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August 2016

On Papua New Guinea, Bill and Hillary, missing $$$MILLIONS and the promised hospital that never was


Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has long held the gold standard for graft.

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous for him and his mates.

Supported by an oppressive murderous regime.

In summary, Mugabe is the personification of corruption.

Mugabe's been in power in Zimbabwe since 1987.

Every year since 1995, Transparency International has produced its annual Corruption Index.  The Index is the result of a longstanding algorithm with input from various trusted entities operating in almost every country of the world.

It's no surprise that Zimbabwe routinely ranks at the bottom of Transparency International's annual lists.

Here's a screen grab from the 2010 report with Zimbabwe scoring an appalling score of  2.4 out of 10, placing it in 134th spot on the clean countries leader-board (No 1 spot went to Denmark and Singapore each scoring 9.3 out of 10).

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And in 154th position, 20 spots below Mugabe's Zimbabwe was the nation led by Prime Minister Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare GCL GCMG CH CF SSI KSG PC MP - Papua New Guinea.

Somare was independent Papua New Guinea's first prime minister - this from

At the time of Papua New Guinea independence in 1975 Somare demanded proper dignity for Papua New Guinean leaders when he considered that Australia's gift of an official house for Papua New Guinea's prime minister was insufficiently grand for the great statesman he considered himself to be: Australia abashedly acceded to Somare's demands and provided a much more palatial official residence; the intended and despised prime ministerial residence was instead designated the residence of the Australian High Commissioner.


By 2010 Somare was an expert in living richly on other people's money - but even Sir Michael bowed in awe to the Master of the craft.

Grand Chief Sir Michael pursued Bill Clinton like a star-struck schoolboy with a crush on a teacher.  

Somare was a foundation participant in the Clinton Global Initiative.  In 2006 he proved his CGI cuckoo credentials in a speech to announce he and his PNG Government would "seek to lead the world toward a new paradigm for environmentally and socially sustainable economic growth. We invite you, some of the world brightest minds, to join Papua New Guinea in this noble endeavour". (*the offer was undersubscribed)

No foreign leader came close to the cult-worship status Somare carved for Clinton.  Somare gave speeches about Clinton, signed MOU's with Clinton, diverted recurrent budget spending to pay Clinton, quoted his relationship with Clinton as proof of his own probity and topped all that by awarding PNG's highest honour to the idol, creating "Chief Bill, Grand Companion in the Order of Logohu".

In November 2010 Somare's government brought down its calendar 2011 budget.  Deloitte issued this "Alert" which included some of  its kindest comments in the opening paragraph:

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The 2011 Budget is framed against a background of strong domestic economic growth due to commencement of the PNG LNG project and increased production from the mining sector.....

While the government seems to be taking some steps towards improving the accountability of the trust funds set up to handle windfall mineral remains a concern that significant expenditure pools are reported via disclosure of opening and closing balances with no insight into the expenditure in between.

The spectacular spending in 2009 (K2,365.9 million, about $1BN AUD) has been stemmed in 2010 (K696.6 million to end of September) but with additional deposits scheduled for 2011 the issue has not gone away.

Problems await even the best of governments with these unique features:

  1. billions in windfall revenues from mining and LNG contracts
  2. windfall money dropping into "expenditure pools"
  3. accounts that show only annual opening and closing balances, and
  4. A Big 5 accounting firm which chooses the rare GAAP term "spectacular spending" to describe the result.

In November 2009, PNG's Year of Spending Spectacularly, Somare's budget included a sneaky little $20M allocation that should have had a watermark "please investigate me for fraud" running through it.  No one said anything about it until February 2010 when the Grand Plan was revealed.

Here's part of the Secretariat of the Pacific Communities report:

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23 FEBRUARY 2010 PORT MORESBY (POST COURIER) ---- A world class, fully equipped modern hospital is to be built in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in a partnership involving the Government, the private sector and not-for-profit organisations around the world.

It will be known as the Pacific Medical Centre (PMC) and will be located on 2000 hectares of land between Port Moresby’s Six-Mile area and Bautama in Central Province. Plans are for the project to be launched in April. Construction of the hospital will take two years.

At the weekend, a team from the United States, including the key senior officials on the planned K500 million hospital, travelled to Papua New Guinea to meet with senior officials of the Department of Health, senior doctors and officials of the Port Moresby General Hospital and the University of Papua New Guinea to begin work on the Cabinet-endorsed project.

The overseas team includes specialist doctors from Stanford University Medical Centre, Loma Linda University Medical Centre as well as experienced hospital architects and engineers from hospital design firm, Fletcher Thompson. Health Minister Sasa Zibe, when announcing the project on Friday, said he was fully aware of the criticisms that would be coming against this initiative but PNG had to move forward by setting higher benchmarks for its people to aim for rather than moving around in a circle as it had for more than 30 years.

“It will be developed as the nation’s first world class, fully serviced modern hospital and one of the Asia Pacific Region’s leading centres of excellence in providing first rate tertiary health care services, medical education, capacity building and training programs for local hospital administrators, doctors and nurses,’’ said Mr Zibe.

He said to show its commitment the NEC approved K20 million in November for the project, which will improve and revolutionise health care services, hospital administration, medical education/training and outreach programs for the people.A key component of the project will be education and training which will begin in June.  


The Clintons take an extraordinary interest in Papua New Guinea

In January 2010 Hillary Clinton started her second year as US Secretary of State with a team planning session.   Most of the things they discussed were run of the mill - but where there's a Clinton there's always an angle! 

Some of the Hillary freakiness included giving a staffer 6 months to find warring parties for Hillary to bring together using her conflict mitigation powers.  It's hard to imagine the mentality that seeks out warring parties as a backdrop for self-promotion bereft of any interest in the nature of the dispute.  Just as long as it's a war and the pictures are good Hillary wanted in. It must have grated that Bill got Yasser Arafat and great optics at Camp David.

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The US State Dept uses heaps of acronyms - S is Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.  

A condition of her being given the job was her total dissociation from the Clinton Foundation, the creation of an Ethics Team to seek out and adjudicate on conflicts and a requirement that the Clinton Foundation submit all proposed activities for approval to that Ethics Team prior to getting involved.   Looking back now on Hillary's initial planning session for the US Government's overseas aid and the like for 2010, it's pretty clear the Clinton Foundation was magically developing many of the same priorities as Hillary was doing in her day job.

Indonesia, climate change and the Clinton Foundation's "Mr Vietnam"' with his trade treaty all featured.

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The Muslim Brotherhood efforts to create the offence of defamation of religion was there.........

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But one strange inclusion for 2010 stands out now like a sore thumb.  While the DRL (Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor) team was sorting out the US's priorities on developing countries, Hillary had already decided that her first trip for 2010 would include PNG.

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On 14 January 2010, Hillary (and the Clinton Foundation) got a better offer from Haiti while she was literally en route to PNG.   So what would a responsible US Secretary of State with appointments in a range of Pacific nations do?

 New Guinea Dejected at Hillary Cancellation

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 4.32.45 amSYDNEY, Australia — When U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton canceled plans to visit Papua New Guinea's ramshackle, crime-ridden capital Port Moresby last week, many locals will have experienced deja vu.

An isolated country of 6.5 million sandwiched between Australia and Indonesia, it is normally well down diplomats' list of concerns. Most of its territory was first brought into contact with the modern world in the 1930s. Locals are only a few generations away from a near-stone age existence, and bloody inter-tribal feuds are still an everyday part of life.

With a population the size of Arizona, its economy is only as productive as that of Charlottesville, Va., and its chronic internal instability has never seriously spread beyond its borders.

The only other time a U.S. secretary of state had scheduled a visit was in 1998. Then, Madeleine Albright dropped in for a whirlwind afternoon of talks, in part thanks to the relief effort for a tsunami that had killed more than 2,000 people on Papua New Guinea’s remote north coast.

This time, Clinton canceled her trip at the last minute to deal with the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake. The implication was clear: in the hierarchy of diplomatic attention, a major natural disaster will always trump the slow-motion crisis of a country’s faltering development.

Hopes of national transformation brought by Albright’s visit, in which the then U.S. secretary of state not only made promises of short-term relief aid but also discussed investment in Papua New Guinea's most-treasured resource — a complex of oil and gas fields under its rugged Southern Highlands province — proved largely illusory.

Chevron, the U.S. oil company that opened up the highlands fields, found its dream of a pipeline to export natural gas to the state of Queensland in Australia scuttled by objections and demands from an array of local landowners and doubts about whether the Australian market could absorb the gas. Having spent more than $1 billion on development and built much of the infrastructure in the local area, it pulled out of Papua New Guinea in 2003 after profits from the facility declined and the Southern Highlands descended into a drawn-out tribal war over the allocation of the proceeds.

However, the country may finally be on the brink of a second chance as a major energy exporter — a fact of which Clinton, despite her decision to postpone, would be well aware.

In December, an ExxonMobil-led consortium agreed a $15 billion, 20-year deal to liquefy the Southern Highlands' natural gas and export it to China, Taiwan and Japan. The project will produce 6.6 million tons of liquefied natural gas each year, equivalent to nearly a quarter of Australia's entire production, and is tipped to double the size of Papua New Guinea's economy.

Read more: New Guinea Dejected at Hillary Cancellation


Somare was apparently quite touched when Hillary made a personal phone call to explain her decision.

Fyi - from your ambassador in papua new guinea.

From: Taylor, Teddy B

To: Abedin, Huma

Sent: Wed Jan 13 22:07:31 2010

Subject: Trip Postponement

Huma, I wanted to relay to you the sincere sentiments of appreciation expressed by the PM's Office and the MFA for the very personal touch by the Secretary notifying the PM about postponement of the trip. Not lost on the GPNG is the fact that the entire trip was postponed, not the PNG portion. As you can imagine that is politically very significant. Naturally, we stand ready to reconstitute the program or enhance it should the trip move forward at a later date. We got luck today w/the weather—not a rain cloud in sight. Safe travels, and hopefully we will work together at a later date. Best of luck with the Haiti recovery effort!


Teddy B. Taylor

Ambassador Papua New Guinea 

And Hillary meant it when she said she'd be back, later that year.

Somare's plans for the super-hospital were by then starting to leak.   The medical community was outraged, particularly as it had not been consulted at all over the initiative.  

But Somare showed not the slightest concern.   Even the absence of a budget to build the hospital didn't phase him.  He behaved like a man with a plan and backers to carry it out.

In April 2010 Somare visited Clinton in New York for discussions  "relating to the PNG LNG project and other issues/matters of bilateral significance".  Money.

Later that year Somare's ever discreet Minister for Health Sasa Zibe released this grand statement reporting Clinton's verbatim comments at the April 2010 New York meeting.

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There may be a taste of sour grapes in Minister Zibe's public release of that private conversation as you'll see later in this article.

But Zibe's isn't the only account of the Clinton meeting.

Here is PNG's Ambassador Evan Paki writing to a senior public servant to inform him of the outcome of his Minister's meeting with Clinton in New York.


Mr. Christopher Hulape
Office in Charge
Ministry of National Planning and District Development
Waigani, NCD

Dear Mr. Hulape,

It was a pleasure to see you, along with Planning Minister, Planning Secretary and the rest of your colleagues from Waigani.

As discussed over the phone – and as you are aware, Prime Minister and National Planning Minister (accompanied by me) met President Clinton on Friday 2 April 2010 in New York for about 80 minutes; in the course of the discussions on the Pacific medical Center (PMC) project (among other matters relating to the PNG LNG project and other issues/matters of bilateral significance), President Clinton agreed to support PNG to accomplish the Pacific Medical Center (PMC) project in view of its transformative nature and importance to PNG’s national healthcare sector; this pledge of support came after President Clinton was convinced that the PNG government was committed to the PMC Project.

President Clinton indicated he would be making a major announcement of his support – and the Clinton Foundation’s support – for the PMC project in late September 2010 in New York City during the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative.

President Clinton’s support for the Pacific Medical Center project would also see him reach out to other western governments and corporate leaders to support the PMC as a major healthcare initiative for our entire nation and other Pacific Islands nations; this would include President Clinton’s outreach – on PNG’s behalf – to the leaders of other nations that provide PNG bilateral development assistance, founders/CEOs of major foundations in the U.S. and  CEOs of major corporations that have various business interests in PNG and other major prospective partners to get them involved in supporting the PMC project would as well.

Now in terms of the way forward, we’ll be meeting with the Clinton Foundation’s health team and other US-based partners and supporters (mostly teaching hospitals, medical schools and universities etc) and members of the US-based  PMC project team in the coming days and weeks to, among other things, advance the PMC project from within the United States.

On the ground in Waigani (as discussed), we, as a government, need to do a number of things in the coming days and weeks to take advantage of the global support and interest that this Cabinet-endorsed significant healthcare project is generating:

(a) prepare for the proposed launch of the PMC project in Port Moresby sometime in May or June 2010 (to enable this major  healthcare project to gather more momentum in the lead-up to President Clinton’s public announcement in New York in September 2010); and

(b) work towards including the PMC project in the national government’s national budget or the government’s infrastructure development budget for 2011 (e.g. in the National Planning’s PIP Budget), as discussed with the Planning Minister and Prime Minister, in the wake of President Clinton’s commitment towards the PMC project).

While work in relation to (b) – the budgeting process – might require additional meetings/consultations (with the National Planning and/or Treasury departments) – as well as the PMC project team’s being able to produce more details with respect to the Project’s costs and ‘revenue’ projects (which I understand they’re working on) – I would ask you and your colleagues to urgently assist in relation to confirming the Planning Minister’s availability and the availability of other key leaders, including: the Prime Minister; Deputy Prime Minister; Treasurer and Finance Minister; Foreign Affairs Minister; Minister for Public Enterprises; and of course the Health Minister; and other Ministers for the launch in late May or early June 2010; and the respective secretaries of each of  the relevant departments.

Please note that the Prime Minister – when in New York – indicated that the third week of May 2010 would be an appropriate week for the launch of the PMC project (before he departs for Norway on or about 27 May 2010, as he told me). Based on that, interested U.S partners/supporters and members of the PMC project team are  tentatively considering Tuesday 18 May 2010 as the proposed date for the launch, hoping that date is also convenient to the PNG government. But we’ve just been informed that the Health Minister (and perhaps other leaders?) might be away on official engagements on that date (assuming that/those official engagement(s) could not be re-scheduled).

In view of this, please consult with the above-mentioned Ministers’offices/ Ministries  – as noted above – and specifically confirm the Prime Minister’s availability (I rang and left a message for Mr. Leonard Louma, PM’s Foreign Relations Advisor) and that of the Deputy PM, Planning Minister, Treasurer and each of the key Ministers referred to above during the third week of May and/or early June 2010; as discussed, if NOT May 18, 2010, we need to confirm a date within that week for the PMC project launch or a date within the mid-May to mid-June 2010 period when all (or most) of our key leaders are available, especially the Prime Minister.

The PNG launch would further demonstrate not only the national government’s commitments to this major healthcare initiative but also it would significantly enhance the positive momentum that has been created thus far in terms of the global support and commitments towards the PMC project(the most significant of which is President Clinton’s support and commitment to the PM that he will work with PNG to help ensure that it is successful).

Please let me know as soon as possible so we (through the Health Ministry and National Planning Ministry) can work on sending the appropriate invitations out to PMC’s local and global partners and supporters, as well as prospective or new partners/supporters in the U.S. and within PNG.

I look forward to your responses. I am also contactable via mobile phone 051(202) 391 4667 if you or Planning Minister or Planning Secretary (or anyone who is copied in on this email) need to discuss any aspect of this important matter.



Evan Jeremy Paki
Embassy of Papua New Guinea
1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Suite 805
Washington, DC 20036
Telephone (202) 745 3680
Facsimile (202) 745 3679
This is a reality check on just what the PM, his Health Minister and Bill Clinton were putting their names to.   This slide is part of a presentation by one of the professors in the Port Moresby teaching hospital.
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Sir Michael Somare was scheduled to appear at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York that October.
His Health Minister was a true believer in the Clinton hospital-conjuring-magic too.
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Hillary Clinton had announced plans to return to New Guinea the month after the Clinton Global Initiative.
The CGI for 2010 came and went.
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Speculation swirled in PNG that it was the other Clinton who'd pulled rank for the glory of announcing plans for the grand new hospital.
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So what went wrong?
The back story of eye-watering greed, monstrous conflicts of interest and epic stupidity is so outrageous it's difficult to believe it really happened.
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Read how in Part Two shortly. 

Does Fr Rod Bower's confessional go the full Shariah on Gosford's sinners?

"Oh My God!  Is that a camera crew?"  

Sorry parish-pump-punters, you'll have to consecrate your own communion and self-cleanse your sins please, Fr Rod has a higher calling.

How do you reckon God feels about playing second fiddle to his priest's media profile?

Padre drop the pretence, rent the curtain, cast out the devout and register as a political lobbyist and PR concern.

Render unto Rupert your spin-doctoring for the Mufti.

And reserve for Our Lord at least one place of worship that doesn't dish out penance like your Muslim Mates do.

The way you're going Rod, a quick trip to confession could cost 3 Hail Marys, 2 Our Fathers and an appointment with the duty beheader.

Your interfaith stuff is dangerous endorsement of horrible cult practices.  Hint mate, the mob that preaches execution for gay people probably doesn't warrant Christian blessing.

PEOPLE from all faiths, backgrounds and traditions have come together today as a show of solidarity at a multifaith service at the Anglican Parish of Gosford.

The service was led by Central Coast Anglican Archdeacon Rod Bower and also featured the Islamic Grand Mufti of Australia Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, local Buddhist leader Gen Kelsang Dawa and Newcastle Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson.

It was organised as a response to the protest by a group of right-wing extremists from the Party of Freedom who posed as Muslims and stormed a sermon by Gosford Anglican priest Father Bower recently.

Dozens of parishioners and Father Bower were “shocked” and “traumatised” as nine members from the anti-Islamic Party for Freedom — which has a cover photo of Pauline Hanson on its Facebook page — barged into the Sunday morning service.

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Rod Bower with Greg Thompson and Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, after the Solidarity Interfaith Service, at the Anglican Parish of Gosford. Picture: Peter Clark

More than 300 parishioners packed the service today with people coming from Sydney and as far away as Victoria for what Father Bower described as a “wonderful celebration”.

“This service was our response to the intrusion on our sacred space by a right-wing extremist party a couple of weeks ago, and of course our response to that ideology is to become more committed to building a more happy, healthy, functioning multicultural society,” Father Bower said.

“We had a wonderful celebration today, about 300 people from all faiths and backgrounds and traditions and nationalities came together to celebrate the solidarity we have within our diversity here in Australia.”

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Rod Bower, Kelsang Dawa, Greg Thompson and Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed after the Solidarity Interfaith Service at the Anglican Parish of Gosford. Picture: Peter Clark

Australian Grand Mufti Mohammed praised the interfaith gathering as a way of uniting the country.

“Indeed it is society that has been triumphant,” he said.

“It is society that has been successful because all of those great qualities and attributes that have been shared today have been fulfilled in all of the actions and attitudes.

“We’ve got over 120 different faiths that are followed in Australia and over 200 cultures and ethnicities, without doubt we are pluralistic and we are a multicultural society.

“So therefore we need to realise that reality, continue to come together on principals that are going to unite us rather than divide us.

Buddhist leader Dawa described the recent protests as “meaningless” and today’s response as “uplifting”.

“Three weeks ago, the service was interrupted by people with very strong opinions, not the most positive opinions in the world and some strange views,” he said.

“The response here has been very meaningful, it’s transformed what was a meaningless approach to getting a view across in not a very skilful manner to this (which) was incredibly moving.

“If this is the response, if this is how people can have their minds moved just coming together in such a simple way, no doubt this needs to happen everyday as far as I’m concerned.”

Warning signs for Australia that Bill Clinton was way off the straight and narrow in PNG


Part One of this train-wreck is here.

It's worth looking at Papua New Guinea through Australian eyes.

[PDF]Report: The Torres Strait: Bridge and Border - Parliament of Australia

In parts of the Torres Strait at low tide, it's possible to wade from island to island to leave PNG and enter Australia.  The two countries are within easy gazing distance of each other and there's significant fishing, transport and other trade interactions between the neighbours.

By the mid-2000s PNG had a raging HIV/Aids epidemic, with TB outbreaks closely following.  The proximity of our two countries made PNG's problem Australia's problem too.  And Australia budgeted hundreds of millions of dollars to fight it.

When he launched Australia's partnership with the Clinton Foundation in February 2006, Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said:

I would like to talk briefly now about what the Government is currently doing to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS. Eighteen months ago, I announced a significant increase in Australia's contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS in the region: through the aid program, the Australian Government is committing $600 million in assistance to HIV/AIDS activities in the decade to 2010: most of this support is directed to activities in the Asia Pacific by way of bilateral assistance. Clearly, the Australian Government is already investing heavily in the battle against HIV. But if we are to deepen and strengthen the Australian response, we must look for new opportunities and partnerships to build on what has been achieved. Our partnership with the Clinton Foundation will build on the Foundation's impressive track record to provide practical assistance with procurement, supply chains and health system strengthening.

For Australia, finding the money to help our neighbours wasn't the problem.  The bad press arose from the lax systems and processes in the way our money had been spent prior to Downer's discovery of the ArchAngel Bill.

Alexander Downer turned to the Clinton Foundation HIV/Aids Initiative Inc apparently because he believed their PR. The "Foundation's impressive track record providing practical assistance with health system strengthening" turned out to exist only in marketing brochures.

As at February 2006, the Clinton Foundation's climate change, global initiative, carbon-accounting and HIV/Aids operation in the Asia Pacific region had a total staff of one - Ruby Shang.

Ruby wasn't overly taxed, because beyond invoicing, the Clinton Foundation didn't actually do much.  In between boning up on HIV epidemiology and counting carbon, Ruby was also able to hang on to a full time job running the Caterpillar earthmoving dealership in Vietnam.  

The Foundation could not withstand scrutiny at the best of times, but even Clinton saw the vulnerability in having just one pretend employee who did everything all over Asia.  A few more token appointments would be needed to satisfy the AusAid MOU.

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When the Australian MOU was signed  in Sydney, Clinton's PNG head honcho to-be was 16,000 kilometres away working in New York.   Not in medicine, or management, or a charity.  The Clinton Foundation's putative PNG boss was an entry level accounts payable clerk processing compo claims (or as Zachary Katz describes himself on his LinkedIn history, as a  'Payment Operations Associate").


Zachary Katz graduated from college in 2000 with a BA in earth sciences.  In his only job since graduating, he "worked to eliminate backlogs of refunded, retained, and outstanding payments; responded to inquiries; investigated failed payments and established a network of contacts".  It's not the sort of CV likely to win many multi-million dollar HIV/Aids contracts.

It's shocking, but the Clinton Foundation appeared to be much more interested in raising money and double-dipping on funding in Papua New Guinea than it was in helping people with HIV.

There is no other way to explain its actions.

Katz the New Yorker started working for the Clinton Foundation in June 2006 as a "country analyst".

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Here's an extract from the independent review of the $11M Australian Aid project Mr Katz was ultimately responsible for.

In PNG, AusAID is supporting the CHAI to improve access to HIV and AIDS treatment. Total agreed funding is $11,080,000 for the period August 2006-2009.The goal of the CHAI in PNG is to work with the National Department of Health (NDoH) to improve clinical, laboratory and management capacity in Papua New Guinea to enable an expansion of access to antiretroviral treatment for HIV positive people.

By October 2006, Katz was made the permanent head of the Clinton Foundation PNG program where he remained for one year.

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Australian aid money wasn't the only funding the Clinton's obtained for identical PNG work. In 2006 when our cash started flowing so did money from Unitaid, a European aid organisation hosted by the World Health Organisation. The Unitaid funding is for work described in identical terms in the AUSAid projects.

Here's some Unitaid background.

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CHAI was established in 2002 by President Bill Clinton. Shortly after UNITAID’s creation in 2006, the two organizations set out to reach groups in developing countries that were neglected by HIV drug markets: adults living with HIV that needed “second-line” antiretroviral treatment and children living with HIV. 
CHAI’s entrepreneurial approach to providing access to health care combined with UNITAID’s innovative financing and funding model was a potent mix in influencing market dynamics for HIV treatments.

Papua New Guinea: Papua New Guinea is one of the only countries in the UNITAID-CHAI Project to domestically fund its transition from CHAI/UNITAID projects. Starting in 2006, CHAI and the Department of Health worked to build clinical capacity for paediatric HIV treatment. As the UNITAID paediatric project approached its end date, CHAI and Papua New Guinea’s National Department of Health, National AIDS Council Secretariat and parliamentary representatives implemented a successful transition. While the existence of available resources made the transition possible, early planning, collaborative discussions and the work of key domestic advocates created consensus and national ownership. Read the full UNITAID/CHAI Papua New Guinea story [PDF, 270 KB].


This analysis describes the Unitaid funding to CHAI for PNG paediatrics HIV program.

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And this extract is from the Australian Government funding review of the CHAI in PNG - looks like much the same work was submitted for assessment to each of Unitaid and the Australian Government.

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The Australian Government's independent review of the CHAI PNG project makes a lot more sense now that we know the Clinton program chief's work experience.

We analysed the independent review of the CHAI PNG work here - in summary the money started flowing to Clinton with no statement of project goal or purpose, thus no indicators at that level, no clear Program Area objectives (with indicators) and no targets.

And it wasn't just PNG, every element of the $25M original funding under the MOU was reviewed with much the same conclusions.   In Indonesia, the only project goal or purpose the CHAI country manager could produce was the Clinton Foundation global mission statement.

You should note that in August 2006 corporate regulators in PNG were either corrupted or deceived into acting illegally in the creation of the Clinton Foundation's PNG entity - the incorporated association called "Clinton Foundation HIV/Aids Initiative - PNG Inc" - full report here.

Australia gave millions to the Clinton Foundation for the express purpose of bringing its "impressive track record" of systems and processes to our region.  How could we continue to pay Clinton the millions only to see months of delay culminating in the arrival in PNG of a recently graduated former New York accounts payable clerk with no work experience in

  • PNG,
  • medicine,
  • charity,
  • start-ups,
  • NGOs 
  • government (he had a post-grad qualification in public administration)
  • or the Clinton Foundation itself.

The Clinton charisma and fame seemed to paper over any problems.

PNG Prime Minister Grand Chief Sir M T SOMARE GCL GCMG CH CF K St J was clearly a fan.  

In October 2005 the Clinton Foundation and PNG signed an MOU to give PNG access to the Clinton Foundation's price list for HIV drugs.

3 months later Prime Minister Somare launched the Michael Somare Foundation in PNG

My life has been spent in the service of Papua New Guinea through politics and thanks must go to the people of this province. For many years I wanted to create opportunities to enable young Papua New Guineans to give service to their own people in all fields of industry.

The land on which the new ANZ Bank now stands belongs to the Foundation. And this partnership between the ANZ Bank and the Foundation has enabled me to make my aspirations a reality.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for honouring Wewak by being here today for the opening of the ANZ Bank and the launching of the Michael Somare Foundation.


Grand Chief Sir Michael was besotted with Bill.

In September 2006 Somare flew to New York to attend the Clinton Global Initiative. His speech would have been music to Clinton's ears, Somare said in part,

"we do not ask for "handouts" from the developed world to solve problems.....Instead, we seek to lead the world toward a new paradigm for environmentally and socially sustainable economic growth. We invite you, some of the world brightest minds, to join Papua New Guinea in this noble endeavour"

Michael Somare leading the world toward a new economic paradigm with hundreds of millions in aid money was too much for Clinton to resist.

On 21 September 2006 Somare met with Clinton in New York.  That rated a press release.

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NEW YORK: The Prime Minister, Grand Chief, Sir Michael Somare met with former US President Bill Clinton and informed him about PNG's fight against HIV/AIDS and to promote PNG's initiative on climate change in New York last week.

Prior to their one-on-one meeting, Mr Clinton invited Sir Michael and the President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias and Chief Executive Officers of international environment groups and philanthropists to take part in a panel discussion on climate change.

Sir Michael Somare and Costa Rican President Oscar Arias are leading international efforts to create policy frameworks on deforestation and the associated carbon emissions.

Three organizations, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International & Environmental Defense, are publicly supporting the leadership of these developing nations by committing $6 million to help design market-oriented mechanisms to support their efforts to cut carbon emissions from deforestation and land-use change, reduce poverty, support rural development, and conserve biodiversity.

Sir Michael also met with the global CEOs for TNC, CI and ED in the afternoon who all pledged to support Sir Michael's leadership on the UNFCCC Deforestation Initiative.

During the panel discussion, CEO of Virgin Airlines, Sir Richard Branson pledged 3 billion US Dollars from carbon credits from his various industries for the work on climate change over a 10-year period.

On the issue of HIV/AIDS, a total of 500 million US Dollars was made to the Clinton Foundation to support the fight against Aids in the world.

Sir Michael also had the opportunity to address students at the Columbia University and the United Nations General Assembly on Climate Change during his stay in New York.

Prime Minister

Later that day and love was in the air with the Foundation man Michael inviting Foundation man Bill to PNG.  That rated a press release.

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NEW YORK: The Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare today announced former United States
President Bill Clinton's acceptance of his invitation to visit PNG later this year.

Mr Clinton heads an organisation known as the Clinton Global Initiative Foundation (CGIF) that brings world leaders and philanthropists together to look at ways to assist countries and organisations deal with global health issues, poverty reduction, energy and climate change and mitigation of religious and ethnic conflicts.

Sir Michael accompanied by Ministers Sir Peter Barter and Sir Moi Avei made a courtesy call on former US president, Mr Bill Clinton during their visit to New York last week.

Sir Peter outlined the challenges that the government of PNG faces in addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the work being carried out by Government in partnership with churches and non-government organisations.

Sir Michael said, since assuming office this government has given priority to the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country. As the issue is a developmental issue, his department is responsible for HIV/Aids with a specifically designated Minister that deals with the issue.

Mr Clinton expressed a keen interest in PNG's indigenous diversity of peoples and his concern that action needed to be taken to save lives.

The CGIF has already carried out assessments in the Highlands and has committed 3 clinicians to work in PNG.

Prime Minister


Somare came home to PNG quite excited.

ON 27 November 2006 the US Ambassador made a call on Somare in Port Moresby and the exchange was summarised in this cable back to the State Department.

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Sir Michael didn't disappoint with the razzle dazzle for Bill on World Aids Day.  

The same Bill who failed to deliver, didn't put in the money he promised and most importantly came to the poor and aid dependent nation of PNG with a plan to make money out of its misery.

Bill's Foundation paid for next to nothing in PNG.   Other real donors and a sizable contribution from the busted-backside-treasury of PNG paid Bill's expenses.

But somehow Clinton gets away with it.

Here's Somare's speech after the MOU signing.

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President Bill Clinton, Founder of the Clinton Foundation and former President of the United States of America.

Last September, when I was in New York to attend the 2nd annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, I had the privilege of a private audience with you to discuss a wide range of key global issues including climate change, poverty alleviation, public health and in particular HIV/AIDS.

Your determination to address these issues is commendable and very much appreciated by the people of Papua New Guinea.

In today's world, we are all neighbours who share this beautiful planet. What happens in one part of the world subsequently affects us all in one way or another.
Your Foundation is determined that neighbours, irrespective of their size and proximity to one another will be good neighbours, through policy and outreach.

Your presence here today in a remote Pacific Island Nation shows your outreach to those in need. It is also significant as it certainly raises the profile of awareness on HIV/AIDS in the country.

Your signature on the Memorandum of Understanding between the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative and the Government of Papua New Guinea shows your willingness to help us in the most practical way, in a sensitive area of public health. You are helping us to help those infected including the most vulnerable, our children, who have contracted the HIV/AIDS virus.

Papua New Guinea is a nation of many tribes whose cultures in the past have provided a safety net for those who are orphaned, sick or aging.
With the arrival of this "new" virus, fear has turned families and relatives away from supporting their loved one.

Children, who traditionally brought great joy to families, often find themselves being abandoned and desperately needing care and treatment. It is estimated that with the present HIV/AIDS epidemic, perhaps 1,200 children are born HIV positive every year.

The Memorandum of Understanding you and I have just signed gives us a supply of (ARV) Anti Retroviral Drugs and diagnostics for adults and children affected by the virus. We shall endeavour in every way we can to meet our side of this generous agreement.

The Clinton Foundation and Papua New Guinea's Department of Health and the National Aids Council have identified areas in which your Foundation will work with us to improve and expand care and treatment.

These include:
§ Laboratory infrastructure and training of staff, development of Standard
Operating Procedures;
§ Procurement and supply management for HIV – related materials;
§ Putting as many women and children as possible on AIDS-related treatment;
§ Supporting us as we extend medical services to our rural majority;
§ Strengthening monitoring and co-ordination, so that all our agencies are fully
informed; and
§ Training of every grade of health worker to provide successful care for those
living with HIV/AIDS.

These areas will be of vital assistance to us as we fight the AIDS epidemic.
In your busy schedule, we appreciate that you can only visit us briefly. We have a beautiful and hospitable country, and are blessed with valuable resources, the most important being our children.

And we sincerely thank you for the concern and assistance extended to Papua New Guinea through your Foundation.
We wish you a safe onward journey in the region and hope that you will be able to visit us again to see more of PNG and the work of your Foundation.

I can assure you, Mr. President, that your presence in our country through the work of the Foundation will have the full support of my Government and people.

Thank you!



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And to add insult to PNG's injuries, Prime Minister Somare bestowed upon Chief Clinton PNG's highest honour.

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There's much more to come on this story - Australia is still sending taxpayer money to Clinton with current day politicians still stunned into star-struck insensibility by crooked Bill.

More soon.

Julie Bishop advances Chinese interests for money - and more star-flopping

Update - The Foreign Minister retweeted this. UPDATE ENDS

Neither of these two stories present a preferred foreign minister.

Cheap, tawdry and for sale sprang to mind for me.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's links to Chinese political donors

  • Gina McCollChinese businessmen with links to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop have donated half a million dollars to the Western Australian division of the Liberal Party during the past two years, political disclosures reveal.

Chinese political donations raise questions

Chinese companies are the biggest corporate donors to Australia's major political parties. Courtesy ABC News 24.

All the donors have links to the Chinese government, and the vast bulk of the money was given by companies with no apparent business interests in WA. Ms Bishop, the leading federal member of the party in that state, has singled out each of the three key donors for praise.

Several of the donations have been obscured by the channelling of funds via executives or related companies, or by the donors' failure to disclose them to the Australian Electoral Commission, in apparent breach of Commonwealth law.

Friends in high places: Huang Xiangmo with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
Friends in high places: Huang Xiangmo with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Photo: Supplied

A spokesman for the AEC acknowledged a loophole in Australia's disclosure laws, saying: "While the commission can seek compliance, overseas donors cannot be compelled to comply with Australian law when they are not in Australia".

The revelations raise further questions about foreign donations linked to ministers with trade and diplomatic responsibilities. Coming amid calls for a ban on foreign money flowing into Australian politics, they will heighten anxiety about the influence of foreign governments in Australian politics and business. 


These concerns are mirrored in the United States, where Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has pledged to ban foreign donations to her fundraising entity, the Clinton Foundation. On Tuesday, emails released under freedom-of-information laws revealed that foreign donors were given special access during Ms Clinton's stint as Secretary of State..

Ms Bishop did not respond to questions about how she handled potential conflicts between her responsibilities as a party fundraiser and minister. A spokesperson said that donations to the WA branch were "a matter for the party".

A matter for the WA Party: The Foreign Affairs Minister declined to comment on donations to the WA Liberals from ...
A matter for the WA Party: The Foreign Affairs Minister declined to comment on donations to the WA Liberals from Chinese-Australian business interests Photo: 4bc-com-au

Chau Chak Wing

In 2014-15, billionaire Chau Chak Wing's Hong Kong Kingson Investment Ltd gave $200,000 to the WA Liberal Party. The donation is listed on the party's disclosure to the AEC, but the company made no disclosure.

Rubbing shoulders: Chairman of Yuhu Group Mr Xiangmo Huang, Chinese Ambassador to Australia Mr Zhaoxu Ma and Prime ...
Rubbing shoulders: Chairman of Yuhu Group Mr Xiangmo Huang, Chinese Ambassador to Australia Mr Zhaoxu Ma and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: Supplied

The controversial tycoon has given millions to Liberal, National and Labor parties over several decades. His Kingold conglomerate has expanded from property development to hospitality, education, finance, health, media and culture that extends "from Guangzhou, Beijing and Hong Kong to Sydney and Brisbane in Australia," according to its website. No business interests in WA are listed.

Among his local interests is the Chinese-language publication Australia New Express Daily, which is reportedly backed by the Chinese government. In 2008, the newspaper helped urgently import1000 Chinese flags for pro-China student groups during the Canberra leg of the 2008 Beijing Olympics torch relay to "dye Australia red" and drown out pro-Tibet protests.

Dr Chau Chak Wing with former prime minister John Howard.
Dr Chau Chak Wing with former prime minister John Howard.  Photo: Supplied

Dr Chau's representatives in Australia declined to comment.

In February 2015, Ms Bishop launched the Chau Chak Wing building at the University of Technology, Sydney, partly funded by a $25 million gift from the tycoon. Ms Bishop paid tribute to Dr Chau, praising his philanthropic "investment" and linking it to the recently-signed Chinese Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).

The Foreign Minister also appeared alongside Dr Chau on September 16, 2015 to launch a multimedia studio sponsored by Kingold at the Australian War Memorial, where former Liberal leader Brendan Nelson is director.

In 2004 and 2005, Dr Chau partially funded trips to China for then future prime minister (and foreign minister) Kevin Rudd, future foreign minister Stephen Smith and future treasurer Wayne Swan. John Howard, Bob Hawke, Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan have all been guests at Chau's estate, north of Guangzhou in China, which includes a 6000 square metre museum and a 27-hole golf course.

This week Mr Swan called for tighter controls on foreign donations warning they could be "skewing" political decision-making.


Meanwhile in 2013-14, Chinese-Australian conglomerate the Yuhu Group gave $280,000 to the WA Liberal division. According to Yuhu's disclosures to the AEC, $230,000 was donated over three days in August 2013, the last sum coming just a week before the federal election.

Company secretary of a Yuhu subsidiary, Anna Wu Meijuan, gave a further $50,000 in April 2014, making a separate disclosure. Her link to the Yuhu Group was obscured by the use of a personal email address.

Yuhu has interests in property development, agriculture and infrastructure, but no WA investments. However, its chairman, Huang Xiangmo, is president of a pro-Beijing lobby group whose activities include lobbying against independence movements in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Tibet.

During the 2013 federal election campaign, Mr Huang reportedly attended a fundraiser with Tony Abbott and Ms Bishop. In May 2014, Ms Bishop singled him out for praise at the launch of the pro-Beijing Australia China Relations Institute at UTS. The Yuhu Group is a generous donor to both sides of politics.

On August 23, Mr Huang complained to Chinese newspaper Global Times about recent ABC reporting on political donations.

"To link China or Chinese-related donations to the Chinese government is not only ridiculous, but smacks of racial discrimination," he said.

Foreign Ministers deal with foreign countries so as to advance Australia's interests.  

When a foreign minister solicits, receives, retains or acknowledges (other than by way of return post) a donation from interests associated with China, her political fortunes might rise with the money and so might the fortunes of her party.

But Australian cannot be better for that.  It's a crying shame that Australia loses out because of Julie Bishop's selfishness.

EXHIBIT TWO - hard to imagine Henry Kissinger doing this.

The Hollywood prize up for grabs at Press Gallery Mid-Winter Ball

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has one of the best contact books in Australian politics. Picture: AAP/Julian Smith

JULIE “Hollywood” Bishop has again established she has the best contact book in Australian politics.

Not only does it hold the names and private numbers of the heads of government she deals with as Foreign Minister, she knows how to reach those at the top of the entertainment industry.

One of them is acclaimed producer/director Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, X-Men), who soon will take a walk-on role in efforts for Australian charities.

Ms Bishop is among senior political figures generously donating their contacts — and themselves — to raise money for charities through the Press Gallery Mid-Winter Ball to be held next Wednesday.

Over its 16 years the ball has raised $3.143 million for good causes, and the aim in 2016 is to push that to a total of $3.5 million.

Much of the donations will comes from an eBay auction over the coming week.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is offering a personal, behind-the-scenes tour of Parliament House, ending with tea in the Prime Minister’s office.

With this comes a tour of the National Gallery with director Gerard Vaughan. The final element will be a visit to the secret parts of the National War Memorial guided by director Brendan Nelson.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is offering the chance to go on his morning run, followed by breakfast with him and his deputy Tanya Plibersek.

Hollywood mogul Brett Ratner is helping with the fundraiser. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Hollywood mogul Brett Ratner is helping with the fundraiser. Picture: Jonathan NgSource:News Corp Australia


The Nationals Senate leader Fiona Nash will be available for a dinner in Canberra or regional NSW, her base. And senior gallery figures including Channel 7’s Mark Riley, News Corp health writer Sue Dunlevy and the Financial Review’s Laura Tingle will host a dinner at the National Press Club.

All of them tempting, but it is the Ms Bishop item which will grab attention.

The Foreign Minister, in conjunction with Qantas, has arranged for two people to be flown to Los Angeles for VIP seats at the G’day USA Gala.

The visit will include an intimate dinner hosted by chef Curtis Stone at his Los Angeles restaurant Gwen with Brett Ratner and Hollywood stars.

The VIP G’Day USA Gala will be held in the Dolby Ballroom, home of the Oscars, with menu by Neil Perry and Wolfgang Puck.

This tops her item last year of a trip to New York for dinner at Robert De Niro’s restaurant with Hugh Jackman.

Recipients of the money raised will be Orange Sky Laundry; the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation; Look Good Feel Better; and The Big Issuer.

Details of the 2016 Mid-Winter Ball eBay auction, including separate Qantas flights, are available here.

Vale Yes Minister's Sir Antony Jay, April 1930 - August 2016. The Smiths will miss you terribly.

There's a very fond spot in my heart for Sir Antony and his co-author Jonathon Lynn.

I know most of our readers feel the same way.

Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister were compulsory viewing at 14 Gloucester Street Rockdale - the Smith's Sydney ancestral seat.

Whenever they could dad would be there with his brother Pat the NSW rozzer and Sister #1 (on diplomatic service overseas mostly), Sister #2 (head of nursing for NSW Prisons), Sister #3 (chief of staff to AMA head Bruce Shepherd) and Sister #4 (doing battle daily with Anthony Abbott and Joseph Hockey in 4th class, St Aloysius).

The world is a little bit heavier today.

Vale Sir Antony.


From the Telegraph in the UK



Sir Antony Jay, co-author of Yes Minister – obituary

Antony Jay

Sir Antony Jay, who has died aged 86, was a writer, broadcaster and director, and co-author, with Jonathan Lynn, of Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, the political comedies which kept the nation laughing through the Thatcherite 1980s.

The guiding principle of Yes, Minister, which first aired on BBC2 in 1981, was a gentle satire on a governing system in which elected politicians are outmanoeuvred by their more worldly, unelected officials. The series starred Paul Eddington as Jim Hacker, the hapless, publicity-hungry but risk-averse minister for administrative affairs engaged in constant wrangles with the Civil Service in the form of his Machiavellian permanent secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby (Nigel Hawthorne). The minister was aided  and abetted (sometimes) by his private secretary, Bernard Woolley, played by Derek Fowlds.

With such gems as Sir Humphrey’s alarmed response to Hacker’s suggestion of an official enquiry: “A basic rule of government, minister, is never set up an enquiry unless you know in advance what its findings will be,” and Hacker’s perennial aversion to “courageous” decisions, the series became compulsive viewing, not least for the politicians and bureaucrats it satirised, including Margaret Thatcher herself.

Despite not being renowned for her sense of humour, the Prime Minister claimed that Yes, Minister was her favourite programme and once turned up at the BBC studios with her own script. The stars of the show, no admirers, had to be cajoled into acting out a slightly awkward scene, broadcast on the evening news bulletins, in which Mrs Thatcher was seen ordering Hacker and Sir Humphrey to '’abolish economists’’ as a first step toward cutting the budget. '

Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne and Derek Fowlds in Yes Minister
Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne and Derek Fowlds in Yes Minister 

Yes, Minister ran for three series, before the advancement of Jim Hacker’s career (due to his valiant defiance of a new Euro directive redefining the British banger as an “emulsified offal tube”), led to its relaunch as Yes, Prime Minister, with the same cast (Sir Humphrey promoted to Cabinet Secretary), in 1986. The series ran until 1988.

 Jay felt that some politicians laughed through gritted teeth, and certainly there were dissenters. Nicholas Ridley, in his time as Transport Secretary, turned down a Foreign Office suggestion that he should take a set of Yes, Minister videos to present to his hosts during an official visit to India, objecting that the programme gave a false and damaging impression of the true relationship between ministers and their civil servants. But Ridley was no Jim Hacker.

Yet the comedy had an international resonance and clones of the series appeared in numerous different languages, including Hindi. In Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe was said to be a No 1 fan.

However, not many, perhaps, were aware that the serial was commissioned with a serious political purpose: to popularise public choice theory. It is because it succeeded spectacularly that Jay received a knighthood in 1988.

Antony Rupert Jay was born on April 20 1930 and educated as a scholar at St Paul’s School, London. He won another scholarship to Magdalene College, Cambridge, from which he graduated with Firsts in Classics and Comparative Philology.

After National Service in the Royal Signals, Jay joined BBC Television in 1955, and was a member of the team that launched the current affairs programme Tonight, which he edited from 1962 to 1963. After a further year as head of Television Talk Features, he left the BBC to work as a freelance writer and producer.

Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn in 2010
Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn in 2010 

It was Jay’s growing interest in public choice theory that helped to shape Yes, Minister, an interest that after he became a partner with John Cleese and two others in Video Arts, a company that makes comedy training films for business managers and campaigners.

 In economics public choice theory assumes that all economic actors – businessmen, consumers, politicians and bureaucrats – are motivated primarily by individual gain. Thus, politicians pursue re-election and bureaucrats pursue budget-maximisation, while voters and interest groups chase free lunches. The trick is to know your enemy and exploit his self-interest to your own advantage.

Jay incorporated the public choice lessons implicit in Yes, Minister in a series of guides, including Management and Machiavelli (1967); Effective Presentation (1970); Corporation Man (1972); The Householder’s Guide to Community Defence Against Bureaucratic Aggression (1972); and How to Beat Sir Humphrey (1997). In 1996 he edited the Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations.

In later life Jay turned against his former employers at the BBC, condemning its anti-establishment mindset, and in a highly controversial report, How to Save the BBC, written for the Centre for Policy Studies in 2008, he branded the corporation “bloated, biased and creaky”.

In 2011, Jay and Jonathan Lynn got together again to write an anniversary stage production of Yes, Prime Minister, updated for the era of spin, blackberrys and “sexed up” dossiers, and set in a country in financial meltdown. Starring Simon Williams as Sir Humphrey Appleby and Richard McCabe as Jim Hacker, the show was staged at the Theatre Royal in London, winning a Whatsonstage award for Best New Comedy.

In 2013 the two writers joined forces with UKTV’s Gold channel to create a six-part remake of Yes, Prime Minister, updated for the era of coalition, with David Haig as Hacker  opposite Henry Goodman’s suave Sir Humphrey. The satire was as sharp as ever.

Jay also wrote the BBC TV documentaries Royal Family and Elizabeth R, for which he was appointed CVO in 1993 for personal services to the Royal Family. 

Antony Jay married, in 1957, Rosemary Hill, with whom he had two sons and two daughters.

Sir Antony Jay, born April 20 1930, died August 21 2016

Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi ponders the future of the Liberal Party

Cory is right to worry - Malcolm Turnbull has the Party headed in the wrong direction.  All he needs to do to stuff it completely is keep going.

Here's Cory - you can subscribe to Cory's website here.

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Parliament resumes next week after a near four-month break which included a stupendously boring eight-week election campaign.

As a result, the government has the barest of majorities in the House of Representatives and faces a significant crossbench holding the balance of power in the Senate.

I have no doubt that negotiating the passage of legislation through such a disparate Senate will prove difficult. It will require great negotiation skills from government representatives and a willingness to compromise by all parties involved. Whether this comes to pass remains to be seen.

One media pundit suggested that the government might persist with engaging the crossbench for six months or so before giving up in exasperation. Their attention would then turn to doing deals with Labor and the Greens to facilitate the passage of legislation.

As enticing as this might sound to a government, such an approach would be fraught with danger for the country and the long-term future of the Liberal Party. Any deal with Labor and the Greens would presumably involve the compromise of the conservative principles underpinning the Liberal Party philosophy.

Historically, the Liberal Party has embraced lower taxes, stronger families, free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom and personal responsibility as its foundational ethos. These principles are common to most centre-right parties across the Western world.

These principles are not shared by Labor or the Greens and any legislative deal with them would likely come at a heavy price.

That price will probably result in an increase in taxes being described as ‘savings’. It would see more money wasted on international programs, climate change initiatives, domestic social engineering agendas and the like.

We’ll see more attacks on capitalism, enterprise and production under the guise of ‘fairness’ - which is the new mantra of the statist agenda. The Left advocates will ignore the fact that capitalism is the economic model that best secures individual liberty, because they are more interested in growing the influence of the state over individual autonomy.

The siren call of socialism is seductive to sections of the community who are more concerned with getting a personal benefit today and give scant regard for tomorrow. Some politicians will also succumb to the spell, erroneously presuming that clinging to power will justify any means.

History demonstrates that the encroachment of the state in almost every area creates more ills than it cures. Many of those consequences are not felt immediately and this appeals to those who delight in the knowledge that a broken system will have to be fixed by someone else.

And so the Liberal government faces a pincer movement of sorts: on one side a crossbench with protectionist tendencies, and on the other a ‘mainstream’ Opposition with eerily similar views. Neither will be able to deliver what the country needs in terms of rebuilding our economy, shrinking the size of government, creating jobs and building a sustainable future for all Australians.

Whilst it may be tempting for the government to accede to the anti-market agenda in the hope of getting a few wins on the board, to do so would ultimately deliver worse outcomes for everyday Australians and our country.

It may also have significant implications for the future of the Liberal Party itself.