THEY take football pitches very seriously over at the Urban Council. Only the other day chairman Ronald Leung Ding-bong and his colleagues were discussing once again the state of the turf at the Hong Kong Stadium, having made an inspection tour to see if it was as bad as everyone made out. After all, there had been quite a lot of work done and money spent on improving the original disastrous pitch: no one liked to think the whole exercise had been a waste of time and resources. But the evidence was there for all to see. Why, even the chairman himself had fallen down and injured his ear. The Democratic Party's Kam Nai-wai suggested mildly this might have something to do with the way the good Dr Leung played football. At this point Dr Leung declared a foul. His footballing skills were beside the point. It took a full minute to calm him down, give him a penalty kick, and get the discussions back to the subject in hand. Such a sensitive soul, our Ding-bong. A few weeks ago, Quarry Bay revealed that Nobel Prize-winning economist Merton Miller, who proposed the Government should show its commitment to the US dollar peg by selling fixed-rate convertible put-options on the local dollar as an insurance against devaluation, had to get an interview with the then vice-premier Zhu Rongji before Hong Kong Monetary Authority boss Joseph Yam Chi-kwong would deign to see him. Perhaps Mr Yam's irritation over Mr Zhu's enthusiastic intervention explains the letter from the International Monetary Fund reprinted without commentary as an annex to the Financial Services Bureau's 1998 Report On The Financial Market. 'We continue to be highly skeptical about such schemes,' it says of Mr Miller's proposal. It calls the strategy 'extremely risky' and concludes that it could encourage renewed speculative attacks. Which just goes to show Mr Zhu is not the 'Economic Tsar'. Mr Yam is. History and revolution are quickly made in China. Already exhibit hunters from the Museum of Chinese History and the Museum of Chinese Revolution have been scrambling for the old signboards of the departments and ministries abolished or renamed in the recent, massive restructuring of the Government. Among the signboards now snapped up for these valuable national collections are those from the National Environmental Protection Agency, which has now been upgraded to the State General Administration of Environmental Protection; the State Science and Technology Commission, now renamed the Science and Technology Ministry; and the State Physical Culture and Sports Commission, downgraded to the General Bureau for Sports Affairs. Also in the new collection are the now defunct State Commission for Restructuring the Economy and the Ministry of Geology and Mineral Resources. Anyone who has ever known a bus-spotter will understand: those with the urge to collect will collect just about anything.