Subtle Headline of the Week Award goes to the Wall Street Journal for Hugo Restall’s story ‘Hong Kong was Better under the British’. Ouch. Hugo’s other recent piece on the Big Lychee ponders ‘The Absurdity of Empire’ in the city – the absurdity being Henry Tang and the imperialism being that of Beijing, as experienced also by Tibet and Xinjiang. Some people just don’t care if they’re not invited to National Day cocktails.
For, shall we say, an alternative viewpoint, we always have the pro-Henry Standard…
One of the awkward side-effects for Beijing of the 2012 Hong Kong Chief Executive ‘election’ fiasco is the open, and surprisingly personal, hostility that has broken out between the rival teams of Henry and CY Leung. The tycoon-centred business community is a vital part of the Communist Party’s United Front in Hong Kong, and public, divisive nastiness within the trusted establishment ‘elite’ theoretically represents a potential threat to Party control over the city.
The allusions to wolves and oblique questioning of integrity seem quite tame by the standards of Republican primary candidates. But in face-saving Hong Kong it is serious: this is a small town, and these guys will need to get on together and see eye to eye in future.
Beijing’s typical response to willfulness and indiscipline is a clampdown. Remember the barrage of propaganda in the wake of 2003 about patriotism, who decides constitutional reform and the possible ‘sidelining’ of Hong Kong. As in 2003, Hong Kong has strayed from the path Beijing had carved, and this time big businessmen and the media took part. (Indeed, the pro-democrats, usually busy subverting the city at the behest of their American masters, have played only a minor role.) In due course, someone is in for some re-education.
Meanwhile, ‘Wolf-man CY Leung’ officially enters the rigged-but-farcical quasi-election with a relatively handsome number of nominations. The endorsements are lopsided, however. The agricultural and fisheries folk, for example, just want attention for their long-dead industries. The pro-Beijing labour unions want concessions on workers’ rights from Henry. And the few tycoons backing CY are the oddballs, loners and outsiders of their milieu. Walter Kwok – of the Sun Hung Kai family – never got over a traumatic kidnapping and disgraced the dynasty’s matriarch with an affair; Ronnie Chan is a clown. The public-sector figures in the CY camp no doubt have sincere views on the need for reform, but they are also gambling on the off-chance they could end up being medium fish in a small pond: they won’t get a position under Henry, so what is there to lose?
China Daily, in adding up the nominations, categorizes 140 as ‘reserved for Jasper Tsang [Yok-sing]’. Reserved for the phone call from Beijing’s local officials telling them what to do, would be more like it. In an unpredictable world, there are some things you can always rely on, and one is the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment Etc of HK. The National People’s Congress deputies are similarly, mostly, obedient. And eventually most of the patriotic labour people, tycoons and others will do as they are told, even if it takes some arm-twisting. The result will be what Beijing wants it to be; the ‘broadly representative’ Election Committee is too carefully assembled to produce any other outcome. But even so – what a mess. There will be repercussions, and they won’t involve a Central People’s Government pledge to stop trying to micromanage Hong Kong so obsessively.
Wolf man?…as usual they have mistaken the pet for the master, the tail for the dog.
Destiny has other things in store.
Look into his soulful Transylvanian eyes, feel his yearning, the darkness of the night lying deep within them, and ponder the value of your assets in ten years’ time. Was Dracula a capitalist? Did he make everyone richer? Nitwit journalists. Nitwit Hong Kong.
You have been warned.
(Fiendish cackles off).
Wolves are going to be relegated this year, I am told.
The wolf montage in Tang’s ‘love media’ is a little over the top given that in Chinese at least, a wolf is seen as being a despicable, hateful animal worse than the western context of calling someone a pig or a dog.
A surprisingly high number of nominations for the Wolf.
I think China is going to have to make one of their slight yet clear signals to guide the EC on who they should vote for and sort this debacle out.
Unfortunately this does not bode well for “full democracy” in 2017 because if they have this sort of farce now it could get much much worse if things are opened up much more …
Beer O Clock yet?
AN ODIOUS ODE
She was young, she was pure, she was new, she was nice
Ex-colony and just fifteen.
He was rich, he was ham-sap, no stranger to vice
He was base, he was bad, he was mean.
He had slyly inveigled her under his pool
To view his collection of wine
(all imported duty- free… ha ha ha haaaah !)
And he said as he hastened to put down the wolf,
And avoid paying Lisa’s huge fine:
Have some Madeira, m’dear.
You really have nothing to fear
Yes I’m seducing cos this isn’t heaven ,
You can’t have your free choice till 2017
Have some Madeira, m’dear
CE-lect me – you won’t shed a tear.
I may not be clever, I may not be bright
I’ve done lots that stupid and nothing that’s right
But I’m Beijing’s choice though I must admit
I’ve screwed up my chances I’m such a dimwit
I don’t care for Hong Kong – I just love tycoons
Cos they keep me well-fed with their golden spoons
OK – yes you’re right – they’re all fat cat goons
Have some Madeira, m’dear.
Unaware of the wiles of the snake-in-the-grass
And the call of the wolf as he lopes
She lowered her standards by raising her glass,
Her courage, her eyes … and his hopes.
She sipped it, she drank it, she drained it, she did!
He promptly refilled it again ,
And he said as he tempted the maiden to vote
In a way that would be quite insane…
Have some Madeira, m’dear
I’ve a cellar or two of it here
You don’t want to vote for the wolf which can nip
And certainly you can’t CE-Lect Regina Yip;
And Jasper’s a fate that’s too awful to be
And Albert has no chance ,which means vote for me
I’m ‘Enry the Pig’ with a wonderful wife
Behind whom I hide when I screw up in life
Have some Madeira, m’dear
It’s really an excellent year
Now if I gave hand-outs you shouldn’t say yes
The evil of hand-outs is hard assess.
The ICAC would then make me confess
Have some Madeira, m’dear.
Then there flashed through her mind what her mother had said
With her antepenultimate breath
“Oh my child, should you look on the pig when he smiles“
Be prepared for a fate worse than death!”
She let go her glass with a shrill little cry
Crash ! Tinkle! It fell to the floor;
When he asked, “What in the F**K?” She made no reply
Up her mind, and a dash for the door.
“Have some Madeira, m’dear”
Rang through Tamar Base loud and clear
With a tremulous cry that was filled with despair,
As she fought to take breath in the foul Hong Kong air
“Have some Madeira, m’dear !”
The words seemed to ring in her ear …
Until the next morning , she woke in bed…
With a tang of sour wine in her throat and her head…
And a Ma in the Standard which gleefully said :
“Have some Madeira, m’dear! “
With apologies to Michael Flanders and Donald Swan
Any resemblance to honest persons ( and not -so-honest persons) living , half-dead or about to be put down is purely coincidental
I suppose Hemlock’s subtext, having looked at Peking’s reaction last time the natives got a bit uppity, is the likelihood of a decision to (re-)educate them by removing some more autonomy. Which neatly confirms another of his long-held theses, that HK will never get any real democracy.
You keep saying how “rigged” this election is, yet I remember a few weeks ago you were certain Tang would win. CY Leung has a decent shot of winning and you are still insisting it’s rigged. Get over yourself and your fixation on pre 97 HK. This is a major improvement from the previos CE elections.
Can you really be saying this “election”, a word you use without the slightest hint of irony, isn’t rigged or, as you put it, “rigged”? Could you clarify on this precise point?
How does one join the HK Democratic Alliance…for Hong Kong? If you join can you vote? Likewise, if I started fishing by angling from Queens Pier or growing vegetables on my window ledge can I become a member of the fishing or agricultural voting blocs? Should we not be pushing people to join these ludicrous organisations and unitedly frontally infiltrate them? That is to say, do unto others…
Might you possibly be a 50-center?
Certainly this CE election is much better than all the ones before … for one thing it’s far more entertaining
🙂 🙂 🙂
But seriously , it was surely never meant to happen this way.
BJ and the establishment confidently expected a sweeping victory for HT in the first round of balloting .
The pro-dems would of course put forward someone, but to avoid HT wining by 1050 : 150 the establishment had to allow someone else in the race, and CY seemed eager to run, so they gave him some leash
Don’t forget that until recently, July 1 marches had posters reviling CY in terms normally only used for the DAB, so he was a seen very much as pro – establishment.
But what they didn’t reckon on was :
1. Just how pissed off we, the plebs, have become at the widening wealth gap, the greed of the tycoons, the ineptitude of Don the Con and his team in his second term……..
( The real reason for THAT great July 1 march which toppled Tung, was that we were all just really PISSED OFF : bad economy, Tung’s bad policies in his second term, SARS…. Art 23 was just the last straw / tipping point. It wasn’t the one and only cause )
2. Just how much HT could screw up things ( even now I’m flabbergasted at what a total idiot he is : I mean, I knew he was dim, but I never thought anyone could be that dim)
Now suddenly CY finds he does has a chance and he’s in for the kill . And people are finding out he’s not so pro-establishement as they thought , so there are some pretty decent people supporting him – people whom I respect and who, to me, represent the good side of HK. Whereas HT’s supporters seem to all those who represent the bad side of HK
I reckon the good ole Lychee is very much alive and kicking under the CCCCP ( = collusion, collusion, collusion, collusion and pollution)
I personally want to see some big balls kicked very hard indeed
Well, anyway, that’s personal view, Take it or leave it.
“But seriously , it was surely never meant to happen this way.”
You’re right. It wasn’t meant to happen this way, but I think the BJ boys knew Tang was a bit of a dolt that might potentially ruin everything so they figured it didn’t hurt to have CY join the race as a Plan B
He clearly wasn’t their first option, until Tang made CY Beijing’s only option.
But the fact that Beijing is listening to public option and influencing their decisions because of it is certainly an improvement.
Peter: best to wait and see CY’s true colours before assuming that plan B represents any “improvement”. From what I’ve heard, the man has an authoritarian streak a mile wide just itching to be let off the leash.
Henry is about a crap a consequence of the “old” HK way as it’s possible to imagine. But as Tolkien once asked, “progress, but to what?”
At this point, I find myself wanting to know more about Jasper as a left-field but not impossible BJ-friendly alternative. Hemmers, perhaps you could oblige?
You are new on this comment section (assuming this is your first and only moniker) – yes ?
Well, I agree – 2011)
Yes – I think we plebs have finally got BJ’s attention
Tycoons out / plebs in ? Seven miillion to one dozen .
And @ IFFY : I have a feeing that CY has a lot more ( good ) stuff up his sleeve than you might think
I DO personally know some of CY’s AAA supporters, and they are names whom we all would recognize as people we genuinely respect in HK these ( actually, there’s not many left to “genuinely respect” but there are still a few )
So let’s run the race
After all – it’s all in then hands of of the 1200 committee
JUST WAIT TILL 2017 !
PS : an improved/ revised version of “Have Some Madiera M’dear ” will shortly appear under this link when it has finally died out
Personally I regard that as my finest hour… but it seems the BL does not think so
Whether it’s Henry or CY or even some outsider is ultimately irrelevant since none of them will say boo to a mainland goose. Only if HKers can freely choose their own leader will the process be meaningful, will the selection have turned into an election.
In the meantime it’s just grasping at bigger straws or picking up new and improved crumbs from the table of people who have never shown they understand how HK works.
We may yet come to regret Donald Tsang!
Don the Con is now putting up a smoke screen to distract us during his final months in power. His so-called independent panel to look at loopholes is a weak attempt to take attention away from his inappropriate behavior. Lets be clear there already exists a whole raft of rules, regulations and guidance on the integrity of the public servants. I suspect his PR people have told him to do this to take attention away from the real issue.
At best he has exercised very poor judgment and brought this situation on himself … at worst he is colluding with the Tycoons. Surely, what we need now is a full and transparent investigation by the ICAC. But given the way ICAC operates in the shadows that is unlikely to happen and we will never know the truth.
The ICAC does not dare investigate the tycoons and those in govt who collude with them
How long has the police been “investigating” 39 Conduit Road? Almost 2 years. Must be quite an investigation
Meanwhile the ICAC catches a few minnows that the police should have caught ages ago as commercial crimes
( BTW : since when did the ICAC move from good old CORRUPTION to basic fraud and commercial crimes? )
your article is online
@ Chopped Onions
Good to see more interest in Hemlocks work.
I wonder if there are any plans to translate into Chinese & turn into epub format.
It would make my day to see this work being read by someone on the MTR instead of playing the latest version of Angry Birds.