July 07, 2005

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Olympian maths

Commiserations to London for winning the 2012 white elephant fest, and congratulations to Paris and the others for missing out.

To give you an idea of the strange maths that goes on to justify Olympic events, let's use Hong Kong's attempts to stage equestrian events for the 2008 Olympics. The Government yesterday declared the staging of the event will bring in HK$351 million to Hong Kong. Yet only two weeks ago we were told it will cost HK$1.2 billion to bring the equestrian events to the Big Lychee.

It sounds like something this guy would have come up with.

Update 12:19 7/7

From an email discussion another point emerges: the Hong Kong Jockey Club is not just Hong Kong's biggest taxpayer, but a significant part of the city's welfare system. Spending $1.2 billion on a facility for an elitist fringe Olympic sport comes at the expense of Hong Kong's poorest. Yet there's no hue or cry. The power of the HKJC? [end of update]

Moving on to the people get the politicians they deserve department...

The SCMP reports:

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen will outline his proposal that administrative assistants be appointed to ministers in his Policy Address in October, and it will then be opened for public consultation, the constitutional affairs secretary said yesterday.

Stephen Lam Sui-lung told lawmakers that those selected for the new posts were expected to stand for election to the Legislative Council after serving in the government and could eventually return to the government as ministers.

Mr Lam said the proposal was aimed at widening the pool of political talent and improving public participation in political affairs.

The Government is going to generate politicians from the public service. So much for the idea that people will one day vote for the person they best feel will represent them and their interests.

posted by Simon on 07.07.05 at 09:55 AM in the


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Olympian Condescension
Excerpt: Simon ridicules the exorbitant expenditures an Olympics Games these days requires. But, just watching CNN this morning, what I heard about London’s bid highlighted the trickle-down effect on East London. Lord Coe made this pitch, and David Beckha...
Weblog: Barbarian Envoy
Tracked: July 7, 2005 10:50 AM


My officemate at a Hong Kong English language daily newspaper who covers the Jockey Club says that the Jockey Club will pony up HK$800,000,000 and that Beijing will clean its stalls of the remainder to finance this boondoogle. Thus leaving the SAR itself to pay nada.

posted by: Justin on 07.10.05 at 08:52 PM [permalink]

But that's still $800 million that could have been spent on a new hospital, or helping the poor, or even existing HKJC programs. It's displacing welfare money in a blatant land grab.

posted by: Simon on 07.10.05 at 09:26 PM [permalink]

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