It's fine for some, but not for others There's a famous Latin phrase for it, with which we're sure the erudite Emily Lau Wai-hing is familiar, but to avoid confusion, we'll just use the English: 'Who guards the guards?' It sprang to mind the other day when Lau - who since becoming Democratic Party deputy chairwoman has been slapping a fine of HK$50 on lawmakers who arrive 10 minutes or more late for the party's weekly meeting - was herself a full 13 minutes late for the same meeting. Amid delight among some colleagues Lau explained she had been held up in a meeting with Legco president Tsang Yok-sing about the upcoming trip by lawmakers to the Shanghai World Expo. No one dared ask her to fork out the green banknote but Cheung Man-kwong was unwise enough to ask if she had applied for leave. Being cheeky carries a price, as Cheung found out later. Having already expressed a wish to join the trip, Cheung was reminded by Lau that the party had yet to make a final decision on whether to join, and anyone who defied a party decision would be disciplined. We're not sure exactly what she meant but it sounded ominous. Actress not planning a repeat performance Many legislators see the Shanghai trip as a chance for the central government and pan-democrats to improve their relationship. But just how deep the thaw, if any, will be, has yet to be seen. One who doesn't seem to be banking on a big breakthrough is outspoken actress Liza Wang Ming-chun, a delegate to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Wang, who openly urged Beijing to issue home return permits to all pan-democrats in the Olympic year of 2008, says she doesn't plan to repeat the gesture at this year's CPPCC annual meeting. 'I have done what I should do already and I am not going to repeat it. Many people are working on this matter. Tsang Yok-sing is arranging a trip,' she said. One reason for her reticence could be that she never received a formal response to her earlier suggestion two years ago. Not much use shouting into cotton wool is there Liza? Sometimes you just have to grin and bear it Loyalty is a prerequisite for Beijing loyalists and that also includes supporting the SAR government when needed. But it can be a two-edged sword as Wong Kwok-hing of the Federation of Trade Unions found yesterday. Wong, a fierce opponent of the 'referendum' on universal suffrage engineered by the resignation of five pan-democrat legislators, nonetheless found himself meekly voting for funding of the controversial exercise. The government sought provisional approval of the HK$159 million cost before the appropriation bill is tabled for a vote next month, and the FTU, with other government allies, voted yes, Wong said he did not support the referendum, but he had no choice other than to support the funding as the government would not delete it from the budget. Was Tang caught flat-footed in shoe incident? Why didn't Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen put a positive spin on the incident in which a student threw a shoe at him during a forum, as former US president George W. Bush did in Iraq in 2008? He lost a golden opportunity to show some political skill in handling an awkward situation through direct interaction, said lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee. What seemed to have gone unnoticed, was that Tang's current spin doctor was in fact an administrative officer recruited by Ip years ago when she sat on the government recruitment board. Ip recounted how she remembered Tang's aide well and was impressed by his analytical skills. Political Animal is certain she was not suggesting that Tang, like her a possible contender for the 2012 chief executive seat, cannot recognise talent as well as she did. Tang just grinned and recited a prepared speech after the incident.