INDEPENDENT NEWS

Fiji Comment: Gutless wonders and grumpy old men

Published: Wed 28 Jun 2000 01:18 PM
USP Journalism online (new UTS host): http://www.journalism.uts.edu.au/ USP Journalism ("mirror" of gagged site): http://www.sidsnet.org/pacific/usp/journ/
Wansolwara Online: http://www.lookinglassdesign.com/wansolwara/wansol.html Have your say: http://www.TheGuestBook.com/vgbook/109497.gbook
SUVA: "Gutlessness" seems to be a contagious condition among the national leadership in Fiji's current political crisis, says Fiji Times columnist Seona Smiles.
Women have been showing the way to the "grumpy old men of power and privilege" during the crisis by speaking out.
Rebels still hold 27 hostages from the elected government in the national Parliament after almost six weeks.
Smiles, who writes a popular weekly whimsical column in the country's largest newspaper, took a more serious tone in her latest contribution today.
"Perhaps it is catching. Gutlessness, I mean," she wrote.
"Where are the leaders whom we rightfully expect to speak out for decency, if not democracy, in the 'current situation'?
"Where are the great who should be counselling 'enough?' Why is it again that we are all being mucked about by a bald-headed MBA [rebel leader George Speight] whose entrepreneurial muddles are topped by a takeover of a national state, and an ageing soldier's (former SAS major Ilisoni Ligairi) British-trained gun games that have found a national cause?
"Ah yes, the hostages. I suspect the real reason the four women hostages were released [last] weekend is not because they were any more 'tired' than the men, but because they are stronger and tougher and are getting stronger and tougher support.
"Because the women of this nation had the guts to speak out for them," wrote Smiles, a former information officer for the University of the South Pacific who is now media coordinator for the international women's group DAWN.
"For weeks now, women have been organising daily vigils for hostages. They have been speaking and making statements, circulating petitions and striving for a return to decency.
"There are also many honourable men who are doing whatever they can to protest.
"But there have been an awful lot of grumpy old men of power and privilege who have done little but pontificate on wrongs and indigenous rights.
"Another form of gutlessness has been to blame everyone from Commonwealth countries to the nurses union for what is caused solely by the bald-headed failed businessman.
"But the real gutless wonder is the failure himself. Otherwise, why won't he let the rest of the hostages go and come out among his people?"
+++niuswire
This document is for educational and research use only. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright source before reprinting. PASIFIK NIUS service is provided by the niusedita via the Journalism Program, University of the South Pacific. Please acknowledge Pasifik Nius: niusedita@pactok.net.au http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/nius/index.html

Next in World

At UN, youth activists press for bold action
By: United Nations
Tongan PM 'Akilisi Pohiva dies, aged 78
By: RNZ
UK PM to Suspend Parliament; Queen's Speech
By: 10 Downing Street
Gordon Campbell on the Hong Kong protest movement
By: Gordon Campbell
4 days until intergenerational climate strike
By: School Strike 4 Climate
The Nation: Simon Shepherd Interviews James Shaw
By: The Nation
Coal use increasing under Labour-Green policies
By: New Zealand National Party
NZCTU calls on employers to release staff for Climate Strike
By: New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
Interim Climate Change Committee Call for evidence launched
By: Interim Climate Change Committee
Climate change is here - we all need to do our part
By: Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre
Preventing climate change cheaper than dealing with damage
By: University of Queensland
Winners of 2019 Global Youth Video Competition
By: UNFCCC
Extinction Rebellion: Leaving it to the Students
By: Binoy Kampmark
Major IPCC report: ‘The climate crisis is an oceans crisis’
By: Greenpeace
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media