Mixed reports on Hong Kong’s counter-tourism measures, today…
The good news is that retail sales continue to fall. By ‘retail sales’, we mean the peddling of overpriced crap to dimwitted tourists – which by extension means rents for stores in tacky malls and once-pleasant residential neighbourhoods. The South China Moaning Post writes of the 24th straight month of misery for landlords as if we are all supposed to burst into tears. Right-thinking people will only say: more please.
The bad news is that this encouraging trend is under threat. Hong Kong has slipped down the Not Smiling At Dimwitted Tourists Global Charts, losing its magnificent top place to Macau. In fairness, Former Portuguese Enclave City has even more reason to give invading hordes the Hostile Scowling ‘Go Home’ treatment than Hongkongers do. But God forbid that we are seeing the start of a drop in standards – if we’re not careful, overseas visitors might start feeling welcome. We all shudder at the thought.
Meanwhile, our Chief Executive-to-be Carrie Lam is repeating earlier comments about how God told her to take the job. Indeed, it seems that the invisible Supreme Being was quite insistent, even though Carrie herself didn’t want to do it. Sounds like a pretty definitive way for her to shift the blame later if and when everything collapses around her.
An almost-apocalyptic analysis of the challenge she faces comes from the SCMP’s Peter Guy, who sees Hong Kong’s pyramid-scheme property market eventually squeezing all other life out of the city. As he points out, spiraling housing prices reduce purchasing power for much of the population, ultimately leading to ‘permanent secular stagnation or chronic lack of demand’.
This of course brings us rather neatly back to where we came in – the plight of our retail sector. Local people spend so much on accommodation that they can’t afford to spend much in the stores. The landlords want to have their cake and eat it by filling the shops full of tourists instead. The local people take revenge by being rude to tourists. Can God help Carrie find a way out of this conundrum? He wasn’t there for her when she went through her toilet paper agonies, which raises the distinct possibility that He steers clear of retail/shopping and indeed commercial matters in general. As indeed He should.
I declare the weekend open with an even more cosmic revelation: China has solved the dilemma known to economists as the ‘impossible trinity’. The theory is that a country may have two out of three of: a free flow of capital, a fixed exchange rate, and control of its own interest rates. The SCMP reports that Chinese bankers claim to have cracked it – which is the equivalent of physicists devising a perpetual-motion machine.
‘Ah’ – you say – ‘but China does not have a free flow of capital’.
Hmmm… OK. Slight change in headline needed…
You seem to be getting to some of the true gold on the SCMP web pages today, but you sadly fail to extract much of the real humour, possibly because you make the mistake of actually reading the articles. Don’t do it. It’s just not worth it.
“Retailers pin hopes on handover anniversary celebrations”
This appears to have been revised. I had to sit down and have a quaff of wine last night when it appeared on the site. I have been giggling ever since. It’s a bit like:
TITANIC ANNIVERSARY BOOST FOR CRUISE BOOKINGS
Then there is:
“Pan-democrats missed chance by not joining race, Leung says”
Not quite first-class but getting there.
There seems to be a true satirist at work on the SCMP senior editorial team. Recent headlines have been pure comic ambrosia. After twenty years satirizing the SCMP, it is good to see that they have gone native and now do all the satire themselves.
Success at last.
Do you remember sitting down on my blue sofa some years ago whilst I read what I have since seen as the gold standard and lodestone, the high bar to beat for the SCMP one-liner? It was an article about the Claire Hollingsworth / Ted Tnomas ” I normally charge two thousand an hour talking fees”saga:
I DONT STEAL FROM OLD LADIES, SAYS PR GURU
You didn’t think so but I think that’s the one to beat. The SCMP will get there I’m sure.
If the Heavenly Father indeed has Lam Curry on speed dial, then why did he play the cruel joke of gifting her with a toad-like spawn in #1 son??
Immaculate conception? Karma?
By “received a call from God to keep serving Hong Kong” I presume she really means “received a threatening call from Xi Jinping about losing my pension and son”
Is not our impending CE in saying God called her to be CE simply acknowledging Beijing (or Xi’s) divinity?
I spy a longer contribution from the Sage of Stanley today. The old fraud must have had a bit of spare time on his hands. A cursory glance reveals, however, that it contains nothing new, but merely offers a reprise of the characteristically lame apercu which he made yesterday.
My advice to you, Georgie Boy, is don’t over-egg the pudding. We get the point you’re labouring, it’s not a very interesting one, and it doesn’t warrant further reinforcement. No amount of former intimacy claimed with the suave thinker who pens this blog will serve to mask these unpalatable facts.
Oh, and another thing. Don’t criticise Hemmers for failing to extract humour, particularly in the same breath as professing to be a humourist yourself. I don’t know if it was those interminable episodes of “When the Boat Comes In”, watched as a wee lad in your Mam’s kitchen in Wallsend, or whether it was the years you spent in ballsachingly droll Switzerland, but you just ain’t funny. Never have been, never will be.
In order, however, to demonstrate that the eye I cast on you and your “oeuvre” is not entirely jaundiced, I am prepared to give credit where credit’s due. I therefore award you the palm for achieving something that very few in Hong Kong would ever have thought possible; to wit, being less amusing than Nury Vittachi.
Arise, Sir “Docta”.
“Dr” Adams has been blogging for 2 decades now and one can say that he was a trailblazer. That should be recognized, even if you don’t always agree with what he writes. And to say that he is less funny than l’il Nury is not true, Lee Kee Plumbing notwithstanding.
Listen up Mr. NTSCMP. Your comments are childish and unnecessary. The reason most people read thebiglychee on a DAILY 11:40 am hotly waited basis is because it is good. It also is informative. It had humour, music, art and subversion. So, something for everyone. Your website however is shite.
Joe Blow, me old darlin’. You have a heart!
I’m touched, man. Speechless.