Fijian Government defends improvements and denounces biased report from Amnesty International

Yesterday the Media party went all in on a shonky and shabby report from Amnesty International about Fiji.

Of course, it was Barbara Dreaver putting the slipper in while she enjoys staying in Suva, not at all grateful for her new freedoms.

A damning report from Amnesty International has found Fiji’s security forces are involved in an alarming level of torture, brutality and abuse cases.

Since the military coup of 2006 there have been five deaths in custody and other people have suffered serious injuries or been raped.

Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher Kate Schuetze says accountability for these cases are the exception rather than the rule.

“It’s quite extraordinary the level of violence that some of these cases are experiencing … what makes it different in Fiji I guess is that you have immunities under the constitution which make it very difficult to investigate these,” she said.

Ms Schuetze says another problem is that Police and Prisons Commissioners are both senior serving military offices which “blurs the line between these two institutions”.

Amnesty International say more accountability is needed and there needs to be an independent mechanism monitoring the security forces so they aren’t investigating themselves when cases come to light.

Read more »

The most pressing issues for the Conservative party seem to be sexual abuse and porn

You’d think that would be a mischievous headline.  Yet someone pointed me to their web site.  The two most recent “updates” to the membership are the following.


Don’t get me wrong.  These are important topics in their own right.  But these are the issues that the Conservative party chooses to discuss with its members. Read more »

The contenders?

Radio NZ has prepared a list of contenders for John Key’s job:

Prime Minister John Key’s surprise announcement that he is standing down, after 10 years at the helm of the National Party and nearly nine as PM, will have the contenders jockeying for position before the caucus vote on 12 December.

Mr Key said whoever was chosen as the next leader would have his “unwavering support”, but if his right-hand man – Deputy Prime Minister Bill English – put his name forward, he would support his bid.

Mr Key and Mr English have been the closest of partners but there will likely be challengers from the caucus.

Here’s a quick rundown of who might consider themselves leadership material:

Bill English

A former leader of the National Party in the early noughties, Mr English has been a steady hand on the economic tiller and Deputy Prime Minister since 2008. He knows politics inside out – having been an MP since 1990 – and has held a number of other high-profile positions including Minister for Infrastructure and Leader of the Opposition.

Speaking at a media stand-up this afternoon, Mr English refused to be drawn on whether he would seek the leadership, saying he needed to talk to his family and members of the caucus first.

But Mr English said he will probably announce his decision tomorrow and wanted to make sure he had enough caucus support.

Mr English, who led the National Party to its worst election defeat in 2002, said he had learned a lot since then.

Read more »

Bill English bombs his chance to tell us he’s the man

John Key did a foolish thing yesterday when he anointed Bill English.

He is trying to force a coronation and Bill English said as much in his stand up yesterday.

The problem is that John Key is but one vote in caucus and it is caucus that decides who will be leader.

There is some talk about some in caucus owing their positions to John Key, but that expired a nano-second after he resigned. As I said he is now just one vote and caucus members can now be assured that sucking up to John Key is no longer a viable career move.

Asked if he will stand to replace him, Mr English said the caucus has only known about this for two or three hours.

“And I think we need to just give ourselves a bit of space. I personally would like to talk to members of the caucus, talk to my family and consider it. But I certainly appreciate John’s endorsement.”

Asked  if he’s ruling out standing, he said: “No, I’m not ruling it out.”

Mr Key anointed his deputy and Finance Minister to succeed him in his resignation speech after eight years in the job.   Read more »

John Key broke Whaleoil


Our detractors have said for some time that, ever since Dirty Politics, Whaleoil has been a spent force.  An irrelevance.  Especially since John Key gave us the cold shoulder.

We know better, but we’ve been keeping our heads down.  Not much point painting a target on your back with another election on the way, is there Ira?

What we have noticed, that apart from a healthy amount of base visitors that loyally come to our blog every day, is that when something happens in politics, the public know that Whaleoil is the place to go. Read more »

Whaleoil General Debate

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keep-calm-and-don-t-shoot-the-messenger-3Morning everyone, and welcome to Whaleoil’s daily General Debate post (another one called Backchat will start at 6pm). To participate you’ll need to register a free Disqus account.

There are some rules, and if there is one thing about Whaleoil that you need to know is that these rules are dispassionately and strictly enforced.

Face of the Day


I’ve never told anyone this.

When John Key won in 2008, I sent him an email.

I had never emailed anyone in politics before.  Nor sent a letter.  Nor written to the Editor of any newspaper.  It was altogether a remarkably odd thing for me to.    Read more »

Word of the day

The word for today is…

circumspect (adj) –  Heedful of circumstances and potential consequences; prudent.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : Early 15th century, from Latin circumspectus “deliberate, guarded, well-considered,” past participle of circumspicere “look around, take heed,” from circum- “around”+ specere “to look”.

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 5

5Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.

Monday nightCap