Bye-bye Henry – CCP bows to HK public

Any hopes of drowsing in bed this morning are dashed when the Democratic Party’s Emily Lau comes on the radio, waxing irate at full volume about Beijing interfering in Hong Kong’s chief executive election. It is impossible to believe that, after all these years, Emily thinks the ritualized selection process is a real election or imagines that it is not rigged to produce the outcome earlier decided by the Central People’s Government. The compulsion to rant overrides any logic.

For the rest of us, Beijing’s decision to finally put CE candidate Henry Tang out of his misery and tell its obedient supporters to vote for CY Leung on Sunday comes as a relief. Relief tinged perhaps with slight anxiety about what rule-by-wolf-man is going to mean in practice. But we can worry about that in good time. Right now, we have something to relish.

Beijing’s last-minute oblique announcement of Sunday’s winner is a long-overdue humiliation for the tycoons who backed Henry. Being summonsed over the border to receive orders is not unprecedented: in the late 90s, the big boys flew to Beijing to be reprimanded for bad-mouthing Tung Chee-hwa. But on this occasion, they have been very publicly taken down. After all our smug establishment elite’s pompous strutting around with their automatic presumption that they pick the CE, they are suddenly swept aside as irrelevant. It is worth endlessly repeating: he who lives by the shoe-shine dies by the shoe-shine. The Chinese Communist Party has no permanent friends, and it will kick its most loyal supporters/groveling sycophants in the teeth with all the empathy of a psychopath when circumstances require it.

Hong Kong’s pro-Henry tycoons will devise a face-saving narrative to explain what has happened. Their candidate turned out to be disappointingly unlucky, being caught with the sort of extra-marital affairs and basement problems any of us could have had. And to make matters worse, he tragically failed to articulate his rights and immunities as a holder of great inherited wealth at all convincingly. The damage was blown up out of all proportion by trouble-making newspapers that go too far or are out of control. Another problem was that factional struggles in Beijing sent confusing signals, though this is little consolation to a feudal caste to whom identifying and kowtowing to the right emperor-in-waiting is a primal instinct.

It would be too much – indeed, probably rash – to hope that the new administration will take a swift hatchet to the cartels (it might be better for it to decimate some senior civil servants first).  But the bad blood between the CY camp and the plutocrats who loathe him is real. All the bowing and scraping in the world cannot eradicate it, and even a bit of uncertainty is uncomfortable to our entitlement-minded tycoons. What they will not admit as they nervously ponder the future, because the implications are too awful to contemplate, is the deciding role played in all this by the Hong Kong people. They had a veto, and – lo and behold – they used it.


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41 Responses to Bye-bye Henry – CCP bows to HK public

  1. Bela Lugosi says:

    Embrace the night, feel it’s tender touch running through your veins.

    And sell all your assets now.

    Maybe you can Invest in Britain’s roads. China is. Everything’s for sale in bankrupt Britain!

    The horror, the horror…

    It’s kind of nice though isn’t it?

  2. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    Well, what a relief that’s all been sorted then. On to the next farce.

  3. Adrian says:

    If CY does get “elected/selected” I will be thoroughly disappointed. I had been looking forward for months in anticipation of the Great HK Cultural Revolution (HK’s a cultural hub, right?) where the entitlement-minded tycoons & senior civil servants are exiled to the outer reaches of NT, or stuck in Macau, Phuket & Bali entertaining the then retired Sir Bow-tie.

  4. The rich are smarter than the rest of us says:

    ….Wharf Holdings chairman Peter Woo Kwong- ching …. sought to nominate Tang, but he was disqualified for getting his identity card number wrong.

  5. Free Fingernail Clippings says:

    In earlier years, when she was young enough to menstruate, and at a time when she was in full flow, you would not have have wanted to have stepped on Emily’s toes or got into a queueing dispute with her at a taxi rank. She’s Anne Widdecombe scary.

  6. Real Tax Payer says:

    Yes – the people of HK had a veto, and they did use it . Good for us, tax-paying plebs for standing up at last

    As for awful enery : the phrase that came to my mind this morning as soon as I read the news was Billy Birmingham’s classic take-off of Bill Lawry in the 12th Man series :


    PS : Read the link above which goes through the Webb-site . Tang has not only been contravening building regulations and plot ratios, but by under-declaring his actual GFA he has even been cheating on his taxes ( rates) even while as FS and CS

    Now that goes down very hard with someone like me who coughs up his whole full due to the IRD

  7. PropertyDeveloper says:

    It reminds me of the poor old pre-1997 loyalists who hardly got a crumb for their decades of service.

    In its storm-in-a-teacup Hongkongish way, it’s revolutionary: not only has the previously anointed one been unfrocked, the horse unseated (please note: these are deliberate malapropisms, or mixed portmanteau metaphors, or something), but HK public opinion has been instrumental.

    With the benefit of hindsight, and according to the Basic Law stipulation of “gradual” progress towards universal suffrage at some stage between 2017 and 2047, allowing people to influence the choice between two pro-Peking candidates must have been as much as could be stomached by those that decide these things.

    I suppose the tycoons will be shocked into silence for a while, waiting for somebody else to make the first move. And will Tang angle for a consolation prize?

    I’ve finally realised why Leung worries me so much: there’s something in his demeanour that resembles a Stephen Lam, but with the claws out.

  8. Bela Lugosi says:


    You did not embrace the night of declaring yourself a Cayman Island company like everyone else. Only fools and horses work or pay taxes.

    You could even try my shared homes of Hungary and Romania. They have very nice arrangements for sleeping partners, particularly for those who don’t wake up during the day!

  9. Jonathan Stanley says:

    Lupine will get the nod? Well hurrah and bugger at the same time.

    Hurrah for hopefully giving the shoeshiners/sycophants their well deserved kick in the teeth, plus the fact I won’t need to emmigrate from Hong Kong (though, to be honest, to where?!).

    Bugger for the simple fact, what will there be to protest about cometh this July 1st? :/

  10. Joe Blow says:

    “Now that goes down very hard with someone like me who coughs up his whole full due to the IRD…”

    RTP, for someone so intelligent (Mensa, no less) you don’t seem very smart.

  11. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Bela Lugosi

    One does not need to run off to the Cayman Islands ( or the BVI where are based the companies which own ET’s York Road homes ) when one has a clean conscience and pays ones taxes … and govt rates!

    @ JS :

    Yes I will miss the July march, but then again I prefer to stay at home on a hot summer’s day and watch the Aussies being thrashed by the Poms at cricket ( or vice versa depending on who wins) .

  12. oddsox says:

    Leung’s an authoritarian. Tang’s disclosures about Leung, though probably illegal, have a ring of truth. Leung’s public demeanour in debates like Monday nights also suggest to me that he very brittle, has a thin skin and an inability to tolerate dissent. I may be surprised, but I suspect he’s just been playing acting like a democratic politician. Leung’ll be a dangerous authoritarian as he’ll be seen as having a popular mandate, which no prior CE has had in any form, and popular backing on the basis of bread and butter issues in his election platform. Plenty of HK people don’t care too much for the right to free speech or assembly as long as their basic needs are taken care of, despite the nos who marched on 1 July years ago. He’ll be a champion of the working class but no friend of democracy or civil rights. The chattering liberal classes of HK won’t know what’s hit them when he takes office and the grass roots won’t care too much.

  13. Hendrick says:

    Let’s hope the recent ramping up of public feeling and press influence will continue. This may nip off radical/unpopular policies in the bud.
    If half a million protested in 2003 then this new found level of public discontent may translate to a much larger demonstration if Art 23 were to be floated again.
    Also, with 2017 approaching the next CE may have no choice but to ease towards a more consensual approach for a seamless transition to partial democracy. BJ doesn’t want a disgruntled HK public. China’s first experiment with the D word must be seen to be successful.
    All in all, I’m quite optimistic for a shift towards a more equitable and transparent HK.

    Don’t suppose Donald will dare make an appearance at the Sevens – even if he did buy his own ticket online.

  14. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Oddsox and Hendrick

    I agree with both of you in your own different ways.

    But let’s be honest : ABH ( where H stands for Henery and Ho depending your inclination) . One of them is such a fool that he couldn’t govern even if “we” allowed the committee to elect him and the other is so weak that he couldn’t govern either if “we” were foolish to allow the committee to elect him

    PS : Donald – if you are reading this : I have a spare 3-ticket for the Sevens which I will sell to you at face value $1,500 if you are interested. But, like me, you will have to queue up with the plebs early Sunday morning to get a good seat

  15. AW says:

    Yes, I too was rather looking forward to the July 1 turnout, had Tang been given the nod. I was also anticipating with glee the booing that would have rung out around HK stadium when election results were announced during the Sevens.

    RTHK reporting that ‘Enery “didn’t mean to” reveal the tear gas/riot police info, but he was “angry” that CY made reference to ‘Enery’s “couch” where his illicit relations reportedly took place. I always thought there was a considereable amount of vindictiveness in Tang’s CY revelation – and now he has confirmed it. I previously thought he was merely dim, now he turns out to be a rather nasty piece of work.

  16. stanley gibbons says:


    Assuming Donald isn’t a rugby fan – Can I please buy your ticket for my daughter? (seriously)

  17. Hendrick says:

    Couldn’t agree more. We are to be denied a few months of perverse amusement watching Tang disappearing up his own backside before being kicked out of office. The marches, Hemlock’s ire, the headlines, Harry’s cartoons………
    A joyous six months of that, then have CY take over and get on with the serious stuff.
    Yes Tang shows himself to be more contemptible by the day. Surely he’ll be put out to stud now. Goodnight Dobbin, I’m going to miss you. Seriously.

  18. Big Al says:

    “… it will kick its most loyal supporters/groveling sycophants in the teeth with all the empathy of a psychopath …”. Surely, given recent events, “… with all the empathy of an ESF schoolboy …” would be more topical?

    I’m reminded of the quote from the movie Whoops Apocalypse describing fictional president Barbara Adams: “Shrewd, honest, intelligent, moral; Adams overcame all these faults to become President of the United States”. We could just replace “Adams” with “Tang” or “Leung” and POTUS with CE of HKSAR …

    I did say in an earlier post that I was waiting for the coup de grâce from CY’s team on Thursday. Okay, so it’s a day earlier than predicted, but that’s fine by me. Pleased about current events as I am, this is China and it ain’t over until the fat lady sings.

  19. ABC says:

    Here are the views of those people who know what it is like to work under CY:

  20. ABC says:

    @ oddsox
    No, you will not be surprised. But most other people on this board will.

    @ Jonathan Stanley
    After a year of CY 1 July 2003 will look like kindergarden. What happened to Longhair yesterday is a good sign of things to come.

  21. mumphLT says:

    But CY isn’t so daft as to realise that it is Public Opinion and the despising of Privileged Horse Face Idiot and his crony tycoon mates that have gotten him his position. And if he forgets that Public Opinion will will help him remember.

    People of HK don’t have the vote – but they are very visible internationally in a way that most of China isn’t.

    I reckon Beijing is very very conscious of that.

  22. Buy One Get One says:

    @ ABC

    I wouldn’t place too much stock on those people who work at a university, in CYL’s case CityU. Almost all of the ones I know are full of shit and/or act like professional whinge-bags. If you gave any one of the them a million quid, a sizeable majority would moan because it was in the wrong denomination notes, or that they’d have to make an unplanned trip to the bank. I’ll take CY over Horseface-The-Shagger anyday.

  23. Hendrick says:

    How come such opinions about CY were not aired by the Tang camp during the campaign? They would have been more damaging than the tittle-tattle they dug up.
    If reliable, we’re in for a rough ride.
    ………..come back Dobbin ??? Nah.

  24. Hendrick says:

    People power will keep CY in check.
    He’s ambitious and may have an eye on a second term in 2017. For that he needs the public on his side.

  25. Maugrim says:

    I like Long Hair a lot but some of Wong Yuk Man”s antics were getting up the nose of the average HKer. If CY were to “crack” down on some of the L of SD”s antics, he may well find some support. Perhaps with CY we”ll just have to wait and see.

  26. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Hendrick, BOGO , MumphLT

    I tend to agree with you about ABC’s comments ( and university people in general )

    I once ran a committee that was in charge of actually “doing things” / spending real ( big) money in real ways big and small . I never asked for the job, but was voted in absentio when the electorate decided they just could not stand another “Tang” ( or “Tung” or “Tsang” ). After a few rounds of meetings which went on for hours with all the old-timers woffling on like washerwomen I ousted the lot of them, got a decent load of other guys elected in their place and kept all meetings to a lunch hour. We got things done, money was well-spent, squeaky clean re ICAC things , and the people that voted me in kept re-voting me in year after year until I felt I had reached my use-by date and so refused to stand again ( thus avoiding what one might now call the “Bow Tie Conundrum” – know when to quit while you’re ahead … or rather still have a head ) .

    You don’t make omelets without breaking a few eggs ( and horse balls and academics’ egos)

  27. Real Tax Payer says:

    Hot off the press : Tang said ( re last friday’s debate) :


    “The media and the audience asked the usual questions during the debate. But Leung Chun-ying provoked me to anger. During his turn to ask questions, he cited unverified emails. This, I think, is scurrilous and disgraceful,” the former chief secretary said.

    Some Chinese-language media reports earlier said they had received e-mails claiming to be correspondence between Tang and a mistress and hinting they had had sex on a sofa.

    During last week’s debate, Leung asked whether Tang always liked to stay on a sofa.


    Seems Tang can’t control his tongue any better than his dick

    Or maybe both were at fault and he’s just a cunning linguist

  28. Tony says:

    @ Hendrick

    Because the people who organised the poll were threatened with lawsuits. CY has a history of threatening CityU staff – or anyone else for that matter, i.e. Dan Chan – with lawsuits. Anyone who actually knows CY knows that he only knows one language and that is power. People are going to have buyer’s remorse quicker than anyone here can say corruption.

  29. So, So Thirsty says:

    I rather fear for Our Enerys mental wellbeing in the aftermath of the rubberstamp on Sunday. Thus far, he has displayed classic exemplars of how those with an overwhelming sense of entitlement behave when denied their object. You see it every day with rich kids (spoilt brats) in HK.

    Firstly there is Assumption; “I want it, its mine, give it to me”

    When advised that he might need to deliver something in return, we have
    Bewilderment; ‘Why do I have to have a platform? Why should I debate with people?’

    As realisation dawns that he may not automatically get what he wants, so we see Denial; ‘So what if I did a few things, I’m still not guilty of anything. It was CY, it was Mike Rowse, it was the press, it was my wife. It’s their fault”

    Finally the penny drops, and he sees what is his by ‘right’ being snatched away from him. Cue Tantrum; huge volumes of bile and spleen being spat at the one responsible. Kicking, clawing, punching and biting, he risks harm to himself in his efforts to punish his nemesis, as the toys pile up around his pram.

    This may well be followed by either a descent into psychopathic, driller-killer, torture behaviours (which may explain the dungeon under his house), or total and absolute mental meltdown, with drool dribbling down the chin of a gibbering wreck, in which case he will become a Vice Chairman of the CPPCC.

    Seriously though, the loss of face he is about to suffer could be insurmountable. Even so, if I were CY, and in the interests of inclusivity, I would be unable to resist publicly inviting him to join my cabinet as minister responsible for trees.

  30. Stephen says:

    Some thoughts now its all over …

    CY is no democrat and does seem to have a authoritarian streak in him but he wants the job, has a plan and has an air of competence about him. Lets hope he appoints the nice and competent Carrie as number two.

    We have 15 years of frankly appalling governance, with the tycoons running rampant – i am based at Cyberport at present which is the most prominent monument to collusion of the Tycoon years.

    I am no fan of CY however it had to be him as Henry had the look of making CH Tung and Donald Tsang look good.

    I also wanted him to win to wipe the smug look on the faces of tycoons and look forward to seeing the faces of Semen, Li, Woo next week.

  31. Hendrick says:

    So So Thirsty

    Your analysis is spot on. Hope he reads it.

  32. smog says:


    You couldn’t find a way of getting on the board of the FCC and sorting them out similarly could you? That self-serving and self-perpetuating little clique (very few of whom meet any reasonable definition of “correspondent”) are well past their sell-by date!

  33. darovia says:

    Be afraid – be very afraid. CY and our current “I’ll kick ’em in the teeth, boss” Commissioner of Police will be a force to be reckoned with. Marchers look out.

    Heard Anson Chan on tha radio this afternoon putting down the wolf as ‘NQOT daaahling.’ (I exaggerate – but not much).

  34. Mary Hinge says:


    I hope by “he” you mean CY, and that as a result he actually does offer the tree portfolio to Henry. Perhaps CY will allow Henry to have a nice sofa in his office too.

  35. Walter De Havilland says:

    @darovia. I’ve got say the Hong Kong police are amazingly tolerate and each weekend facilitate numerous protests with good grace. I’ve seen them put up with a lot of verbal and physical abuse, that in other jurisdictions like the UK and US (those bastions of freedom) would result in stern measures. Some of the conduct tolerated in Hong Kong would never be allowed in the so-called western democracies. I was present recently in the ‘land of free’ in an office overlooking the occupy wall street protest when I observed the NYPD were much less tolerate of the antics of protestors.

  36. Real Tax Payer says:

    Latest HK ET gem courtesy of TVB 7.30 news :

    When questioned on RTHK today about lying re his cellar he said :

    ” I was not lying…. I was just speaking vaguely ”

    Certainly a very cunning linguist !

  37. darovia says:

    I had the pleasure of working with the former Commissioner KS Tang for a couple of years before he was CP. A hell of a good guy who when in charge saw it as the right thing to apologise for some acts of utter stupidity for which he saw himself responsible but over which he had no real control (think creating a road block with a few people’s cars and taxis and sexually assaulting female crime victims). His successor sees himself as being above such accountability to the public and needs to be watched. Couldn’t agree more though on their general tolerance and discipline. You find fewer level heads in the UK police, believe me.

  38. nulle says:

    I can see Article 23 coming back in a venegance, if not shoved down the public throats (results in any dissent equalling subversion)

    before that, any dissent or demonstration will be met with tear gas and riot police.

    anyone critical of BJ or CCP will be met with lawsuits and investigations from the police/ICAC?

    => beginning to look a lot like police state, isn’t it?

  39. PropertyDeveloper says:

    Public opinion has undone all three CEs (in waiting in the last case): Tung, Tsang and Tang. And Leung will prove himself, I believe, less competent than the average of these three. Add to this a dramatic increase in unrest and resentment in both HK and China.

    The public will soon realise that its (negative) contribution to the selection campaign — veto, in Hemlock’s word — was itself a manipulation by the Pekinese puppeteers. Add to that yet another postponement of any real democracy, a falling property market, an economic crisis or two, and the result will not be pretty.

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