Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Tonga is in economic trouble. Government revenue is down 20% this year due to a recession and the ongoing effects of cyclones and tsunamis. And so government services are being cut (though health and education have been exempted).

Meanwhile, despite this push for austerity, funding for the king has been tripled. So much for sharing the pain; instead he's going to live it up on the backs of his people while they're being driven into poverty.

This is the sort of obscene greed which used to lead to peasant revolts, and monarchs being dragged from their thrones and murdered. But Tonga has a better option. In November, there will be elections, under a new system which will finally give power to the people. And the first thing the new Parliament should do is cut the king's funding, and make him pay his own way.