Sep 11, 2015

High Maintenance

Bai and Arsi were taking a holiday from the stresses of running the Guv'mnt a few weekends ago at one of the swish Hotels at Denarau. Arsi calls the Front desk and the clerk answers, "May I help you?”

Arsi, "Yes, I'm in room 858. You need to send someone to my  room immediately. I'm having an argument with my friend Bai and he says he's going to jump out the window.”

The desk clerk says, "I'm sorry sir, but that's a personal matter.”

Arsi replies, "Listen you idiot. The window won't open... and that's a maintenance matter."

Jun 25, 2015

The Ahsikaiyumi's adventures

The Ahsikaiyumi, attorney general, minister of 27 portfolio's, chief of 1367 decrees and the (secret) despotic ruler of Fiji parked his brand new Porsche Carrera GT in front of the Prime Ministers office, ready to show it off to his colleagues.

As he goes to get out of the vehicle, a Raiwaqa mini-bus speeds by, hitting the car and completely tearing off the driver’s door.

Fortunately, his seven (secret) plain-clothed bodyguards in a Pajero is close enough to see the accident and pulls up behind the Porsche. Before any of the bodyguards has a chance to ask any questions, Ahsikaiyumi starts screaming hysterically about how his Porsche, which he had just picked up the day before, is now completely ruined.

“The vehicle will never be the same, no matter how hard my minions work to restore this damage.”

After the (secret) tyrant finishes his rant, one of the bodyguards who has had enough of the man's diva antics, shakes his head in disgust and disbelief.

“I can’t believe how materialistic you are,” he said. “You are so focused on your possessions that you neglect the most important things in life.”

“How dare you say such a thing?” yelled the tyrant. The guard replies, “Don’t you even realize that your left arm is missing? It got ripped off when the bus hit you!!!”

“Oh, my God!” screams the tyrant. “My Rolex!!”

Dec 10, 2014

After the Last coup

Aunty Tala : "Internashnl Operada ? Eah -  pliss can I haff da internashnl numpa for Itchi pliss? Thank yooooo."

Operator : " I'm sorry there is no listing. Is the spelling correct ?"

Aunty Tala : "Eah . It use to be call Fitchi but the F fell off after the last coop" Heee heee heee. Eah.

Oct 5, 2014

The Ethics of Dishonesty in Fiji

A permanent solution to the coup culture in Fiji ?

Published : Saturday, September 27, 2014

The election result was something of a foregone conclusion given the degree of control exercised by the erstwhile dictatorship over all aspects of political life.

Draconian decrees restricting fundamental human rights such as freedom of association, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press meant that opposition voices would have trouble being heard.

Control over the news media was especially important for Frank Bainimarama to gain legitimacy as elected prime minister, and it was assured by intimidation of both Fiji TV and the Fiji Times under the Media Decree. The Fiji Sun and FBC, meanwhile, could be counted on for shameless cheerleading on behalf of the regime.

Scottish writer Andrew Fletcher (1655-1716) observed that “if a man were permitted to make all the ballads, he need not care who should make the laws of a nation.” That was back when ballads were the main means of spreading the news, which even 400 years ago was well understood as the key to forming public opinion.

Now imagine if a politician could both control the news AND make all the laws of a nation. How would you like his chances at the polls?

That was the situation in Fiji for almost eight years subsequent to Bainimarama’s 2006 coup. The only real surprise is that he didn’t take all 50 seats, as he boasted he would. That Sodelpa managed as many seats as it did speaks to the depth of indigenous outrage that will not be going away anytime soon.
The real question is whether Fiji could handle a genuine democracy with a free press, or if the country needs an über-authoritarian strongman like Bainimarama to keep control.

Those who claim the latter is true point to the country’s history of coups dating back to 1987. Some blame the press for fomenting the 2000 coup, which on my reading of the record seems specious, at best.

But the fact remains that Fiji’s two solitudes have shown they simply cannot play nicely enough together for a real democracy. Calls for an end to the “coup culture” that has bedeviled the country have perhaps been answered with a militarisation which has seen an elected government laced with army officers.

Combined with restrictive decrees which amount to almost as much government control as during martial law, the result is perhaps a permanent state of coup which will indeed preclude future coups.