Hong Kong – the home of Pinocchio

This is a little known fact but Pinocchio is alive and well and living in Hong Kong. I discovered this yesterday. Mrs. Ha was out doing essential chores so I wandered around with my camera to kill time. I was slightly surprised to see so many officers of the law on the street but assumed they were diligently handing out parking tickets, stopping idling engines or checking nobody crossed the road on a red pedestrian light. Ah Dibble‘s life is a tough one in HK. Soon it became rather noisy and the side streets were taped off. That could only mean one thing – a demonstration. And so it was that I spent all of 5 minutes shooting a demo for the first time.

The demo is about our current Chief Executive, C Y Leung. He defeated two other candidates in a so-called small circle election – the people of HK do not have universal suffrage. They certainly suffer outrage but that’s not the same thing. During the acrimonious election debates CY made great play of the fact that the other leading candidate Henry Tang, had illegal structures in his property and was therefore lacking in integrity. HT had also allegedly fathered a child outside his marriage. Usual stuff. To compound HT’s problem he gallantly and in a spirit of true chivalry blamed it all on his wife. Except the fathering of the child. That was too much to ask. And so poor Henry was defeated on Beijing’s nod (allegedly) and CY became our leader. The third candidate was there for comic relief as far as I could see, having no earthly chance of being acceptable to Beijing nor indeed to the 1200 lucky voters in HK. Officer Dibble, meet Albert “Benny the Ball” Ho.

And then the balloon went up. CY, it was discovered, had numerous illegal structures at his own home(s). He had, would you believe it, put up a garden trellis without permission and this therefore constituted an unauthorised building work. Shock horror. CY incidentally is some sort of surveyor and was  deemed to have been a person to whom planning regs would have been his everyday bread and butter. He must have known. Ergo he also lacks integrity and is unfit etc. etc.

Old Henry must be rolling in his unauthorised basement with laughter at this point. CY has also been accused of being economical with the truth in the investigations although his riposte is that he was under instructions from his lawyer to say as little as possible due to the legal challenges to his election. Apparently lying during the campaign is frowned upon. If so I suspect 99.9% of the world’s leaders should be summarily ejected from office.

To further compound CY’s problems he appointed a rag-bag group of politicians, one of whom lasted barely a week I think before he was found wanting in integrity and yet another is arguably a man of gross moral turpitude. The whole thing is a shambles. I am sure that many will see matters differently but for now let us only concern ourselves with the demo by the members of the League in Defense of HK’s Freedoms. They demand each taxpayer withhold HK$10 (just over 1 greenback) in April “as a Big NO to the government” (sic). Well that should scare them.

Here at last then are some of my shots:

CY the bad egg.

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My first inkling that Pinocchio was in the parade. And what a fetching outfit worn by the flag-bearer. Blue is the colour. Not sure about the green mask though.

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Yup, that’s good old CY Pinocchio alright.

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And below in the middle you see a poster image of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, the beacon of democracy. Oddly the grave of Dr. Sun’s mother is just down the road from where I live. If you follow The Wilson Trail above Ho Chung you can see it sign-posted.

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Is that the old colonial flag? Surely HK doesn’t want the Brits back? Democracy was as unknown under the Brits as it is now. Perhaps it was more akin the Lee Kuan Yew school of benign dictatorship.

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And a few well know democrats march solidly behind the banner.

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After that the demo moved in one direction and I the other. Mrs. Ha had finished her chores. If nothing else is learned from the current debacle it is that fairy tales don’t always have a happy ending and this one is certainly  of The Brothers Grim variety. I am largely apolitical but nevertheless find it sad that HK has come to be in such a mess and we can’t find a better bunch of people to run the SAR. What I really care about is that after a month of being cough-free on my foray down South, within days of returning to HK the coughing has started again and the pollution is corroding my lungs. It is a shame the police weren’t doing as I had thought and stopping idling engines instead of worrying about idling politicians.  Onward and Downward might be the new motto.

That’s All Folks.

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8 thoughts on “Hong Kong – the home of Pinocchio

  1. Very well said Andrew.

    I should interest myself more with the politics here but I know I’d start having a hissy fit, just the small amount that I do read in the papers makes me furious. I think it’s fair to say that Jakarta has it’s share of Pinocchios too.

    Having said that, we only have to read about what’s going on back in the UK and that’s not looking too rosy either….right I’m going to get on with my painting. Have a good week! 🙂

  2. Politics = the pits. Too much corruption in every nook and cranny. It is an alarming trend of power and greed and who will ultimately be the top dog. Too many countries seem to have similiar problems.

  3. All politics is local and as I am half a world away I have scant awareness of the pitics in HK aside from the apparent corruption which seems to be genetic amongst the greater percent of the political population however, judging from the banner picture of the gentleman in question what else was expected with that scnoz. Pinocchio indeed.

    More seriously though, that is troubling news about your renewed respirational irritation.

  4. How did I miss this? I know as little about HK politics as everyone else knows about Gib and Spanish ones (unless they read my blog of course). Fascinating read. What’s SAR?

    Here our politicians are invariably accused of smuggling, usually in the past though, not sure any of them are doing it now. Rather there is just an undercurrent flavour of corruption and back-handers, the only difference between governments being who is giving and receiving, so to speak.

    I don’t think Gibbos do demos. Union members have done a few marches which go past our house (we live near the union office). But most things go past our house as we are just off Main Street.

    Gibbos ideas of taking to the streets is on National Day when we all party on 🙂

    • We are a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China – like Macau. One Country Two systems was the idea. Its slowly morphing into one and one but what a surprise! Surely everybody reads your blog who wants to know about Gib??

      • Thanks. And like China wants Taiwan to become? (think – Gib and Spain, Falklands and Argentina …)

        Actually a few people have found my blog wanting to know more about Gib. Hence all the questions on the what do you want to know about Gib page, or whatever I called it. They don’t usually comment on posts though. Some people found it through my acid comments on wordpress forums and Daily Post, and I’ve no idea where the others came from. Oh, a few were previous blogger pals. But Texicans, Canadians, Australians? Why would they want to read about Gib (and Spain), however they do.

        The interesting fact is that other ex-pats in either Gib or Spain rarely/never comment. Methinks a little bit of competition between us all? 😀

      • Ah but quality will out, Rough Seas! I wasn’t aware that there were other expat bloggers in Gib/Spain.

        A little acidic commentary never goes amiss if judiciously and appropriately administered. Why throw H20 at something when you can chuck a bucket of H2SO4?

        Taiwan….. a thorny topic but I’m sure the answer is yes, some sort of quasi-autonomous status would be fine to Beijing if sovereignty were conceded. They play the long game and will out-wait everyone else until the wind changes.

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