The cat cries for the mouse

This is the first part of a chinese 歇后语, that is, a kind of proverb where the second part explicates the first, in case the meaning of it isn’t obvious.

To spell it out in full:

māo kū hàozi jiǎ cíbēi
猫 哭 耗 子—假 慈 悲
The cat cries for mouse—pretending to be kind

Maybe it’s not quite the right saying. I don’t think the translation of the second half is quite right: jiǎ means false (this is a key pun in the classic Chinese novel, Dream of the Red Mansions ) and other translations for cíbēi are sympathy or pity or compassion. The phrase is often translated as “crocodile tears.” In this case I want to say “false solicitude” which is probably something a bit different. Nevertheless it’s what comes to mind as I read the latest reports of the saga involving Mr Rann, premier of SA, the woman he had a “friendship” with (whatever it exactly was), and her aggrieved ex (or possibly just “estranged”) husband.

Today the magistrate did not record a conviction against the husband on his entering into a 2-year good-behaviour bond. See, generally, section 39 of the Criminal Law Sentencing Act 1988. Actually, I think he got off rather lightly. He walked up to Rann at a public function more than two years after the end of his marriage and “struck the Premier in the face up to four times with a rolled up magazine.”

Talk about nursing a grudge!

And in addition to the humiliation and indignity inflicted upon the assailee at the time, his QC got a kind of free kick in court to make further privileged statements about “admissions” by his former or estranged wife which were really in the nature of accusations against Mr Rann and justification for the [ex/estranged] husband’s conduct. If I were the magistrate, that would make me less inclined rather than more inclined to give him a bond.

But of course what I was really thinking about was Ms Chantelois, the woman who apparently considers herself wronged. The balance of this story carried forward an earlier story referring to last night’s debate between Rann and the SA leader of the opposition.

Earlier, Ms Chantelois rejected an apology from Mr Rann in a televised debate with Liberal leader Isobel Redmond.

During Wednesday’s debate, Mr Rann, facing an election on March 20, described the controversy as a “a very, very difficult issue”.

“If my friendship, before I was married, has caused any distress to anyone, including Ms Chantelois or her family, then I regret that and I apologise for that,” Mr Rann said.

But Ms Chantelois said she did not “feel there is any sincerity in that at all.”

“His wording was very careful … he is just constantly dodging and weaving this whole issue and not actually owning up to his behaviour,” she told ABC Radio.

“It was purely political; it’s like he’s trying to apologise but it’s more about for political survival for himself right now.””.

Excuse me, “not owning up to his behaviour“? I’m still trying to get my head around that. That’s what brought to mind the cat crying for the mouse.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: