Big face, small job for 16

In today’s episode of Who Cares? – the exciting new Executive Council line-up

Obvious question: what is ExCo, the so-called policy-advising ‘cabinet’?

In colonial times, the EC comprised the Governor, the Chief Secretary, Attorney-General, and Financial Secretary, the Commander of British Forces, and a few ‘non-official’ members, typically taipan-types from Hongkong Bank, Jardines or Swire. At weekly meetings, each bureau head would go in one by one and get quizzed about the latest situation in Education, Health, Public Works, Lands, etc – and get a pat on the head or kick up the rear, as circumstances warranted.

Today, the EC is four or five times bigger, including all 16 of the bureau heads, plus a similar number of outsiders such as pro-Beijing legislators and shoe-shining finance/business folk. Membership supposedly confers social status, so is used as a reward for loyalty or (as with Regina Ip being named ‘convenor’) a consolation prize. The average age of the new non-officials is (I read somewhere online so it must be true) 65.7. Proceedings are confidential, but we can be fairly sure – judging by quality of governance – that this large group does not offer advice so much as receive instructions on the ‘lines to take’. Under a principle of collective responsibility, members are required to openly support government policy.

As with the ‘improved’ patriots-only elections, Legislative Council and most publicly visible ‘politics’ in Hong Kong, ExCo is essentially ceremonial. The real decisions are made elsewhere. 

Hence Hong Kong’s nonsensical and apparently never-ending Covid restrictions. Despite the quarantine/hotel requirements that make inbound travel extremely difficult, the Rugby 7s organizers are hoping to hold an international tournament later this year, using a ‘closed loop’

Presumably, they are hoping the Covid regime will in fact be ended by November, as the proposed arrangements (teams being confined to hotels when not playing/training) sound too onerous for the average rugby player to bother with. Hong Kong’s top rugby doc foresees medical-care problems…

It’s not possible to have a WR rugby tournament without a concussion specialist pitch side.

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8 Responses to Big face, small job for 16

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    “Gary Chan said it is glory for him to serve the SAR on yet another platform, as he said he will strive his best to bring citizens’ voices into Exco and fully support the government in developing the economy and improving livelihood.”

    You’d think by now and since 1997, after all the platitudes by appointed flunkies and other patriotic bric-a-bracs that constitute the heavyweight/elite class, Hong Kong would be at peak economic development and total livelihood Utopia already??

  2. Mary Melville says:

    And Gazzer, the ‘baby’ of the pack at 46, does not thank the tax payer for the 50% boost to his pay packet. Only 3 ladies, all well past their prime.
    Where is the diverse, youthful, vibrant, dynamic, testosterone driven elements essential in rescuing the economy?
    Bringing the voices of housing estate grannies to Exco equates to nothing more than more bleats for handouts.

  3. Casira says:

    I cannot unsee 16 EXCO FAECES

  4. Dance of the Sevens fail says:

    Re: Sevens closed loop

    “McRobbie said the event’s return would bring huge benefits to the travel, hospitality and events sectors which had “suffered greatly over the past three years” while the city has been largely cut off from the rest of the world because of the pandemic.”

    Robbie McRobbie sounds even dafter than his name: the whole point of the Beijing Winter Olympics’ closed loop was that only a few locals were allowed to spectate (97,000 in total over 19 days). Seats were under 30% of capacity, and no tickets were sold — it was invite only.

    So by my reckoning “the travel, hospitality and events sectors” are looking at the oh-so “huge benefits” of under 200 people (16 teams of seven + support staff) being stuck in a hotel for a week or so —  as long as they close it off to everyone else to enforce the “closed-loop”.

    And a profit-free event with — I guarantee it — no food or beverages allowed in the stadium for the few selected government guests (ie CCP shills and worthies and some bemused DAB grannies).

    Far better optics all round to just cancel it again.

  5. Mark Bradley says:

    @Dance of the Sevens fail

    I said it before, but I’ll say it again. We have smarter analysis and deeper insight than any of the fucking clowns on SCMP that pass themselves off as columnists. Excellent post.

    Even the new Hemlock self censorship regime to keep our favorite commentator on the right side of the NSL hasn’t had a dent on the quality of the comments.

  6. Chef Wonton says:

    Hong Kong Sevens have next to zip chance of happening yet again (a third missed year).

    The optics of drunken mobs living it large in our home town while China’s other international cities like Shanghai and Xiamen and wherever endure their home town versions of lockdowns is not how our new hierarchy works.

    But I’m glad Robbie is at least talking it up as possible with a straight face. We need people to at least try.

  7. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Mark Bradley: You give him WAY too much credit.

  8. Jackme Hoff says:

    Thank god. I’m with Hemmers on this one from Day 1. Rugby 7s is a terrible event that wastes public money and invites a lot of rough, crude, drunken leeches to our Fragrant Harbor. Not only does it make going out that weekend untenable it’s a seething pit of crime and chaos.

    Let’s be done with it once and for all! Singabore can have that event if they want it.

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