Friday, September 08, 2006

# Posted 8:07 PM by Patrick Belton  

THANK GOD THE COMMISSIONER KNOWS HER COUNTRY, WATCH: There's a press pile-on poor Boris - one of this blog's favourite frontbenchers- for having likened both parties in UK politics this week in turn to 'Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing'. The BBC leads with 'Tory MP Boris Johnson - famed for apologising to the city of Liverpool - appears to have gone one better and offended an entire country.'

Of louder timbre is the tut-tutting of HE Ms Jean L Kekedo, OBE, Papua New Guinean High Commissioner in London. Kekedo remonstrates against the misguided, neocolonialist Tory, gratuitous swipes admirably absent, saying she was 'shocked (shocked!) and appalled by such comments from a seemingly well-educated person of very high standing, in fact the alternative minister for higher education in the House of Commons (she uses Wikipedia! though not a term in British parliamentary usage, as far as I can tell, ever. still, who's counting) ... How far removed and ill-informed can Mr Johnson be from the reality of the situation in modern-day Papua New Guinea?' She then told Radio 4's PM programme (note the spelling, Democrats seeking to impersonate UK citizens!) that she hoped Mr Johnson would visit her country, although he might be refused a visa because of his comments. How charming.

Yes, benighted Boris, vilely accusing a first-world, rapidly industrialising, Manhattan-like island like PNG of being the sort of place where tribes might kill and consume their party leaders. Clearly only a backwards member of the Tory parliamentary party would do anything so gratuitous, so beastly, so insensitive to the feelings of 5 millions of islanders. Well, possibly also CNN would. ('True stories about cannibalism and an unstable government also have scared some tourists away.' CNN, April 2001) And well, perhaps also the BBC would be so racist and benighted:
It seems that cannibalism is still carried out by the Kombai. It appears to be a form of tribal punishment: only men identified as witches by the communities - known as Khakhua-Kumu or men who practice witchcraft - are killed and eaten. There are tribe members living who have clearly eaten male witches. 'I am scared of Khakhua-Kumu', one Kombai man tells Bruce Parry. 'Every time I am walking alone or hunting alone I think about them and I'm scared... If a Khakhua-Kumu kills either of my brothers, I will kill that man. If he comes from another clan I will kill him and eat him. If he comes from among us, I will give him to other people to be eaten. The Kombai believe that the Khakhua-Kumu eat the souls of their victims, and that they must be killed and eaten in return. As the soul is thought to lie in the brain and the stomach, retribution comes by eating those organs of the Khakhua-Kumu, to bring their terror to an end. BBC, January 2005.
So clearly, neither the BBC nor CNN will be invited to your country either, and both have received your equivalent witty moral remonstrations, eh, Ms Kekedo?
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