasty withdrawal from the British Isles and the German border created a power vacuum that had consequences that reverberate even today.

Wherever power is centralised, Athens, Rome, Madrid, London or Moscow when the core collapses the empire implodes and moves to the centre with consequences for those on the edge. It isn't planned by those with a long term commitments to the cause but by bureaucrats in full stampede. Human nature dictates that self interest overides all other considerations.
However as you are elderly and exhibit all the symptoms of 20/20 hindsight "things were better in my day" and "the world is going to hell" you are forgiven for being gloomy.

Lord Egbut Nobacon

Angry Tory said...

"Frank" Bainimarama said enough, moved against the government of Qarase and smashed the corrupt machinations of chiefs

Most of all he destroyed the Fijian Labour party. Bainimarama understood what Key, Richardson, Brash and even Muldoon did not: that the mere existence of a "Labour" party is completely antithetical to any form of democracy. Arguably Bainimarama's only mistake was leaving so many Labour politicians and media fellow travellers alive when they got out of prison.

As Whaleoil and others said at the time: Fiji is significantly more democratic and better governed now than NZ has been for the last 20+ years.

gravedodger said...

So Poached Fried or more likely Scrambled, my disappointment that Frank and his lurch to a more equitable democracy is gloomy and my living where The troughmaster general wants NZ to revert to half a century later even though entirely erroneous, how do you think Fiji in 2016 stacks up as a functioning democratic state compared to ALL other Sth Pacific Island states.

That dopy buggers want to drive the very best fixed Aircraft carrier based to meet China's clear intentions to expand its "economic sphere of influence" into the arms of the Peoples Republic is nuts.
However I should not hold such anti socialist unfashionable opinions let alone have the temerity to express them.
You old egg, on the other hand have every right to pontificate your some times distinctly alternative view without any restraint.

Shooting messengers because they do not subscribe to your opinion is not how my views on democracy function whereas I consider Frank might have a point when such arrant nonsense as "Tanks on the streets of Suva" and "children eating grass to evade hunger" is taking journalistic licence too far and so he reacts, odd behaviour in the minds of the "luvvies" I guess.

The Veteran said...

GD ... good post. You have to forgive our lordly friend. He has been absent from these climes for too long. Back pedal a decade or so and both Fiji and Tonga rated high on the corruption index. In Fiji the unholy alliance of the Great Council of Chiefs and the Methodist Church ruled supreme and were prepared to turn a blind eye to corruption as long as they remained a protected species. In Tonga a despotic Monarchy along with assorted Barons lived high on the hog. Throughout society palms had to be greased (tribute paid) in order to get anything done.

Fast forward to today and Fiji, while it still has a long way to go, is making progress under the admittedly autocratic rule of FB. In Tonga nothing much has changed. All the while Fiji has suffered from a certain 'holier than thou' attitude exhibited by the Aust and NZL governments influenced by various 'do gooders' and the Barbara Dreavers of this world unwilling to cut FB some slack in his attempt to drag Fiji into the 21st century with the result that they looked elsewhere to Russia and China prepared to anti up the dosh in order to increase their influence in the South Pacific. Not sure you can blame them (either side).

Key has fences to repair. Good on him for making a start. About time.

Noel said...

I would thought our humanitarian assistance during the last event should have mended some fences. Don't remember seeing media coverage of Russian and Chinese aid ships.

Leave it to them next time?

The Veteran said...

Noel ... I guess it helped but FB is a prickly character and doesn't forgive easily the Helen Clark imposed sanctions carried on by John Key ... I know from my contacts that the banning of 47 Fijian children from entering NZL to attend a Boy Scout Jamboree particularly rankled.

NZL and Aust were seen by the Fijian government as the bully boys and it will take some time and diplomatic finesse to see relations back to where they were pre coups.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...


Hear hear.

We are off up there next month for ten days.

Funny thing is, you know, for all the wailing from the left, Fiji is a far more democratic country than NZ - thanks to that prickly character. They don't have separate ethnic seats in parliament and they don't make full voting ethnic aointments to local councils.

The Veteran said...

Adolf ... you can down a few cold FBs while you reflect on your new Labor government!!!! We're up there in eight weeks time staying at the Westin Denarau.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Funny thing is, it appears Labor won't win the key marginals so we are to be stuck with an insufferable wet leading an incompetent government into battle against an intransigent senate.

Happy days.