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.
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.
Yup, that’s good old CY Pinocchio alright.
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.
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.
And a few well know democrats march solidly behind the banner.
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.