Saturday, November 19, 2005

Accepting the Chinese ‘kick in the arse’

The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, has been notorious for his crude and bigoted comments, which have been a constant source of embarrassment both to Buckingham Palace and the British government.

For example, while visiting China some twenty years ago, he told a group of Scottish students in the city of Xian that Beijing was ghastly and added his bigoted remarks about the danger of the students returning to Scotland with slitty eyes if they stayed in China too long.

It seems his son, Prince Charles, has inherited his love for making such comments, though the younger prince has been more circumspect by only making them in his private journals on his official travels. Unfortunately he circulated his journals to a hundred friends, relatives and contacts. Invariably one fell into the hands of Associated Press. The prince is now suing the news agency for publishing extracts from his journal.

On the handover of Hong Kong back to its rightful owner in 1997, where he represented Britain, he titled the journal The Handover of Hong Kong - or The Great Chinese Takeaway.

Obviously the second part of the title indicated his chagrin with Britain, a has-been world-power, losing back to the Chinese what it had robbed from China in the first place

In the journal he described Chinese diplomats as ’appalling old waxworks', the ceremony as an ‘awful Soviet-style’ performance and ‘ridiculous rigmarole’, and dismissed a speech by then-Chinese President Jiang Zemin as propaganda.

I am sure we can understand why he was upset about what he described as ‘The Great Chinese Takeaway’.

Britain was once a mighty world power with the most powerful navy on the planet Earth. It went to China, kicked some Chinese arses, consficated Hong Kong and dominated the region for eons.

In 1997, the roles were reversed. Despite the ostentatiously friendly handing over-taking over ceremony, as the official representative of an emasculated power and probably the twilight element of a once powerful dynasty, he must have hated being assigned the degrading role of accepting the Chinese ‘kick in the arse’ out of Hong Kong.

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