Searching for Mr Right

The South China Morning Post asks why Hong Kong’s soon-to-be Chief Executive Carrie Lam is apparently finding it so hard to assemble a ruling team that is even vaguely fresh. The paper quotes various lawmakers and academics about the local political structure, the supposed need for a stronger party system, and possible ways to nurture future politicians.

Pro-Beijing think-tank-person Lau Siu-kai says that Carrie could attract better people if her administration starts to ‘get things done’ (for which it of course needs… better people). Horace Cheung of the Communist-front DAB essentially admits that members of his party are too dim for such jobs (‘our task is to groom talent to win seats on councils’). Deep down into the report, City U expert Ray Yip Kin-man gets a word in about loyalty to Beijing.

That is, of course, the sole criterion. There is no shortage of smart, imaginative, energetic, even charismatic, potential leaders in Hong Kong. But the Chinese Communist Party is paranoid and trusts no-one here (they don’t even trust each other).

Once they have filtered out anyone with scary original ideas, critical-thinking skills, sinister foreign connections, wrong ethnicity, a spine, principles, insufficient shoe-shining and kowtowing inclinations, a reluctance to talk complete crap when ordered to, and too many (or too few) murky family ties, skeletons-in-closets and other aids-to-co-option – there’s hardly anyone left except bland, pen-pushing, unquestioning nonentities ‘with extensive administrative experience’.

The SCMP features an eye-catching illustration of Carrie, wistfully staring out of a rain-streaked window, wondering how, in this city of 7 million resourceful people, she can feel so alone and forlorn. Where have we seen this style of artwork before?

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6 Responses to Searching for Mr Right

  1. Ace stuff as usual. You make Dr Johnson sound like Fred Trueman commentating a darts match.*

    But shurely shome mishtake? “Pro-Beijing think-tank-person Lau Siu-kai” mean in all likelihood “self-important wrinkled pug-faced git with friends in low places, nobody quite knows who but as everyone else is as stumm as a Trappist cow, his ugly features flash on the screen more regularly than Eric Tsang’s”.

    * Love Tories Week is just a week. I found out that the British emergency COBRA committee was invented in 1972 to counter the miners’ strike. You see, terrorism is nothing, what frightens Tories is the awakened working class. Now, with four degrees, I am still one of the smelly socks. I wish I could become middle class like you.

  2. Joe Blow says:

    A really nice, new-to-HK, Japanese bakery store has opened in the basement of Times Square. Guess the landlord finally realized that having a dozen identical face-whitening beauty stores lined up next to each other doesn’t really make sense.

  3. pd says:

    George’s books, self-published for some reason, contain slipshod or absent copy-editing and spelling lapses: is it just me or does one get the impression he simply dictates them?

    Hemlock: you’re right to delay publication of his low-level rantings, and to delete the worst ones.

    Remind me some time to tell you about his first PhD and the embarrassing problems he had at the IEd annex.

  4. Joe Blow says:

    Friday, June 30th, 11 PM, Tamar Park: party time, say goodbye to Lufsig. Bring your bottle of champagne and let it pop.

  5. The answer to the Post’s question was given 2,000 years ago: “No man can serve two masters”. Given the impossibility of both pleasing Beijing and doing the right thing for Hong Kong, it is not surprising that most potential candidates decide to stay out of the whole sorry mess.

  6. PCC says:

    Clever idea by Joe Blow. Worth considering.

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