POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #14

I’m currently contributing a short, light-hearted political column to Hong Kong Time Out Magazine. Below is the uncut, original version of my latest piece…

Petty politics
The pro-Beijing DAB may dominate LEGCO seats but their recent behaviour suggests they might be a couple of roast ducks short of a buffet. This summer, they called a press conference to reveal local up-skirt exposure black spots. This highly comprehensive list, which pinpointed public places whereby Peeping Toms can spy on women, happened to double splendidly as a list of public places for Peeping Toms to spy on women. Perhaps we should also expect a handy list of dodgy websites we definitely shouldn’t visit?

Weeks later, they presented an urgent warning for HongKongers to avoid squirting their McDonald’s ketchup onto the paper tray cover for fear of ink poisoning. Doctors agreed that there are more pressing dangers associated with fast ‘food’, but the irony was obviously lost on the DAB who felt it warranted another press conference. Health worries over lethal paper-ketchup proximity in McDonald’s is the equivalent of suggesting a diet coke to go with that Double Big Mac meal. Incidentally, this was preceded by a survey of ‘hygiene blackspots’, cementing their reputation as the official OCD political party.

Are their meetings so boring, or our society so flawlessly perfect, that these obscure issues are a priority? If the party is concerned with women’s bodies, how about a crackdown on dodgy slimming schools and promotions? If they’re worried about public health, push to overhaul healthcare or suggest fast-food restaurants stop opening around schools or advertising to children (as several other countries have done).

How about fighting poverty, pollution or expensive, futile building projects? The DAB’s penchant for promoting pointless policies, wasting time and resources, highlights the disconnect between the ruling elite and regular citizens. It is our lack of real progress on the big issues this decade that justifies the desire for true democracy sooner rather than later!

Time Out Column - 28.10.09

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