Friday, March 12, 2010

Dying kicks of Papua New Guinea democracy


The last dying kicks of PNG democracy are effectively being stamped out before our very eyes.

Those of us who have seen a young country on the edge of becoming great can only to shake our heads in disbelief. There is now no effective way of stopping the inevitable takeover of a dictator except by force. Who would have thought that in our own lifetime, we who have helped people come out of the Stone Age to enjoy the benefits of a modern way of life have now left them to be sidelined and almost totally ignored by their own leaders?

Australia will rue the day it sat on its hands and did nothing to help the PNG people prevent this from happening. DFAT, AusAID, their antecedents and all the Australian governments since the Second World War ended have effectively put their heads in the sand and ignored reality. Millions of words and thousands of reports that have kept Australian public servants in Canberra in permanent work for decades and yet have been as much use as the proverbial 'tits on a bull'. Millions of dollars in overseas aid have effectively been wasted on programs that have no long term ongoing planning and are merely window dressing and an excuse for almost total ineptitude and moribund inaction.

What does it take to get results out of Canberra? Clearly nothing. Its not possible to motivate a force field that exists on another planet.

No wonder the Indonesian President yesterday felt compelled to lecture our politicians as they sat in Parliament on matters affecting our own region. He at least can see that our leaders haven't got a clue about what to do.

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