Friday, May 16, 2014

Have We Got News For You

Watching the news in Hong Kong, it is often hard to shake off the feeling that the whole broadcast is one elaborate - and not even very funny - satire.  Take the first half of last night's ATV news for example:
  • Beijing expresses concern over the anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam - which are remarkably reminiscent of the anti-Japanese riots that break out in China from time to time over similar perceived insults to national sovereignty.  Of course the PRC government could stop the whole problem in seconds by announcing that China would remove its oil rig from the disputed waters off Vietnam, but...
  • Hong Kong's Financial Secretary announces that in the face of the LegCo budget filibuster, he will withdraw funding from the Hospital Authority and higher education - presumably so the money can be spent on more important social needs, like the White Elephant Bridge to Macau or the inflated salaries of overpaid but underskilled government ministers.
  • He also announces that he will not talk with the radical legislators leading the filibuster because he is opposed to their demands.   Isn't that why they need to talk?  If they already agreed on everything, they would have no need to discuss their differences in the hope of reaching a compromise.
  • By the way, who was the marionette-like figure lurking behind John Tsang's right shoulder and nodding sympathetically on cue at the FS's words of supposed wisdom?
  • The government announces that it will not include demands for civic nomination in the next round of consultation on the 2017 CE elections, thereby making it clear that the first round - the results of which have not even been released yet - was a meaningless exercise which will, as we feared, be ignored in favour of whatever the government has been told to do already by its puppet-masters in Beijing.  They could at least be smart enough to pretend to be listening to the people, but that would require some degree of intelligence.
  • To add insult to insult, Carrie Lam asks those planning to vote in Occupy Central's coming referendum to "consider whether it provides them with a genuine choice".  Er, would that be by comparison with the fake choices offered by the government, or what? If no genuinely democratic candidate is permitted to run in 2017, I suggest a write-in vote for Mr. Bean - we certainly need a leader with more substance than the present crowd.
  • The Consumer Council warns that energy drinks contain high levels of sugar and caffeine.  Hello?  Isn't that why people drink them?
"You couldn't make this stuff up" may be a cliché, but no other response seems appropriate to the farce that passes for news in Hong Kong.

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