Tag Archives : Time Out Column


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #12

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…

‘Green shoots’
Greenpeace won’t be happy with how I learned to stop worrying and love the skyscraper, but Hong Kong’s super high density set-up is actually a very economical model. Our compact living arrangements minimise the impact on the local environment, which is over 70% countryside, giving us one of the highest proportions of national park reserves in the world. It means almost everyone is well-connected to public transport, it quashes the need for car ownership, enables local economies and makes commuting to the supermarket an outlandish idea. One local blogger calculated that only 0.15% of the world’s land mass would be urbanised if everyone were to live, as he does, on an 18,000 person housing estate. Plus, efficient living needn’t denote a bleak and claustrophobic existence, as most land would be left to nature or for public use.


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #11

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…

Mainland meddling.
Show up to any protest vaguely involving China and you’ll spot dark clothed men murmuring in Putonghua with earpieces and shaved heads – the mainland undercover police ‘goons’ stick out worse than Donald Tsang’s spottiest bowtie. They suspiciously eye you up as if you’d just killed their cat – though, I hardly blend in either, being a pale, ginger-haired beacon of gweilo tallness (somehow we both like to think we go undetected!)


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #10

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…

In bed with the Junta

China may have begun to distance itself from the wacky regime in North Korea, but its support of the detestable Burmese junta hasn’t missed a beat. India, China and Hong Kong have too many vested interests at stake to have joined the international chorus of condemnation when democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced this month. It should come as no surprise that China’s Foreign Ministry simply said that the world must ‘fully respect Myanmar’s judicial sovereignty’.


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #9

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…

Life in Plastic
The government levy on plastic bags is beset with politics and loopholes, but it’s worth remembering why this issue is so vital. Local eco-hero Doug Woodring has founded Project Kaisei, a team of environmentalists, activists and scientists based in the US and right here in HK. The project aims to study and retrieve the millions of tons of plastic waste which has converged in the Pacific forming a ‘garbage vortex’. This toxic soup is estimated to be 1,200 times the size of Hong Kong, and it’s still expanding.


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #8

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…

The good activist
Direct action and civil disobedience often involve effecting change by raising public awareness and so those involved inevitably open themselves up for scrutiny. Some dismiss activists as ego-maniacal, but most of us seek the spotlight for a just cause (not ourselves). Certainly some element of ego will be in play, as you need to be of an outspoken and confident persuasion – few revolutions are led by insecure, timid types. However, many local activists have discovered that you regularly have to put your reputation and liberty on the line to highlight an issue.


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #7

I recently started writing a short, light-hearted political column for Hong Kong Time Out Magazine. Below is the uncut, original version…

Not So Super

The UK has embraced ‘green guilt’ in recent years; we Brits can barely step out of bed without feeling pangs over our carbon footprints. Consumer activism has had a real impact on issues like fair trade, packaging and ethical alternatives with big retailers quick to respond in order to compete. In the Fragrant Harbour, however, we’re only just cottoning on to the evils of plastic bags and a term such as ‘food miles’ remains as foreign as central heating.


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #6

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…

Making your protest count
Either the authorities in HK have highly questionable numeracy skills, or their protester head counts are based on political rather than mathematical reckoning. The Alliance claimed over 150,000 attended the moving and sombre 6/4 commemoration in Victoria Park, whilst the police gave a laughable estimate of 62,800. The tally for the previous Sunday’s march to LEGCO was put at 4,700 by the organisers and 8,000 by the authorities. This disparity happens every time and the two figures never match. One has to wonder if the number is just plucked randomly out of the air whilst the officers chomp on donuts, or whether they deliberately calculate a fraction of the organiser figure.


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #5

I recently started writing a short, light-hearted political column for Hong Kong Time Out Magazine. Below is the uncut, original version…

Bright ideas

In what are meant to be times of economic austerity and eco-awareness, the vulgar practice of retail premises being lit up like a Macanese casino all night continues to spread, despite campaigning from local NGOs.

One has to wonder how many customers of Louis Vuitton, Dunhill and Coach are going to be around at 4am on a weeknight, and how many of them will be suddenly convinced that their lives are lacking yet another preposterous handbag. Unless Armani are somehow trying to capture that key ‘drunkard-loony-and/or-homeless’ demographic, it really seems unlikely that their target audience are going to be eyeing up their over-lit billboards.


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #4

I recently started writing a short, light-hearted political column for Hong Kong Time Out Magazine. Below is the uncut, original version…

Bus TV

Shopping may be a territory-wide obsession, but even when between purchases we are constantly, relentlessly being sold something everywhere we go in the Capital of Capitalism. Advertising is so ubiquitously brash around our supposedly fragrant harbour that vulgar neon signage has become one of the iconic, defining features of the city.


POLITICS – HK Time Out Magazine – Column #3 1

I recently started writing a short, light-hearted political column for Hong Kong Time Out Magazine. Below is the uncut, original version…

Flying Freedom Kites.
20 years ago the central government crushed the world’s biggest peaceful pro-democracy movement in a violent crackdown on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square – thousands were killed and wounded. In the run up to the June 4th anniversary this year, I will be joining other activists to fly ‘kites for democracy’ this Sunday at Clearwater Bay Country Park, 2pm.