Peter Firkin and the Pickled Chippy: Who's Kidding Who?

Excuse my use of Peter Piper, the old English nursery rhyme and tongue twister, but it has,  as you will see, a bearing on a story published on Peter Firkin's anti-government blog Fiji Today.

The story was supposedly written by a young and surprisingly well educated Suva carpenter who called himself Chippy. His English is so flawless and he so methodically covers the routine, well-trodden road of objections to the Bainimarama government, that I'm left wondering about young Chippy.

"Peter (writes Chippy), After my recent comment you asked me to give my views on how I feel as a younger voter in the next election. I have never voted in an election.  I am 23 years old and am employed in Suva as a carpenter.  I am married  with two children.  I struggle to support my family but am living a better life than most of my friends. I am frustrated at the lack of control in my life and have been trying to see how and why I am so upset..."

Look carefully at the words he uses in the remainder of his letter and ask yourself how many chippies in Fiji (or NZ for that matter) would know them, use them, and be able to spell them correctly.  Here's a sample:  immature, combination, despotic Emperor, piggybacked, comply, lounging around, depose, automatically,  preference, extensive, rigorous, vehicles, defamation.  Some perhaps, but all?

Now look at the issues the 23 year-old chippy covers: life is hard, he lacks control in his life, has no say in his  future, wants democracy, the military and despotic emperor are unacceptable, the soldiers are scary, the laws not published, can't afford the foreign loans, the censored news, PER, soldiers in new vehicles, an intimidated shopkeeper (I'm sure I've read that one before), rumours of RFMF 100% pay increase, wants to vote every three years, no preference for party or presidential system, little sign of elections in 2014, his children's future.

I just don't believe this is a genuine letter. And so, with apologies, to Peter Piper, but not to Peter Firkin (assuming he is more than a fictional character himself):

Peter Firkin picked a chap called Pickled Chippy;
A chap called Pickled Chippy Peter Firkin picked;
If Peter Firkin picked a chap called Pickled Chippy,
Where's the chap called Pickled Chippy Peter Firkin picked?

P.S.There's  more. I'm sure the sentiment is real; it's the letter that's doubtful.I have never doubted there is anti-government sentiment in Fiji.

Peter Waqavonovono
The Young Peoples Concerned Network
Just before posting this I received an email from a Tomasi Tora of Peter Waqavononovo's Young Peoples Concerned Network who thinks I owe Peter and the YPCN an apology. "You have chosen to unleash a war on YPCN and Peter Waqavonovono", he writes. "WHY? Because we dare to continue to speak out against state organised violence, limitations to our Freedoms, and a blanket ban on our leaders." He continues: "think carefully of what you say next. You are hurting people who look up to blogs to present credible information. STOP the cyber bullying!"

If readers have more information about the YPCN and the role they have played over the past few years, I would be pleased to hear from them. My information is that it's been totally negative. The main questions seem to be: how representative (ethnicity, class, religions, home backgrounds) and extensive is its membership? What are the credentials of its leaders? What influence do they have? Can anything be done to address their concerns and make them more constructive and more helpful to Fiji outcomes?


Anonymous said…
Yet you quote the glowing news of all things great from the media and government press releases in Fiji on a daily basis and hardly ever any critical eye on those.

So everything warm and fuzzy from the truth centre (dictactor) is right and everything from every other source is to be questioned ?
Frank is the man said…
If you look at what is happening on this blog and others it becomes pretty clear there remains very very little opposition left. Frank has won the war. He is in control and does whatever he wants in Fiji. There is no serious opposiiton in Fiji - former politicians have all gone overseas, retreated to villages. They put there own health and wealth first. No courage and no conviction so Frank may as well continue for many many years to come.

That leaves the blogs who now seem to spend more time quabbling with each other than foucing on any real issues. Croz - you worry too much about C4.4 and others. The others will print anything to try and retain a audiance.

Frank is laughing all the way to the bank. He is the man. No one can touch him.

Popular posts from this blog

Fijian Holdings Scandal: Betrayal by their trusted sons

Lessons from Africa

The Ratu Tevita Saga, Coup4.5, Michael Field, the ANU Duo, and Tonga