A modest proposal for Nauru

nauru kidsAs Tony Thomas explained back in June, things haven’t gone well for Nauru and its 10,000-odd native inhabitants. The world’s third-smallest country, just behind the Vatican and Monaco, saw its wealth of bird droppings, which once made the island rich beyond imagining, vanish over the horizon by the shipload. The ruling elite might serve as the dictionary illustration of ‘corruption’ and, to top off the island’s woes, there are all those disaffected leaky-boaters to put up with.

They must not be too bright, the new arrivals, as they cannot seem to find the permanently open gate of their compound. Whenever an open-border activist with a camera hoves into view, camp residents somehow always manage to encounter a wire fence behind which they congregate with touchingly forlorn expressions. Were they to amble but a few metres to one side or the other, they could all go out and press the flesh of the latest social-justice shutterbug, as they are free to move about the island according to will and whim. But for some reason they keep bumping into the wire. Who knows, perhaps someone is telling them they look more photogenic that way. The ABC certainly seems to think so. (note the picture atop this post, part of a report that went to air last night, October 18, a full year after the ABC itself reported that the gates were to be thrown open and left that way.)

Then there is the new residents’ attitude problem, which must also rile the natives. Water is in short supply on Nauru, a simple fact which would suggest it be used sparingly. Alas, if the camp residents are told not to linger beneath the shower, they dash off peeved notes and complain about being opportuned for sex or a soapy striptease  in return for extra suds. These claims were investigated by the Moss Review (starting at page 23) and found to be baseless, lacking corroborative documentation, withdrawn, based on hearsay and/or information provided by Senator Sarah Hanson-Young — a rather dubious source, one would think. But the ABC seems to think they are worth broadcasting, even when subsequently obliged to admit there is no truth in its reporting.

And what of general competence? Activists are always hearing their claims of camp residents’ epidemic self-harm and suicides being dutifully parroted by the ABC, yet few body bags seem to be required. According to one recent report, April saw five suicide attempts within a 24-hour period but not one resulted in a toe tag. Is it that difficult to match rope with rafter and kick away the chair? Perhaps so. If it is beyond one’s ken to find a permanently opened gate, the applied interaction of hemp and gravity must be a daunting concept indeed. Happily for the ABC, which might otherwise be expected to cover stories of genuine worth and value, there are activists aplenty to dictate the next bulletin’s lead item. Amidst all this, er, reporting,  attacks by camp residents on other camp residents somehow get short shrift.

Then there is the whining, especially about what camp residents insist is their sub-standard accommodation. Funny thing that, as the ABC never seems to remember that the objects of its sympathy burned their camp to the ground in 2013, saddling Australian taxpayers with a further $60 million in un-budgeted expenses.

All of this must greatly irk native-born Nauruans. So here’s an idea: why not evacuate every single one to Australia and leave the island to the leaky-boaters? The ABC could establish a bureau and report the latest fashion in burkas while airlifted Nauruans, who tend to be on the beefy size, carve fresh careers in the nightclub-security industry.

While just an idea it would seem more firmly rooted in real-life fact and possibility than any recent example of the ABC’s , er, reporting. But that’s OK, as new ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie (think here of Mark Scott in a nice frock and sensible shoes), refuses to address the broadcaster’s endemic bias by the simple expedient of refusing to acknowledge it exists.

Follow the link below to The Australian ‘s editorial for more on Nauru, beat-ups and what the taxpayer gets for a billion dollars a year. If you’re not a subscriber the full report that informed the newspaper’s  leader item has been reproduced here.

— roger franklin

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