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« The real story on PNG: the silence of Australia’s media & politicians | Main | The impact of ‘dinau’ culture on PNG as a viable nation »

16 July 2017


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If you interpret my line about the highlanders simply taking over by weight of numbers and add your contention that they also worked out how system operated Peter I think we are basically saying the same thing.

Sorcery was, after all, just as pervasive in the highlands as on the coast.

First there was PANGU and the United Party. PANGU ran over the top of the UP and now the heirs of PANGU are trying to run over the heirs of the UP - in all its multiple incarnations.

Can't really disagree with anything Phil or Paul have said here and anyone who does would, I suggest, be unable to tell a chestnut from a horse apple. Much as I hate to rain on Phil's parade I would like to say that I have been using a Highland argument but in a little different way from Phil for at least fifteen years. It goes like this - the major traditional sanctions on coastal culture were those of sorcery - secret knowledge that only the privileged few had whilst in the highlands it was the weight of numbers - whoever had the numbers won the fight. This translated into the early PNG body politic as has been enunciated by Phil - the coastals had the knowledge and with the help of appointed and special members could control the highland block. But the Highlanders quickly learned the numbers game and how it worked in a democracy and the Coastals, particularly the Papuans, not seeing the writing on the wall, were swamped. A study of voting practices in the NCD would I am certain show how election campaigns there have changed from 1986 to 2008 with the change largely being concurrent with the influx of Highlanders.

The first issue to realise and accept that something is not right. The second issue is to know what exactly is at fault. The third issue is to know what to do to right what is wrong.

If those who are part of the problem can't or won't believe they are responsible, then how does one change their attitude if they or their successors are still in charge?

It's easy to point out where things could be better or where faults lie but when it comes to accepting responsibility, suddenly the stage empties of potential candidates.

Political leaders must accept responsibility. Who else has presided over the situation. Yet amazingly, no one seems to be able to come up with a rationale for what everyone knows has happened.

No one at least until Phil has had the guts to raise a credible scenario.

But who among the current crop of political leaders has the necessary perspicacious intelligence to accept what had happened and what should now be done?

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