Financial Secretary John Tsang will soon deliver his annual budget, and Hong Kong will be ranting and foaming at the mouth about his incompetence and idiocy. What can we rant and foam at the mouth about while we’re waiting? Why, of course – the Chinese government’s ever-so-interesting decision to hold September’s APEC Finance Ministers’ Bore-Fest in sunny, picturesque Beijing rather than here in the Big Lychee.
The Chinese government is probably eager to manage appearances. With plans to launch annual Hate Japan Days and tensions rising over territorial claims to distant stretches of Southeast Asian high seas, it will surely be appropriate to have Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation members’ officials gathering to pay tribute in the Celestial Empire’s capital city. It sends the right message to the Chinese people about their country’s standing in the world, and no doubt makes little logistical tasks like bugging delegates’ phones a bit easier.
But that’s not a good enough reason for us. It has to be all about Hong Kong.
One possible explanation is that the Central People’s Government realized that we are horribly overcrowded, and decided to move the tiresome assemblage of blathering bureaucrats elsewhere as an act of mercy and kindness.
Putting that theory to one side, we can consider the opposite: taking away this prestigious blah-blah-whatever international meeting that would put Hong Kong on the map and make us tons of really really easy profits is a way of punishing the Big Lychee for being uppity and calling Mainlanders locusts and waving colonial flags and generally being disagreeable.
If it’s neither because they like us, nor because they hate us, could it be because of the Occupy Central movement, which plans pro-democracy civil disobedience later this year if it believes we are not moving towards full universal suffrage? This is probably a factor. Look at it this way: if you had to choose between two possible venues for a conference, and one would potentially be disrupted by sit-ins, you would quite possibly opt for the other. Ask any ‘MICE planner’.
If you’re a pro-Beijing loyalist, you could put one and one together and get three: they are moving the APEC meeting away from Hong Kong as a punishment for planning Occupy Central in the first place. The loss of all those really really easy profits we’d all enjoy is the fault of the evil pro-democrats, as predicted in orchestrated United Front scares a few months ago about billions in economic damage, so there.
If you’re a pro-democrat, you will spontaneously and instinctively put one and one together and get five: they’re moving the APEC blather session away because they know Occupy Central will be in full swing, with protestors sitting on the streets. They know that because they have already decided not to give us full universal suffrage. QED. Occupy Central’s underlying prophecy proved correct in advance. It’s not every day that ‘one plus one equal five’ has an elegant logic to it, but in this instance it does, provided we assume that it’s all about Hong Kong. (And I must say, if a MICE planner was also planning to deny one of his venues full universal suffrage… well, you know what he’d do.)
Who cares – so long as they hold the damn thing somewhere else?
In an atmosphere of blame, retribution, fear and punishment, it is refreshing to see someone brazenly refusing to be pushed around. Yesterday, I supposed that the Standard would join the South China Morning Post in avoiding use of the pejorative ‘locust’. Yet the free paper today pokes fun not once but twice at the SCMP, goading its rival for self-censorship and political correctness in the face of menaces from the likes of Communist propaganda sheet Global Times. They even seem to gleefully promise to print the L-word in big bold letters at every opportunity. All good fun, except you have to wonder what Standard/Sing Tao owner and archetypal inveterate pro-Beijing tycoon Charles Ho will think when he finds out, after – say – patriotic readers send clippings into Beijing’s local liaison office. Meanwhile, we will monitor their headlines with interest.
OK – now we can start ranting and mouth-frothing about John Tsang…
You wonder why they didn’t move the APEC meeting to the new and improved, ultra-superior, mega-VIP-wonderful-supreme Free Financial Zone in sunny Shanghai.
The humor of today’s post adds a bit of perspective to things. On TV last night was a lesson about the fucking obvious presented as being evidence of fact. Regina Ip met with a delegation from the ‘travel industry’ who met with her to, well, protest about protests, arguing that they had been ‘negatively affected’. My own thoughts were really? That’s fast, those 100 protestors did a better job than I thought. Then I started to become annoyed. They are from the ‘Travel Industry’. At what point do HK’s leaders say I’m sorry, but your profits are over ridden by societal realities? Not in fucking HK, where we hand wring at the mere suggestion that money will be ‘lost’ without ever examining the veracity of such claims. Strange how bleatings about ‘lost’ profit never looks at the other side of the coin, eg productivity, resource misallocation, effect on Government revenue etc etc.
National day of hate is 720 times better than the two minutes of hate in 1984.
maugrim, I saw the same segment. Regina Ip appeared… and then I started to get annoyed.
Will you be live-blogging the budget speech Hemmers?
Great time to be a conspiracy theorist these days. http://rthk.hk/rthk/news/englishnews/20140226/news_20140226_56_987719.htm
If the government was staffed by pigs and monitor lizards and all bureaucrats were replaced by diseased livestock, it would be an improvement on our current political set up.
Beijing should allow one person one vote because no matter who is democratically elected to lead Hong Kong, they cannot possibly be worse than the current lot. There. Said my piece.
So, John Tsang forecast a deficit of HKD 3.4B and we actually had a surplus (again) of HKD 64.9B. What a total nob.
Asia MICE planner:
“We are specialize on Destination Management Company (DMC) and Professional Conference organizer (PCO) by provide complete ONE stop service, tailor-made travel packages and destination management services in Thailand and Asia for mid range to niche FIT and GIT market to Thailand.”
Obviously they are not specialize on grammar and spelling.
The Moustache has done it again:
2013 estimate – 4.9 Billion DEFICIT
2013 actuals – 12 billion Surplus
Some one really needs some remedial planning and accounting courses.
As to APEC – you do not want it – just ask Sydney when they hosted it – half the city shut down and beome a tourist no go zone (hold on – actually maybe we do want it!!) – but it gave some funny moments:
The fun starts at 2.00 minute mark:
gweiloeye…not as funny as Joe Blow…”nailed two birds in Wanchai”…even though Bush was funny as Hell.
…ah we miss GW…nevermind…we now have Wing Chun Fencing Master Tsang to keep us entertained.
Albert Ho, during Whisker’s speech:
You couldn’t make this stuff up!
That picture improves my opinion of him from “don’t even think of him” to “rad”.
“Inveterate pro-Beijing tycoon Charles Ho” – is there any other type of tycoon?
@ Maugrim – with you all the way !
@ Maugrim again… I was referring to you first comment at 11.41
But re your 2nd comment – the link to Albert Ho : Is that a spoof or the real thing ? ( at least she has clothes on …. well a bikini )
Mind you, he has good taste in AV girls
It wasn’t a spoof !
The HK standard printed the same pics
Hey Ho, Hey Ho
It’s off to porn we go
With a browse – click here
And a drool look there
Hey Ho, Hey Ho, Hey Ho !
The Main Event in Hong Kong’s Budget is found on page 12 of Appendix A to 150+ pages of Hong Kong’s Budget papers:
Unfunded major liabilities
“Present value of statutory pension obligations HKD714,745,000,000”. “Untaken leave” HKD25,106,000,000″
These sums are equivalent to one-third of Gross Domestic Product; or three-quarters of the Exchange Fund.
Even if interest rates double (thereby theoretically halving the pension liabilities) they will remain proportionate to GDP and the EF.
Physician heal thyself!