Friday, September 09, 2011

Northern Neighbour

"Steeped in traditional magic and innocent of modern economies, PNG's citizens prove easy marks for Ponzi schemes which proliferate throughout the country,'' the embassy observed. "Now it's election time … and the politicians are dusting off their bottles of snake oil … it's an appalling spectacle of disregard for governance.''

In another report before the 2007 election, PNG's most recent national poll, the US embassy memorably reported that "the pork has hit the fan" as Sir Michael Somare reallocated ministerial portfolios to ensure that his cronies were well placed to buy political support.

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I will admit God Gough did make one or two minor mistakes when he was Prime Minister of Australia. One of them was giving Papua New Guinea independence. We still paid PNG's bills of course, but as a sovereign country, it governed itself. It went on to become a corrupt and dangerous country.

I find it rather interesting that the US takes an interest in PNG, where with the exception of the Kokoda Track, PNG barely rates a mention in Australia. While it is corrupt and dangerous, it is an independent country that takes a huge amount of our tax dollars, seemingly without monitoring.

Ah well, no votes in it for Australian politicians I suppose.


  1. No, votes are the reason PNG appears to be of no interest to Australian politicians, in Qld anyway.

  2. How few of us are left who still revere God Gough?

    His big mistake was to to trust that his underlings in the cabinet had the same vision and views beyond petty day to day politics. (Dare I draw a comparison with then and today's politics without being accused of being a rose coloured glasses old fart?!)

    We do know what changes his (albeit flawed) government made.

    Pre Gough it was neanderthal.

    Communist China apparently didn't exist. Err deerr! Even Nixon got that one right.

    If people only spent the time to look at what is now set in concrete without question.

    Example #1 Medicare.

    Example #2 No fault divorce.

    Need I go on?

  3. I reckon Gough Whitlam was the unluckiest Australian Prime Minister ever being chucked out of office :-).

  4. Hello Andrew:
    Alas we cannot comment as we know so little of the politics of your country and, on that basis, it would be foolish to venture an opinion.

    Instead, to take advantage of the lovely late summer weather we are, on impulse, off to the Lake Balaton for a few days where, minus the computer, we hope to bury our heads in books if not in the sand!

  5. Of course the Yanks are interested, the place has gold mines and oil and not a few headhunters still roaming the jungle.
    Indonesian troops regularly miss a few heads on the other side of the border.

  6. Chicken and egg Antikva.

    I agree LS. Gough was far too superior to bother with the finer details but then KRudd did and it got him nowhere.

    You could probably go on. People don't appreciate what they have now. Oh dear, I am sounding so 'old person lecturing youngers'. No doubt you will recall Fraser had a fair old go at dismantling Medibank though.

  7. Made me smile Windsmoke. Very clever.

    JayLa, of course I had to look up the location of the lake. It appears to be by far the largest lake in Hungary. Is it too early to say Indian summer? Enjoy yourselves.

  8. Good point Jah Teh. They have been operating there with disastrous environmental results for some time.