Letters to the editor

Dictionaries usually define ‘deus ex machina’ as a literary device where a sudden and contrived last-minute twist in the plot brings a story to a neat resolution. They SCMP-LettersNov5-14tend to downplay the fact that in most cases it is unconvincing and therefore lame and disappointing. To remind us, we have a letter in today’s South China Morning Post from someone agonizing about how to end the Greatest Impasse of All Time, also known as ‘kids sitting in Hong Kong streets’. After pondering a couple of fairly unlikely options, the writer grandly presents the solution to all our problems: Regina Ip. Or – as if the reader is not sufficiently underwhelmed – Antony Leung.

Now, if the aim were to get more protestors into the tent cities of Admiralty and Mongkok, having either the former Security or Financial Secretary descend onto the stage would make sense. Otherwise, a Broomhead/Lexus solution is a non-starter – turning the clock back to the last time Hong Kong was becoming seriously ungovernable.

Another letter responds to former Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa’s dismal-sounding new ‘think tank’, the Our Hong Kong Foundation. When the group uses the word ‘our’, it means ‘not yours’. Members include the aforementioned Antony Leung, ex-monetary chief Joseph Yam, landlord Allen Zeman and property/casino heiress Pansy Ho – a little Who’s Who of the depressing and stale. The letter-writer takes Zeman to task for wanting us to “get back to the way Hong Kong was” and points out that this is exactly what we don’t need, even if it were possible.

The first letter-writer has a nostalgic yearning for failed politicians of the past, perhaps because, if nothing else, they seemed less disastrous than today’s. Operative words here are ‘if nothing else’. The second writer sees change as inevitable, but can’t name the ‘new blood’ that will lead us to it. The Greatest Impasse of All Time exists largely because the Chinese government is adamant that it will yield nothing to opposition forces in Hong Kong. But even if a fit of pragmatism and conciliation overtook the Communist regime, there would still be a void to be filled. (Star/heart-throb/student-leader Joshua Wong, by the way, will not reach the age of eligibility for Chief Executive until 2036.) This is the sort of impossible situation deus ex machina was designed to fix.

Something else that’s missing: the shrieks and howls of outrage from Beijing’s spokespeople and propaganda organs as Sinner of a Thousand Years ex-Governor Chris ‘Fatty Pang’ Patten wantonly interferes in the internal affairs of the motherland. He gave evidence to the parliamentary committee last night, Celestial Kingdom time. The longer the silence, the more explosive the tantrum and the more deafening the outburst will be.


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15 Responses to Letters to the editor

  1. Maugrim says:

    Ip and Leung eh? It reminds me of the phrase ‘like a dog returning to its own vomit’ .

  2. Saikungbob says:

    We all hope that the protesters can find a way to “declare victory” (a la Gandhi) and return to their homes and their studies/work. That said, if any of you have not done so, please take the opportunity to walk through the protest village in Admiralty. It is a remarkably pleasant experience.

    Having been out of town for a couple of weeks, I walked through late Monday evening. I can’t recall a time when guy like me (an 60+ year old gweilo) could easily have such easy and pleasant interactions with so many younger people. Everyone seemed eager to engage. Those involved in more creative activities were quick to show their work.

    As Hemlock said a few days ago, the creative juices of Hong Kong people have really been unleashed. The things I saw were more creative and interesting than any of the stuff we’re likely to see at the West Kowloon arts hub thingy. As he said, the government could save a lot of money and end up with a more genuinely artistic experience by simply giving these people the space. Of course, this will never happen because it would fail in the primary purpose of arts hub things, that is, the transference of public money to the tycoons.

    Such a bitter sweet experience.

    Sorry for the overly serious note!

  3. Stephen says:

    The CCP are many things but I credit them with not being utterly stupid. Regina has shot her bolt and she will not be getting another. We must assume Antony Leung is stupid as he couldn’t recall he just bought and brand new luxury car prior to imposing a tax hike on the rest of us. I think Tung was wheeled out to stop tycoons doing a James Tien. Tien’s “punishment” should now put a stop to that and Tung’s think tank will come to nothing – especially as the vacuous Semen sits on it.

    But it does lead to the interesting question who is the great ‘Han Hope’ for 2017 – if we now assume China will continue with the inept CY Leung? There does seem a startling dearth especially if Mrs. Lam wants to rejoin the family in Britain.

  4. reductio says:

    I’m throwing York Chow’s name in the ring. Seems a decent bloke and has consistently annoyed lots of people by doing the right things, not the popular things, in the EOC. And BTW why is Zeman always trotted out by the government? A misguided attempt to get gweilos on board? But that’s not needed. Trying to push a cosmopolitan image abroad? Genuinely puzzled.

  5. Real SCMP Commenter says:

    Stephen, it’s Jasper Tang. It’s always been Jasper, but they’ve had to modify the script a bit with this unexpected interruption in the form of the Umbrella Movement. But after a brief pause, in which his lines were furiously being re-written, he emerges as a quiet, considered voice of reason amidst all the establishment crazies (a role he’s played for some time, well before the protests turned the establishment crazy dial as far as it would go). Plenty of anti-establishment minded folk will tell you that while they disagree with his True Believer politics, they respect his integrity. And in a town where integrity has probably been the rarest commodity in the political sphere, that will go far. At least, that’s what Beijing’s betting all along.

  6. nulle says:

    funny now Beijing at searching every HK passenger inbound to Beijing for contraband umbrellas and a manufacturer of certain color umbrella in Beijing have disappeared since begining of October.

    CY Leung generally will repeat assuming current trajectory…Jasper seems to be the least worse candidate for the next CE in line…

  7. Stephen says:

    @Real SCMP Commenter,

    Jasper Tsang will be in 70 in 2017.

  8. Scotty Dotty says:

    “the Our Hong Kong Foundation. When the group uses the word ‘our’, it means ‘not yours’.”

    Yup, very pointed.

    There aint a single altruistic bone in Tung’s body. All he wants to do is shoeshine Beijing, emit endless harmony and cooperation white noise, by which he means respect elders like, well, him for example. The guy couldn’t solve a political impasse if it was wrapped in a pre-wet tea bag

  9. Not In My Back Yard says:

    Tung drove his father’s business into bankruptcy, and then into the clutches of the CCP. He’ll sing for his dinner, after all, he’s sold everything else.

  10. Chinese Netizen says:

    Still antiquated thinking on the part of the Chinese when they feel that rolling out the token whitey (Semen) lends credibility, a cosmopolitan vibe, and overall foreigner approval as some stupid, seedy activity. Done ALL the time on the mainland and a bit surprising it’s even pulled in HK.
    They should just paint him up in black face and call him “Token”.

  11. Scotty Dotty says:

    @ Stephen

    Jasper being 70 when CE hot seat next vacant – shurely no barrier?

    All the CCP leaders have held the reigns at that age – Xi Jinping, Hu Jintao, and Jiang all started in the hot seat in their early 60s but were active well into their 70s. Jeeps, Deng and Mao both died with their boots still on – Mao into his 80s and Deng was still at it in his 90s.

    Although I think it would be a great tragedy for Hong Kong if Jasper got the top job. A guy who represents a party which killed tens of millions a few decades ago and has caused massive, MASSIVE, corruption in China. Can’t be right…

  12. Joe Blow says:

    I also read that letter in the South Xinhua Morning Post (in the gym) suggesting an interim government headed by Vagina (no argument was included to support that choice).

    The letter was signed by one ‘Ronald Wong, The Peak’.

    Now let’s assume for one brief, cynical moment that ‘Ronald Wong’ is really one ‘Ronald Chan’.

    So what, you may ask ?

    Well, Ronald Chan is Vagina’s little protege (he is really small). They founded the Savantas think tank together. And due to Vagina’s patronage, Ronald became special assistant to Donald Tsang. And after that, again with Vagina’s help, he became ‘political assistant’ to CY Leung (which he still is). Not bad for a 30 year-old who never had a real job in his life.

    Maybe now Ronald is angling for something better, serving in a Vagina-government (fat chance).

  13. Qian-Jin says:

    @ reductio “I’m throwing York Chow’s name in the ring”

    I agree .I have been quietly pushing his name for some time now……….. but nobody listens

  14. Qian-Jin says:

    @”Star/heart-throb/student-leader Joshua Wong”

    There is something weird about that brat. When he’s on stage but not holding the microphone and is having to listen to the spouting of his fellow-conspirators, he never listens and his mind is elsewhere. His eyes blink like the rows of now under-used Macau slot machines. His demeanor at these times almost suggests his brain is in hibernation and downloading the next bit of democracy junk which the CIA have been feeding him. Perhaps he has a brain implant which is linked to a Satellite or broadband network.

  15. nulle says:

    Qian-Jin, another 50 center at work…

    Joe Blow: Vagina becoming CE would invite true revolution and bloodshed…Jasper Tsang isn’t the CE I would pick either, but he is the least worst candidate…

    Anson Chan is the one who should be CE, althrough unlikely since Xi JinPing is scared _-less at the sight of Anson…

    Just saw the BBC Locust Julianna Liu, fat as a pig trying to get her and your locust child a HK residency permit…

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