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: The SCMP Letters Page

Sects, Cults and religion

Last week in the Sunday Morning Post, there was a letter from the Asia area public affairs office of “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – a religion that just rolls off the tongue. The writer was pointing out that his church had nothing to do with Warren Steed Jeffs a polygamist leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,  - another punchy name for a religion, who was recently jailed for sexually assaulting two young girls he had taken for wires.  The writer was keen to point out that there is no such thing as: “A Mormon fundamentalist, or radical Mormon, nor are there Mormon sects.”  Now I think he is being obtuse, but then thats what church leaders do.

Oh well, if this is not the work of radicals or fundamentalists, then perhaps I have the wrong definition: Lafferty Case Still Haunts

But in truth, I don’t really care, it’s self evident that Mormons are strange, they believe in a guy who  said an Angel directed him to the word of God, in the 1820′s, he was this charlatan!

I am more interested in fact in what defines a sect or cult from a religion.  I did post it on my Facebook as a question, a few of the more amusing answers were: “When enough idiots believe,” or “immediately,” or more thought provoking: ” When it stops killing it’s own members and starts killing non-members.

Not enough for me, so I went to the web, and here are the answers from the wisdom of the crowd.  Enjoy!

Generally a “cult” is based upon a single charismatic leader with direct access to God. When that leader dies, there are crises of faith and succession. If the cult survives, it may be transformed into a “sect”, where beliefs and leadership are in flux. Access to God is widespread. A “religion” has established dogma and leadership. Access to God is restricted to trained specialists.

David Dreaming Bear, Horsethief Canyon, California USA

A cult becomes a religion when it burns its first heretic.

Peter Brooke, Kinmuck Scotland

‘A religion is a cult with an army and a navy’ (to borrow from Max Weinreich writing on language and dialect). Consider the role of the state in the demise of the Roman religion and the rise of Christianity; the Crusades; persecution of the Jews; the battles between Catholicism and Protestantism; the fate of the Bah’ai in Iran; amongst many other examples.  Keith Mason, London UK

A Cult becomes a religion once it is viewed by outsiders as having a degree of moral authority. It’s a nominal distinction subjectively made.  Andrew Johnson-Green, Leeds West Yorks

As soon as you have to part with cash to join, it’s a cult. As soon as there are more than 10000 of you, it’s a religion. So, the Reader’s Digest is a cult, and London is a religion.  Tom Attah, Farnborough UK

Is this not one of the plural irregular verbs? We are a religion, you are a community, they are a cult.  Geoff Cohn, Sydney Australia

A cult is a religion without any political power.  Big Bill Robinson, Slough England

A cult becomes a religion when its members become so numerous that they require recognition by a governing authority. Witness the evolution of the Mormon religion in the US. Initially it was identified as a “cult” (and you can look this up in various almanacs), but eventually, it had so many adherents that it was recognized by the US government as a religion.  Nancy Thomas, Las Vegas, USA

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It’s not racism tho…

SCMP letters pages have been burning hot recently on the issue of the government subsidy for the English Schools Foundation, with a government minister describing it as a historical anomaly, and the usual suspects such as Pierce Lam and Cynthia Sze espousing their view that Hong Kong does not need English, and in fact all expats should shut up. Both of these correspondents wear there prejudice on their sleeves, they consider anything relating to the previous colonial government as negative, and that all expats should just go home ‘cos this is China now.
I’ll concede that the subsidy is a historical legacy, but does that make it a bad thing? The small house policy is a historical legacy, and that is a bad thing, but I don’t see our bunch of incompetents rushing to bemoan it, as it is filed under “too hard.” Also, a historical legacy;  schooling abroad for children of civil servants, not to mention their obscenely high wages compared to the private sector – am still amazed that cha cha Tsang is better paid than Obama.
At root here is anti colonialism, or if you want to use a stronger word, racism, of which more, much more later.
But for now, every time I read one of these letters, from the above, or Peter Lok extolling the wonders of the motherland, I’m moved to wonder how quickly these people forget the opportunities that were ‘foisted’ on them by a colonial government, ie the right to escape to Hong Kong from starvation, murder and exploitation on Mainland China during the worst of the communist parties excesses. Hong Kong is a immigrant society, the colonial government operated a ‘touch base’ policy for those escaping ‘commie’ persecution; if you got here, you were allowed to stay. How many successful immigrants in Hong Kong are here today due to this enlightened policy.
But back to the ESF, it’s all been covered in the press, and it is just an ignorant government pandering to the masses, and ignoring reality, over 50% of pupils are of chinese extraction. The main issue is that local education is not good enough for ambitious parents, who do not want their children brought up to be good wee empty vessels ripe for filling. ESF and other elite schools breed intelligent, well rounded and confident individuals who are much more mature at any given age than their government educated peers.
Instead of penalising the ESF, the government should be investing massive sums of money in all schools to improve the overall quality of the local education.

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Lok, Lam and Sze

Peter Lok, Pierce Lam and Cynthia Sze.  Remember these names, they’ll be appearing here regularly. They’ll be appearing everytime they have the audacity to write one of their pathetic anti-colonial rants in the SCMP.  Lam has ongoing issues with the ESF and expats in general, Peter Lok has issues with anyone who doesn’t love his motherland but reserves special ire for anything left over from pre 97. Sze is a wee cow who mostly moans about colonial remnants in the judiciary, the use of English in courts or the ‘alien’ common law.

Sze’s latest pile of shite  from yesterday’s letter’s page, forges a new path for her, ploughs new depths and is printed in full below.  You can judge for yourself what her issues are:

“Andrew Newell (“Let’s see the Union Jack”, April 26) and his like-minded compatriots who were dismayed “to see a PRC flag flying from the war memorial in Statue Square, and no Union Flag” should learn to appreciate the Chinese people’s historical perspective and respect the reality that the PRC flag now represents China.

The Cenotaph was erected originally as a memorial to the war dead of the first world war, for which China contributed a lot but got nothing in return.

After the Second World War, it was used to commemorate the dead of both wars.The battle over Hong Kong in the Second World War was one between two imperial powers.

Britain’s miserable defeats by the Japanese throughout the entire Asia theatre exposed the fact that it would not be able to recover its pre-war conquests when peace returned.

The subsequent cold war extended the lease of Britain’s colonial administration of Hong Kong, but its reoccupation of Hong Kong after 1945 was nothing if not usurpation of the fruit of victory won by heroic Chinese war efforts.

After the reunion, the only war dead whom Hong Kong people want to commemorate are their compatriots who sacrificed their lives for the protection of the motherland from invasive enemies in the opium wars, imperial aggression and the second world war.

The Cenotaph is turned to good use serving that purpose.”

What a pathitic wee bitch!!!!!!!!!!  But why, Oh why, is the SCMP publishing such utter shite! I’ve met old men that fought in both the first AND the second world wars, the one thing they ALL had in common was an amazing egalitarianism, their immediate enemies not withstanding.  They all knew more about humanity than a bigoted bitch like Sze.  And for the most part, in 1945, people in HK fought against their common enemy, if they fought at all, which of course, many prominent families didn’t, choosing collaboration instead!  In the face of an advancing, cruel and inhumane foe, I wonder whether Sze would fight, yield or collaborate?

Why do these people view colonialism as evil,  the simple facts are:  HK only exists because the British created an environment for hard working Chinese to impove their lot and that of up to 4 succeeding generations; when, at the same time,  their compatriots were being murdered, indoctrinated and starved by meglomania.  Also, conveniently forgotten is the fact that many of the millions of the last generation to “touch base” in HK are only alive precicely because they did in fact escape almost certain death or at the very least a continued mere subsistence existence.

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Pontificating Papal Bull!

Firstly I have to admit to my prejudice, or should that be prejudii, as I do appear to have a number of them.  If a failure to believe in bullshit can be defined as prejudice… I’m guilty! A common prejudice you used to hear amongst the lesser bigots and idiots in Northern Ireland and the West Coast of Scotland was that you could identify a catholic easily… their eyes were closer together than ‘normal people’.  Sheer prejudice and shocking bigotry! And then I find myself looking at Ratzingberger’s eyes!  I’d  not be surprised if someone told me he was once in the Hitler Youth. What! He was! Waahh!

I’m motivated to mention him today because of two letters in the SCMP on Sunday, interestingly both were from non residents of Hong Kong, and both were full of shite!  One was from a familiar correspondent on religious matters Mr Paul Kokowski from Canada.  On this occasion he is sucking the popes, seeking to stick up commending the pope for not being intimidated by false critics blah blah blah… I can smell the bullshit all the way from Ontario Mr Kok.  One pertinent fact hitherto ignored is this: in any civilized jurisdiction failure to report a crime is a crime in itself so every single bishop or prelate or Pope who did not report perverted pedophile priests committed a crime…and should be punished…period.  Kokoski excels himself with his final paragraph:  ” Justice and Truth demand an objective analysis of the facts.”  This from a man who believes in transubstantiation, Papal infallibility and the concept of a virgin birth!  Tosser!  The other letter was from a Mr Andrew Norman, who it seems wrote a book about T.E. Lawrence, or Lawrence of Arabia as most of us know him. Lawrence was raped during the war by some Arab who’d not got his goat.  Mr Norman’s theory goes like this, the rape  led to Lawrence’s later problems in life, ergo, anal rape is a heinous crime, therefore it ruins the life of everyone who experiences it, therefore the life of everyone who was raped or molested by a priest was irrevocably damaged.  This really is an illogical argument. Lawrence was a Philosopher,  his Seven Pillars of Wisdom is worth a read, if only to illustrate what a troubled soul he could be, but we all know Philosophers are an unhappy breed to start with so to blame his whole character on his rape is disingenuous. More importantly to say that every child who was sexually abused by a priest was scarred for life is a simplistic lie, and does the more serious cases, not only of sexual assault, but of physically violent assault a terrible injustice. Children are remarkably resilient, and given the opportunity can bounce back from almost anything. But tell an adult that his failures in life are due to the fumbling of a dirty old man and that adult can suddenly justify his own failings. There is simply no valid comparison to be made between T. E. Lawrence and the current scandals engulfing the Vatican.

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No Joy In Virjoy

Oh for fecks sake, you couldn’t’ invent this! For a moment I thought it was a premature April Fool.

Nerida Ayloot writes from the peak in today’s SCMP Letters page:

“At a ParknShop store in Mid-Levels recently I tried in vain to find any toilet paper that did not proudly proclaim to be made from 100 per cent virgin pulp.

What forests does this virgin pulp come from? Is it that important to the average Hong Kong consumer to only use toilet paper made from newly-felled rainforest trees?

The worst offender seems to be the dominant brand Virjoy whose branding is wrapped up in this farce.

However, even the cheapest home brand at ParknShop also promised to be made from 100 per cent virgin pulp.

It turns out that in ParknShop, if I care about such things, I have to fork out for the luxury of recycled loo rolls from Waitrose at HK$100 for a pack of four which, cost aside, has any benefit negated by the long trip the rolls have taken to get here.

I refuse to use Virjoy and there’s no other brand at ParknShop I want to buy. So what should my family use?

It seems she really wants to use recycled paper, I can just see her conversation at a dinner party; “I’m more green than you, I use only recycled paper to wipe my arse.”  It’s unfair to judge but l will anyway: living on the peak, with a large square air-conditioned footage and a couple of cars.  Does using recycled bog roll really makes a big difference.

Tokenism is the worst form of green activism, it allows individuals to claim the moral high ground at no real cost to themselves.

If she really wants to be green I’d suggest her family recycles the SCMP itself, along with her letter, at least then the letter will arrive at a more apt destination.

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Evil Bitch

Annalise Connell!  Heard of her?

I’m going to try and be diplomatic here… she’s a fucking evil cow! Sorry, but I feel the need to emphasise my point with an expletive.

This woman sees herself as some sort of moral luminary and here’s what my good friend Bertrand Russell had to say about moral luminaries:“People who are regarded as moral luminaries are those who forego ordinary pleasures themselves and find compensation in interfering with the pleasure of others.”

O’Connell, hereinafter referred to as ‘that bitch,’ is concerned with everything you do.

She’s the one who, over the last few years, objected to every liquor licence application if the applicant intended to allow smoking, thereby penalising hardworking business people who had to get lawyers and faced delays in getting licenced, even though smoking was not against the law in licenced premises at that time.

She was at the forefront of the battle for the smoking ban to have no exemptions and created a smoke screen of disinformation to get her way. She’s the bitch that staff all over Hong Kong can blame for losing their jobs, notwithstanding she claimed she was working on behalf of their health.

Now, she’s going after bartenders.  Her reasoning in her latest SCMP diatribe is that people who serve alcohol to people who are later caught drunk driving are morally culpable for the drink driving offence, therefore she would like to see them prosecuted.

“There is no corporate responsibility behind the warnings to be put in bars and on beer glasses.The random drink-driving testing has focused the spotlight directly on the people responsible – bartenders and the liquor licence holders who do their very best to get their customers drunk to make more money.

With the new random testing there is now a legal paper trail from a drink-driver to the responsible bartender who got the driver drunk, through the credit card purchases in the bar. I look forward to the first prosecution of these irresponsible bar-keepers.  Annelise Connell, Stanley

What a simplistic cow! But why do I call her evil?

Her constant pontificating betrays an underlying morality which seems to say: ” I know what is good for you and I’ll be damned if you can be trusted to make your own decisions.”

She has no concept of individual freedoms and personal responsibility, preferring to straight jacket individuals to a strict level of conformity while she dictates what is to be conformed too.

Does any one out there have any dirt on this bitch?  I know she was a squatter in Tai Tam a few years back.  She was on the board of “Clear the Air” but I think was bumped, she also once had something to do with St. john’s Cathedral fund-raising but that information disappeared off the net.

Imagine for a moment a world where these people, with their narrow agendas, dictate policy, it’s called Fascist, and her attitudes are not dissimilar.

I’ll let another friend, Adam Smith, wrap up this rant.

“Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.”


Sunday Morning Post

Paul Kokoski wrote in the Sunday Morning Post this morning, “Same-Sex Marriage defies Bible and Science.” Quite why Mr Kokoski, ( yeah, I’m ignoring the obvious abbreviation), should want to write to a Hong Kong Newspaper when he appears to live in Canada, is beyond me, but lets allow that he has a Hong Kong connection.  As previously pointed out elsewhere in this rant, so what if it’s unnatural, it’s no business of anyone else’s, as long: “as they don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses.”  But Kok, goes on to spout his own ideas of science without offering any basis for his argument, I suppose as a christian, he expects us to have faith in his authority and word.

Why does the SCMP keep publishing these letters from reactionary idiots?

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Dick of the Day

Dick of the day today, goes to Mr. Robert Shen from Singapore, writing in todays SCMP.  Mr. Chen declares there’s “Far too much freedom in Hong Kong.”  Oh really!  He then reinforces our intitial impression by stating that: “After all, it [The Governement] has been elected to run Hong Kong.” Oh really!

Leaving aside why an individual from the one party state of Singapore should want to comment on Hong Kongs internal affairs, it would at least seem prudent that he should make an effort to find out just what sort of elections can take place here, but hey, don’t let inconvenient facts keep your feet off that soapbox Chen.

As a parting shot he wonders why: They [the protestors] have so much time on their hands.” Perhaps they have decided to fight against nepotism and collusion, to fight for a better future for the next generation and improve the life for everyone in Hong Kong; to take back some power from toadies and big business.  It used to be called ‘principles’ Chen, but I doubt you could spell it.

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Sunday Morning Post

There was a common, if discordant theme in three letters published on Sunday, Peter Sherwood warns of the very real dangers of criticising religion:  ”It can get you killed.” It has caused the deaths of untold innocent individuals and continues to kill today.  Stephen Anderson advocates a strange paradox: “It is wrong to brand organised religion as bigoted.  We must protect freedom of speech.” An illogical argument, especially so given organised religions historical and ongoing persecution of free speech over the last two thousand years. Whilst Gordon Truscott exercises his freedom of speech with another of his frequent and religiously motivated arguments against homosexuality.

I have no issue with Mr. Sherwood, who offers a logical and precise argument.  Mr. Anderson is obviously confused and seems to forget that indoctrination of children hardly inculcates the ability to think rationally, denying them the freedom to think that is so necessary for logical freedom of speech.    Belief, as we all know is a matter of faith, and faith must eliminate logic.

Truscott merely proves the point, a religiously indoctrinated individual with a self-motivated desire to cure homosexuals by denying them freedom of choice. This indoctrination is so very obvious from his many previously published letters branding homosexuality as unnatural.  On this point only, I can agree with him, homosexuality is not natural, but only because in nature, procreation is the norm; our bodies were designed for reproduction.  However, it is the beauty of our evolutionary free will that we can choose to confront and challenge the norms, exercise our human identity and choose to be what we want to be.

Religion is a tool used by men, and it is mostly men, to manipulate other men; it remains a tragedy that so many individuals today remain blinded from an early age by their manipulations at the hands of religious bodies and that we continue to allow prejudice to masquerade as principle.

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