The Manifesto

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive-select Carrie Lam officially launches her election Manifesto today. Even by the standards of pointless, half-hearted, vacuous platforms for rigged elections, it will be stunningly insipid. It will make a Donald Tsang Policy Address look exciting and ideas-packed by comparison.

It will be interesting to see how the press treat this classic Emperor-with-no-clothes event. Presumably most of the establishment media will feign to take it seriously. If they were honest, they would identify one theme that runs through the document – the idea that Government is the Solution not the Problem.

No-one has told Carrie that, as CE, she will no longer be a mere administrator. She clearly sees bureaucratic process as 99% of the task of solving every challenge. The Manifesto spells out very few outcomes, results, ‘deliverables’, outputs or what the public thinks of as ‘stuff’. Instead, it promises efforts by officials to enhance or strengthen cooperation, coordination, communication, etc. (You wouldn’t believe how much coordination is coming our way.) And it describes, over and again, how a task force, committee, commission, summit or other official body will be formed to consider the possibility of doing something about [whatever the problem is].

To the extent that the manifesto mentions some sort of policy action, it is noticeably on the interventionist side. Tax breaks to attract big-name foreign companies in desirable sectors (tech/innovation) to set up their regional HQs here (like Turkey or Malaysia or somewhere). More tax breaks – more like blatant subsidies – for companies that conduct the correct, trendy type of R&D. Government is repeatedly described as a ‘facilitator’ and ‘promoter’, and will send its own officials around the world to do more trade delegations, bilateral treaty-signings, free-trade agreements and economic ambassador-stuff (plus ‘Belt and Road’, of course).

Carrie has had to grovel to various Election Committee beggars for nominations. The result is tawdry promises of help for retired sportsmen, career opportunities for Chinese medicine practitioners and favours for other vested interests who will soon be spoon-fed your tax-dollars.

Least surprising of all – vague promises to diversify the economy, alongside much more enthusiastic-sounding promises to boost the very tourism industry that is squeezing other economic activities out.

That’s it for a few days – but if the above is not depressing enough, there’s this.






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5 Responses to The Manifesto

  1. WTF says:

    Handouts to Chinese Medicine: They are an important new growth area for loyal immigrants, who need rewarding support for toeing the CCP line. The entire Chinese Medicine Staff at the Nethersole Hospitals’ two Chinese Medicine Clinics are CCP members, who actually hold party meetings on-site. The party sectary/political officer harangues them about showing up at various demonstrations, etc. It would not surprise me to see the same at other government and/or China sub-vented clinics.

    BTW, if you had picked the sea-coconut concoction (, it may have done you some good. Two of the badly spelt ingredients listed are actually from the Western Pharmacopoeia, used for easing the movement of phlegm. Many Mainland Chinese OTC medicine’s for fever reduction contain acetaminophen (Paracetamol), to hedge the bet, like this one which is advertised in HK. They don’t warn about the potential damage to the liver and kidneys of continually taking them as a health tonic.

    Now, the stuff old fashion clinics like at the Nethersole grind up from endangered plant and animal parts nearly all is just placebos, but thanks to that strange device known as the human mind placebos do work. Just like Paul Chan can come up with rubbish budget, and the poor keep taking the tonic rather than stringing the patent medicine peddlers up at the town square.

  2. Maugrim says:

    Tax breaks to attract big-name foreign companies in desirable sectors (tech/innovation) to set up their regional HQs here

    Wah, but no ‘stinky ah-cha’ /sarc.

  3. Papa Doc says:

    Don’t knock Chinese Herbal Medicine. Perhaps black magic, like voodoo in Haiti, will be the vital contribution to the end of despotic rule in China, ahead of the CIA and Falun Gong. And think of those poor pill makers, slicing up exact quantities of dog penis. Does a bit of scrotum get included by mistake? And are all dogs uncircumcised?

    People who trust Chimese voodoo medicine ought to self -destruct, don’t you think? The population has to be reduced in some significant way. Philip Morris and British American Tobacco can’t do all the work for us.

  4. Chinese Netizen says:

    It’s laughable how the local TV Engrish “news” refers to her as the “Chief Executive HOPEFUL”

  5. Penus Wong says:

    Carrie Pearls is supported by the Liaison Office and the Shanghai/Zhiang Zemin clique. But is she supported by the Xi Jinping/ princelings clique ? I don’t think so.

    DAB supports the Little Woman (following Liaison Office instructions), but DAB honcho Jasper does not. Strange, no ?

    689 gets pushed out without ceremony, and Pringles gets the handshake. What shall we make of that ?

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