I am uneasily aware that having started my keen observations of the 'Mysterious Kingdom Polit-Bureau-dom' I have allowed my attention to stray back 'over there'. Sorry and all that but 'over there' is so much easier to try and understand then 'all the way round there', not least because the former, being more than just scrutable, are hopeless at keeping secrets whilst the latter wouldn't tell you if your zip was undone! Anyway, I do remember that the Central Committee was supposed to be having a grand 'how's-your-father' this month in which all the new, hand-picked candidates would take their seats at the high table whilst trying not to show that it had all been fixed months ago. This morning, in a comment thread somewhere down below, the subject of China arose and I realised that actually I had read nothing about this hugely important meeting in any of the MSM for some considerable time.
Happily, George H. Wittman of The American Spectator was to hand with a useful essay explaining, as best he could, what was going on, or to be precise, why nothing was going on - yet! Remember, it is quite an extraordinary event when the very pinnacle of the ruling Communist Party of China appears to stumble - even slightly. If the Party machine coughs, how sick is the body politic? Anyway, first of all, Mr. Wittman reckons the Bo Xilai affair (click on my 'China' category for details) has taken much longer to sort out than originally thought. He was not a troublesome loner but the leader of a Maoist movement intent on taking China back the 'good old days'. There's "nowt as queer as folk", as they say north of the M25, and just as large segments of the Russian population revere 'good old Uncle Joe' despite the fact that he murdered them in their millions, so too, in China the greatest mass murderer of all time is still held in high regard. Anyway, one casualty appears to be a certain Zhou Yongkang, hitherto the top man in charge of Chinese internal security. He 'agreed' (yeees, quite!) to relinquish his main responsibilities half a year earlier than his retirement date. Such apparently trivial detail is all you ever get out of Beijing's hall of mirrors.
Even more mystifying is the absence (Not terminal, I trust, Comrade?) of the heir apparent, Xi Jinping, who has not been seen in public for weeks. He was supposed to be hosting seriously important talks with the military leadership for reasons which can only be guessed at. Mr. Wittman reports that perhaps serious surgery has intervened and that might have been the cause of the unprecedented delay in the Central Committee meeting which is now due to take place in November. China and its government faces some gigantic and unbelievably complex problems. The new Central Committee could either lurch to the extremes or remain more or less centralist. Loud-mouthed denunciations by American presidential candidates will not help. "Softlee, softlee, catchee monkey" must be the guiding principle!
ADDITIONAL: A note to my Headmaster, 'DM'. Please, Sir, don't bother, I have already started the hundred lines for the howler in my title and I have changed "of" to "off" and I blame 'SpecSavers'!