Miscalculating Governor Patten's role

I REFER to the front page article 'Patten regarded as a lame duck' (South China Morning Post, November 28).

Maybe I am one of very few who disagree with this. Most people in times of crisis look for a saviour. Expecting Mr Patten to be the saviour of Hong Kong in confronting China is a mistake.

This is why the people of Hong Kong have been greatly disappointed as revealed in the survey. I think it is unfair to judge Mr Patten as a lame duck against the expectation of a saviour and not as governor of Hong Kong.

He is the most important person for Hong Kong in this time of transition. There is no one to match his political skill and experience, and he is doing something very important, that is to strengthen the Hong Kong Government's international relations.

It is very clear that the Hong Kong Government needs these relations to maintain stability and prosperity after 1997.

Hong Kong needs the continual international recognition of its administration, legal system, financial institutions, education, and professional bodies.

Mr Patten has been handicapped by his political past from the beginning of his governorship here. He did a very good job convincing the people of Hong Kong that he would do something for them, but wasted much of his time doing so.

As the Governor of Hong Kong, he does not have to consult the people nor convince them, let alone explain what he is doing. Instead, he should concentrate his efforts on working for the future of Hong Kong as he is doing now.

Mr Patten has done a great job keeping the British business community happy with government contracts, etc, and is also keeping the Hong Kong politicians happy by confronting China on an electoral reform that does not carry any form of democracy. He's also pleased China by giving them an excuse to stop the through-train.