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15 April 2017

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It seems that 'fake news' and 'alternative truths' are not a new invention, they have been with us for centuries. Except back then they called them 'lies'.

All our current politicians habitually lie. That includes Prime Minsters O'Neill and Turnbull and, of course, the leader of the free-world, Donald Trump.

Lies have started a lot of wars and we are currently overloaded with them.

I share Chris' cynicism and despair - we are on a slippery slide, possibly to oblivion this time.

Kessy's presentation is well-worth reading. She presents a series of stunning graphs that show up the incompetence of the government.

Looks like PNG is following leads of Western orientation and buying their own treasury instruments of debt.
Unlike their larger Western neighbors, a reckoning will come sooner than later.
How much longer can the situation endure?

Kessy Sawang has provided a clear and concise summary of the O'Neill government's appalling record of economic and fiscal incompetence.

The question is: does anyone in PNG know or care? So, for example, have the national media published a summary of Ms Sawang's excellent paper? Has it caused a national uproar it deserves or simply been greeted with incomprehension or a shrug of resigned indifference?

Sadly, I suspect that the large majority of Papua New Guineans neither know nor care about the situation. Given that most continue to live traditional lives this makes some sense but their disengagement and ignorance will doom the country to further misrule.

In this way, PNG is simply heading down a well trodden path in places like Africa, where tribalism, sectarianism and ignorance have been exploited to benefit the few, not the many.

I do not expect to see anything change after the forthcoming election. It will be business as usual unless and until the economy collapses under the sheer weight of the corruption and incompetence that now bedevils it.

History suggests that we humans only learn to moderate our more aberrant behaviours through repeated episodes of severe pain and suffering.

Despite all our collective intelligence, ingenuity and insight it is our collective capacity to repeat the mistakes of the past is one of the more startling characteristics of the human race.

There seems to be a periodic mass outbreak of willful ignorance that propels us into catastrophe on a regular basis. The facts cease to be relevant, being replaced by a combination of wishful thinking, inchoate emotions and sheer bloody mindedness.

This tendency is deftly exploited by the chancers and opportunists who infest our business and political processes so as to garner personal benefits in one form or another.

Thus, in Turkey today, we have a majority seemingly bent upon endorsing a new constitution that effectively renders their democracy inoperative. This seems likely to be done in the utterly mistaken belief that having political power strongly concentrated in the hands of their autocratic President is the best way to secure the future of the country.

History says otherwise, but it seems Turkey must relearn an ancient and bitter lesson.

So, PNG is neither unique nor alone in its journey towards national disaster. The route chosen may vary, but the destination is always the same.

I say this while being fully aware that my own cynicism and dismay about our collective foibles is now distorting my own views of the world.

However, that said, I think that you would have to wildly optimistic to believe that one of the numerous triggers for war and/or economic Armageddon will not soon be either deliberately or accidentally pulled.

Still, I guess PNG and the rest of us may, somewhat miraculously, just "muddle through" and we oldies must hope, for our children's and grand children's sake, that this proves to be the case.

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