BN(O) a passport to nowhere Who wants a passport that doesn't give you the right to live in the country which issues it, that won't let you pass your nationality down to your kids, that doesn't have visa-free entry to the countries that matter, but costs big bucks to get? Public Eye calls it the Mickey Mouse passport. No, it's not issued by Disneyland. The Disney passports at least promise a magical experience. We're talking about the British National (Overseas) or BN(O) passport - the passport to nowhere. It now turns out it's also a passport that nobody wants. That's why we doubled over laughing at the British Consulate's claim the BN(O) reflected Britain's 'commitment' to Hong Kong people. Commitment? Surely, that's a very bad joke. Issuing passports without abode rights is a commitment? Doing virtually nothing all these years to enhance the status of the BN(O) is a commitment? Hongkongers are overwhelmingly choosing the SAR passport, for good reason: it's far cheaper and allows visa-free travel to far more countries. But the BN(O) is probably good for one thing. If you're ever in a hostage situation, God forbid, the terrorists will likely puzzle over your passport, realise you're just a make-believe Brit, scratch their heads over what to do, then set you free. You're no use to them as a bargaining chip. AIG fat cat thinks US$100,000 is small change American International Group's Southeast Asia president, Leslie Mouat, doesn't think US$100,000 is a lot of money. That's his share of the US$165 million top AIG executives received in bonuses, even though the wrecked company now survives on public money. 'It's not multimillion dollars like some. It's less than US$100,000.' Public Eye has a suggestion for Mr Mouat: go tell those who've lost pensions and life savings that the US$100,000 bonus he got is just peanuts. Mr Mouat says he can do without the money. 'If people want it back, I'll come up with a cheque tomorrow.' Here's some more advice for him: don't wait to be asked. Write the cheque now. Mugabe critics may be in glass houses No doubt there's going to be one hell of an uproar over the government's granting of diplomatic immunity to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's wife, Grace, accused of punching a journalist. Public Eye regards the Mugabes with great distaste, too. But who exactly are the critics who've been so vocal in expressing outrage over the attack, her buying of a home here and her daughter being allowed to study here? Do they include former beneficiaries of the apartheid regimes in Rhodesia and South Africa? If yes, please zip it up. You have no moral authority to preach righteousness. Venice: the Suzhou of the west A reporter on American television last week referred to the holy city of Mashad as the Vatican of Iran. The Vatican of Iran? When are we going to stop making all these ridiculous comparisons, as if the west sets the standards for everything? Why must Shanghai be the Paris of the east, or Suzhou and Kashmir the Venice of the east? Why can't it be the other way round? Public Eye can understand India's movie capital in Mumbai being nicknamed Bollywood, since Hollywood was the world's original movie capital. But surely Suzhou predates Venice? So why must it be the little brother when compared to Venice's waterways? Condom comments reveal a Pope out of touch Talking about the Vatican, wonder if Pope Benedict ever heard of the Chinese taunt that if you stay silent no one will call you a mute. Well, Public Eye wishes he would stay silent on condoms. He's obviously not an expert. No one who knows anything about condoms would make the preposterous claim, as the Pope did at the start of his African tour, that their distribution actually worsens the Aids epidemic. What's even more preposterous is the Pope's answer to fighting Aids: no sex before marriage, don't cheat on your spouse, and no homosexuality. If you want to know why religion is so divorced from reality, there's your answer.