Informal Patten rejects tradition
Saturday 11 July 1992
Mr Patten has promised that his turn of office will be 'open and accessible', but gave few clues as to how he proposes to put this into effect, beyond saying that he would have talks next week on how he could be more accountable to the Legislative Council (Legco), the colony's highest elected body. It had been suggested, he said, that a regular 'question time' might be instituted, on the Westminster model.
It appears that the new governor plans to introduce a greater note of democracy into Hong Kong's affairs by this means, rather than by actions which would antagonise China. Peking bitterly opposes demands for the leaders of the United Democrats, which last year won two-thirds of the seats in the first direct elections to Legco, to be appointed to the Executive Council (Exco), the main decision-making group.
Asked if China was interfering too much in the question of appointments to Exco, he said: 'We do have to recognise the unique partnership between Britain and China in making the Joint Declaration work, and ensuring that 'one country, two systems' is implemented in full and with enthusiasm after 1997.' The governor would visit China when it seemed appropriate.
Peking has been delaying approval of financing plans for Hong Kong's HKdollars 175.3bn ( pounds 12bn) new airport project, partly on cost grounds, but also as a weapon against any drastic moves towards democratisation before the handover. Mr Patten said he hoped a joint British-Chinese airport committee would be able to move forward in the next few days, because 'to allow things to slip isn't a no- cost option'. Anxious to avoid seeming a hostage to the project, he added: 'I don't think we should become too excitable about it. We want agreements that will work.'
In another breach of tradition, after meeting reporters in his backyard, Mr Patten and his wife caught the underground for a jaunt in the Mong Kok district, a grubby area notorious for its crime and cheap electronic shops.
Dressed in a short-sleeve shirt and khakis, he made his way through Tung Choi Street and stopped for tea at the First House Tea Shop.
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
- 1 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 2 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 3 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 4 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
- 5 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
The bubble bursts for Sodastream
Russian politician says Apple CEO Tim Cook should be 'banned' from country after coming out as gay
'Santa Claus' dead: John Moore starred in Coca Cola and Morrisons adverts
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...