Friday, October 12, 2018

From Yes Minister to Spitting Image

When I began this blog, in addition to some serious analysis (which I have sadly little time for these days), my intention was to poke gentle fun at those in public life who deserved a bit of mockery.  Unfortunately these are no longer gentle times.  We have a rabid dog in the White House, a murderous thug in the Kremlin, and a genocidal goon in Zhongnanhai, plus a general resurgence of fascism, a global decline in human rights, and a planet well on its way to unchecked environmental disaster. So though I still label it humour, most of my satire these days is far too serious to be funny - like Trump's response to the Khashoggi killing, which represents a new low even for him (only days after you thought he'd already reached the bottom by mocking a victim of sexual assault after placing her alleged assailant on the highest court in the land).  Hold on tight, things can only get worse from here.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

A&E – the difference between

In British slang, it is commonly said of an ignorant person that he "doesn't know his arse from his elbow".  However, one would expect medically-trained individuals to have a somewhat more accurate grasp of basic human anatomy.  Sadly, an elderly patient in Queen Elizabeth Hospital recently found herself the victim of incompetent radiology staff who don't appear to know the arse from the other nearby orifice. As one medical specialist drily commented, "it should not have happened because there were usually no difficulties locating the vagina and anus" – something most of us learn quite early in life.

Friday, August 17, 2018

A nation of crybabies

Quick - call Guinness World Records!  Just by talking, one mild-mannered young man in Hong Kong has succeeded in making 1.4 billion people cry, which must be some sort of record.

Except, like most CCP propaganda, it isn't true.  "Hurt the feelings of the Chinese people" is one of those stock phrases, like "foreign interference in China's affairs", which the Party Pavlovically [is that a word?] trots out in response to certain stimuli as a substitute for genuine thought.  But if you actually asked all 1.4 billion Chinese if Andy Chan's FCC speech had hurt their feelings, 99.99% of them would reply "Andy who?"

The reality is that China's highly efficient censorship machine shields most of the country's citizens from being exposed to anything that might challenge the official, albeit fictional, narrative of universal national unity and social harmony under the benign guidance of the all-knowing Party.  And you can hardly have your feelings hurt by something you aren't even allowed to be aware of.

But never mind, China, in addition to "largest population", which you hold already, there are still plenty of other categories you can claim a record in.  How about "largest number of Muslims forcibly detained for so-called re-education"?  Or you could try "biggest area of ocean claimed on the basis of dubious historical evidence" - that's a popular one.

Monday, August 13, 2018

CY's Lost Marbles

My immediate reaction to this headline was that Hong Kong's former Chief Executive - apart from confirming Godwin's Law - has lost his marbles.  Reading the article only confirmed this.  There are several layers of irony here - one being that the hysterical over-reaction of pro-Beijing forces in Hong Kong, and CY in particular, has done more to bring the ideas of Andy Chan and other independence advocates to public attention than they could ever have achieved unaided.

Another irony is that if you are seeking a genuine contemporary equivalent to Nazism, the current mass roundup, incarceration and brainwashing of Muslims in concentration camps in China's northwest would provide a much closer analogy than one young man freely expressing his opinion in the FCC.  But that is being done by the very government for which CY is such an ardent apologist, so we won't hear a word from him about this particular egregious abuse of human rights.

A third irony is that the pro-China camp's heavy-handed attempts to derail Andy Chan's planned speech reinforce his assertion that Hong Kong can only enjoy true freedom outside the suffocating embrace of the motherland.  While most of us don't regard Hong Kong independence as either likely or practical, those most determined to prevent it are inadvertently strengthening the case in support of it.

Monday, August 06, 2018

A home on the rolling deep

The last thing the critically endangered Chinese white dolphin population in the Pearl River Estuary needs is thoughtless politicians advocating yet more development in their territory.  See here and here.

Making It Better:
Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society
WWF Hong Kong