Arrogance of the dominant 1% must be kept in check
Criticism: something which is encouraged by the dominant class as long as you are not criticizing the dominant class – The Overt Dictionary
By Martyn Namorong
The best way I can define the dominant class is to use what the Occupy Movement refers to as the 1% – the owners of Capital and their agents.
The rest of us belong to the 99%.
The dominant classes, being the psychopaths that they are, are very good at twisting words and stories to shift the blame back to the 99%. They will only want to take credit when things go right but will not bear responsibility for their flaws.
I have had to debate these psychopaths on Facebook and have become familiar with their tactics.
One of the lessons I’ve learnt is that the dominant class – the 1%, don’t mind if the 99% criticize and hold each other accountable yet they frown when attention is focused on them.
Proceeds of Corruption in Australia
Let’s take a look at recent blogs from PNG Exposed BLOG regarding money that was transferred to a Commonwealth Bank account in Lismore, New South Wales, Australian. Basically, the articles called on the Australian Authorities to help PNG recover these funds.
Predictably the psychopaths decided to shift the argument towards blaming PNG Authorities for failing to prevent the money from leaving the country. They decided to ignore the glaringly obvious fact that these same ‘Authorities’ were facilitating these deals and the least the Australians could do was to decline such transfers.
Someone went on to defend Australian Banks by saying they do due diligence checks. This person was clearly distracting attention from the fact the IPBC is currently trying to recover money from the Commonwealth Bank in Lismore. Obviously Bankers at Lismore didn’t do proper due diligence checks. Yet this fact was blatantly ignored.
Transparency International’s failure to speak out
The folks at PNG Exposed Blog also accused Transparency International of being biased and racist towards Papua New Guinea because the Organization failed to highlight Australia’s involvement in laundering proceeds of corruption in Papua New Guinea.
Not surprisingly the psychopaths decided to divert attention from Transparency International back to the Government’s failures. The point that they wished to gloss over is that if Transparency International is to be fair and balanced about criticizing corrupt practices it must criticize the recipients of the proceeds of corruption.
Sadly, Transparency International’s PNG Chapter is supported by the Australian Government via AusAID. One does not bite the hand that feeds you. And that is something the psychopaths don’t want the sheeple to know.
Suppression of Freedom of Expression
The Post Courier Newspaper has been taken to court for defamation, by Malaysian logging giant Rimbunan Hijau aka RH for reporting on RH’s antics in Pomio, East New Britain Province.
The Pomio fiasco was a major Public Relations disaster for RH and it (RH) scored several own goals while pathetically trying to defend itself.
The attacks on the Post Courier including referrals to the Media Council are attacks on freedom of speech and Media freedom.
Had the Post Courier not reported on the Pomio fiasco newspaper readers in PNG would have received biased reports from RH-owned National Newspaper.
And remember how Nasfund once used to be all about good governance and fighting corruption until someone leaked its dirty secrets on PNG Blogs. The administrators of PNG Blogs had to pull down the information after Nasfund threatened to sue them and offered K50 000 to anyone providing information leading to apprehending the source of the leak.
Ken Mondiai from the Eco-Forestry Forum writes to the 1% stating;
“Don’t be like the politicians trying to suppress media and freedom of speech in this country when their bad decisions and weaknesses are exposed and in reaction for their guilt they go to the media issuing all kinds of threats about controlling and regulating NGOs and the media.”
And that’s the thing about the 1%, politicians may come and go but the 1% belong to undemocratic capitalist cartels that continue to wield enormous influence behind the curtains even when politicians like Sir Micheal Somare are out of Office.
Nautilus Experimental Deep Sea Mining
A recent scientific report on Deep Sea Mining highlighted that there is insufficient knowledge about this activity to allow it to proceed.
The debate on the issue is best summarized by the exchange on Facebook between Tiffany Twivvey and Richard Kassman:
“Tiffany, my point is that Alup and her people must set about putting a plan of action together. Get information and engage with Nautilus as part of this plan. Be proactive and not stuck in too much talk.”
But of course what Mr. Kassman does not say is that it’s actually pointless in trying to engage with Miners. Just look at the Ramu Nickel case and what happened on Bougainville. To explain why it is pointless, I’ll use Mr. Kassman’s own words:
“Sharpies I work for a foreign petroleum coy exploring for gas primarily in the Western Province. I am part of management and have some influence. I am an employee, I am a citizen and I consider myself a Nation builder. Yes I have a responsibility to my shareholders, I also am fully aware of the obligations that the corporation has signed up for as a convention and its values talk about the environment, treatment of indigenous people etc. As a senior officer I am compelled to raise these issues and up to the Board Chairman if required. At the end of the day if I feel my personal principles and values are compromised I will have no hesitation in tendering my resignation.” [Emphasis mine]
The 1% and their agents have to make a profit from their investments. That’s what Mr. Kassman refers to as “a responsibility to my shareholders.” Shareholders make money from shares they own in companies. This is a legitimate business practice.
But what happens if you were opposed to Experimental Deep Sea Mining and decided to do what Mr. Kassman suggested:
“Get information and engage with Nautilus as part of this plan. Be proactive and not stuck in too much talk.”
Would the miner listen to you if it had spent tens of millions and would make a loss by pulling out? Would its shareholders be happy? The manager of the mining company would be reluctant to stop the project because as Mr. Kassman puts it, he would say “I have a responsibility to my shareholders”.
To be fair to Mr. Kassman, he did say he would resign if he felt his values were being compromised. But if a good manager like Mr. Kassman resigns, the company can always employ a demon to create havoc.
One other interesting point that pops up in the exchange above is this statement by Mr. Kassman:
“Judith your assertion that Mel is betraying Pngeans is harsh and does little to help Alup do something constructive.”
Here Mr. Kassman makes reference to Mr. Mel Togolo who works for the Experimental Deep Sea Miner, Nautilus. When defending Nautilus, Mr. Kassman was open about being employed by Talisman Energy he did not publicly disclose that he and Mr. Togolo were both Board Members of Transparency International (PNG) Inc.
For resource exploiters the word “constructive” which was used by Mr. Kassman takes up a more literal form in terms of construction of the project as opposed to constructive dialogues. What this implies is that anyone totally or partially opposed to the 1% is deemed unconstructive.
And that is why Ms Twivvey who is the lawyer representing Madang Landowners fighting against proposed Deep Sea Tailings Placement, replied;
“Richard – sorry but I agree with Judith – she was not being harsh. It is pointless for individuals to engage with Mining companies. They are here – they have all the permissions – they are full steam ahead – what do we do say “oh please Mr. togolo could you tell your bosses, who are bankrolled by the chinese as they are, to not do any mining until we have proof it is safe ? Which will take a very long time and a lot of researrch – which will only prove that it is not safe ?”No we need to stop it before it is too late.” (sic)
PROFESSIONAL PUBLIC RELATIONS SPIN
One thing the 1% are good at is to make themselves look good. As I was looking up links for this article I came across what I saw as a good example of PR SPIN on Mine Watch Blog: My responses are in italics.
Tindi Apa (@oripng) November 25, 2011 at 12:12 pm
Congratulations Mine Watch… The miners have certainly developed jaundiced eyes after reading your ‘jaundiced’ reports.
§ Wesely November 25, 2011 at 4:31 pm
You are pulling your own leg!
Sad to say it is typical of the unwashed to trivialize the issues here.
[Notice above how Wesley deliberately misspells Tindi’s name and refers to him as ‘unwashed’. That’s because the 1% know that the 99% who are mostly sheeple are most likely to react to such personal attacks and in the process discredit themselves. By discrediting themselves, the 99% make themselves look evil while the 1% start claiming to be victims of the 99%. Thank goodness Tindi didn’t fall for this trick by the psychopaths]
Actually, the Mining Industry is not at all concerned with what gets posted on this blog.
The Mining Industry, far more so that the citizens of PNG and its government, have a vested interest in a properly regulated industry.
[I’ll use Tindi’s response to that: “I actually believe what Wesley rightfully pointed out: “the Mining Industry is not at all concerned with what gets posted on this blog”. Probably explains why Wesley spends too much time here while I’m on Twitter with my ‘jingoistic CROWD’. Wesley should be awarded for ITS regular contributions to RAMU MIND WASH _ perhaps a blog post to commemorate ITS 1000th comment on RAMU MIND WASH”]
But look what they have to work with, TAKE A GOOD LOOK!
A bunch of corrupt ministers and PNG cowboys who are, with a couple of exceptions, are clearly JUST INCAPABLE of understanding and implementing any transparent policy with regard to regulatory practice.
Yes, in the past there has been a tragic legacy of incompetent administration of Mining Act matters by the government of PNG itself.
You obviously simply side step this compelling and abundantly obvious fact.
All the RAMU MIND WASH has done in the last 18 months is to distract people in PNG from the real issues, namely, that the organs of state are largely responsible for the problems in PNG.
I don’t suppose you would appreciate this, how could you when you clearly treat this like a rugby match where you support your favorite team.
[Same old, same old... shift the Blame to the Government. But when Byron Chan the Mining Minister decides give mineral ownership to the 99%, Guess what? the 1% Cry Wolf and say it will split the country. Well I suppose what they mean is that the resources will be taken from their hands and given to the 99% so the 1% gets split out. You see folks what the 1% believe is that the Government isn’t right unless it listens to them. Unfortunately Prime Minister O’Neil bought into their bluff and over-ruled the Mining Minister. If you look at Panguna and Ok Tedi you realize that the State listened to the 1% but when the miners messed up we the 99% paid the price and the State got blamed for the troubles. The 1% just conveniently vanished – BHP in Ok Tedi and Rio Tinto in Panguna]
But its not a Rugby match and RAMU MIND WASH has done the community a great disservice by promoting a perception that it is the Mining Industry at fault.
That’s why PNG just flounders in every respect, politically, socially at all.
RAMU MIND WASH has done nothing to support a proper approach to regulatory process.
Most if not all of what has been said and done by RAMU MIND WASH has floundered in a sea of ineptitude, emotion and silly partisan barracking with no focus and apparently no knowledge of the real issues, but worse, a complete incapacity to work productively toward a properly regulated process for the management of mining matters.
How can you expect the industry to respond to this sort of a rubbish other than to raise their eyes with incredulity and near total frustration.
[Oh so now they wanna sound like the victims... typical. The 1% will lobby regulators and Ministers to get what they want, yet when they screw-up, they pass the blame to the Government. It’s hypocritical because the Government’s actions had been influenced largely by the 1%]
In the minds of the psychopathic 1%: raping your resources, plundering the state coffers, exploiting workers and destroying the environment and the livelihoods of indigenous communities are legitimate forms of doing business. They do not want to be held accountable for these acts of violence. They don’t want to be criticized for their wrongs.
Yet when the 99% react to their injustices, the 1% immediately bring in thugs in Police Uniform to suppress the resistance against their violent acts. They treat people who seek justice as if they are criminals.
There is one major weakness that the 1% have and that is they only care about MONEY. So the sheeple of Papua New Guinea can resist with their wallets and their labour. They lose money when you don’t do business with them and that’s what hurts the most. For a large corporation, a strike by workers costs millions per day.
The shareholders wouldn’t be too pleased with the company if this was to happen and mangers who say “I have a responsibility to my shareholders” will realize that they have a responsibility to the 99% as well.
Now folks I don’t want to exonerate corrupt Politicians and Public Servants nor do I wish to absolve the State from its fiduciary duties. But when one is presented with the basket case that this nation has become, one would expect that so called Development Partners, Civil Society Organizations and Good Corporate Citizens would step up to meet the challenges faced. Instead they fail to do so and by their failures enable the Dominant Class - psychopathic 1% to run amuck.