News and Comments Friday 5 October 2012

Kite flying

WEEKEND READINGS. • Allen Lockington Column Subhash Appana continues his series on constitution-making in Fiji  • Fr Barr talks of what government, business and NGO's can do about poverty.

KITE FLYING: RELEASE GEORGE SPEIGHT. To "fly a kite" is an expression similar to "testing the waters". I'm proposing that 2000 Coup frontman George Speight be released from jail. He has now served longer than many would serve for murder when good behaviour is taken into account; the deterrent message has already been posted, read, and ignored; the main movers behind the 2000 Coup remain undetected and unpunished; George is costing the taxpayer money; and no further purpose is achieved by his ongoing incarceration. Your opinion?

U.S.PREFERENTIAL TRADE. In response to the submission to the US hearing of a petition filed by the American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Organizations that Fiji be removed from the list of eligible beneficiaries of the Generalized System of Preferences, Fiji representatives  called for a bilateral informal dialogue process with appropriate US trade and labour officials to assist in obtaining "true facts" about the rights of workers in Fiji. Both sides now have three weeks to respond. A final decision is not expected for several months.

WILL THE PM FORM A POLITICAL PARTY for the 2014 elections? There's been a lot of speculation but no firm news on this question but Kisoko Cagituivei of the PM's Office told FBC News yesterday that he thought there should be a party to safeguard all the work that this Government has done and will do before elections in 2014.

GRAHAM DAVIS EXPOSES COUP4.5 FORGERY.  This article exposed a supposed email exchange between Sharon Smith-Johns, Permanent Secretary of Information, and the Grubsheet publisher.

WAGES ANNOUNCEMENT NEXT WEEK ... The ten Wages Councils are currently considering submissions on the proposed Wages  Regulation Order, according to Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Jone Usamate, and should be able to submit their recommendations next week. The exercise has taken longer than expected because of the "significant numbers of written objections received." The Minister said Government is fully committed to social justice for workers in ensuring fair wages that are also affordable to employers. An 8-15% increase has been proposed for the  printing trades, wholesale & retail trades, hotel & catering trades, garment industry, sawmilling & logging industry, road transport, building & civil & electricity workers.

... BUT EMPLOYERS' FEDERATION CEO Nesbitt Hazelman expects only "modest" increases.

SOME 3,000 WELFARE RECIPIENTS have been disqualified as a result of an ongoing review by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation to ensure that assistance is not provided to the ineligible. Most cases involve those whose circumstances have improved over the years. Those disqualified can write to the Appeals Panel for clarification.

KIWI EVACUATED AFTER ASSAULT. A New Zealand national who was injured after he was allegedly assaulted by four people at his room in a hotel in Nadi was evacuated to New Zealand last week. Four people have been charged and produced in court for their alleged involvement and their alleged involvement in a series of robberies and break-ins in Nadi over the past few weeks.

Fji Today seems to think that the use of the word "alleged" means that police are dodging the issue. They write: Alleged assault? There were witnesses and he has spent a week in hospital………..but we will spin it as an alleged assault" The word 'alleged' is always used when people stand accused but their guilt or otherwise has not been decided in Court. It has nothing to do with the police brushing anything under the carpet.

An overseas reader says he's been told from friends in Fiji that cases like this are not reported in the Fiji media. I am unsure about the print media but the electronic media seems to be reporting most cases of public interest.


Anonymous said…
Yes let him out and perhaps Francis Kean can spend a few months in a cell to show Frank is serious about stamping out nepotism and that the law applies to the RFMF as well ?
Anonymous said…
The Fiji Today Story.
There is no doubt an assault took place due to the serious nature of the injuries and that there were witnesses present. The assault is not alleged. The suspects are alleged to have committed the crime until convicted.
In the 1980s I was studying law in NZ and I remember Detective Senior Sergeant Hill who was the Crime Prevention officer in Auckland commenting on the same issue.
He asked the media to, where an obvious crime had taken place, not to use the word alleged as it implied the victim was partially responsible for the incident. He believed this was further victimising the victim.
The correct use of alleged in this case only applies to the potential perpetrators as they are alleged to have committed the crime.
PS..... I suspect that Fiji Today may also be a lawyer as this grates to those of us in the legal profession.
Anonymous said…
Yes release him AND let him form a political party and run in the 2014 elections....if its good enought for Frank then why why not the previous coup leader ?
I am not sure it exposes a forgery. It shows that Graham and Sharon have denied having this email exchange.

It may or may not be true but just because they deny it does not mean it’s true.

After all Sharon is on the record a number of times telling lies.

She said Fiji TV had their License when they had to wait another month before they were even given a 6 month extension.

She may be telling the truth about this email. But when you have been exposed as a liar once, people will always doubt your word in the future.

As for Graham Davis his credibility has taken a hammering since he has joined Qorvis, a PR firm that specializes in representing autocracies.

He had to deny that email exchange ever took place. However, his reason that it cannot be true because Sharon does not like Shiraz is very weak. Anyone who has ever been on the Suva cocktail set knows that Sharon is not fussy about the quality of the wine or the grape. She is far more interested in the quantity
%$#@! said…
so this bizarre regime thinks that they have such a groundswell of support and good will that they will form a legitimate elected government. Go for it, what doe they think they are going to say publicy when/if they fail miserably about their mandate?. Why on earth would they presume to think that SDL and Labour voters, in the privacy of the voting cubicle, will on masse change their colours?
Anonymous said…
this works every time...'they would say that wouldn't they?'
rusi said…
Croz would never accept that Sharon lies or has lied , he would however be the first to defend this regime and their mouthpiece as just misunderstood.
Anonymous said…
Croz, astonished that you would advocate freeing Speight. He was sentenced to death for treason, having literally trashed the country. Your soft left attitude to this is very disappointing, as is allowing these grubby attacks on Smith Johns and Davis. They say it's a fraudulent document so why is this a subject for comment at all? Disgraceful.
Crosbie Walsh said…
Oh dear! I'd hoped flying the Speight kite would elicit worthwhile comment. I am not advocating his release. Just raising the issues of length of sentences, Speight only a frontman; and, indirectly, the question of immunities. @ Anonymous 1 ... You are correct. The assault is proven; the culprits are alleged.

Re. Graham Davis and Sharon S-J, a cleverly written but insulting email received today headed Truncated Lounge from Shazzer uses not commonly used words like fuckwit (supposedly used in the Smith-Johns exchange)and purports to know a lot about Sharon's behaviour. I suspect it was written by the same person who wrote the "forged" email allegedly from Sharon S-J. No proof, of course, but I have to wonder why so many people continue to attack people and not the issues that confront Fiji.
Darling Grubbers,
How I miss you when you have to go back to Oz. How you must hate to leave the dictatorial control of Fiji and go back to the drudgery of media freedom in Australia. Your TV show the Divided Grub would be so much easier to produce here. Just imagine I could tell everyone who comes on the show what to say. Wouldn’t that make your life easier?
Anyway we have had an interesting week on foreign affairs. Ratu Isajoke Bobbingalong has been busy sucking up to the great democracies of the world. He met with his fellow minister in North Korea. He was going to get advice on the best way to cope with American sanctions as North Korea have a lot of experience in that area.
The Commodore has also asked him to inquire about nuclear weapons. We are playing our friends Iran and North Korea off against each other to get the best price for a nuke. Then we can really tell Julia Gizzard where to stick it. God why are all red headed Australian women such bitches?
I had to spin the North Korea visit and say they were giving us advice on agriculture but I am not sure that really stood up because they lose millions through starvation every year. Still as no one questions my statements it does not matter.
Grubby if you want to get close to me you need to become more like the Fiji Sun. They write everything I tell them to write and they do everything I say. I like that in a spineless journalist, understand.
I have had a more relaxed week this week because the AG has been at Suva Private Hospital for the past 6 days. I have got so much done without him correcting everything I do. It was also great because the PM did everything I told him as the weasel AG was not whispering in his ear every five minutes.
The AG has got some Kidney problem and nearly died. Not helped because there are no doctors at Suva Private Hospital at the moment. That’s another thing North Korea is advising us on. How to get people to work for no money and just a bowl of rice a day. We will soon have a new policy in place and those hot shot doctors will be working harder than ever. How dare they go on strike and put the glorious weasel’s life at risk.

The AG went on the news on Friday night and he looked as a sick as a dog. But luckily there is some Bollywood company here making a film. They lent us one of their makeup artists and we managed to get the AG looking vaguely presentable.
Our mate Mad as a Hatter Madigan came through and he has struck off Chaudhry for 5 years. It’s really funny because all Chaudhry did was tell Justice Goundar he was fucking useless and in the AG’s pocket. It’s ironic we got Chaudhry disbarred for speaking the truth.
I got so cross with that Thicko at Investment Fiji. He read out the press release I give him about investment never being so good. He even managed to say it was at record levels without blushing. But then the stupid fuckwit said it would create 4,000 jobs. That was not in the release and you can’t create jobs out of thin air like numbers in press releases.
We are taking a bit of a gamble on the casino. (Do you get it that’s a good one do you see gamble Casino)
Claunch, the idiot, announced he had raised the money to build the casino and they were hard at work doing unseen things. Perhaps he thinks building a casino is like digging a tunnel and everything happens below ground. He has definitely got Alzheimer’s because he announced 2 months ago they had raised twice as much as they needed and now he announces they have raised the necessary funds.
That bitch Elenoa Baselala looked like she was going to ask a question at the press conference but I shut her down with one of my stares. You know the one that petrifies everyone and always gives you a little hard on.
Remember next week is Fiji day and I hope you can stay til Wednesday. We will be unveiling my new slogan.
Pick up a Gun
Put down a democrat

I am claiming the credit but I was inspired when saw Colonel Qiliho toying with his pistol, or at least I think it was his pistol
Anyway Grubby got to dash can’t wait to open some Pinot with you on Sunday night.
Hugs and Kisses

This is to inform the public that this letter is a piece of fiction. Some of the people and events mentioned are real.
No journalist was harmed in the writing of this letter but I will make up for that next week.
I would also like to confirm that Grubbers and I are not an item, but he would like to be. I am strictly one for Fijians, sorry Itaukei.
PS I am not the author but I was sent a copy.

In defence it clearly says this is a spoof so stop being so prim and proper for once Croz and have a laugh
Anonymous said…
Croz, why have you placed quotation marks around the word forged? Can you explain to me how this person would have obtained a genuine email between the parties concerned ? I have thousands of email exchanges every year and not one ends up in the public domain. Sharon Smith Johns and Davis are public figures whose email addresses are well known. It is very easy to use their addresses to doctor up something like the email referred to here.

They both say it's been forged. Compellingly, in my mind, Davis says he wasn't employed by Qorvis at the time the alleged exchange took place. That is all the detective work that is necessary here and should be the end of story. We all know how vile some of these anti-government people are and also how desperate as the promised election looms in Fiji.

Now you have alluded to another email that is on Coup 4.5. You are drawing attention to these forgeries in a manner more befitting a lurid tabloid newspaper than a responsible academic blog. Your own email address is well known, having encouraged people here at various times to use it. I'd imagine that when this malicious forger turns his/her attention on you, you won't find it quite so entertaining.
Anonymous said…
Croz, disappointed that you would allow this rubbish to be republished here. You describe it as clever. Only if you think character assassination is clever. Blind freddy can see this is a concerted campaign against Graham Davis and Sharon SJ for political purposes. Aiding and abetting it like this doesn't do you any credit.
Anonymous said…
the tide is turning, na, the tide is nearly out.

last white sahib standing or will that be memsahib
Crosbie Walsh said…
@Anonymous #7... I'm also disappointed. Why should you or anyone else presume to tell me what to publish or not publish? I'm doing the best I can to steer through troubled waters and I won't be doing anyone a service if I choose to ignore the rocks.

PS Please, please use your real name or a pseudonym.

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