A flight of fancy

Democratic Party head Lo Kin-hei, one of the few remaining Hong Kong pan-dems not in captivity, criticizes the government’s latest social-distancing measures and says officials are ‘not affected by worldly concerns’. 

Obviously, the people thinking up these rules enjoy nice homes, chauffeur-driven cars and minions at their beck and call, and are oblivious to the concerns of, say, a senior citizen using a wet market, a hairdresser with shop rent to pay, or a waitress trying to feed a family. But this does not mean they are free of earthly desires.

Many of us fantasize about a post-trauma Hong Kong in which forces beyond our control deliver a return to a free society and vaguely enlightened government. These daydreams no doubt include arrests, public trials and punishments of quislings and incompetents. My own also involve quite detailed adjustments to civil servants’ remuneration. 

If the top two or three layers of bureaucrats in each department seriously contribute to policy-making, they are garbage at it. If they are just following instructions and implementing politicians’ policies, they are merely box-ticking managers. Either way, they qualify for an immediate 50% cut in pay and pensions.

Such reveries keep us sane.

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13 Responses to A flight of fancy

  1. [Not] Samuel Bickett says:

    Meanwhile, the laser-pointer student is not guilty of possessing an offensive weapon (not because they aren’t offensive, but because they didn’t have batteries), but is jailed anyway because, in today’s HK, demanding that an off-duty police officer to show his warrant card (a legal requiement) is resisting arrest.

  2. Tamey Tame says:

    ‘ Either way, they qualify for an immediate 50% cut in pay and pensions’

    Completely disagree. They should have to live like the rest of us and get no pension beyond the MPF/asset manager subsidy scheme (to be stolen by the employer if they get made redundant, of course)

  3. Mark Bradley says:

    @Blood well right

    Responding to the following comment you made yesterday:

    “ Take it for what it’s worth, but pro-dem barristers I know have become less supportive of Bickett. Some of them agree with @donkey and @zutluhcas that the facts wouldn’t have been favorable to him even pre-protest and think the CCTV footage and audio work against him. ”

    It sounds like barristers, even pro dem ones, are up their own ass then. @toph summed up the facts nicely yet this is favourable to a lying cop and not Bickett?

    Explain the reasoning these barristers have, because so far I see a lot of apologists parroting that the statement of facts do not favour Bickett without explanation. Tell us why please.

    Common law ideally should make sense to the common man (or at the very least to a criminal defence solicitor), not to some overqualified overpaid smooth talking split tongued wig wearing charlatans that call themselves “barristers”.

    I bet they just have a thing against US licensed lawyer if they failed to explain how the statement of facts doesn’t favour Bickett but to some lying scum bag that seems to enjoy full state immunity simply cause they are a cop. We’ve already seen how biased and petty so called “impartial” magistrates and judges can be.

  4. Mary Melville says:

    Not only the officials but also the health experts enjoy guaranteed remuneration, perks and pensions and assistants at their beck and call. There is no representation in the decision making of folk whose income is based on the economic cycle and the prevailing business climate.
    Neither group is renowned for its common sense or understanding of the challenges that your average citizen copes with in balancing putting food on the table while handling the myriad of tasks to be tackled every day.

  5. George says:

    Not only civil servants’, but the bloated salaries of academics should also be cut. Lots of perks: Housing, generous leave, an extra month’s salary, teaching assistants, research assistants, conference grants, etc, etc

  6. Low Profile says:

    Just one example of the rule-makers being out of touch with reality: last time the social distancing rules limited restaurants to 2 people per table, it was common to see a family of 3 or 4 spread across 2 tables with their young children repeatedly running excitedly between the tables, brushing against other people on the way. Common sense tells you that this is more likely to spread the virus than allowing the whole family – who are all in close contact at home in any case – to sit together at one table. All this would take is a simple tweak of the rules allowing children below a certain age to sit with their parents.

  7. where's my jet plane says:

    God save us from experts. Duckface proposing to send healthy families to concentration camps and leave the sick at home and G Leung reacting to the horse bolted situation with a city-wide lockdown (that the rest of the world has shown doesn’t work).

    The sickening thing is that these idiots are going to scoop the top prize (GBMs) in the next bauble hand-out and undoubtedly a healthy cash handout.

  8. G says:

    Now Gabriel Leung wants to shut down the entire city for 2 to 3 months, no big deal:


  9. Hamantha says:

    City shutdown incoming. Clear as day.

    /Seemed obvious a month ago, and the writing is on the wall today.
    //To those who say it isn’t pragmatic, or even possible, to do what they did in Wuhan or Xi’an here in Hong Kong, I say… Where the f*** you been living the past two or three years?! Obedience toward the north trumps all.
    ///And Junius Ho was right: criticism of the zero COVID strategy is, de facto, against the national security law.

  10. Mark Bradley says:


    Agreed. They’re absolutely going to try a full blown lockdown and it’s going to be a massive shitshow

  11. donkey says:

    If only HKMAO and Hong Kong authorities would use “ensure people live healthy and happy lives and feel comfortable in the city” instead of “ensure stability” as their mandate.

    The idea that a perfectly sane and rational city, which is actually holding up fairly well under an outbreak that has a death rate below that of a common flu, needs to somehow have draconian measures thrust upon it in order to “maintain stability,” when nobody is asking for that, is just ludicrous.

  12. Engineer says:

    @Low Profile,
    Since my case was exactly as you describe, I checked the small print of Cap599 at the time, and such an exemption was indeed in place (the latest revision doesn’t have it any more). However, in practice, no restaurant knew about it, or if they did know, they didn’t dare test it, or didn’t fancy having the argument. Common sense aside, how do you prove you live together? Remember recently the little jobsworths at the entrances of the markets were demanding birth certificates for babies in buggies to prove they were under 12?

    Actually, I really enjoyed it; my wife and I had a peaceful lunch on one table and we pretended our children were not there!

    (PS, I’m out of here in three weeks, hope I can beat the imminent lockdown)

  13. zatluhcas says:

    @Mark Bradley

    I absolutely agree with you. Welcome to the law “industry”! Don’t forget all judges (and many many politicians) were lawyers once. The impenetrability of the law is a virtuous cycle for all!

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