Splash FM Website of the Day, 1st August 2005. Be Impressed.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Rebecca Pan – Kowloon Hong Kong.

In 1982 Margaret Thatcher embarked on The Falklands War which would result in a thousand deaths to keep a wool producing island of less than two thousand people British. In 1984 she willingly signed over 6 million people in one of the most affluent places on earth to one of the world’s most repressive regimes. Go figure.*

At midnight on 30th June 1997 Hong Kong was officially handed over to the Chinese government and became a “Special Administrative Region”. Up until that point, and - to be fair to China - until now, the system in Hong Kong couldn’t have been further away from Communism. They had no unemployment benefit, minimum wage or trade union laws. They also had, until 1980, on open door immigration policy. All this resulted in Hong Kong being richer per head than all but three countries despite having almost no natural resources.

Hong Kong owes much of its success to the incredible good fortune of being assigned a politician who wasn’t a self-important idiot. After the Second World War, John Cowperthwaite was sent by the British to redevelop Hong Kong. He decided that they were doing a pretty good job of redeveloping themselves and anything he did might ruin it. According to Cowperthwaite, “All I did was to try to prevent some of the things that might undo it.” If only every politician thought the same way.

Rebecca Pan is best known, although still not that well known, as an actress appearing in the Cannes Award Winning In The Mood for Love. But the finger-clicking, big band nonsense of her album Qing Ren Qiao suggests singing is her real talent.

“But,” I hear you all cry in unison, “surely Rebecca Pan’s Qing Ren Qiao was released in 1996 and posting it would invalidate the whole premise of the blog”. OK, ya got me. But two things:

1) This track is bah-rilliant and I’m sure they were all still listening to it in 1997.


b) Shut up.

Rebecca Pan – Kowloon Hong Kong

It's unavailable in the UK but you can buy it from iTunes. God I love iTunes.

*Some suggest it’s because the people on The Falklands/Malvinas are white and those in Hong Kong are only Chinese so not worth bothering about. Of course, to believe that you’d also have to believe the Tories are racist. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?


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