The belated arrival of autumn and some blessedly cooler weather means we can at last turn off the air conditioners that kept us alive during Hong Kong’s long, hot and humid summer.

Alas the relief is yet to spill over to the political arena where the temperature seems as high as ever.

The Government finally faced up to reality and withdrew the controversial proposals for national education (read “thought reform”) and our Chief Executive C Y Leung accepted that his ideas for restructuring ministerial responsibilities and creating four additional senior posts (plus a whole raft of lesser ones) were dead in the water and should be put on the back burner.

Far from being satisfied with these political victories, our legislators have now leapt upon the proposal to give our senior citizens extra money – surely one of the least controversial ideas of recent times – and roundly attacked it.

Admittedly the allowance is only a palliative to buy time for a comprehensive review of how the elderly should be supported materially. But accepting that limitation should not have been too great a struggle, and Mr Leung had included this measure as a specific pledge in his election manifesto.

Alas our mighty legislators decided to stand on their dignity and demand more time for consultation, so implementation has been delayed.

In fairness to them, it should be said that the new administration has given an impression of wanting to stampede LegCo on various issues. Our Ministers do need to take heed of the maxim “More haste, less speed” and learn to give face to Members.

Meanwhile the price of the cabinet and the legislature working out how to live with each other has been met by the least well off among the older generation.


 
Mike Rowse
email: mike@rowse.com.hk