So deep-rooted, no-one knows what they are…

Hong Kong’s next Chief Executive Carrie Lam announces that she has finalized her team of top officials. Rather than find fresh talent, she has decided to be ‘practical’ and go for fellow veteran bureaucrats. To such similes as ‘faster than a speeding bullet’, or ‘quicker than greased lightning’ we can now add ‘hit the ground running like a cabinet of Hong Kong civil servants’.

Rather unpropitiously, former top Mainland official Chen Zuoer chooses this moment to declare that Hong Kong must tackle its ‘deep-rooted problems’. We do not know whether these are the same ‘deep-rooted problems’ then-Premier Wen Jiabao told then-CE Donald Tsang to fix in 2005.

Communist Party practice is not to specify problems or ‘contradictions’. The vagueness is face-saving to all concerned, yet also comes across as menacing. (The phrase also appears in the classic Learning English With Regina Vol III, by Madam lawmaker Ip. Less subtle than Beijing officials, she tantalizingly continues the vocabulary lesson with references to the wealth gap and the shiftiness of Leung Chun-ying.)

So it could be that our deep-rooted contradictions are those reflected in the strange situation whereby a poor elderly widow is arrested by six urban services enforcers for selling a piece of cardboard, while owners of luxury cars park illegally with impunity. Or it could be that the contradictions concern the riddle of how we need to diversify our economy because sky-high rents disconnected from the real economy have driven out all but a narrow range of economic activities. Or it could be the apparent contradiction whereby Hong Kong’s plight is due to its people’s inability to understand the Basic Law, the meaning of which is carved in tofu and subject to change at the emperor’s whim.

No doubt Carrie’s new cabinet will work it out in a hypersonic blink of an eye.

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12 Responses to So deep-rooted, no-one knows what they are…

  1. pd says:

    Failure of previously strong mojo, capitulation before overwhelming forces, melting sense of geographical identity, self-doubt that feeds cannibalisticly on itself, an “author” in desperate search of a subject, a “style” alternating between paranoid self-pity and unfocused aggression.

    To understand HK you need to know George.

  2. It’s Be Nice To Tories Week as you are going through such hell at the moment.

    But I must say that given a choice between sorting my sock drawer and considering Carrie Lam’s anything, the socks have it, the socks have it.

  3. Peter says:

    Can’t wait to see what lame comment that loser George makes today.

  4. Stephen says:

    Hong Kong electors cannot be trusted, by the CCP, to freely elect their lawmakers and leader of an executive led administration. Hence the CCP will continue to pick loyal, inept lap dogs, hamstrung by lack of legitimacy, to muddle on for another 30 years. This complete failure of governance ensures that demand for the right to elect said lawmakers and leader of an executive led government never goes away. There is more chance of George Adams, solving that deep rooted problem, than Carrie Lam.

  5. Old Fishmarket Close says:

    Alas, Regina has used a transitive verb in place of an intransitive verb.

    Therefore, it is unlikely that Regina’s book will ameliorate Hong Kong’s poor English skills anytime soon.

  6. Knownot says:

    Old Fishmarket Close – Well observed.

    But anyway, it’s the wrong word. It should be ‘narrow’ or ‘lessen’ or ‘decrease’.

  7. Old Fishmarket Close says:

    Knownot – quite so.

  8. Joe Blow says:

    I have a new found appreciation for Madam Ip Lau Suk-yee. Henceforth I shall no longer refer to her by her female part.

  9. Joe Blow says:

    Leaving Drinks For 689
    Public · Hosted by Organised Association of Patriotic Citizens Organised to Serve CY Leung

    30 June at 23:00
    Tamar Park Admiralty
    Hong Kong

    Be there or be square !

  10. Red Dragon says:

    A propos of Vadge’s clunky, frequently ungrammatical English, doesn’t her last line kick off with “Not” as opposed to “Nor”?

    Obviously, this may simply be a typo, but with Vadge one never knows.

    Oh, and l don’t really like that “would” after “It is unlikely that there…”. “Will” would have been a far better choice. Actually, Vadge is one of the many Hong Kong users of English who wrongly believe that “will” and “would” are interchangeable in a sentence without doing any grammatical damage. I’ve seen her cock it up many times; no doubt a deep-rooted problem.

    She’s as daft as a brush, isn’t she?

  11. Mary Melville says:

    Re the Hawker Control zeal in arresting the old lady, how come nobody questions why telecom and media outfits like HKT, HK Broadband, Cable TV, Viu TV until it imploded, etc are allowed to hog some of the most busy junctions in the city with stands, tables, screens, etc.
    These are in breach of regulations that prohibit any obstruction “within 30 metres on the traffic upstream side of all road junctions” and since Sept 24th 2016 are also subject to a HK$1,500 on-the-spot fine under The Fixed Penalty (Public Cleanliness and Obstruction) Ordinance for obstruction of pavement.
    Moreover why are subsidiaries of conglomerates that have priced so many small businesses out of the rental market allowed to operate free of charge on prime real estate, often within metres of police stations. This despite the obvious traffic issues of blocked sightlines that are certainly not conducive to ‘Zero Accidents on the Road’
    In Hong Kong the concept of one Economy, Two Systems, is certainly alive and well.

  12. LRE says:

    Good to see Vagina perpetuating a couple of Hong Kong’s deep-rooted English language problems by attempting to teach people English when you’re not very good at it yourself coupled with the classic of trying to use fancy $10 words to look sophisticated, where a $1 word would do the job, and then royally screwing the pooch because you can’t actually use the posh vocab properly.

    Comedy gold, all the same: at first I thought hemlock was just being sarcastic — but no! There’s the Vagina in all her gory frightfulness given Dr Adams a run for his money on the “questionable uses of the Earth’s resources through vanity publishing” front! Joy!

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