The Sky Has Not Yet Fallen
An idle thought that turned into a nostalgic moment that somehow morphed into a piece of political analysis.
I remember the morning of 2nd May 1997. I have a clear memory, one of those rare, precious shards of childhood clarity. I am lying on my front, ear to the speaker of a radio in my aunt’s house, listening to the World Service. Parquet floor, a rug covering the centre, dining table and chairs behind me. Somewhere in the room is the resident gecko, biding its time behind one or other of the pieces of furniture or climbing impossibly up the walls. This is Hong Kong in late spring, humid and hot. I am nine years old and I am aware that something special is happening. My parents are excited, happy. Later, my father and I will take a walk down the hill and through the city, the two of us taking in the city and bidding farewell to its sheer glass colossi. Whether I realised it at the time I cannot really say, but unconsiously at least we knew that we would return to a different place from the one we had departed.
This was undoubtably a Good Thing (Everyone not familiar with the concept of the Good Thing first espoused in Sellar and Yeatman’s 1066 And All That may struggle here, and should preferably beat a path to the nearest dusty secondhand bookshop to locate a copy). A young, smiling, fresh-faced man sweeping away the sober, sad-looking old man in Number Ten. Right had triumphed over Wrong, the needs of the many for once outweighed the needs of the few. (more…)