it is a lot cheerier in Indonesia than it is in good old downtown
Bonn ... the raw throb of these growing developing countries is not
there in the old West."
Keating said that to a bunch of writers in Adelaide last week.
depends on your point of view, of course. If you're begging in the streets
of Jakarta or working in the running shoe factory, the raw throb of
Indonesia feels like the throb of a badly infected wound and the fear
of gangrene and death, but the spin doctors of the New World Order see
it differently. They feel the exhilerating throb of factories running
24 hours a day on wages so low they hardly have to be factored into
the cost of production.
had just finished an investigation into a nursing home corporation and
no new work had come in, so I holed up in the Brushtail Café
reading the papers and drinking cider. The sky was low and grey, it
rained steadily, the air was clammy and the café window fogged
was a triumphal week for the big rich and their servants and many of
them walked free. It is next to impossible to bring these people to
justice. They are shameless fakers with clever lawyers and personal
physicians who err on the protective side.
dollar terms, Alan Bond was certainly the biggest thief and fraudster
ever apprehended in Australia. When they put him on trial, the doctors
certified that his health was dangerously in decline. He walked like
he was in a trance, mumbled, and seemed deeply confused, but a short
stay in a white-collar prison revived him and he was the picture of
health when the High Court freed him on a technicality last week.
all accounts the cancer should have croaked Mal Colston by now, but
here he was, still alive, and healthy enough to go on a personal campaign
to get his free lifetime gold pass to the nation's railways extended
to cover his meals as well.
Pinochet had apparently been so crook his doctors had borrowed Christoper
Skase's wheelchair and oxygen bottles. They certified he was too sick
to stand trial but when he was met at Santiago airport by the assembled
general staff of the Chilean armed forces he got up from the wheelchair
these people. They just got caught with their hand in the bikky tin
compared to Keating's old friend Suharto. He and his kids stole tens
of billions from the Indonesian people before the place collapsed and
Keating calls him a 'nation builder'. President Wahid has already forgiven
Suharto and he even visited his home and embraced him last week",
Old possum said, when he shuffled into the cafe shaking the rain from
what's your take on it?" I asked. "Is Wahid a wily strategist
who's going to end the power of the Indonesian army, or what?"
reckon if history tells us anything it tells us that there'll be a few
cosmetic changes but the TNI will hold onto most of its power. To go
on legally robbing nine-tenths of society you need a well-fed policeman
... and the policeman knows it. Wahid is a nice old mullah -- you won't
find a more liberal one -- but when it comes down to it he's just another
capitalist politician and he needs the army to 'maintain order', so
he'll have to overlook most of their sins."
look at the Timor situation", I said. "Wahid keeps telling
the army to stop the militias from crossing the border into East Timor,
but they keep on doing it, and they're being led and armed by Indonesian
Possum left to go to a Tools for Timor meeting down at the union office
and I went up to bed half pissed and moody. I dreamed rotten dreams
about sleek old men in beautiful batik shirts and raggedy starving children.