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The thoughts of an American expat in Hong Kong living on an "underlying island"

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Not Gonna Budge, But They Sure Are Blinking Like Bush

Reading the stories in The Standard and SCMP this morning focussing on Stanley Ho started to make it clear why beloved daughter Pansy is running the casino business now.

Beyond the usual drivel about requirements to be patriotic and threats about 2046, the end of the 50 year promise from China to Britain under the Joint Declaration and not just a Wong Kar-wai flick, there was this tidbit in the SCMP article.

He said the Legislative Council should pass the government's reform package, because "property prices will shoot up 20 per cent".

Make Money Fast!

Li Gang , deputy director of the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong, said yesterday that although it was the public's right to protest, they should consider Hong Kong's stability.

"It does not matter how many people are marching. What is important is how to maintain Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, how to maintain a harmonious society ... and increase the number of banknotes in people's pockets."

Is Li Gang a fool to fall for a tycoon's promises of "Make Money Fast" and thoughts of property wealth making Hong Kong people complacent to the Liaison Office's wishes?

I'm not sure, because although both Stanley Ho and James Tien were both quoted in this morning's paper saying the following.

"People believe the reform proposal will be changed if many people march on December 4. They also think that if 500,000 turn up on the streets there will be universal suffrage. This is not going to happen. You cannot force the central government to do something," Mr Tien said.

Maybe... Maybe not... The Liaison Office and central government do seem to hate missing an opportunity to ignore overwhelming public sentiment. But the central government and friends sure are working hard to try and kill off public interest in the march. It sure seems like they are sweating heavily while they sleep as they've seen the public polls that aren't being conducted by their Central PushPollsRUs Unit. In fact, late today they've arranged a forum for all to be held this Friday in Shenzhen to discuss Darth Bowtie's proposals.

. It's being organised by the SAR government and Beijing's liaison office here. The secretary for constitutional affairs, Stephen Lam, said three senior mainland officials would attend, including a deputy secretary general of the National People's Congress, Qiao Xiaoyang. Mr Lam said the arrangement was not a move to calm emotions ahead of Sunday's demonstration against the government's political reform package.

Talk is good if everybody agrees that the talk should lead someplace, while the central government has been notorious for talking to ensure that talks never get anywhere. And if you believe Stephen Lam that the timing of the meeting is not related to the Sunday's planned demonstration, you might also believe that the Central Reclamation is really being done to ensure the smooth flow of traffic and that the West Kowloon Property Development Scam intends to boost culture and the performing arts in Hong Kong and are not just land grabs for property developers.

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