Saturday, December 30, 2017


It’s almost year-end, and that means it’s time for The Privates, our much-coveted awards.  Let’s start with the  
Gender Equality Award
 which goes to China’s leadership:
  • ·         Female population of China: 652,982,000
  • ·         Female representation on the ruling 7-penis Politburo Standing Committee: nil (ever)

"Women in the People's Republic of China enjoy equal rights with men in all spheres of life, in political, economic, cultural, social and family life."  Article 48 of China's constitution.

With former Chief Executive 689 now strutting his spleen on the national stage and unlamented Justice Secretary Rimsky Yuen on his way out, this year’s 
Ugliest Excrescence on the Face of Hong Kong Politics Award
 is a shoo-in for Junius Ho. 
Most pro-Beijing Legislative Council members have no love for Hong Kong’s localist youngsters, but Junazious is so far the only one to suggest publicly that separatists deserve to be murdered for expressing their opinions.  Nice guy...

For most of the year Donald Trump (already the early recipient of the 
) looked like a clear front-runner for the 
Bloated Ego Award
as well, but in a cunning late move, obnoxious British loudmouth Nigel Farage – so popular he has never even succeeded in winning a Parliamentary seat at Westminster despite several attempts – came from behind with his absurd whining about not receiving a knighthood for his efforts to advance Brexit. It takes an extraordinary level of brazen cheek (Americans might call it chutzpah) to drive one’s country down the road to ruin and then expect to be given a bloody medal for it!

Returning to Hong Kong, the Hong KongPolice Force are the proud winners of the  
Easily Confused Award. 

Let me offer them a simple clue: if someone is throwing Molotov cocktails, breaking windows, burning cars or brandishing a weapon, you can bash them with impunity; if they are just peacefully passing by, then leave them alone.  Got that?  Of course, the definition of a weapon can be stretched a bit if you’re really determined to nick someone…

That’s it for this year – unless we start giving out awards to people who genuinely deserve them, like Liu Xia, Ahed Tamini, or the Dalai Lama.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


I clicked on this link this morning:

and got this:

So presumably we can assume that nothing good happened this year.  Which fits in pretty well with my own experience, marked by deaths and disease among my immediatecircle, against the wider background of Britain slumping ever deeper into the slimy sinkhole of Brexit while Donald Trump does his best to ignite either World War 3 or environmental collapse, whichever comes first.  Not that I can do much to stop any of this stuff – indeed anyone who posts on any online forum probably feels like this at times:

Nevertheless, we can hope. Here's a toast to all my loyal readers (however few in number):
 By the way, the link was repaired later - and there are plenty of similar lists online.  So perhaps it's not all doom and gloom.

[Cartoon borrowed from Private Eye.]

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Moving Wheel Turns and Having Turned, Moves On

Today's media are making much of the sudden closure of the Hong Kong Observation Wheel, but it is hard to see why.  I always thought it made no sense to put a ferris wheel at the foot of a mountain.  It is hard to see why anyone would pay a high price to be lifted 60m above Hong Kong, when for considerably less money, one can go 400m up the Peak for a much more expansive view over Hong Kong. Daft.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Got to admit it's getting better

It appears that the MTR Corporation defines "improvement" as "impeding passenger flow by cramming more unneeded shops into already congested station concourses in order to make a few extra bucks".  But hey, this is Hong Kong.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Welcome This Friday

I'm wondering why the World Taekwondo Federation is running a bar in Hong Kong.  And also why the Federation is changing its name to "World Taekwondo".  I can't imagine.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Full of nothing and signifying nothing

It's a little early in the year to be giving out our coveted awards, fondly known as The Privates, but we already have a winner in the Most Vacuous Political Statement of the Year category.  So-called President Trump during his visit to Paris:
Yeah, something could happen with respect to the Paris accord.  We'll see what happens, but we will talk about that over the coming period of time and if it happens that'll be wonderful, and if it doesn't that'll be OK too.
Words used: 41
Information conveyed: 0

Thursday, July 13, 2017


A contemporary view of world freedom

A couple of days ago I turned on the TV during the G20 summit just in time to catch the announcer saying, “…and [Russian President] Putin is now meeting with the leader of the free world”.

The what of the what?!! Back in the innocent 1950s of my childhood it was common in the west to view the world as being broadly divided into three zones: the free world (North America, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand – us, capitalist, mostly white, plus perhaps a place for Japan and Taiwan); the godless communist world (The Soviet Union, China, Cuba – them); and what was then beginning to be called the Third World (almost everywhere else, poor, brown-skinned, largely ignorable).

Even then this picture – focused almost entirely on economic freedom while social repression ran rampant – was overly simplistic.  Does anyone still believe it is adequate to represent the diversity and complexity of today’s globalised world?  Or that freedom is only found in the west?  Or that every western country genuinely embodies the ideal of freedom?  Or in particular that the USA, self-appointed champion of democracy, really values the principles it proclaims?  The US has, after all, been complicit since 1949 in the overthrow of elected leaders in Syria, Iran, Brazil, Guatemala, Chile, Haiti, Honduras, Egypt, Palestine, and Ukraine.

And most ludicrous of all, does anyone see so-called US President Donald Trump as any sort of champion of freedom?  Trump has shown himself an enemy of freedom wherever it rears its head: above all, media freedom.  And in order to be a leader, one must surely have followers – yet no other leader has shown any inclination to follow Trump into his fantasy world where global warming is a Chinese hoax and every trade deal is a conspiracy to steal American jobs.

Consequently, we are now seeing journalists coming up with stories asking: “who will be the new leader of the free world?”  As a way of looking at today’s world, this is about as useful as asking “Which nation will build a faster steam train?”  Yet when lazy reporters continue to use hackneyed and obsolete phrases like “leader of the free world”, you have to admit that Trump’s criticism of “fake news” is not entirely unjustified.  And applying that description to Trump himself is about as fake as you can get.