Anyone got a detailed take on the removal at gunpoint of one of the few
serious left-reformist political leaders left in the world?  I can't find a
single interview with a Fijian without a gun or a uniform!  Rabuka started
all this 13 years ago, and Oz was happy enough to go along then.  Now Fiji
is reaping what we helped sow (East Timor ain't the only East Timor, alas). 
I read Speight (as a boojie on the verge of doing time for fraud) as the the
pointy end of an indignant Fijian bourgeoisie (whether he consciously plays
this part, I don't know, but quite a few of the better-to-do Indians seem
remarkably quiet as he hurls the country to the brink) and Kamisese Mara as
the pointy end of the old wholly-indigenous aristocracy.  The fight is
between them - a class struggle Britain had sorted by 1830.  And 90% of the
population are, absolutely invisibly and eerily silently, the meat in this
malignant sandwich.

Anyway, now the army has claimed executive power (and they're no monolith on
this either - but, anyway, Mara is formally suddenly himself bereft of power
now) and Speight has responded by threatening to shoot Mara's daughter if
the army goes for him.  It's civil war then, of course.  But I sense the
military is closer to Speight than to anyone else on the balance of

And as Oz Foreign Minister Alexander Downer waxes indignant about the
violent overthrow of an old-fashioned (ie pre-3rd way) social democrat (who
enjoyed 62% of the vote at last count), he's off to talk turkey with his
fellow democrats over in Rangoon ...

Yours biliously,

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