That marvel of international diplomacy, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, showed himself to be a bit of a clumsy baboon in the mould of his boss with his dressing down of Australia about the Asylum Seeker agreement with PNG. When his verbal IED went off it also took out Peter O’Neill.
O’Neill was party to the agreement Kubuabola was attacking, and-if O’Neill didn’t run the proposal past Bainimarama, why should Australia? PNG is an independent sovereign state perfectly capable of making its own decisions.
The fact is that Kubuabola is treating O’Neill like he’s a fool who doesn’t know what he’s doing or a gutless coward who needs lessons in courage from our very own self-made ‘strongman’.
What a joke! Lessons in courage from Bainimarama! Forget about the Cassava Patch in November 2000, he showed his true colours to best effect in the Pacific Forum meeting in Tonga in 2007 when he promised that he’d hold elections by 2009.
This was not in the script prepared for him but he went to water when he was surrounded by a room full of serious leaders asking him why he couldn’t hold elections if his coup was a ‘clean-up coup” welcomed by the people.
This is why he carries on so much now about Australia’s and New Zealand’s role in the forum. He has never recovered from his bout of Cassava Patch fever in the 2007 Forum Leaders meeting in Tonga. And it may explain why he doesn’t want an Australian High Commissioner. Faced with a senior diplomat he might find himself persuaded against his will to do the right thing.