Unionist keeps distance from the workers How far will Beijing loyalists go in denying that they made a U-turn on their Tiananmen Square stance despite initially condemning the crackdown but later refusing to back calls for vindication of the victims? One of them, Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Wong Kwok-kin - who voted against yesterday's vindication motion - tried to dissociate himself from a group of workers who shouted down democrats chanting June 4 slogans outside the chamber before the debate. Mr Wong said the workers, who said they wanted to 'eat rice' rather than talk about the crackdown, belonged to the construction workers' union. But pan-democrat unionist Lee Cheuk-yan, of the Confederation of Trade Unions, was not letting him off the hook so easily. 'Isn't that construction union the largest affiliated union within the FTU?' he asked. 'They have again sold out Hong Kong's workers. What they meant was: workers want rice vouchers, not election ballots.' Mr Wong should not have worried. Didn't someone very important express views quite similar to the workers' just the other day? Finance chief really is open to suggestions Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, it seems, meant what he said when he answered a reporter's question with another question at a press conference on the new round of relief measures on Tuesday. Asked why there were no measures aimed at helping low-income earners who did not pay tax or rates, Mr Tsang retorted: 'Do you have any good suggestions?' Asked about the exchange on RTHK's phone-in programme yesterday, Mr Tsang said he genuinely wanted to hear some good ideas from the reporter and dismissed suggestions his reply was an affront to the newshound. His wish may soon be answered. A 24-hour news network has invited viewers to send ideas to the finance chief via its website. Bringing home the bacon across the strait Cross-strait ties have often been likened to relations between brothers, which often have their ups and downs. But Taiwan's chief negotiator on cross-strait issues introduced a new dimension yesterday when he described the political and economic relationship across the strait as 'husband-wife relations'. Responding to fears about the mass flow of Taiwanese investment to the mainland, Chiang Pin-kung said: 'Husbands would like their wives to go out more to know what's going on outside, to make themselves look prettier at home. Husbands will run away if their wives become unattractive after being kept at home.' Mr Chiang, who was speaking to a visiting Hong Kong delegation led by legislator Priscilla Leung Mei-fun in Taipei, was confident that money earned by Taiwanese investors on the mainland would be sent home. Big hitters lined up for DAB event If there is any still doubt about the slogan of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong as the 'party with a future', a look at the lineup of guest speakers at their annual retreat across the border can lay that to rest. Speakers at the two-day session include Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen, Executive Council member Lawrence Lau Juen-yee, Hospital Authority chairman Anthony Wu Ting-yuk and 'Taipan' Albert Cheng King-hon. The media spotlight will also fall on former Exco member Tim Chung Shui-ming, who is the party's director-general-designate.