Portillo overlooks great and good on flying trip
Thursday 27 February 1997
Even by the increasingly undemanding standards of British ministerial visits to the colony Mr Portillo managed to set new lows. He stayed in Hong Kong for less than 10 hours, managed not to meet a single Hong Kong Chinese person of any status and confined his inner thoughts solely to a small group of reporters who had been flown out from London by the Ministry of Defence to accompany the secretary of state.
Like the visits of other British political figures, Mr Portillo's was curtailed by the need for his vote in the House of Commons. Two weeks ago, Malcolm Rifkind, the Foreign Secretary, was forced to dash back to attend the BSE debate but at least he stayed long enough to find out about what was happening during the twilight of British rule.
Mr Portillo was too busy for this as he had to make time for two photo opportunities. First, a quick inspection of the newly arrived Black Watch and then a spin in a fast-pursuit craft man- ned by the British Navy.
How little he learned was apparent at a stand-up news conference at the airport where he said that good progress was being made in Sino-British negotiations on the advance station- ing of People's Liberation Army troops in the colony before the handover of power.
China is very angry about Britain's reluctance to allow in significant numbers of troops and keeps saying so to anyone prepared to listen. However, Mr Portillo did not seem to be concerned with what must appear to be minutiae when compared with pressing matters such as the next election and possible changes to the leadership of the Conservative Party.
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 3 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 4 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 5 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
Greece debt crisis as it happened: EU chiefs at loggerheads hours before Alexis Tsipras’s last ditch deal proposals
Florida teacher sentenced to 22 years in prison for sexually abusing three pupils
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...