Chinese Should Know Cameron Was a 'Hong'

The PM’s trip to China reminds Guido that he has a little factoid that he hasn’t seen anywhere else, namely that during Dave’s 1985 gap year he worked for Jardine Matheson, before going up to Oxford. Young Cameron worked for three months in Hong Kong as a ‘ship jumper’ for Jardine Shipping Agencies. Dave was responsible for attending to ships when they called at Hong Kong. His tasks ranged from taking care of all the formalities with the customs and immigration authorities, to looking after travel and personal arrangements for crew members. Did his time in Hong Kong teach him to work hard and invest wisely – or did it encourage him to squander his salary  in the bars of Wan Chai? Guido can confirm that there are many exciting diversions for a young man in Hong Kong…

The political relevance of this is that Jardine Matheson is one of the original Hong Kong trading houses or “Hongs” and Jardine Matheson’s early profits were based on selling opium to the Chinese. When the Chinese emperor tried to ban the trade, the company called on Britain to intervene, leading to the 1839 Opium War. This is not viewed well in China, something to be borne in mind when the former lackey of the oppressors is lecturing them about human rights


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