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12 December 2013


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I might add that with the Indonesian issue the apology is much more important than the root cause of the problem. Indonesia is well aware that Australia spies on it and has been doing so for years.

That doesn't really bother them, they're spying on Australia in return. It was the fact that Australia got caught out and was too dumb to hose the situation down with a quick apology.

In my less than illustrious career as a kiap and having patrolled the West Papua border I was once seconded to a mob in Port Moresby called the Security and Intelligence Branch for three months.

It was run by a bunch of pukka sahibs will illusions of grandeur and was essentially spying on Papua New Guineans. It had plants all over the country and regularly sent reports back to Canberra about what Michael Somare had for breakfast and when Albert Maori Kiki had a haircut.

I haven't heard anything to dissuade me that these twits took up residence in the Australian High Commission after Independence.

Most PNG politicians were aware of what they were up to and turned a blind eye.

It's all a game but it has rules. Like, if you get caught, apologise quickly so people forget quickly.

Julie Bishop seems to have a similar problem to Tony Abbott. They don't understand how our neighbours work.

If Tony had any appreciation of Asian society he would have realised that failing to apologise for Australia's spying deprived the Indonesians of the opportunity to 'save face', which is a major issue in Asia.

Julie Bishop seems to be under the mistaken impression that the politicians in PNG are capable of efficiently handling and honestly disbursing aid money.

She seems to be unaware that targetted projects, like supplying medical aid and books to specific places keeps the pollies greasy fingers out of the honeypot.

The previous Australian government were aware of the importance of Asian egos and they were just starting to realise that aid money without strings doesn't work in PNG.

Prior to independence most of PNG's services, like education and health, and infrastructure building and maintenance were carried out at the district (equivalent to today's provinces) level.

This was refined even further when the local government system came in and councils started taking responsibility for these services.

In this sense, the only function of the mandarins in Port Moresby was to provide the funds. These funds augmented, rather than replaced, the creative innovation going on in the districts. This is how things like the Highlands Highway got built.

It was a good system and it has relevance today. Unfortunately the politicians in Port Moresby, who have replaced the mandarins, don't see it that way. To them the funds are for their personal benefit.

Julie Bishop's idea of 'progress' is, in fact, taking the PNG/Australia relationship backwards.

The "fresh approach" seems to be based on some highly questionable assumptions about PNG and its current state. The people of Australia know this because they have eyes, ears, and broadband internet connection. It is the governments that are misguided. It can not and will never be a partnership of equals.


"We're going to give you aid money to help us and our Chinese, Malaysian and American mates rape and pillage your country and make us all big personal bucks - and bugger the little people!"

Australia needs to help PNG to set up a very good ICAC so it can become the greatest asset for future progress, saving the country billions of Kina for schoolbooks and medicines.

Let's face it, the country is being run by many poorly educated politicians, who have poor ethics, can be very dishonest, and come from a strong occult background.

Many of the politicians have poor reasoning skills, have not been trained in any way to understand how government should work. They seem to be very self-centred, always worrying about being able to give gifts and show-off to their electorate. One wonders if they could ever hold a job in the real world.

The Minister of Finance is supposed to be distributing the DSIP funds fairly to all members of Parliament at the moment. But he appears to have decided to not distribute the funds to the opposition members but to use this money for his own purposes in his own electorate to big-name himself. Naturally the constituents of these electorates led by members of the Opposition are hostile.

The Prime Minister must have been asleep as the Speaker seems to be in the middle of pulling down the House of Parliament.

One wonders what the rest of the world must be thinking about this weird country - the land of the unexpected.

Bishop also sought to calm fears about Australia spying on PNG leaders. "Australia won't use its intelligence resources in any way to harm its northern neighbour."

Well that's reassuring.

By the way, it appears DFAT is looking for a new name. Any suggestions? AusFAT comes to mind.

Reassuring in the Indonesian sense, that is, we'll spy on you only for your own good - KJ

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