Archive | March, 2013

Can you hear the little piggies? Oh no, they’re all dead…

14 Mar

xi jinpingSome breaking news just in from China. Xi Jinping, already anointed general secretary of the Communist Party last November and PLA chief, has won a nail-biting contest which went right down to the wire after he saw off no-comers to claim the presidency of his country.

Cocky Xi, 59, said “I thought I had a chance when the only political party in the country elected me unanimously as its leader that I might just be able to squeeze over the line and I’m glad to say that all my hard work campaigning door-to-door has paid off. I’m dedicating this one to the PEOPLE!”

Now, of course that’s not what Xi said. It was a simple lampoon. But I hope it’s at least partially successful in expressing a tiny bit of cynicism at today’s ‘election’, during which national broadcaster CCTV actually reported that the National People’s Congress (aka China’s annual ‘parliament’) took a break to count the votes. A break to count the votes. Yeah, and make sure you do it carefully people because every…vote…counts. If that isn’t democracy in action, I don’t know what is.

In the end Xi secured 2,952 votes, with one brave soul voting against and three abstensions. Seriously, did someone lose their fucking marbles? They voted against? Before you have a pop at the Chinese presidential elections, though, check out the voter turnout. President Xi now has a 99.86 per cent mandate to do whatever he and his seven-man Politburo team, and of course all the shadowy factional power string-pullers, put their mind to. In your face Obama.

So while that one poor soul who didn’t vote for Xi can expect a swift exit from front-line politics, what can the rest of us look forward to from Xi’s China?  Well, less ostentatious displays of wealth from cadres for sure – in fact, the austerity/corruption crackdown has already begun, primarily because it makes central government look good. Hopefully that will also mean fewer instances of spoilt princelings wrapping their Ferraris around motorway bridges whilst getting sucked off by high class hookers. Actually, no, I’d quite like that to continue, if it keeps the general population of these arrogant little runts down.

We can certainly expect to see more effort to turn the whole smog thing round. The pollution levels in Beijing and other cities regularly go off the scale. I mean literally, they don’t even have measurements for how fucked people’s lungs are getting. Fujian province has even marketed itself to tourists on the back of its supposedly superior air quality with Partridge-esque slogans such as: “Welcome to a breath of fresh air”, and, “Take a deep breath. You’re in Fujian”. This interesting campaign was only curtailed recently when hundreds of dead piglets were found in a ditch in the province, contaminating the water and turning the air rather sour. Nice one Fujian.

Yes. Dead pigs. We can certainly expect a whole heap more public health scandals of this kind. In fact, over 6,000 of the oinky critters have been fished out of Shanghai’s  Huangpu river in recent days. In response to concerns that the water, which is processed into drinking H2O, was contaminated, President Xi remarked that a good “citizen test” to see if a river’s water is safe is to get the local mayor to go for a swim in it. Fancy a punt on the Huangpu Xi? Thought not.

If that wasn’t bad enough, it seems that the reason for the mass porcine disaster-cide is that diseased pigs were being killed and dumped in the river upstream after a local government crackdown meant they could no longer be slaughtered for eventual sale as processed pork-style products. Yes, diseased and dying pigs slaughtered for meat on an as-yet-unknowable scale. Forget randy monkeys, this is probably how AIDS started.

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