Mean jokes have been doing the rounds about Martin Lee Chu-ming's holidaying in Japan over Easter while the rest of the political world was out campaigning. Was he just becoming complacent after being accepted as the only shoo-in in the entire geographical constituency race? Not at all. Good dads will recognise that even politicians put their families first sometimes. The Democratic Party leader's break was timed so he could spend a bit of time with son Joey, who was home for the holidays from his top-notch British boarding school. The Japan trip aside, however, Lee Jnr seemed to be on one of those early training courses for stepping into daddy's shoes that Hong Kong's rich and famous tend to force on their offspring. Quality time with dad included attendance at press conferences, the Democratic Party's announcement of its candidates for the upcoming election, (where Joey was pressed into service as the official photographer), and sundry other political events. He was also employed as an informal adviser on Mr Lee's new web site. Fishing trips for two in bear country will have to wait until Mr Lee is finally sent into exile. There is nothing like the death of an old and honoured friend to spur provisional legislators on to acts of big-hearted generosity. So From the Corridors was a little surprised to see president Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai and executive councillors Tam Yiu-chung and Peggy Lam Pei Yu-dja had sent flowers on the death of former National People's Congress stalwart Liu Yiu-chu - and charged them to their provisional legislature expenses. The sums ranged between $200 and $400. Two rows of DAB supporters, all dressed in identical yellow jackets, shout and cheer as Lau Kong-wah and his two DAB election allies stride up to the Sha Tin District Office to register as candidates. Among them, however, is an elderly gentleman dressed in less eye-catching clothing. Finally, after standing for an age waiting for the line to move forward, he asks the question he's been holding back for some time. 'Isn't this the queue for water rates payments?' he asks shyly. Your colonies, our colonies - it's all the same in the end. Chris Patten's fame in Hong Kong, Britain and a few other English-speaking enclaves has held up remarkably well, even if he has had to work hard to keep it that way. But in an interview with the Financial Times, he recounts an episode which must have taught him a little humility. He says he was out walking in the French countryside near his new home and met a local man who asked which village he came from. When Mr Patten told him, the local man said: 'Ah yes, someone new has moved there. Do you know him? The Governor of Saigon . . .'