HK to blame for continued dictatorship

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Wang Zhenmin, the top legal official at Beijing’s Hong Kong Liaison Office, speaks to the United Front-linked Asia Pacific Law Association. He acknowledges that the Office meddled in the recent Legislative Council election (rather disastrously, though he doesn’t dwell on it). And he makes the predictable thunderous mouth-frothing denunciations of Hong Kong independence, saying it is totally impossible for a thousand years but since you ask would cause apocalyptic doom to Hong Kong itself while the rest of China would barely notice, so there. Complete with garbled ‘illness’ metaphor.

The Chinese Communist Party does not do public contrition, so we would not expect Wang to suggest that Beijing should perhaps revise its attitude to Hong Kong – listen more and hysterically freak out less. And sure enough, he sticks to the standard script, while introducing and emphasizing some refinements to the official argument.

The Communist Party is infallible, so anything that goes wrong must be someone else’s fault. Officials have previously blamed dissatisfaction in Hong Kong on local people’s ignorance (of China, the Basic Law, or whatever) or on evil hostile foreign forces. The rise of localism has recently prompted the development of a slightly different line: Hong Kong people are unhappy/frustrated/resentful because of Mainland China’s economic rise. There is no logic to it, but it neatly avoids any recognition that Beijing has screwed up with its feudalistic ‘big brother’ attitude.

Are Beijing’s people seriously in denial, or are they just saying this sort of thing to keep up appearances and make themselves feel better? We get a hint that they suspect, deep down, that Hong Kong’s anger might be connected with governance and political process when Wang starts talking about democracy…

…he said if Hongkongers produced a version of democracy that included violence and separatism then mainlanders would not dare develop democratic politics. [Standard]

This is a cunning and subtle spin, by Communist Party standards. He is implying that China’s leadership yearns to abandon absolute control and introduce representative government, but Hong Kong people could ruin it all, and put Mainlanders off the idea, by demanding the wrong/icky/violent sort of democracy. So it would all be Hong Kong’s fault! Naughty Hong Kong – making Chinese people prefer an oppressive and corrupt one-party dictatorship. You should all go home and feel very very guilty.

You have to hand it to Wang for sheer audacity. But the fact that he thinks this relatively ingenious and manipulative argument might work suggests that the Communists are indeed as delusional as ever.

I declare the weekend open with a public health/dubious taste warning to avoid Wanchai Road until the latest culinary nightmare is sorted out…

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Another bad day for CY

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Month by month, week by week, day by day, it is getting worse to be CY Leung. Leaked documents and common-sense cynicism leave most thinking Hong Kong people in little doubt that their Chief Executive did a secret deal to allow murky rural thug-linked ‘strongmen’ to profit at the expense of badly needed public housing supply. If (for the sake of argument) CY had one claim to credibility, it would be his apparently sincere commitment to struggle – albeit against mysterious and apparently insurmountable odds – to tackle the city’s housing problem. So much for that.

It would be a tremendous credit to government spin doctors if they had deliberately crafted yesterday’s press conference to distract the public by highlighting the supposed rivalry between CY and Financial Secretary John ‘grim faced’ Tsang. They are, of course, nowhere near that devious – it just turned out that way, thanks partly to reporters’ inability or reluctance to ask the right questions. The PR advisers probably did suggest the emotional ‘weepy’ performance at the end. It was sub-Nixon-Checkers-speech stuff, and won’t impress anyone.

(James David Barber classified Nixon as an ‘active-negative’ leader, meaning: ‘lack of deriving joy after expending much effort on tasks, aggressive, highly rigid, and having a general view of power as a means to self-realization’. And shifty-looking, of course.)

The Legislative Council’s new, youthful, energetic, invigorated, blood-smelling, knife-sharpening opposition camp aren’t buying the government’s flimsy making-it-up-as-they-go-along excuses. Their challenge is to use the Wang Chau land scandal to inflict maximum damage on the administration and its grubby and grasping Heung Yee Kuk and other colluding allies – and test Beijing’s commitment to them. The pro-establishment lawmakers have the unhappy job of appearing happy with and loyal to the administration, even as such misfortunes as the counterproductive United Front meddling, Sing Pao weirdness, leaking of documents, and a blatantly sullen Financial Secretary suggest that it is coming apart.

And the court did indeed slap down the government’s whiny attempt to put the Joshua Wong Trio in jail. Just to add to that everything’s-going-wrong feeling.

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A day on tenterhooks

There’s something for everyone to await with trepidation or anticipation today.

The Bank of Japan will announce what, if any, new monetary stimulus to introduce. It might cut interest rates, which are already negative, or buy up bonds or other assets – even REITs and ETFs. They’ll be knocking at citizens’ doors and buying their TVs and cars next.

The idea is to stop the Yen from rising (though that would boost Japanese people’s purchasing power), to increase the inflation rate (which does the opposite) and to induce businesses to invest and citizens to spend, even though they have no need or desire to. Obviously, there is a rationale to avoiding deflation, but there is no logic to endlessly flogging a dead horse. (It does seem endless. How long ago was it that Japanese policymakers were toying with putting expiry dates on cash to force people to spend – 15, 20 years?)

Anyway – the big unknown is the implications of a weaker Yen/stronger US Dollar for China and the world. These range from potentially greater capital flight from the Mainland scmp-chasingto a boost for Donald Trump, who is mightily vexed by China’s ‘currency manipulation’, news of which has only recently reached him.

The South China Morning Post has an op-ed article by Niall Ferguson, saying that life might not be so bad under President Trump after all, give or take various cataclysmic horrors too terrifying to mention. As you would expect of a revisionist historian specializing in restoring the British Empire’s coolness, Ferguson is a professional troll of self-righteous trendies (nice work if you can get it) and no doubt being provocative. But then there’s Hillary – and the unthinkable suddenly sounds less far-fetched. We can only hope those Japanese central bankers know what they’re doing.

We are also looking forward today to learning the fate of young Hong Kong radical student leaders Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow. As part of the government’s vendetta against Occupy/Umbrella movement participants, the three were prosecuted for unlawful assembly and incitement. A magistrate with (perhaps) a maternal soft spot for idealistic youths sentenced them to community service. The government is now appealing and demanding that the three be sent to prison with hard labour, bread-and-water, transportation for life. The verdict is due today.

The government’s unseemly pursuit of the trio arises of course from the Liaison Office-directed campaign against subversives, dissenters and localists – a campaign that backfired so wonderfully in the Legislative Council election a few weeks back. We now (or soon will) have a directly elected representative known as the Hon Nathan Law. (Talking recently to a member of Hong Kong’s establishment, I casually mentioned that I voted for Nathan. Blood drained from cheeks.) The Liaison Office has crawled off to lick its wounds for a while. If the court jails Joshua and Co, the government looks vindictive and alienates much of the public, even more, again. If the court rejects the appeal, the government ends up looking plain ridiculous.

stan-mudslingExcept, maybe, it will be too busy looking stupid for something else – this afternoon’s press conference on the Wang Chau land/Heung Yee Kuk/triads/collusion disaster. Chief Executive CY Leung looks icily self-possessed when executing Liaison Office orders to intimidate kids who have minds of their own; he comes across as a panicky loser when trying to shift blame for the Wang Chau mess onto the Financial Secretary.

Whatever happens with the Bank of Japan, the Joshua Wong appeal or the CY-John Tsang hands-in-cookie-jar, dog-ate-my-homework, buck-passing extravaganza, the world will be a different place by the end of the day.

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Gone fishing

As usual, Hong Kong this week is hosting approximately three dozen conferences on ‘Sustainable Paradigms: Challenges and Opportunities’. But only one has a speaker with such an impressively alliterative name as…

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Another Soho restaurant closes its doors. It was one of those places where diners feel a bit boxed in…

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The main thing – a glance at my calendar shows that the ‘double tenth’ is a public holiday in Hong Kong this year…

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New lawmakers’ utter uselessness exposed

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The South China Morning Post claims that ‘doubts are surfacing’ over the abilities of Hong Kong’s newly elected greenhorn young-gun legislators to do their job. The paper invites readers to compare child-radical Nathan Law (23) with seasoned mature grown-up Abraham Razack (71) – forgetting perhaps that these readers are the same voters who elected Nathan not least out of revulsion for the property cartel Razack represents.

Four years ago, the best the old-guard opposition lawmakers could do was focus obsessively on new Chief Executive CY Leung’s illegal garden trellis. Today, before even starting to collect their Legislative Council salaries, some of the new Council members are savaging the CE over apparent collusion with the New Territories thugocracy.

Newly elected legislator Eddie Chu accuses the government (and CY personally) of doing a deal with the Heung Yee Kuk to let rural crooks continue occupying public land illegally, while evicting nearby villagers who lack powerful connections. Thus, to ensure that local landlords continue making money, officials reduce planned scmp-petitionpublic-housing supply in the area from 17,000 to 4,000 units. These are specific accusations, with circumstantial evidence – not least the death threats Eddie Chu received from the second he convincingly won his Legco seat, plus bureaucrats’ predictably desperate squirming. It all squares with longstanding suspicions/assumptions about ties between the Kuk, triads and officials (the Standard’s editorial refreshes our memories).

The timing couldn’t be better, or worse, according to taste. A watchdog has just criticized bureaucrats for (essentially) ignoring countless cases in which people are illegally occupying and profiting from public land. The government is planning to clear tenants from illegal housing in old factory buildings without providing alternative shelter. And property prices are spiking up again – with Henderson offering 163-sq-ft apartments for HK$3.9 million. CY Leung of course came into office promising to fix the housing problem.

The whole mess confirms the Heung Yee Kuk as the grubby mafia it is. And it puts government supporters in their usual impossible position. (Pro-Beijing legislators seem to be stalling – which means awaiting instructions from their Communist Party minders in the Liaison Office.)

Sensitive timing; an old-style faction of power-brokers suddenly looking friendless; and the loyalist camp uncertain over which side to take. It feels eerily similar to Henry Tang’s basement scandal, which pulled the plug on the tycoons’ preferred Chief Executive while leaving United Front shoe-shiners in the lurch.

As then, no-one can tell what exactly is going on behind the scenes (in terms of, say, Liaison Office-Beijing squabbling). But one difference is that new opposition lawmakers are gutsy prime movers in publicizing what looks like a real outrage. Can’t imagine why the SCMP doubts their competence.

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Never-ending eternal perpetual things still going on unceasingly

scmp-investorsoptThe South China Morning Post’s Property section reports Hong Kong’s latest current biggest-since-the-last-one ‘mad scramble for flats’. By the standards of the mid-1990s, when triads dominated lines of purchasers and secretaries were scooping up four units at a time on 100% mortgages, this is a very subdued mad scramble. But the impressive thing is that anyone is choosing to buy at this time and at these price levels.

Their calculation must be that the Federal Reserve is simply never going to increase interest rates, and that there will never come a time when asset prices need to correspond with what end-users are willing and able to pay. Since Hong Kong property prices will go up and up for ever and ever, the concrete and steel they are made of will at some stage be worth more, per ounce, than gold. So, obviously, you buy.

Some 500 miles to our north in sunny swinging Hubei, a town with a population of 30,000 has built nearly 100,000 apartments and houses. The bad news is that if all the homes were sold and occupied, the surrounding region would run out of water. The good news is that – of course – no-one will ever move in, and the structures will stand empty for eternity. Phew.

Like Janet Yellen forever grandly not raising rates by an invisible-to-the-naked-eye 0.25 percentage points, China’s perpetual stimulus – by definition – continues. Someone tells Bloomberg: “In the short term, as long as it is invested, then it is GDP. But in the long term, if it is wasted investment, then they have to pay for that.”

But do they? With enough renewable and nuclear capacity in the pipeline to meet future energy needs, what better way to go than put another US$150 billion into coal-powered plants destined to never be fired up? You just keep doing it. Never stop. Every time some smart-ass foreigner says ‘financial Star Trek… we’ve left the solar system behind … end it must’, you just do it again. More credit = more collateral = more credit. It’s magic. (“Most borrowers and lenders are owned by the government”, it says – so all those unused bridges, malls and power stations spontaneously materialize out of nothing, at no cost, free of charge, with no wealth affected.)

The never-ending cycle extends beyond unburstable asset bubbles and unceasing lending and building into tightening the grip on people’s minds. Over the years, the Chinese government has placed more and more restrictions on the Internet, on newspapers, on TV and on thought in general. Even though the system can ensure that Wukan, for example, isn’t really happening, there is never enough control. Beijing is now demanding tougher measures to curb live-streaming.

As with Internet television, live-streaming will now require a licence – which only well-capitalized state-run companies can get…

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There is still, as always, room for yet greater constraints. On-line videos in which teenage girls yack about cosmetics surely potentially deviate from socialist principles (like the seductive eating of bananas). Logically, if live-streaming is a danger, regulators should clamp down on the chaos of uncontrolled telephone conference calls, which could be spreading all sorts of spiritual pollution. And we are still eons from sewing everyone’s lips shut.

Thanks to infinite increases in everything, I am able to expand time itself and declare the three-day weekend open a whole day early. I also award Slightly Disconcerting-if-not-Creepy Photo Caption of the Week to the SCMP’s Property section…

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A feast of ironies

Aficionados of extreme obsequiousness were in shock for a few hours last week after it emerged that a particularly nauseating exercise in shoe-shining – a full-page ad glorifying a particular individual – was in fact a malicious sarcastic attack. Who would have thought that satire and parody would spread from our mischievously witty radicals and activists to pompous and dull establishment circles?

The personal feud in this case is of a common sort: grown adults regularly become deranged lunatics when bickering over obscure details of school governance in Hong Kong. But this unprecedented lapse into ungentlemanly public mockery could be yet another sign that the city is slipping into an abyss.

Which bring us to death threats against politicians – notably Eddie Chu, scourge of the rural mafia. The South China Morning Post’s Alex Lo writes a curious column stating that, ‘as everyone knows’, the Heung Yee Kuk ‘is a highly respected body whose leaders stand for the rule of law’…

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Is this satire, or not? At a first glance, it is clearly tongue-in-cheek. But on a second reading in context, it seems dead – and suspiciously ponderously – straight. The plot thickens when we go from the print to the online edition of the paper, where the same lines in the column make far more sense and allow for the possibility that the Kuk is not the pinnacle of righteousness and divine perfection…

But besides representing rural interests, the kuk’s leaders must stand for the rule of law, not lawlessness and violence; for rational land development in the public interest, not for the dark forces of criminality and hidden vested interests for land exploitation; for transparency, not secretive and unaccountable decision-making.

Maybe the original intention was satire (which the SCMP has, perhaps wisely, has never tried on its largely English-as-second-language readers), and editors failed to recognize it. Perhaps the online version is more or less authentic. A simple-minded, ham-fisted, hyper-correct in-house censor would have turned the original Kuk-skeptical copy into this idiotic-sounding tribute on the assumption that that is what higher powers would want – and this went to press. Someone with brain cells subsequently fixed the online version.

The delicious ironies continue.

Our new Mainland-made electronic buses have been kept off the streets

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You would have thought the stop button would be the one part of an electronic bus that worked perfectly.

And then we have the tragic fate that has befallen a billionaire. Two years ago, businessman Jim Thompson denounced the ‘spoiled brats’ of the Umbrella Movement (now known as ‘newly elected legislators’) and nostalgically recalled how their illegal-immigrant forebears lived in tin shacks and stole to survive. Anyway – now an upwardly mobile Mainland burglar has progressed from village-house noodle-snatching to ransacking Jim Thompson’s luxury home, and even swiping his Gold Bauhinia Star…

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Well, I think it’s funny. Karma, perhaps.

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Does Regina finally realize she’s finished?

Hong Kong’s recent Legislative Council elections prompted international attention and interesting analysis (here, here, here, here, here, etc). A common theme running through these accounts is that the more Beijing tries to tighten control, the more Hong Kong resists. This is part of a broader pattern of cluelessness by Chinese policymakers, who in recent years have succeeded in spreading suspicion and alienation among audiences in Taiwan, around the South China Sea, among Western countries’ inward investment authorities and elsewhere.

stan-aninconvMany overseas observers see a mismatch between the nationalistic pride Beijing wants to inspire among its own population, and the respect and influence it yearns for in the outside world. Some go further and believe that China’s leaders have succumbed to their own propaganda and perceive every slight and setback as proof of a global conspiracy to deny the country its due.

In Hong Kong, the Communist Party’s supporters are oblivious to such worldly perspectives and spout markedly parochial official lines to explain local hostility towards creeping Mainland influence. Some are crass – like the idea that Hongkongers are resentful because their cousins across the border are less impoverished and backward than they used to be (an argument that sounds like Mainland officials projecting their own shallowness). A slightly more subtle approach is to lament the fact that Beijing has ‘lost confidence’ in Hong Kong.  The more sophisticated loyalists frame this as pleas for ‘both sides’ to build ‘trust’.

The implication is that the people have the responsibility and duty to win the confidence of the government, rather than the other way round. This is absurd, but since the Communist Party is infallible, no other explanation makes sense. And if you want or need to ingratiate Beijing, the logic must be compelling.

Which brings us to the subject of Regina Ip – a classic example of a pro-Beijing shoe-shiner who will blame Hong Kong people for not appreciating, indeed enjoying, enormously crap leadership. The former Broomhead/Security Secretary was the biggest vote-getter on Hong Kong Island last week, in a 16%-of-the-vote sort of way. This should have been the crowning achievement in her career as a legislator, opening the door to her ultimate goal of becoming Chief Executive.

However, that is not how things are working out. She must finally be realizing what the rest of us have known all along – that she is not in the running.

The election results reflect a transition in Hong Kong. The shift towards localism and a younger generation is an abandonment of old pretenses that Beijing is essentially benign, and can be trusted. Beijing is now showing its true character, and Hong Kong is shaking off any illusions it had. Localism, despite its name, is about seeing Hong Kong in the context of China abusing everyone – from Taiwan to Southeast Asia, and so on. Regina, for all her apparent hard-headed realism, struggles to keep up.

She has been caught lying about her post-election visit to the Liaison Office (a cynic would suspect that the Beijing officials set her up), and is desperately trying to avoid being neutralized as Legislative Council president. To claw back a few brownie points, she is declaring that loyalty requires lawmakers to oppose investigation of the Chief Executive.

A bizarre story in yesterday’s South China Morning Post online reported that Regina thinks activist lawmaker Eddie Chu’s plan to shelter his family from death threats in LegCo offices reflects Hong Kong’s housing shortage…

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There is a tortuous theoretical link, in that the death threats seem to result from Chu’s allegations that the New Territories mafia managed to veto a government plan to build public housing in a location that didn’t suit them. But Regina, in her confusion, was apparently/clearly suggesting that Chu’s (maybe dramatized) intention to squat in the LegCo building would be unnecessary if his family could escape death threats by fleeing to – say – a weekend apartment on Lantau.

The story has mysteriously disappeared from the SCMP website. Some advanced Googling suggests that it shriveled up overnight into a mere sentence (second para from the end) in a story about Chu’s allegations. That story – about Beijing co-opting the bad and alienating the innocent – is of course far more important than Regina Ip. The point is that maybe Regina herself has finally worked that out.

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Eeewww – pass the sick bag

stan-timecopsWho can fail to be heartened by the Standard’s editorial on the threats against candidate Ken Chow and Legislative Council member-elect Eddie Chu? We can be confident that the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the police will [despite indications that they are now subject to Chinese Communist Party direction] handle the complaints seriously as it gives the agencies the opportunity to prove the public has misunderstood them, and they’re as trustworthy as ever.

Such a cheery and uplifting thought puts me in the mood for some good old-fashioned, no-nonsense, full-on, vomit-inducing shoe-shining – like we used to enjoy in the days before Communist Party henchmen and rural mafia thugs ran Legislative Council elections. And the South China Morning Post hosts an exquisite example today, in a full-page ad…

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The ad congratulates one Dr Chan Chi Mong on being reappointed big boss at Pui Ching Middle and feeder schools in Kowloon. Which, as we all know, is a highly esteemed, venerable, Baptist, (probably) exclusive/elite, blah-blah, etc educational institution. Alumni include: John Hung (Wheelock, prison), ex-Sir CK Chow, Henry Tang, Simon Peh (of ICAC fame) and Regina Tsang (third place, Miss Hong Kong, 1979).

Normally, this sort of worshipful announcement in a newspaper is signed by a long list of people or bodies all wanting a piece of the grovel-dom. Sometimes – it is distressing to relate – the target of the obsequiousness discreetly initiates the shoe-shining ad himself by getting a go-between to invite sponsors. In this case, one Koo Ming Kown of Pui Ching-connectons is the sole sponsor.

The ad lists the great achievements of the hitherto unheard-of ‘celebrity and social pillar’…

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It’s not proper shoe-shining unless you heap praise upon the recipient for having a fake doctorate – this one from the (wow-I’m-shocked) bogus ‘European University of Ireland’.

Another shining sign of attainment among social climbers in Hong Kong is being made a Justice of the Peace. The office is a colonial-era relic, and only a tiny handful of JPs (pro-dem misfits) actually perform any duties – mainly checking conditions in prisons. But people badger and beg incessantly to get themselves or their offspring the meaningless title, which is hardly surprising given that your ‘highly respectable social status is affirmed as a result’…

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The two political parties mentioned here are in fact rivals – both are ultra-moderate, wannabe-Beijing-friendly splinters of mainstream pro-democracy groups. The fawning congratulations also mention that ‘Dr’ Chan has Kuomintang links, which explains the absence of the sort of Mainland/United Front stuff we would otherwise expect in local contemporary public sycophancy. (This symbolic distance from the CCP milieu could have something to do with Pui Ching’s Christian heritage, but I may be reading too much into it.) He has a seat on an appropriately mind-numbing and inconsequential government body; chances of a Bronze Bauhinia Star are slim, but it’s not impossible.

The full-page adulation concludes by saying ‘Dr’ Chan is a director of two listed companies, and they and the world in general are naturally all the more magnificent for it. The database at webb-site.com names the two (obscure) firms, and helpfully reports their performance since he joined the boards, which happens to be underwhelming. He also appears in the Panama Papers, but who doesn’t?

Thus ends our delicious little glimpse at the fine art of puke-making Hong Kong shoe-shining. I declare the weekend open with the reassuring thought that at least some of our city’s core values are surviving and in good shape.

Update: It seems Koo hates Chan, and the ad may be parody. or actual sarcasm. In which case this is a major breakthrough in high-society bitchiness.

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If it feels like Friday…

…it’s because the inundation of inanities that usually heralds the weekend has come early.

Apple unveils the iPhone 23, or whatever number they’re up to. The big selling point is that you can’t plug headphones into it. The interesting thing about people who walk bl-applearound with headphones on is that they can’t hear everyone else’s rude comments about how absurd people look walking around wearing headphones. The new iPhone means that now they can hear these insults – but passers-by will have no need to make them, so it doesn’t matter. This is progress.

Bloomberg reports that the Chinese have seen through this farcical Apple fad and will avoid the things in favour of local brands that are cheaper and – minor detail – better in terms of being more useful, even including headphone plugs. More progress. (Perhaps next, Mainlanders will see the light on Yakult?)

This all suggests that traders will not need to hire hundreds of asylum-seekers and maids to wait in line overnight outside the Apple Store at IFC Mall to buy the devices by the dozen for smuggling over the border for sale at a hefty mark-up. You might think this will help make Central a less congested place. You would be wrong.

The South China Morning Post tells us that traffic jams and disruption are ‘promised’ in Hong Kong’s business district as a result of something called Formula E, which sounds like some skin lotion. The passive-voice-prone paper doesn’t say who exactly is making this promise, but it leaves readers in no doubt that the person responsible is serious…

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This is the ‘promise’ Occupy Central never quite honoured. Dozens of bus routes will be screwed up, leaving trips on them ‘unstable’. The mess could scmp-trafficjamslast up to three weeks. Weirdest of all, perhaps: although this is supposedly a special and exciting event (some sort of car race, by the way), innocent residents are told not to turn up.

This is going to be like having 20 Zhang Dejiangs visiting town at the same time.

The chief malevolence behind this idiocy appears to be one ‘Alan Fang, race organizer’. We might have visions of the bores in silly caps and jackets who can watch cars whizzing round in circles for hours on end – carriers of the same genetic mutation that leads people to enjoy watching golf. But I sense some hidden black hands at work. ‘Alan Fang, race organizer’ says that the transport disruption and civil liberties infringements are justified ‘for the sake of a major event on the harbourfront’. I smell Hong Kong civil servants in this. I smell tourism. Best-case scenario: a fatal pile-up claims the lives of a tolerable number (just double-figures) of spectators (from overseas, obviously), and the Formula E nightmare-extravaganza-shambles relocates to some dump like Shanghai or Dubai where it belongs.

What kind of a sport has a pre-contest ‘vote’ to give some participants an advantage…

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Finally, Henderson Land announces the launch of its latest micro-apartments. The bad news is that they cost HK$22,000 to HK$28,000 a square foot. The good news is that they are so small, you can still afford them. In fact, you can buy several, put them on a table and keep fish in them…

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