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Please let me through. I'm a politician


YESTERDAY was Day One of the Great Media Scramble.

This is the open outbreak of hostilities between members of the Legislative Council and district boards, who clashed earlier in the week about media access.

District board members formally complained to Legco's Constitutional Development Panel that Legco members were getting all the publicity when news broke, with many of them vividly remembering the cold shoulders some received earlier in the year when a car overturned in Tsuen Wan.

Yesterday, the big winner was Legco member Fung Chi-wood, whose constituency includes the swimming pool closed for health reasons in Sha Tin and who appears today in our pages and everyone else's.

The swimming pool is also in the district board constituency of . . . er . . . well, that makes it one-nil for Legco.

Now it can be revealed why elected Legco members need bigger expense accounts - they need a fast car to get them to crashes, riots and other news events well before the teachers, social workers and other full-time employees who give up their time to sit on district boards.

Someone called Emily Lau Wai-hing seemed to have a lot of expertise on this topic when it was discussed in Legco earlier.

Still, we think district board members should not be too upset when they don't get photographed looking concerned at disaster scenes. After all, George Bush and Margaret Thatcher were always big on this sort of thing, and where are they now? Get seen near too many disasters and people might start wondering about cause and effect.

In contrast, when was the last time you saw Deng Xiaoping or Kim Il-sung do an instant photo-call in the children's ward of a hospital? Forgotten man ISRAR Ahmad of Offaly Ltd faxed off an inquiry to a mainland electrical company, but received no reply.

A few days later he sent off the same request with the words REMINDER on the top in big letters.

Ever polite, the reply he received yesterday began ''Dear Mr Reminder. . .''.

Bills and Ben FRED Fredricks, the tax specialist, has just been on holiday to Guam. His idea of a good time when on holiday on a mid-Pacific island edged with beautiful beaches is to have a look at their tax office.

He was reminded of Ben Franklin's words that ''in this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes'' when he found that Guam's tax office is right opposite the cemetery - a one-stop shop, as the jargon has it.

''Every time you go past you're reminded that they are going to get you in the end,'' he says.

Our favourite Ben Franklin line is: ''If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some; for he that goes a-borrowing goes a-sorrowing.'' Snap reaction KEITH Wollaston has just moved into the Redhill Apartments in Tai Tam, and decided to join the residents' club. He was amazed to find they needed four photographs.

He was told one was needed for the temporary pass, one for the permanent pass issued later, one for club records and one for the records at head office.

''But that's ridiculous,'' Keith said. ''You only need two photographs to get in and out of the People's Republic of China.'' Club manager: ''Ah yes. But our security's better.'' The manager is right. So far not a single boatload of Vietnamese-Chinese refugees from Guangxi province has been made members.

Filthy lucre ONE of the Midland staff now under the thumb of HSBC Holdings managed to get Britain's Daily Telegraph to rerun last Saturday that old joke about Hongkong expatriates being known as FILTH - Failed in London, try Hongkong.

Our senior friend at HSBC Holdings replies that the Midland minions are known as BABES - Born and Bred Essex Slobs.

Clean money ARE you the head of an emerging nation having difficulty with a workforce unwilling to do menial jobs? A company called CWS, which makes soap dispensers for toilets, has the answer - buy lots of soap dispensers.

''Statistics show that vacancies for apprentices remain unfilled, whilst hordes of school-leavers are drawn to 'white-collar' jobs,'' says its brochure.

''Could this be due to a fear of getting their hands dirty? This fear is groundless. Any dirt from work in industry can be removed if the right sanitary conditions have been provided. This means clean toilets and with them a soap dispenser such as the CWS Jumbo. . .'' Fowl indecency LUCY Taylor of Mount Davis Road was offered some amazing sights for just US$15 on a family holiday to Bali: ''We were in Bali with Granny and three youngish children and felt we had to decline the trip, sex and drugs not being conducive to a three-generation happy family holiday,'' she says.

The fee includes a free T-shirt and straw hat. Overalls might be more appropriate.

Lucy adds a wistful note: ''I often wonder what we missed.'' Baby Bell THE deputy director of Guangdong Posts and Telecoms bureau is a Mr Ding Dong Hwa, we hear.

If he should marry a relation of David Bell, would their first child be called Ding Dong Bell?