"If you want to read a blog to get a sense of what is going on in Hong Kong these days or a blog that would tell you what life was like living in colonial Hong Kong, this blog, WALTER'S BLOG, fits the bill." Hong Kong Blog Review
“…as if Boris hasn't got enough on his plate with Ukraine, the cost of living crisis, and a failed migrant programme.”
My sojourn in the not-so-United Kingdom coincides with a couple of notable annual events. It's intriguing how these play out and what it says about the national character. For starters, Glastonbury, the yearly middle-class woke fest, concluded last week.
I must admit to watching the Paul McCartney set on TV, which came buttressed by Bruce Springsteen in case Paul faltered. Paul even summoned up the ghost of John Lennon from the digital afterlife to conduct a duo. But I guess I'm unkind. Paul is 80 years old. How many 80 year olds could pull off such a performance?
Meanwhile, Julie Burchill's piece in The Spectator wonderfully deconstructs the absurdity and hypocrisy of the evolved Glastonbury. With its origins in a hippy event, the gentrification process is now complete. Burchill delivers the killer critique on those who pay thousands to attend, "In short, the sort of soppy eternal student who has more Mummy than sense." And, "Glastonbury appears to be like childbirth – you have to take a lot of drugs to withstand the horror and make you willing to try it again."
Then having left tons of rubbish behind in honour of Greta — who canoed in on a wave of dolphin tears for a personal appearance — the green-welly brigade trooped off to Wimbledon. That provided some real excitement for me as Serena Williams, at 40, fought hard against the much younger Harmony Tan. Thrilling stuff.
Eventually, Tan triumphed but not before my admiration for Serena reached new heights. Unfortunately, the match lasted so long that it displaced a BBC documentary on the 2019 Hong Kong riots. You've got to get priorities right.
But, the captivating 'Sherwood', a BBC cop drama with roots in the 1984/85 Miners strike, faced no similar fate, as the tennis moved aside. The intrigue and mystery didn't falter once in this six-part thriller, as murders and dodgy undercover cops intertwined with a polarised 'former mining community' struggling to resolve events from decades ago. In the end, there were no tidy answers, no complete atonement or total resolution. Only forgiveness prevailed. A lesson there for Hong Kong?
On the division issue, wee Jimmy Krankie (aka Nichola Sturgeon) wants another go at Scottish independence. Come on, Nichola, as if Boris hasn't got enough on his plate with Ukraine, the cost of living crisis, and a failed migrant programme. Undeterred, the Scots are chanting 'freedom' with full Mel Gibson zeal. I suspect more fun and games to come on that front with legal and constitutional challenges.
The way things are going, Boris may be seeking to exit the PM role. But while he struts the international stage, his long march out of office is held in abeyance—trips to Ukraine, Rwanda, and the G7 summit sustain the impression he's in charge. Yet, it's noticeable that fewer cabinet members are openly defending him. The suggestion is that Boris hangs on because he's broke; Carrie and assorted offspring by various 'ladies' are draining his wallet.
Maybe Boris should set up a charity taking bags of money from Middle East power brokers seeking influence. The unfortunate Prince Charles pioneered that venture, with millions passing through 'Fortnum and Mason' carrier bags. Nice little earner.
On a more positive note, I must say the service I've seen the NHS deliver while here is exemplary. Yes, things take time, and resources are tight — but none of that distracts from the care and compassion. Nigel Lawson observed in 1992 that "the NHS is the closest thing the English have to a religion.”
I can see why.
Walter De Havilland was one of the last of the colonial coppers. He served 35 years in the Royal Hong Kong Police and Hong Kong Police Force. He's long retired.