The propensity of the average person to fall for every accusation brought by the administration and the establishment when it comes to the mantra on costs trotted out to stymie opposition to preferred policies, however unpalatable, never ceases to amaze.
Take the billions reportedly lost through the recent filibustering in the Legislative Council of the proposed by-election legislation.
Apart from some additional energy charges, and they will be a drop in the ocean in light of the considerable bills incurred since Legco moved to Tamar, the only significant expenditure was the time spent by pro-government legislators in the chamber.
Some of them rarely attend Legco meetings, despite the fact that lawmakers cost the taxpayer millions in remuneration and expenses.
Therefore, I am sure that many in the community fell asleep with a smile on their faces after seeing them finally forced to put in some time at the office.
Of course we were not very happy that they did not use that time more productively.
Instead of watching films and drawing, they could have been studying reports that would have given them a deeper understanding of the issues they were being asked to vote on. But then why bother with that when all you are expected to do is push the 'yes' button?
The media has been remiss in neglecting to report that other legislation is in fact going through the process.
The bills [committees] and subcommittees are meeting as usual and legislation that we have been told is being held up is in fact not yet ready to be submitted to the chamber.
Those folk who are worried about public expenditure should be asking questions about how many additional millions we had to fork out because of the rush to open the Tamar offices and the subsequent outbreak of legionnaires' disease.
They should get their heads around the financial ramifications of trophy projects like the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, the express railway and the cruise line terminal at Kai Tak. The list is endless. And what about the cost to the public purse of the medical fees we face with regard to the impact of our bad environment on the health of younger generations?
The 'take care of the pennies' mindset is being exploited to the detriment of a clear grasp on the part of the community of the fundamentals and has resulted in a failure to seek facts and figures over fiction.
Martin Brinkley, Ma WanTopics: Politics Parliamentary Procedure Filibuster Legislative Council of Hong Kong Tamar Legco elections 2012