Puna survives coup attempt

Monday June 22, 2015 Written by Published in Politics
Prime Minister Henry Puna. Prime Minister Henry Puna.

AN ALLEGED coup de tat to topple the prime minister fizzled out and died on Friday, according to political commentator Wilkie Rasmussen.

The former Leader of the Opposition claims the much anticipated attempted coup died because “my friend Henry (Puna) is our version of the Great Houdini – a famous escape artist.”

In his regular Cook  Islands News opinion column on page 4 today, Rasmussen says:

“Probably, oblivious to most Cook Islanders but alive and well in the political circus, Prime Minister Henry Puna and his cohorts had it coming. With Albert Nicholas absent from Parliament, the stage was set. From the CIP rank and file were two or three defectors primed to hop, skip and jump into a new Government – an assortment of nine Democrats, two One Cook Islands MPs and two or three CIP defectors.

“It would have been truly a “national unity coalition”, a desire once harboured by PM Puna and several proponents of a collective of MPs making up a Cook Islands unity government. But in this instance Puna was not in the equation. He was the bulwark to castigate and expel. His throne was to go to one from his enclosure.

“As my learned friend would say, ‘it all turned to custard’ or ‘it turned pear shaped’ – pardon the sexist pun here. Indeed, in the aftermath, fingers were pointed here and there, names were thrown about as to who squealed and why did the DIP defectors pike out? And of course what on earth happened?

“As it has been with these secret political deals and treacherous behaviour, no-one really knew how the coup was foiled to let Henry Puna escape and live again. One time, I said my friend Henry is our version of the Great Houdini, a famous escape artist. With such a thin margin, Henry again managed to hold together his team despite stats and facts of alleged corruption, financial abuse, and nepotism levelled against him and his government. How does he do it? I guess there is one consolation for those that had their dream busted, Houdini on that one time too many drowned and died. Maybe, Henry’s comeuppance will surely come, perhaps not by force but by the polls.”

1 comment

  • Comment Link Robert Tuiliq Friday, 26 June 2015 11:20 posted by Robert Tuiliq

    It's "Coup d'état", please. Not "coup de tat", which is, I believe, a small building in which Sylvester lives.

    And it most-typically means "the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group". It CAN also mean merely a sudden and decisive movement to take power.

    But the actions of the opposition were neither sudden nor decisive. They talk about getting power all the time, and this try didn't work. They certainly were NOT violent.

    I would like to suggest the term is, in fact, "purple prose", at least when we are talking about Cookie politics. Wikipedia nails it: "In literary criticism, purple prose is prose text that is so extravagant, ornate, or flowery as to break the flow and draw excessive attention to itself."

    I realize the term probably came from Mr. Rasmussen. That, in itself makes my argument: he is a man much given to exaggeration, logical fallacies, and subtle untruths.

    To be fair, though, so is Mr. Puna.

    I suggest both sides turn down the rhetoric a notch. Plain, bald statements of verifiable facts are much more useful than brightly-coloured statements that describe feelings rather than reality.

    Give us the facts, not your emotions. Please.

    You both lament loudly the state of Cook Islands politics. You are both contributors to the cause, not part of the solution.

Leave a comment