Chinese Whispers

Chinese Whispers: by Hsiao-Hung Pai (Review)

The True Story behind Britain’s Hidden Army of Labour



Chinese Whispers; The last time you sat down to a Chinese meal in one of those grand and bustling Chinese restaurants in London’s Chinatown, did you by any chance think about who your waiter was, what had led him to Britain, or what his working conditions might be like?

Have you ever wondered who separated and sorted those impeccable lettuce leaves in your designer bag of mixed fresh salad, or who picked and trimmed those perfect spring onions that you bought from a supposedly respectable high street supermarket? And what about that side salad you got from a world famous fast food outlet?

What has made those pretty faces that appear in local newspapers offering massages and other services, of a more sexual nature, to British ‘gentlemen’, do this kind of work?

These are the questions we don’t like to ask ourselves, we prefer to take it for granted that we can get these products and services at a cheap price.

Hsiao-Hung Pai’s book, ‘Chinese Whispers’, reveals exactly how we get all the above and at what price. The stories of the people involved, which she masterly brings to light, make for uncomfortable reading. Hers is a tale designed to stir our consciousness and provoke anger and indignation. For ‘Chinese Whispers’ is a story of exploitation, shattered dreams and

Continue reading “Chinese Whispers”