May 04, 2005
Tunnels and the Reds at SCMP
After days of eager anticipation, Hong Kong's media were disappointed by the world's smartest people avoiding the predicted traffic chaos of the Cross-Harbour tunnel. But there was a promise of chaos to come: the apparent lull was due to the fact that many factories in China were still closed for the May Day holidays and heavy lorries and container trucks would not be back on the roads until next week.
The SCMP has spent days preparing for the chaos, only to be forced to run photos of free-running traffic and people using trains; a time line of yesterday's peak hours with the stunning news that at 9:15am there was "No congestion on Kowloon side"; reports the MTR and ferries all had significantly more passengers; school students got to their exams on time; and best of all an article rehashing the results of an economics professor's findings that the raised toll will cost the city money. Fumier effectively dealt with the professor's findings a few days back.
But that doesn't stop the SCMP. Today's loaded "Talkback" topic: "Is it reasonable for the tunnel company's profit to come at a cost to society?" Are they prepared for the answers? Why stop at the tunnel company? Is it reasonable for any company to profit at a cost to society? From now on, all companies should provide their products cost-free so society can benefit. I expect my subscription will soon be refunded as the SCMP becomes a free paper, thus avoiding profit at a cost to society. The SCMP: Hong Kong's bastion of anti-capitalism.
The SCMP also posts a woolly editorial (reproduced below the fold) under the headline "Solution must be found to tunnel problem". It ends with this: Common sense prevailed yesterday. But a long-term solution must still be found. Dare I say common sense could be the long-term solution, too? The editorial says The objective must be to secure control over toll prices at the three tunnels so that the traffic flow can be regulated. See, they're for renationalisation. They're not just anti-capitalist, they're Communists!
Do the editorial writers read Jake van der Kamp's Monitor column in their business pages? His article is also in full below but the key paragraph: What is it with this dilly-dallying about an obvious measure? [Ed. - raising the Cross-Harbour tunnel toll] It could be done with ease in 1999. It can be done now. Yes, Jake, but at a cost to society. Your paper would not approve.
Chris points out public transport has long been cheaper and as convenient as driving in this city. It's a shame that Hong Kong's commuters show common sense while the newspapers and Government have none.
Solution must be found to tunnel problem
Government can raise toll and revenue by revisiting tunnel visionposted by Simon on 05.04.05 at 12:03 PM in the
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Hmm. A May Fourth Standstill in the tunnel would seem an ideal way to commemorate how far China has come since the original May Fourth Movement.posted by: Joel on 05.04.05 at 12:50 PM [permalink]
Good point. The new May 4th movement is born!posted by: Simon on 05.04.05 at 12:58 PM [permalink]