Short shrift for Long Hair breeds Defending the appointments of deputy ministers and political assistants last week, top government officials were at pains to impress on journalists that it was a genuine and serious head-hunting process. They said the newly appointed officials were carefully chosen from a pool of more than 100 short-listed candidates recommended by people from various sources. But many candidates does not necessarily mean more choices. Political Animal understands some liberal-minded figures whose names were put forward to the Chief Executive's Office did not get a chance of going through the formal selection process. A knowledgeable source said: 'These people do not belong to the radical breed like Long Hair (Leung Kwok-hung). They are moderate, progressive figures. They may not want the job if offered. But if some of them had been on last week's list, public reaction would have been far more positive.' Sshh. It's time to celebrate In line with the government's low-key approach to naming the first batch of deputy ministers and political assistants, the Bauhinia Foundation will hold an unpublicised celebration this week of its ringing success in the contest for political posts. The de facto official think-tank, of which Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's right-hand man, Norman Chan Tak-lam, was founding chairman, emerged as the biggest winner in last week's appointments. Of the 17 appointed, at least seven are directly or closely associated with the foundation. Youngest appointee can't wait to retire As the youngest political assistant, Paul Chan Chi-yuen may be excused for his immaturity. In his blog, the 28-year-old Roundtable leader reveals his interests: 'count one's toes, leisure reading and travelling'. The London-educated master of comparative politics says he actually prefers writing lyrics and poems to political commentary. Having left his footprints as far afield as the Balkans and Scandinavia, the future aide to health minister York Chow Yat-ngok might be more suited to overseeing the tourism portfolio under Frederick Ma Si-hang. And his ultimate life goal - 'wait for retirement and then open a bookshop'. Civic Party stalwarts not good sports What news will the public be focusing on this summer? The Olympics, of course. That is why the Civic Party is planning to bring forward the announcement of its team of candidates for September's Legislative Council election. Party leader Audrey Eu Yuet-mee said that rather than announcing the party list in late July, when the nomination period begins, the party would start the campaign late next month, just in case the public was paying too much attention to athletic rather than political races later on. But the decision has led to grumbles from some party incumbents, who complained that starting earlier meant spending more on campaigning. 'The last thing I want to see is overspending because, by law, there is a campaign spending cap,' said one legislator.