What many people may not know is that Australia has its very own ‘007’, Federal Agent Peter Bond. Like all good ‘007s’ Federal Agent Bond needs an alias. After reading excerpts from his diary, which came into my possession in the form of subpoenaed material that had been placed into evidence in a matter that was recently heard in the Queensland Court of Appeal, I decided that the most appropriate alias for Australia’s very own ‘007’ is Skunky Funk. However, readers shouldn’t allow Federal Agent Bond’s funky sounding alias to detract from the serious and sinister nature of the contents of the ‘Skunky Funk Diaries’.
It was originally my intention to serialise the ‘Skunky Funk Diaries’ for the purpose of highlighting the almost comical, if sinister, nature of Australian espionage. On reflection after having read Federal Agent Bond’s Diary and other relevant material, I have decided that it is in the public interest that certain themes running through the material need to be placed clearly and precisely before the Australian and international public.
The first of these themes and the one that should be of most concern to anyone who comes into contact with a legal system that has been tainted by the Australian Federal Police is that of judicial corruption.
What the ‘Skunky Funk Diaries’ show is what can only be described as a trail of RAMSI (Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands) and Australian Federal Police interference and undue influence in the judicial processes of a supposedly independent and sovereign state, the Solomon Islands.
It is almost inconceivable that a mere plod, Skunky Funk, an Australian Federal Police liaison officer, should have apparent unrestricted access to the Chief Justice of a sovereign State. An unrestricted access that brings with it the opportunity to influence the outcome of certain decision making processes, an opportunity that is enhanced via the RAMSI spawned ‘culture of beholden-ness’ that currently operates to the detriment of political freedom in the Solomons.
This ‘culture of beholden-ness’ in the Solomons is itself facilitated by the way RAMSI is run. RAMSI’s operations are run through two service providers, GRM International Pty. Ltd and SKM. This leads to the almost unbelievable outcome that positions such as the Solicitor-General of the Solomons are held by employees of GRM International Pty. Ltd (GRM) who are sub-contracted by GRM to the government of the Solomons to perform what can only be described as statutory functions. The question must be asked, to whom do these employees owe their allegiance? The answer is expressed in the following scenario; the former Solicitor-General to the Solomons, an Australian citizen and employee of GRM gave an advice to the Solomons parliament stating that his employer GRM was exempt from any obligations to pay tax in the Solomons!
On the point of Australia’s imperious conduct in the Solomons, it is interesting to consider the statement given by the Honorable John Patteson Oti MP Minister of Foreign Affairs, External Trade & Immigration for the Solomon Islands to the sixty-second session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on October 1, 2007
Our peoples’ gratitude to Australia and New Zealand for financing the deployment of their nationals to police our crisis with the help of a small contingent of personnel from neighbouring Pacific Islands nations is oft-expressed and genuine. However, as our fellow Pacific Islands states can readily appreciate, our sovereign right to determine the terms on which the Government of Solomon Islands will permit our continued occupation by the Visiting Contingent cannot be undermined by any member of the United Nations. The long neglect of our internal problem by the UN followed by the hasty conclusion of the regionally-based multilateral agreement which led to the despatch of the initial Visiting Contingent of Australian, New Zealand and other Pacific Islands forces brings ongoing controversies concerning their continued existence and eventual exit back to the UN’s doorsteps. Viewed from the perspective of Chapter 8 of the UN Charter, the nature of the arrangements and activities embraced by the 2003 agreement as well as their practical application and operation since then appear to transgress Article 52 on the basis of apparent inconsistencies with Articles 1 and 2 of our Charter.
Howsoever dressed and rationalized, intervention and occupation allow “assisting” nations to spend and earn substantial revenue for their supporting businesses and industries. Mine is too nationalistic a Government to become captive to the fortunes which justify our perpetual retention under siege. My Prime Minister, fellow Government Ministers and Parliamentarians as well as our Attorney General remain unmoved by Australian resistance to our attempts to reclaim our sovereignty and independence. Consistent with our obligations under Article 54, we shall keep the Security Council fully informed of the activities undertaken under the 2003 agreement and seek its assistance in reducing the financial burdens which Australia and New Zealand needlessly bear under the current arrangements. As members of this Assembly know only too well, those who pay the piper call the tune. Our experience of the Australian-designed “co-operative intervention” package demonstrates the need for greater UN involvement in the leadership of future regional peace-keeping operations.
The impetus for Australia’s involvement in our internal unrest was a dramatic change of focus and heart about the protection of its strategic interests in the Pacific Islands region. The threat of terrorist penetration through porous frontiers is sufficient cause for international anxiety, insecurity and paranoia. Despite global condemnation of terrorism, the struggle for consensus on an acceptable definition of terrorism retards the progress of multilateral initiatives in formulating a Comprehensive Anti-terrorism Convention.
Illustrative of terrorism’s over-reactive potential is the indignity I had to suffer, as the Foreign Minister of Solomon Islands, when my multiple entry visitor visa to Australia was suddenly cancelled last year. The written explanation for that decision identified me as a risk to the health, safety and good order of the Australian community under Section 116(1)(e) of its Immigration Act. One would have to admit that is an incredible justification for excluding democratically elected leaders of neighbouring countries unknown for breeding terrorists. Just over a century ago, many of our ancestors were kidnapped and forcibly taken to work as labourers in a country which is now quick to regard their descendants as terrorists. Defining terrorism has proved to be more difficult than deploring it.
Minister Oti’s address to the United Nations highlights the second theme, namely colonialism, which is the hypocrisy of Australia’s intervention in the Solomons and the real reason why certain political and commercial interests in Australia are so keen for RAMSI to stay in the Solomons.
Howsoever dressed and rationalized, intervention and occupation allow “assisting” nations to spend and earn substantial revenue for their supporting businesses and industries.
This is plain old fashioned colonialism, exploit the week, strangle them diplomatically, financially and legally use and abuse your position of authority for your own benefits. This further underlines what is meant by the term ‘culture of beholden-ness’ and its implications for the sovereignty of an independent state. If senior officials of a sovereign state are flown by their ‘colonial masters’ or their commercial agents, in this case GRM, to the imperial heartland in business class, given substantial per diem expenses to conduct ‘official’ business on behalf of the colonial possession in the imperial heartland, where do you think that their loyalties will ultimately lie? Even if their loyalties remain with their nation, this type of commercial conduct, bribery by stealth, gives rise to a ‘culture of beholden-ness’, where loyalties can become blurred. This much at least is apparent from even a cursory reading of the ‘Skunky Funk Diaries’ and related material.
What this also gives rise to is aid by deception. Australia claims to be providing in the vicinity of AUD 1 Billion dollars in aid per annum via RAMSI. The reality is that most of this money is spent in Australia, by Australians for the benefit of Australia while masquerading as foreign aid. Who benefits from this type of commercial arrangement? Well in the case of the Solomon Islands the real winners are GRM, SKM and their shareholders, the recipients of their political donations and lavish hospitality and a few overpaid and underworked sycophants who sponge off the Australian taxpayer while masquerading as the good shepherds of Australia’s alleged largess in the Pacific.
The final theme I will explore through the ‘Skunky Funk Diaries’ is that of corporate and governmental corruption and greed and the destabilising effect this has on the targets of this greed and corruption. In the case of the ‘Skunky Funk Diaries’, this is the Solomon Islands.
I will leave readers with the words of Minister Oti:
As members of this Assembly know only too well, those who pay the piper call the tune. Our experience of the Australian-designed “co-operative intervention” package demonstrates the need for greater UN involvement in the leadership of future regional peace-keeping operations.