This morning, 777 of Carrie Lam’s best friends voted for her to be Hong Kong’s Chief Executive.
The pronunciation of the word “7” in Cantonese is “chat,” but is also a contraction of “chow height” which is the foul language for stinky (“chow”) female genitalia (“height”). Not a good omen, and the selection committee’s subliminal message is plain for all to see (by the way, I don’t follow any particular system of transliterating Cantonese, I choose whichever seems easiest for an English reader. Chau haait in Sydney Lau system for the purist.)
Curry Lamb started her campaign by receiving a message from God, who told her to “run” for the post. The last time I remember God intervening in politics was when George W. Bush took a walk in the Rose Garden and God told him to invade Iraq – a war that achieved nothing positive, resulted in well over a quarter of a million deaths, and created the circumstances for ISIS/Daesh to flourish.
So, the omens are not propitious.
Hong Kong is a society in which almost no one under the age of 35 who was born here will ever be able to afford a property in the town of their birth. The Chinese Communist Party are intent on making Hong Kong just another city in China, and most Hong Kong people – especially the young – want Hong Kong to remain distinctive. Although the British colonial government favoured vested interests, they at least kept them in check; today’s Hong Kong is run by vested interests and for them.
Into this divided society, 777 of Curry’s best friends – or 0.01% of the population – foist on us a person who is clueless about normal life, void of original ideas, and in a fundamental way, creepy. I say that not out of abuse, but because someone who claims to be deeply Christian, but who is not only willing to engage with, but embraces an atheist regime that suppresses religion and religiosity, is a creep.
Hong Kong’s property market has only ever crashed in response to non-economic factors: the 1967 riots, the 1983 joint declaration concerns, the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre, the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis followed by a final kick in the teeth from SARS. It’s been on a bull run ever since. I am not alone in being pessimistic about the world economy – listen to this (although it’s rather repetitive and turns out to be a sales pitch) – and I can’t think of a worse person to have at the helm if the worst happens. Unfortunately, it is we Hong Kongers, not Beijing’s masters, who will pay the price.