Tag Archives: cadres

Hong fun in the summer Kong-shine!

12 Jul

lionsAs someone who has a love-hate relationship with sport, love it when we win, inconsolable when we don’t, last weekend could have gone down as one of the worst since Newcastle “blew” the Premier League lead in ’96. As it happened, it was one of the best. A scintillating 10 minute period from the Lions which routed the Oz-tralians was followed by even greater heroics as Andy Murray reclaimed his British credentials from the claws of Alex Salmond and gave a nation even more to cheer about.

Watching it all soaked in cider and sweat from my Hong Kong home has made the whole thing seem slightly unreal, although at least we’re spared blanket coverage and Sue friggin’ Barker here. In fact, witnessing the demolition of the Wallabies was all the sweeter from the grand colonial setting of the Foreign Correspondent’s Club in Central. Sipping Tsingtao with my fellow gin-soaked members – whose faces were about the shade of a Lion’s jersey – was particularly satisfying come the final whistle. I can say in all honesty that the “whingeing” moniker is ironically enough 100% more appropriate when applied to our Antipodean cousins – as a nation possibly the world’s worst sporting losers.

So that’s the start of summer then. All here are hugely looking forward to morphing into an unwrung sponge after just a few steps out of the door. As indeed are we to spotting the hordes of teenaged Hong Kong girls – and indeed middle aged women with teenaged girls’ bodies – dressed in hot pants so short  it really does make Wan Chai a confusing place after a couple of sherbets.

There’s honestly not much to do here until September. In a week or so China’s government will pretty much shut down for the summer and Party cadres and their families across the Middle Kingdom will pack up their Louis Vuitton luggage and primary colour clothes and head to Europe or the US on luxury holidays most Chinese can only dream of. They will behave appallingly but spend an obscene amount of (probably) illegally acquired money, thus making them at once both indispensable to the tourist industry of these foreign lands and utterly hated throughout the world.

In the meantime, I for one intend fully to spend my summer afternoons at the beach, my weekends gorging on dim sum and the rest of the time jumping off boats into sea the temperature of warm milk. Oh yeah, and my evenings agonising over the Ashes, having one too many and being bundled onto some concrete by some twat. Probably Australian.

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.