Our Chief Secretary is so cutting edge. She said so herself. During a speech at the Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC), Hong Kong's favourite politician chided a Legislative Council member for calling her 'old fashioned'. Said she: 'I am not quite sure whether I should now be purring like Eartha Kitt, you know that song Just an old fashioned girl, or laying about the editors of the Economist and Newsweek with my handbag.' Lai See finds the image of fashion accessory violence less alarming than the thought of our Chief Secretary engaged in the act of purring. Anyway, one thing was certain at the FCC. Anson was blowing the dust off her image. This was a new chief secretary - leader for the future, promoter of post-2000 Hong Kong and champion of the Cyber-Port. Yes, Cyber-Port - destined to place Hong Kong on the crest of the technological wave. And Anson will be there with it, riding that wave, cybering that space, byting those bytes. Maybe even getting a computer. The Chief Secretary may consider herself hard and full of drive, but her desk, we are told, is hard-drive free. When we asked for her personal office e-mail address, we were told she doesn't have one. There's one for the whole office. Would-be correspondents have to put a note at the top of their messages asking the recipient to forward it to Ms Chan's assistant. Sounds like the iron lady's communication techniques may be getting a tad rusty. Lai See suggest that she set her sights on setting up her own site. She should select a name that conveys the full excitement of the contents to be discovered therein. Perhaps www.matronlyci vilservant.com. We're betting Rupert Murdoch's red in the face this morning. Except for his nose. That, we are told, is a rather unbecoming shade of brown. When the media mogul picks up the papers today, he'll discover that arch rival Ted Turner has accused him of 'brown nosing' his way into the mainland. Fresh in from Shanghai, Time Warner boss Ted Turner paid Hong Kong a flying visit yesterday for breakfast at the Grand Hyatt. Ex-film star wife Jane Fonda was also in attendance, presumably on a break between aerobic workouts. Anyway, Mr Turner was on the war path, and News International honcho Rupert Murdoch was firmly in his sights. 'Rupert thinks he's a journalist but he kowtows,' sneered Mr T. He accused Murdoch of 'brown-nosing' to Beijing in his efforts to gain a foothold in the mainland media. But given the mainland flatter-fest that was the Time-Warner sponsored Fortune Global Forum in Shanghai during the week, backed up by some of his own glowing views on mainland politics (despite the banning of his magazines Time and Asiaweek ) it was a little rich. If you squinted hard enough in the direction of Mr Turner's nostrils, you could just detect the faintest hint of fawn. Lai See has uncovered HSBC's secret weapon for dealing with the press in times of strife. May you and your families have a lovely time during today's holiday. No, that last sentence wasn't a non sequitur. That was the weapon. It was unsheathed ahead of Theme International Holdings' annual general meeting. HSBC is principal banker for the fashion retailer, and former HSBC senior staffer Gerald Dobby offered it to Theme chairman Kenneth Lai Ngan-long. The hack pack was out in force because Theme is the subject of a takeover battle between casual wear retailer Giordano and women's wear retailer YGM Trading. Eyeing the 20 odd reporters vulturing outside the boardroom, Mr Dobby told Mr Lai exactly how to deal with them. 'You don't need to tell them anything, just say I wish you and your family have a lovely time on National Day,' he said. Presumably this would immediately disarm the journos and send them all packing, replete with good will and devoid of nasty questions. But the chairman rejected the Nice Holiday Wishes strategy. Apparently he was wearing his best tie, and was determined to get some mileage out of it. As the cameras flashed, he basked in his 20 minutes of fame, contentedly fielding questions on the secret of his non-success. He wouldn't comment on rumours that his continued leadership was one of the takeover conditions. The Theme leader claimed the board of directors naturally would put the best interests of their staff, bank's creditors and shareholders foremost when considering takeover proposals. But Lai See suspects the clothing king might be more accustomed to suiting himself.