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

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Shameless and Absurd Is A Defect?

So I snuck out yesterday to get a haircut. Sitting in front of me was the pile of magazines with JessicaC on top staring at me. The Hong Kong press is driven by scandal and shame. Hong Kong loves nothing better than one of their disliked big shots going down in glorious infamy.

Everyone knew that Henry Tang was neither a genius nor particularly well-regarded in Hong Kong. It puts him on par with HK's first CE, Tung Chee-hwa. Rumours had long swirled about Tang having skeletons in the closet. *cue up Diana Ross and The Supremes "Love Child"* But as Stephen Vines rightly pointed out, Hong Kong's elite don't live subject to the same rules that you and I are.

And this simple disregard for the rules that govern the groundlings is why the storm blows fiercely around Henry Tang's teacup.

Another caller said Tang and his supporters were shameless. "They ignored Hongkongers' views for their own advantages. I hope Beijing will do something," the caller said.

When has Beijing not ignored Hongkonger's views for their own advantage? And I'm sure Beijing will do something: they'll stick their fingers in HK's eyes and laugh. What are Hongkongers going to do? Are you going to stop them from doing it? As if.

What? You're going to throw your public support to CY Leung? When did he do anything for you as convenor of ExCo? I know he's pandering to public opinion now with policy proposals like a US 24 hour news network pushing "missing white woman" coverage, but did Beijing give him the nod against Tung Chee-hwa? Did he get the nod to replace Tung? Why is Beijing going to change the gameplan now?

So my predictions for the CE farce are: HenryT at 95-99%. If photos of HenryT on his office couch with removal sale items from Fetish Fashion appear on the net, it'll bump Regina Ip up to 1-5% odds. No one else has odds listed. Ip is the safety valve candidate that isn't the first choice of either the Cultural Revolution holdovers in the DAB or the plutocrats and their sycophants, but she's the compromise candidate if Henry can no longer get in front of the camera and shamelessly put forth the Party Line. (And telling the cameras yesterday that he still had broad support without breaking out laughing shows he's still passing that threshold.)

In either case, it'll be a colorful July 1st and Tsang Yok-sing will be busy tossing LegCo members out of the chambers for daring to question the Imperially-anointed Executive-led government.

UPDATE 26 March 2012:
And I'll be the first to eat crow. The Party's Liaison Office took advantage of the negative winds that HenryT faced and swept in Leung Chun-ying. Between the original post and now though CY's popularity has dropped spectacularly as he went from the darling of the anyone but Henry coalition to folks actually looking at his track record and actual beliefs. We'll see what happens with the opening bell of the HKEx this morning and we'll see the response of the HK people over the next 4 months and the next year.