Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 38 No. 22. September 11, 1975

Middle Class

Middle Class

Indeed, to see any reasonable accommodation at all, it is necessary to completely bypass squatter, transit and resettlement areas, and take a look at the apartments of the middle class Better still, visit as we did, a street slightly on the outskirts of the city. There we found beautiful family homes set in acres of garden and bush. They are difficult to describe in detail. The people living in them were a little more reluctant to show visitors through than the poor in their one-room shacks. And from the street it wasn't easy to see over the great iron, padlocked gates which shut them off from the teeming city. They bore a frightening resemblance to the Forbidden City in Peking, enclosed by a wide moat, its floors reinforced by fifteen layers of stone, where the Chinese Emperors of old lived in constant fear of the labouring poor.

Ironically, Hong Kong's housing programme is the social welfare service which gets the most coverage in the western world This, in spite of its complete inadequacy and the fact that it provides the regime with far more income than the squatter areas which it has replaced. The explanation lies in the even poorer record of the administration in other areas of social need. There are no sickness benefits, no pensions, no unemployment relief, no minimum wages, no limit on hours of work for males over eighteen. Child labourpage 7 continues in many areas, and there is no compulsory secondary education. In other words. Britain's interest in her colony is limited largely to economic considerations