About McPherson's Rant


McPherson’s Rant is an old Scots Folk Song about a Robin Hood Type Character who was hanged.

There is no connection, unless you count the “rant” part.  The world’s a strange place and sometimes a “rant” at absurdity and unfairness is just what’s required.

Here you can expect to find examples of stupidity, irony and idiocy , especially relating to Hong Kong, and with particular attention to the SCMP, and its’ letters page. A common problem with many blogs is their failure to find something new to say, I find the SCMP, and it’s letters page, provides plenty of ammunition on a daily basis and will reference them frequently. If you have your own letter not getting published, put it on our comments section.





Tag Archives: General

Cathay Hero Pilots II

You may remember yesterday I said there was something not quite right about the Cathay Hero Pilots!  Now it seems that Cathay says there was no shutdown of engines, while Civil Aviation Director General Normal Low says data retrieved from the aircraft shows there was a period when both engines malfunctioned.  Of course he then goes on to say this is not necessarily a contradiction, and: “I am pretty sure we are talking about the same thing.”  Really?  There are a few other issues to bring up here.  Some in the industry believe the flight crew should have immediately returned to Surabaya as soon as the engine problem manifested itself, it would seem that would be the safest option for a twin engined jet. That would be my preference, but I’ll concede there are pilots out there who will maintain there was no issue with continuing on one engine… and I’ll admit to being a paranoid flyer… and this is where I have to revisit my argument from yesterday.  As soon as a flight starts its descent my paranoia ascends… I’m in a constant state of heightened awareness wrought by anxiety.  I feel the airspeed, I listen for the flaps, I check the angle of descent, I listen for the pilot applying more power and assume he’s screwed up when he does, I balefully wait for the landing gear to go down and then hope it has locked and when eventually I hear them cut all power and watch as we descend the last 50 feet… I’m ready to throw women and children behind me and trample over the elderly in a rush to exit… should anything untoward happen on landing… which statistically is when ‘something’ is most likely to happen.  How?  How? How… did these people not know that they had just had the pleasure of an emergency landing?  So ignorant were they that some were trying to leave with their hand baggage.  Something is not right here and Chief Exec Mr Tony Tyler may see this ‘positive story’ descend into a PR nightmare, unless of course he gets his spin doctors working overtime.

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Cathay Hero Pilots

Anyone that lands a plane is a hero to me, if its got one engine, he’s up there with Nelson Mandela, if its got none he’s a GOD.  But the Cathay landing, which yesterday was lauded as miraculous, has me wondering!  If you have one engine, and that engine is surging…making airspeed control a problem as you descend… surely, as a passenger, you would be well aware that there was some major shit going down… and you might be following it…down!  Yet in SCMP, passengers are quoted as saying they didn’t know anything was wrong until told to evacuate the airplane. Cathay has had some negative coverage in the press recently, there’s ongoing protests from cabin crew, local pilots accusing them of racism and a surge of anger about a recent Total Caring Award.  Would it be too cynical of me to think that this story has been hijacked?   I have no doubt there was a problem on this flight.  But I think the story has been blown up and presented to us by some slick PR machine.  Not a single source name was used in the piece, it’s all: “A Cathay Pacific spokesman,” or “a colleague.”  In fact, one colleague really stuck it to all other airlines and even other Cathay pilots:  ”If this had happened on another airline or if this had happened to less skilled and resourceful pilots, there is no way those passengers would all have walked away from that plane alive.”  Something about this story just doesn’t fly, in my book.  Keep your eyes open for updates.

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Sevens recovery

This year I was one of the stadium announcers for the games at the Sevens, I didn’t touch a drop of alcohol all weekend, therefore watched every single game of rugby… sober… and you know what? I enjoyed it.  So I’ve came to the bitter conclusion that I am, now, officially old.  The South Stand no longer calls out to me, in fact it almost repels me, I say almost, as I couldn’t help cast an envious glance occasionally, but the envy was the confident youth on display, not the discomfort.  I see in the South Stand now, ghosts of sevens past, and forlornly yearn for when I too was a player, in the party stand, but nostalgia is one thing, a comfortable seat with a birds eye view, a screen for instant replays and a microphone are their own rewards.

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It’s Sevens Time…again

So off to Manilla tomorrow for the Manilla Nomads Tens, Back Monday, off day Tuesday, then Wednesday is Kowloon Rugbyfest at Kings Park, and Thursday is possibly the highest quality rugby Tens competition in the world at Hong Kong Football Club… and then the climax, the 2010 Hong Kong Sevens. This year as one of the stadium announcers I have managed to enlist the other boys in our own wee tribute to Bill McClaren, so if you hear someone saying: “He kicked that like a pound of Haggis,” or, “They’ll be singing down in Wanchai tonight,” that is our tribute.

I love the contradiction of the Sevens, people travel from all over the world to have a weekend blackout.  And when they come too, they  know they had a party, they just can’t remember any of it.  There was a time when only stamina could see you through, drinking all night in Wanchai then heading to the Stadium at 7am to avoid the South Stand queue, not for the faint hearted.

And then around 1997 God invented Vodka Red Bull and suddenly 72 hour sessions were within reach of mere mortals.

Remember The Canny Man motto: “Everything in moderation, especially moderation!”

Let the party commence.

“I remember a big South Sea Islander saying that, in his view, the Hong Kong  sevens were really the Olympic games of Rugby Union… The Hong Kong event captures all the really good things the game has to offer – splendid organization, wonderful sporting spirit, universal camaraderie, admirable field behaviour…” Bill McClaren RIP

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Pollution Kills 3 People a Day in HK

Or so it says in an advert in today’s SCMP.  Quite where the figure three comes from it doesn’t say, but you can’t help feel it’s probably higher.

The advert is from Clean Air Network (CAN) and is asking us to get up off our arses, discard our complacency, shrug off our apathy… and sign a petition! Oh that will get ‘che che che’ Tsang’s attention, he’ll mouth a few more pitiful, pathetic platitudes which will be the usual lies and sophistry, and like the sniveling quisling he is, he’ll bend right over, yet again, for his vested interests, after all, he has his future bank balance to think of, or perhaps his seat on some inconsequential Politburo think tank.

We’re talking about a man so out of his depth he’d drown in a gob of phlegm; or in one of the puddles created by ‘operation team clean’ (lets hose down the pavements, that’ll get rid of SARS)

At least in this town petitioners don’t get locked up, or beaten up, but ‘che che che’ Tsang can, and will piss down our collective legs, blame it on the Northern Monsoon, or El Nido/Nino or the Mt. St Helen’s eruption and all the while he’ll smile that so very smug and aggravating smile, knowing that we, all of us, are  inconsequential in his grand scheme of aggrandisement.

If it makes the ‘CAN’ folks think better about themselves, then go ahead, but engaging these turds carries the risk that you legitimise their untenable positions and they’ll use any means possible to claim they’re “listening to the people.”

There is another option and it’s coming yet!

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Knight Without Amour

Wanchai can be weird and wonderful sometimes….

A drama in three parts seen on Saturday evening at the HSBC on the corner of Hennessay and Luard.

A negotiation is taking place, the actors are a young pretty Filipina and an old geezer, beer belly, double chins and a drinkers nose.

The geezer sounds like an London Boy and is being a bit agressive:  ”Listen love, I run a company and when I bid for business, I need to negotiate and  drop my price.” She says: “It’s only HK1000, this is not too much for you but a lot to me, why do you have to treat me badly.”

At this point another actor enters the frame, asking the girl if she’s OK, at which point our geezer says: “What’s your problem mate?”

Our new arrival turns abruptly, there’s one quick jab and our geezer sinks to his knees wondering what hit him. Sir Galahad  asks the girl how much ‘geezer’ was bartering for, hears her reply, holds out his hand to her and hails a cab.

Not quite riding off into the sunset and living happily ever after, but one obnoxious old peasant might think twice before further exploiting an already over exploited group.

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A Larger Debate!

Ricks in Soho

Ricks in Soho .

Tubby Tales for today.  I think it’s a bit devious for a restaurant to operate a discriminatory policy without having the balls to actually define it.  This one doesn’t say: “This toilet is not for fat people so waddle off.”  In the U.S. the vultures would be circulating with their class action lawsuits, but hey, it’s his restaurant, he can do what he likes, just not sure how he got it passed by the Fire Services Department though

Airlines however, continue to allow situations like the one pictured below; of course it’s an American Airlines flight. Without getting into the inconvenience caused to the wee skinny fella next to him, where would you want to be if you had to evacuate.

And don’t get me started on my excess baggage allowance argument.

But change is in the air,  Kevin Smith, the film director, who doesn’t even look fat,  got thrown off a Southwest Airlines flight for not being able to buckle his belt.  Meanwhile, Ryanair; you gotta love Michael O’Leary Quotes,  is considering a ‘fat tax’ and Air France are introducing a “buy two seats if you can’t get your arse in one” policy.

Bat fastard

Bat fastard

Is it time for wee Asterix to take back our public space from big Obelisk, will our erstwhile wobbling weebles finally accept  the truth of a simple equation: If  X is calorific intake, and Y is energy expended and X=Y, we have equilibrium, however, if you sit on the couch gorging junk food all day and do sweet fuck all exercise, your lardiness is down to your tardiness,  it’s your freedom of choice and no-one else should have to suffer with your pathetic low esteem crap, not to mention the risk to us of a horrible death in a crash landing ‘cos some wannabe Mr Creosote got stuck in the aisle!

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The Benefits of Swearing

Ye’ know, when I started doing this I had a lengthy internal dispute with myself over the narrative voice.  Not about whether it should be first or third person, or even omniscient, (how good would that be), but as to whether the narrative voice should be modified from my own rather angry invective. And I have tried, I really have tried to censor the more powerful aspects of my language, but it’s hard.

And then I found out that swearing is actually an evolutionary trait that can help reduce pain, I admit the article refers to physical pain, but I’m sure my daily mental anguish, wrought by Bowtie Tsang and his cohorts, qualifies:


People used to say to me when I was younger that swearing indicated nothing more than a lack of adequate vocabulary, but that’s bullshit.  I have an expansive ideolect, but subscribe to the “Billy Connelly” school with regards to expletives:

“Show me  a non swearing phrase as equally powerful as ‘fuck off’, and I’ll gladly use it.”

If my swearing offends you, please don’t stop reading, that’s like blinkering yourself to the wonderful variety of the english language; just put it down to my fucking tourettes, after all, in this world today there’s a reason or excuse for everyones behaviour.

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African Football

Um lets see.  Angola are leading 4 nil and there is eleven minutes to go.  I wonder what odds the bookmaker will give me on the final score being 4 each?  ”Yes sir,  Ladbrokes will be happy to give you odds of 4 billion to one.”

Final score 4 all.

cha chang

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