It is quite surprising and very interesting to find an overseas PR firm from Fiji sending out media release on the view of King George Tupou V of Tonga, and his strong belief that Tonga's Constitution is the Keystone of the Kingdom's peace and stability, bearing the Lord Chamberlain's insignia. In the U.S. we call this the Royal Spin, in trying to counter all the bad and negative press since his father died.
By my count there were fifty foreign media stories on the funeral of King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, and everyone was very respectful and full of condolence to the Legacy that his Majesty King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV left behind for his people. But when it came to the New King, George Tupou V, it was very unflattering and unproductive in their writing, sort of comical and disrespectful about the New King George Tupou V, especially foreign press from NZ, AUS and the UK, their quoting of regular Tongan's on the street and their negative comment about King George V. In my view, this is not very good impression on the foreign media about the New King.
So hiring the PR firm from Fiji is a good start in putting a Royal Spin about the New King and his agenda for the future of Tonga. Quoting journalist Joel Gibson from the Sydney Morning Herald in his article on September 23, 2006: "Trial by democracy looms for Tonga's eccentric king. A sense of occasion...George Tupou V at his father's funeral. The new King is renowned for his eccentricities and his disdain for aspect of traditional Tongan life". unquote, This is not good.
The Royal Spin from the New King and the PM has already been volleyed, PM quoting to the foreign media that there are already 23 elected members of the Parliament out of 32 MP. I'm sorry Honorable PM, but your math just does not jive with the count of elected members from the people's count.
View of the New King is that the Constitution does not have to be fundamentally changed for representative democratic Govt. to be introduced speedily.
With all due respect to your view Your Majesty, there is no such thing as real change with out some sort of amend to the constitution. In taking a pro-active stance of accepting change political reforms most specifically but without the need to amend Tonga's constitution, it will be interesting to see whether the wishes of the new King George Tupou V and that of his Prime Minister Dr. Sevele will work, given the wide-ranging changes sought by the pro-democracy campaigners and the majority of all Tongan globally.
Leaders of the free elected democratic countries in the Pacific have supported the Tongan peoples wishes and the whole world are watching also. I'm hoping that cool heads prevail in doing the right thing, and not let history repeat the mistakes and consequences of when Leaders of Nations ignored and over ruled the voice of the majority.
mttprod [at] aol [dot] com