Not in Hong Kong
Beware of the leopard


Hemlock has noticed this article from the Financial Times (also here):

Yet a belief persists in Hong Kong that its future interest lies, not in accentuating its distinctive strengths, but in blurring them by throwing in its lot with the mainland. Sooner or later, the argument goes, it will be enveloped economically by its giant neighbour, so why not accept the inevitable now?

The argument has been appropriated by Hong Kong tycoons, who calculate that telling Beijing what it wants to hear will win them commercial favours. Beijing treats their pleading as the voice of informed opinion in the territory.

Though superbly administered, Hong Kong is inadequately governed. The executive, led by Donald Tsang, lacks a political compass. Its strategic vision is dominated by an infatuation with big projects. Many seem conceived out of a stubborn desire to display political authority. When, like a recently mooted goods and services tax, they sink for want of public support, Hong Kong's leaders tend to conclude that the reason is not bad policies but failure to push them hard enough.

That's a favourite refrain of companies that don't listen (whether to their employees or their customers) - "if only we could get people to understand what we are doing, they would agree with it".  Oh no, they wouldn't, so please stop patronising us.


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Having been v close to the GST "consultation", I can report that the Financial Services branch informed me that the government did not make mistakes; because the financial analysis had been thorough enough to arrive at the correct answer. I asked them if anyone had analysed the peasants who would pay but they did not understand me and took me for a fool.

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