HK’s last glimpse of ‘election’ fun

According to the South China Morning Post, the final candidates’ debate in Hong Kong’s Chief Executive pseudo-election was a ‘bruising mix of sarcasm, humour and outright attack’. And indeed all three participants – Beijing’s pre-arranged winner Carrie Lam and no-hopers John Tsang and Woo Kwok-hing – did produce some reasonably decent venom and spite.

But, although the event was open to all 1,194 Election Committee members, only some 500 turned up – including most of the 300-odd pro-democrats who managed to get onto the rubber-stamp body. This suggests that most loyalists among the Chinese Communist Party’s inbuilt majority on the Committee saw no point in attending when the result has already been decided. Some were also possibly reluctant to identify themselves too closely with the unpopular Carrie.

Carrie spent the weekend working on her image as aloof and out-of-touch – cancelling an already-postponed visit to the stereotypically poor neighbourhood of Tin Shui Wai, on the grounds that she was tired and it was a long way to go. While obviously evidence of her extreme unsuitability as a politician, it also reflects the fact that the people of Hong Kong are irrelevant to this process. And that includes the 1,194 EC voters, who are simply role-playing in a charade.

Franklin Lam, a tourism/property freak and early supporter five years ago of now-incumbent CY Leung, writes a pointed criticism of popular underdog John Tsang (in the pro-Beijing shoe-shiner-owned Sing Tao/Standard). He blasts Tsang for mishandling the city’s finances, pointing out that we could have bought all the housing and health services we could possibly need with just a fraction of the wealth the government acquired and hoarded in the last nine years.

It is a fair criticism. But where were Carrie Lam (as Chief Secretary), Carrie apologist Henry Tang (former Chief Secretary) or CY (as CE) and his predecessor Donald Tsang all that time? Despite the differences in terms of public image, Carrie and John would be identical as Chief Executive – administrators fixated on micro-scale problem-solving, with no ability to see a bigger picture. Transformational leadership is not on the agenda.

John’s idea of food trucks as a serious policy initiative is an amusing example. Carrie’s entire manifesto is devoid of any hint of reform. She proposes allowing lower floors of industrial buildings to be re-zoned for other commercial use, to free up affordable space for start-ups. Note the narrowness of vision: zeroing in on start-ups (why not all businesses?) and tweaking ancient rules on building-use rather than asking why we still have an ‘industrial’ classification.

John is having fun as a candidate, partly because he has a groovier personality, but mainly because he’s safe in the knowledge he won’t get the job. Carrie is clearly not having fun. She obviously hates this fake campaign-thing, and is dreading the five years to come. There is no spark, no excitement, no enthusiasm, and no optimism.

Separated at birth: Left, John Tsang the popular make-believe politician automaton; Right, battery-operated Sam the Shaving Man at HK Museum of History toy exhibition.

This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to HK’s last glimpse of ‘election’ fun

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    So what’s the latest about the ramrodded Palace Museum “gift” to the people of HK from the benevolent overlords up north? Lamb Curry not getting any additional heat for that?

    Just a footnote now, I suppose *sigh*

  2. reductio says:

    Makes you wonder why she’s doing it. She clearly doesn’t want the job, unlike Regina. How did BL twist her arm?

  3. reductio says:

    Correction: How did Beijing twist her arm?

  4. Frankie Lam, Frankie Lam
    I want to have your babies
    In a pram
    Then push them under a passing tram.

    Carrie Lam, Carrie Lam
    I want to throw up in your lap
    I’m such a sap
    For polito pap.

    John Tsang,, John Tsang
    I’d take it up the bum real hard
    If I could never see you again
    But it will never happen.

  5. Colonial Dinosaur says:

    Saw the ex-CS on the news the other day trying to answer the simplest of questions… from her body language and her eyes it looked like she was about to wet herself in fear of what was to come. If she makes it into office I lay money on an early bath due to medical grounds!
    The last time I saw someone that scared was when in a Wessex helicopter on exercise over the NT… the company headquarter Sergeant Major had to be physically encouraged to exit the craft when at a hover over the Yuen Long industrial estate by way of a long green rope…happy days!

  6. reductio says:

    @Colonial Dinosaur

    So if that’s the case, the question is put into even sharper relief-why the hell is she standing if she clearly doesn’t want the job?

  7. Cassowary says:

    It is funny to watch you lot acting as though Carrie Lam had any choice in the matter. There’s no way somebody like her spends 30 years in government without doing anything even slightly shady. I’m sure Beijing has suitable blackmail material.

  8. LRE says:

    qv The fate of Donald Tsang. Note that Carrie’s kid received a scholarship from David Li. So possible jail time, definite loss of pension…
    qv Jackie Chan’s son & drug trouble in Beijing. Note that Carrie’s kid also lives and works in Beijing. People go missing sometimes. It happens.
    Essentially the CPC know where the bodies are buried, and they know where they can bury fresh bodies if needs be.

    On a related note, someone should really have asked Carrie On Regardless whether someone who was planning on retiring to the UK, can really be said to love Hong Kong and China enough to be a CE by now.

  9. reductio says:

    @Cassowary and LRE

    Wondered if that was the case. Didn’t know about the David Li scholarship though. So when she gets in Big Dave will be telephoning his congrats and to ensure that he doesn’t need worry about further fallout from Donald’s misdemeanors. Drinks all round!

  10. Red Dragon says:

    A seriously bad piece of sub-McGonagall there, Georgie.

    That apart, the confirmation that you take it up the bum will come as a huge relief to all those of us who always suspected that you did.

    Keep riding the “Iron Rooster”, old sport.

  11. Donny Almond says:

    Any of you people know Mark Simon, of Next Media/Apple Daily, and sidekick of Jimmy Lai ? Mark is a mega Trump supporter. Which brings me to the question: why would anyone who fights so valiantly against commie authoritarianism -for which I admire him- be a supporter of fascist authoritarianism a la Mussolini and Trump ? It doesn’t square.

    Anyone can enlighten ?

  12. LRE says:

    @Donny Almond
    It’s time to take a modern history course: 1930-1980 should be enough. Pay attention to these famous valiant fighters against commie authoritarianism who turned out to be supporters of fascist authoritarianism (an off-the-top-of-my-head list):
    Benito Mussolini
    Adolf Hitler
    Generalissimo Francisco Franco
    Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek
    Oswald Mosley
    Joseph McCarthy
    Ngo Dinh Diem
    Nguyen Van Thieu
    Saddam Hussein
    Shah Reza Palavi
    Augusto Pinochet
    Jorge Videla
    And all the US Presidents et al who propped the majority of those nutters up. Special mention to Ronnie Reagan and Richard Nixon, both working for HUAAC.
    Also have a rummage through some of the CIA’s dodgier anti-communist hits: Operation Gladio and MK-ULTRA, spring to mind.

    All-in-all, Mark Simon’s position is more the rule than the exception.

Comments are closed.