AS I TALK TO PEOPLE in Papua New Guinea, it becomes increasingly obvious that the greedy politicians who claim to be the leaders of the country have pushed its citizens to the point of revolt.
These angry citizens are teetering on the brink of rebelliousness and it probably will take only one or two more outrageous actions by the politicians before they crack.
If I was a politician in Papua New Guinea, I’d be getting very nervous right now.
However, most of them are too dumb or have got their snouts too deeply buried in the trough to realise what’s happening in their country. Astute observers know different.
These observers also know that timing is crucial for a successful revolution. Do it now and it is likely to be non-violent.
Leave it until the politicians start squabbling over the spoils of the LNG Project and other developing resource projects and it could become vicious.
It is therefore useful to speculate how a people’s revolution might be organised.
Without doubt social media will be a key. After all, it is social media that have nurtured the growing discontent.
Social media will be crucial to the organisation, and keeping social media open and operating will be crucial.
Also critical will be the various transport hubs, especially the airports. They will need to be controlled from day one.
Assuming both of these things are done, what is the next step?
The most obvious one is to take the politicians into protective custody. This will effectively defuse any attempt on their part to coordinate resistance, not that coordination is something they are good at anyway.
It will also ensure that they come to no harm from hotheads’ intent on acts of revenge.
It will also be convenient to have them in custody so the process of stripping them of their ill-gotten wealth can begin. Their bank accounts will be a handy initial funding source.
Some consideration will have to be given to politicians who are overseas; in their mansions in Cairns or in the gambling dens and brothels of Asia.
The other groups that need consideration are the army and police. They will not be a problem. They have been so badly served and abused by the politicians it is likely they will gladly join the people.
None of this should be particularly difficult; but you are probably wondering who will organise it.
Don’t worry, these things take on a life of their own and good leaders will emerge spontaneously. In fact, they are probably sitting at their laptops in the towns or in their mountain villages right now. They know how to organise this stuff - before, during and after.
But what about Australia, do you ask? Won’t it send troops to quell the revolution and reinstate its shonky friends?
You can’t be serious! This is the country that sat on its hands while the Indonesians were slicing open pregnant mothers in Timor and West Papua and spewing their unborn babies on the ground.
The only time Australia might act is if the Americans tell them to. The Yanks haven’t got much faith in the Australians anyway. That’s why they’ve got their own marines based in Darwin.
And the US will react only if there is a threat to their gas and mineral projects. That’s why it will be crucial to make it clear to them that those places will be safe.
If they know that, they might even throw in a few bucks to help the revolution along. You will just have to promise not to nationalise their projects like the current government is doing to Ok Tedi.
Besides, if you are going to run a revolution, the last thing you want to do is destroy the source of your post-revolution cash flow.
While all this is speculation, of course, any politician reading this will be wondering what they can do to stop it happening.
That’s hard to tell. With the inevitability of what’s coming, it’s probably not much. The cat is well and truly out of the bag, so to speak, and it’s probably too late.
They could try getting out to their electorates, I guess - touring the rundown hospitals and schools, travelling the potholed roads and visiting the ramshackle homes of their police and public servants.
Maybe they can take some money out of their personal bank accounts, money which is supposed to be spent on their electorate anyway, and fix a few things.
It’s amazing how this works. Spend a bit of money outside election time to do things up, create jobs, give people some hope, feed the hungry street kids and the rest (it’s a long list, Mr Politician).
Yes, this just might take people’s minds off things like revolution.
Nah! That’s too easy. Besides, there’s that other nice house in Cairns to buy, the kids private school fees need paying, number one son needs a new Landcruiser and the wife has got to go to Singapore for a breast enhancement. Maybe later?
Viva la revolution!