The Mayor’s shoes!
The City of Toronto in eastern Canada has a major scandal brewing in the past a couple of months now, over the mayor in office who now admitted he smoked crack cocaine, and got into drunken stupors now and again.
When I was in Ningbo during the flood, many heroic and selfless acts were broadcasted over and over again, to boast the awareness of neighborhood spirits and China as a progressive society.
I am in total agreement with that, in this day and age of massive and effective news media coverage, if you don’t cover it, someone else would. At times grass root coverage via internet seems to be more welcoming by the mass, and news of concern seems to be spreading faster than conventional news media.
One such news was generating a huge amount of interest in the internet media.
A small county in the flood zone was doing their darn best to fight the ravaging flood, as usual; all dignitaries big or small all showed up, have their say, and a photo-op.
This sort of propaganda tactic or PR exercise is universally practiced, nothing done by the politicians or events happened in China during disaster period that weren’t being done or practiced in other part of the world.
The following gossip that went through the Net like wild fire has a degree of humor and irony in it, I am not sure if it is even a 100% true or accurate in the circumstance that leads up to this expose and enjoyed by thousands of Net surfers.
As the story went, the mayor of this county and others did their speeches and photo-op in the town hall, and him plus all the dignitaries were about to do some field inspections in the flood zone. All of a sudden, he realized that he had his Sunday best of a pair of shoes on when he left for work that morning. Some report said it is a $2000 RMB pair of nice footwear. (About $300 Canadian dollars)
Now a three hundred dollars pair of shoes is not news worthy in the western world for some well to do people, but in a small county, and a minor official, that raised some eye browse, after he expressed concern if his shoes would survive the flood water, a 60 years old county worker offered to piggyback the mayor in the field during the fact finding mission! And the mayor accepted! What went through the worker’s mind, no body knows, may be he was thinking about a nice package in his upcoming retirement?
I am not sure if that mayor loses his job, but the incident stirred up a lot of skepticisms, resentments and bitter feeling, ordinary people feel that (some) officials are lining their own pockets, after doling out personal favors for those who come knocking on his office door.
Nowadays, one does not even need slipping a cash envelope under the table anymore. We give out gift cards during holiday seasons all over the world! I am sure there would be gift cards dealing with men’s apparels in the “land of opportunities”!