Beijing promises a better idiot than the last two

Although it’s not quite as sensitive a subject as whether former President Jiang Zemin is alive, dead or in between, the chatter in Hong Kong about who will be the city’s next Chief Executive seems to be unsettling to the national leadership. The traditional Communist-feudal attitude is that the people’s role is to shut up and do as they are told (‘focus on the economy’) and not ‘mess about with politics’, as one Beijing official once warned. But China’s curious habit of putting incompetent people in charge of Hong Kong and – so far as anyone can tell – tasking them with serving property tycoons above all else has created an uppity, questioning and disgruntled populace who arrogantly assume that they have a stake in the way the place is run.

To Beijing, the worst-case scenario is that the Hong Kong people come to some sort of collective verdict on whom they would most like (or dislike) as next Chief Executive before the Politburo itself feels ready to make and announce its final decision. So now we have Hong Kong and Macau Affairs boss Wang Guangya reassuring pro-Communist labour unionists visiting the nation’s capital that the central government will make jolly sure that it picks someone we will all like.

The order in which Wang lists Beijing’s requirements for the job-holder are unsurprising. First, he or she must “love the country and Hong Kong.” This is code for the de facto religious test: you worship at the altar of the Communist Party and its one-party state, or you are excluded from any role in public affairs. Only after satisfying that comes the second qualification: “high levels of ability to govern Hong Kong as a highly developed city and let the economy thrive.” A statement of the astoundingly obvious, perhaps, but it does not bode well for, say, Rita Fan, who has never governed anything much and openly admits economic ignorance.

Third comes what a political commentator in the South China Morning Post excitedly advises us is all but unprecedented: the chosen one must be “rather highly accepted in Hong Kong society.” And, we presume, Wang does not mean the gruesome, grinning, jewel-clad clutchers of champagne glasses who appear in the pages of the Tatler. (Thanks to an alert citizen, by the way, we now have interesting evidence that front-runner for next Chief Executive, Chief Secretary Henry Tang, has been honing his ‘man of the people’ image by distancing himself from the elite pastime that is racing-horse ownership: he officially now has none of the creatures. Who would have thought the Jockey Club’s website would be so enlightening?)

It would be nice to think that Wang’s suggestion that the ruler of Hong Kong should have the consent and approval of the ruled is an implicit admission that Beijing goofed up in choosing the city’s last and current leaders. But there is little chance of that. He is essentially asking everyone to calm down, stop all this troublesome speculation and trust our betters to select someone we won’t detest – not for a good year or two, at least.

Inevitably, it is the first criterion that is the most important, and which so effectively limits the pool of what is usually referred to as ‘talent’ from which Beijing must make its choice. Despite badgering the British and the international community so desperately all those years ago about reuniting Hong Kong with the motherland, it is clear that China’s leaders, having successfully acquired the city, do not trust it.

You do not have to be a full, devout believer in the Communist church in order to qualify as ‘loving the nation’. It is a bit like the Test Act in late 17th Century England. In theory, public office holders had to belong to the Anglican Church; in practice they simply had to turn up for one service a year. The idea was not to enforce one narrow belief, but to exclude one, namely that of the Catholics, who were a danger to the state. So it is with the United Front in Hong Kong. Henry Tang, even without his racehorses, has no ideological commitment to the dictatorship of the proletariat, socialism or Marx-Lenin-Mao Zedong Thought. (He would have some affinity with the Chinese Communist Party’s increasing focus today on its own founding families’ hereditary privileges, but that’s another story – or maybe it is in fact the whole, depressing story if you think about it.) The primary requirement, to ‘love the motherland’, keeps the untrustworthy, potentially subversive and seditious followers of the alien democratic creed out of the power structure.

Too bad that leaves only a small bunch of idiots.

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12 Responses to Beijing promises a better idiot than the last two

  1. Probably says:

    Even within the small bunch of idiots available Henry comes across as the dimmest of the lot.

    Assuming he meets the first criteria of worshipping at the alter of the state (as the German industialists did with Hitler) then surely he falls over at the second hurdle of “high levels of ability to govern Hong Kong as a highly developed city and let the economy thrive”?

    Taken in 2 parts, “ability to govern” – is that the ability to put trees in their place and give them a good hiding if they dare to continue with their murderous ways? (Maybe he has a special empathy with wood more than human beings). And secondly, “let the economy thrive” – does this mean flogging off government handed out garment quotas to the highest bidder rather than embark upon enterprise within a free and fair framework for all?

    If we get as far as the third criteria of being accepted within Hong Kong Society – well I’ve never seen him in the OCH!

  2. Real Tax Payer says:

    I think Hemlock is being a bit too cynical about “loving the country and Hong Kong”. I have lived in HK and worked a lot of my time in the mainland, and I think I can put my hand on my heart and say I truly love both palces …indeed I love them both a LOT (otherwise why bother to try and make difference, march on 1 July etc ? )

    I actually have great admiration and respect for the leaders in BJ. That doesn’t mean I agree with all they say and do, but in the majority of cases I think they do a pretty good job considering the enormity of the problems China faces as it grows. And they usually don’t dabble in HK affairs unless they really have to. Which is more often than not when our top local “leaders” like Tung, Donald, John Tsang, Steve the Lam and now Henry goof up.

    It’s a poor analogy, but I well remember a time in my 6th form years at school in UK. Some of the 5th form boys who were leaving after O-levels instead of going on to the 6th form had threatened to break in on the last night of term and do the place over. So the head boy and the prefects volunteered to stay in the school overnight to make sure nothing went wrong. What actually happened was that not a single 5th former ( = you and me, the tax-paying plebs :those who follow the Big Lychee, those who marched peacefully out of conscience and genuine concern on 1 July) ..not a single one broke into the school … and indeed they probably never intended to : it was just a silly story made up by the prefects so they could gain a higher degree of power. Instead the prefects brought in a crate of beer, got drunk and and wrecked the school themselves: they even flooded the place when they played bowls in the corridor with a shot put ball and broke a fire hydrant . ( I do not joke) . Those prefects are today’s Tungs, ducks, horses etc.

    The headmaster was duly p*******d and expelled the senior prefects from the head boy down, and next term there was new batch of prefects that certainly we pupils, and I am sure the Headmaster, hoped would do better than the lot before.

    I thought Tung lost it in his last couple of years and no-one could be worse, but at least he was a humble guy( well , sort of) . But now Donald and co have done it again, and are doing it so arrogantly and are so out of touch with us, the plebs, the people, that even the Headmaster has felt he must step in again.

    I welcome you Mr Wang Guangya, sincerely.

    All power corrupts. Total power corrupts totally.

  3. Stephen says:

    There is another qualification, perhaps it forms part of the first one, which is to be sufficiently devious or politically savy to ensure a rigged system is in place for 2017 CE “elections”. The Lamster (Stephen Lam) is simply not up to it.

    The Horseman does not possess these abilities either and yet will want the second term whilst Rita, one term only, may be able to pull it off by pre-qualifying Saint Carrie (Lam) to take over from her.

    Two horse race at the moment and doubtless the CCP will be shooting one of the horses long before the finishing line…

  4. R Lloyd says:

    All power corrupts. Total power corrupts totally.


    Hong Kong has the least corupt government in the world?

  5. Longtimenosee says:

    What is with all the pro rebel Szeto Wah stuff in the Standard right now.
    Is this a credibility struggle?

  6. Real Tax Payer says:

    I hope they shoot the horse to put it out of its misery

    I once saw a horse shot at Happy Valley on the track ( but behind a screen) after it broke its leg

    I can’t believe John-the-finacial-jackass-Tsang and Steven-on-the-lam got as far as they did without at least some measure of connivance and encouragement by Henry-last-horse-past-the-post.

    In the HK- China company I am proud to manage, my staff’s mistakes reflect on one person only – that’s me . If they make fool of themselves then I’m the bigger idiot.

    If Henry gave J Tsang and S Lam enough rein to make such a fool of themselves ( which he and Donald-the-lame- duck must surely have done in EXCO) that says a lot about Henry himself .

    If THAT’s the measure of Henry’s business acumen, I think we are a lot better off with with Rita ( who says she has none, but at least she is honest) or CY ( who obviously has a lot) .

    Pray save us from THE HORSE

  7. Surely Beijing must have come to realise after 13 years, that the current set of muppets, from Donald-bow-tied to Henry-lame-horse and all in-between are the problem? They’ve (Beijing) pointed out on more than one occasion the “financial contradictions” that exist in the now rather-shrivelled lychee.

    I know one has to be careful what one wishes for… but what if, what if it is indeed CY “there’s something of the night about him” Leung. The tycoons hate him, so that’s got to be good right? Hmmm…

  8. Real Tax Payer says:

    Anyone whom the Tycoons hate I love

  9. PropertyDeveloper says:

    It’s like rearranging the chairs on the Titanic. They’re all so visionless, characterless and brainless that there’s little point in comparing them. The only interest is in deciding whether a bigger fool might be preferable, so as to better show up the whole charade.

    Poor old Hong Kong!

  10. Real Tax Payer says:

    I continue to live in hope

    China’s current leaders, are highly intelligent, and I think highly patriotic in a genuine sense . I am sure they hate the abuses, the corruption, the whatever … as much as the man in the street does. But the alternative to very VERY slow change is anarchy .


    They are not fooled by a few jumped-up top civil servants and would-be politicians prancing around like beauty queens waiting to be picked by the Ms ( Mr) HK judges

    You will find me as cynical as whoever runs the Big Lychee as regards these clowns who prance around.

    But you will never find me cynical about HK and and its people.

    Hey … we even downed Tung when 10% of us marched .

    Even in the USA that cannot be done in mid-term once a president is in power for 4 years

    Now THAT’s real democracy ! ( AND China heard, respected and acted on our views /march )

  11. Refugee in BKK says:

    Hang on … “Despite badgering the British and the international community so desperately all those years ago about reuniting Hong Kong with the motherland…”

    Sorry to nitpick, but wasn’t it Margaret Thatcher who set the ball rolling on the issue? Or is that just a myth?

  12. Gazza Boy says:

    I really dont think it is all that important which Beijing boot licker gets in. Just walk down any street of vvisit any part of HK, and the second language is very quickly becoming Cantonese. You have to remember the man on the street has never and will never have the right to have any say in implanting the next defacto HK dictator. Beijing selected the present bow tie toff, who in reality can just tell us all to shut up, and do as he wants. He is so far from reality it is not funny. he has never had to kiss babies or shake hands to take over the dictator role he weilds over HK. The financial secretary is the only one who has been successufully shot down by long hair and his mob of misfits. Rita and Henry are Beijing 100% and will rule the same as the present dictator. I often wonder if them 3 have to turn their engine off when parked !! You all better get used to it. We are being pushed along the Singapore totalatarian system, and it will never turn back. You can rest assured Beijing will be happy when we are all like singaporian sheep, bombarded on TV with constant reminders to wash our hand when we go to the toilet, how to wash the veg, how to how too. Long hair and his mob are just walking around the streets as a thing to get on TV, or something to kill time on a nice Sunday. Dictators are not effected by people who cannot vote, or have an influence. Really Hong Kong is a very naive and stupid society when they try to copy street marches, when Big Don, is feeding his fish and thinking about how to avoid the protestors so he is not late, for yum cha, or in Mong Kok looking for a deal on bow ties, and fake smiles.

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