Beijing's attitude towards the 'rescue/intervention operation' by Financial Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and Monetary Authority chief executive Joseph 'Rambo' Yam Chi-kwong is complicated, if not ambivalent. Analysts discount reports that Beijing is almost as gung-ho as the SAR Government samurais, setting aside tens of billions of US dollars in their own reserves to join the fray. Superficially, of course, Beijing has to show support. Witness the rare, computerised pictures in the Beijing-run Hong Kong Daily last week showing Mr Tsang grasping a mighty croc. The caption reads: 'Finance supremo's brave battle versus international crocodiles' - the next best thing to Saint George slaying the dragon in British legend. The Hong Kong Government informed Beijing before taking action on August 14. Beijing did not say no, sticking to the edict of Hong Kong people running Hong Kong. But the Hong Kong policy establishment in Beijing had doubts, wondering if the SAR had underestimated the crocodile's strength, or the extent to which international markets had deteriorated. A big fear was the depletion of Hong Kong reserves - the same concern Beijing had in battles with the British before the handover. Given the state of the post-flood Chinese economy, it is far-fetched to hope Beijing will devote its own reserves to help Hong Kong. China will simply warn international speculators it will not sit idle if they perpetrate their evil deeds in the SAR; that they must bear in mind the mainland market - warning financier George Soros and his crowd would be barred from setting up shop. Rival political parties fell over each other to dig out mistakes during the bus handover from CMB to New World. But what they revealed were blunders of their own rather than glitches by First Bus. The Liberal Party scooped media attention with a passenger survey, quoting percentages which did not add up to 100. Alerted to the mistake, they corrected the figures, but used the wrong Chinese characters to apologise for the error. The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong made just one mistake. They put two more zeros in front of the seven per cent delays to schedule. The Democrats had least hassle, but their report came almost 10 hours after the survey. Hiding behind sub-judice excuses over a report into violence at Lantau's Ma Po Ping prison won't disguise the fact that the system needs an overhaul. For example, most JP visits are a waste of time and money. The JPs are there to check on inmates. But really, it's a junket, with the mighty flown in by government helicopter at vast expense for tea and VIP treatment. One JP uses a Chinese saying to describe the system - 'riding on horseback to admire the flowers'. There is an official ritual, with an announcement calling for prisoners with complaints to come forward. Sometimes as many as four are bold enough, but, since visits are on a rota basis (nobody wants to miss the chopper ride), inmates won't see the same JP again for weeks or months. Given the social standing of many JPs, it's hard to imagine an old lag pouring his heart out to them. Another reason a JP's job is coveted is that incumbents have initials after their names, and there's a mistaken belief that it is the same distinction as the MBEs and the CBEs of memory. It isn't, of course. It's a job title and it is not being done as it should. A helicopter costs $10,179 an hour. A ferry ticket is around $25. Perhaps JPs with a genuine interest in the job could consider the cheaper option.