The May 1st public holiday comes early to today’s South China Morning Post, where page 1 is full of Ferran Adria, and page 3 (‘Leading The News’) replete with Annabelle Bond. These individuals (pictured below right) have two things in common.
The first is that we have never heard of them. A quick glance reveals that Ferran is a ‘top chef’, while Annabelle is a ‘socialite’. An unnamed Asian has stumped up a lot of money to have a meal with the forgettable-looking Ferran. The visually scary Annabelle, meanwhile, is in a situation where her ex-lover is suing her current one for child support, or vice-versa, or something along those lines. Which brings us to the second thing they have in common: we have no interest in them whatever.
Over at the Standard, we are invited to believe at least two impossible things before breakfast. First, that Hong Kong’s Chief Executive CY Leung and other top officials have been prompted to visit Beijing by some comment of Politburo member Zhang Dejiang about how the Big Lychee will be swept downstream if it doesn’t go upstream, or some such meaningless inanity. Second, that Hong Kong’s ‘development needs will [or can] be met if the city joins in preparatory work for the 13th Five-Year Plan’.
Hong Kong’s problems of a downstream-sweeping sort would be: a cartelized domestic economy; artificially inflated rents and property prices; bad air; an unmanageable influx of shoppers from overseas; too few schools of the sort people want; and so on. All of them are the result of government policy. The government is chosen and appointed by Beijing. Back to you, Mr Zhang. (And “…expect a lot more people asking for a 20% pay rise, just so they can afford to keep living in” their own city.)
Back at the SCMP: a profile of Chan Ching-sum, convenor of Caring Hong Kong Power – the most prominent of several pro-government groups to have sprung up in recent years. As the RTHK clip shows, she is an excitable little bundle of venom, and her organization takes what might be called an interesting slant on things, supporting National Education, cheerleading CY for a pastime, denouncing pro-democrats for everything and proclaiming love for China.
CHKP looks and sounds like a classic case of political astroturfing – a fake grassroots movement set up in this case by Beijing’s locally based officials to somehow counteract Hong Kong’s multitude of opposition groups. The presence of paid attendees at a pro-CY demonstration organized by the Voice of Loving Hong Kong and some superficial design similarities in CHKP and (anti-Falun Gong) Hong Kong Youth Care Association publicity materials might support this impression. And, as RTHK points out, where else do you get pro-government marches except in places like Russia and Iran, where they are obviously managed by the local regimes.
These organizations may be accepting some funds from leftist business interests, and may have United Front links (as the HKYCA obviously has) and some Mainland-born members. But it doesn’t follow that they are all fake.
Chan Ching-sum and the rest mostly seem so stupid and obnoxious that they must encourage the average fair-minded person to sympathize with the pro-democrats. (Maybe the CIA/MI6/KMT plot to grab Hong Kong is funding them?) And – a few paid protestors notwithstanding – these people seem all too sincere in their hatred of the pro-dems. They appear less convincing when it comes to professing heartfelt and ardent love for the administration, which suggests that it is spite for pan-dems that drives them.
And that gives us a good pointer as to who they are. There is an older generation in Hong Kong of unworldly, uneducated, mainly poor folk who view the modern world generally with suspicion and dislike trendy opposition activists in particular. Some fought the colonial regime back in the 60s and were blacklisted and despised for decades after.
Chan Ching-sum and her comrades seem to represent the next generation of local Chinese nativism and know-nothingism. They are basically working class, lacking college degrees and engaged in non-professional trades. They resent and despise a particular sort of fellow Hongkonger, like the overseas-educated lawyer who hangs out with foreigners and knows how to use a knife and fork; what better way to get your own back than to support the things he hates and hate the things he supports, whatever they might be? In short, Chan and Co are losers.
In the West, they would outrage the liberal intellectual elite by joining a white-supremacist punk band, a homophobic church or some armed wacko fringe of the Tea Party. In Hong Kong, they rebel by professing support for the system that allows the property tycoons to screw them. It is an amusing but ultimately sorry sight. They deserve pity, and even a hug.
Actually I quite like the present Government. It’s the best we’ve had since 1997 anyway and it is headed by a real politician. He has a programme and a vision and he is doing down a lot of the Creatures Of The Night.
I am stunningly attractive, women have thrown themselves at me for over thirty years, I have four or so degrees and always serve the working class as Socialism keeps you young. Better than Fancl.
I would simply add that Caring Hong Kong Power and grass carpeting, as we prefer to call it in the heartlands, must have a strong geographical basis, as shown by all the communist flags in early 1997 and the general obscurantism in the parts of HK that the SCMP doesn’t reach.
Chugani had one of these Pro-HK /China chaps on his show last night. Unfortunately, as the show was in English, he could have done his research a little better as the guy’s English ability didn’t make for enthralling TV.
However the basic premise of this current love Hong Kong / Love China nonsense seems to be we must keep a little bit of our heart free to love the CCP! Now that is a big ask for a corrupt, dictatorship. Surely a more realistic view would be that Hong Kong will keep our snouts out of your business if you keep your snouts out Hong Kong’s political development which is frankly none of China’s business – as confirmed by Lu Ping back in those giddy colonial days of pre-1997.
On form again, Hemmers.
(And splendid observations from Bela, Property Developer, anf Stephen .. My, I’m in a good mood today.)
The UK does have the equivalent of Chan Ching-sum and her ilk. It’s called the English Defence League.
On second thoughts, the English Defence League doesn’t support the government/political establishment, so my analogy is off-target.
As the RTHK video and Hemmers point out, the nearest equivalents are to be found in those charming bastions of Enlightenment thought: Russia and Iran.
A great post. This alone is so very true of many HK’ers “In Hong Kong, they rebel by professing support for the system that allows the property tycoons to screw them. It is an amusing but ultimately sorry sight”.
Christ, she’s vile. She’s not Jiang Zemin’s love child by any chance is she?
“In short, Chan and Co are losers.”
Yes, but unfortunately there never were a more pathetic bunch of petit-bourgeois know-nothings, pug-ugly degenerates, and under-educated losers brimming with a venomous loathing of a world that has passed them by than the Nazi Party, circa 1925. And look what happened to them.
Surely the closest analogy in England to the CHKP is the Monster Raving Loony Party ( which has the distinct advantage, as mentioned on their website, that at least they know they are loonies : sort of shades of Winston Churchill paraphrased ” the looniest political party except for all the rest”)
However it’s a toss up-up as to who looks the ugliest : Ms Chan Ching-Sum or Screaming Lord Sutch ( or Ms A Bond for that matter)
It’s the KNOWING they’re looneys that is the key differential there.
I don’t think comparing to the MRLP is fair – amongst other things that they campaigned for & became law were voting at 18 and all day pub opening.
Miss Bond looks slightly insane in the photo, but not half as insane as the idiots fighting over the privilege of supporting her in the style in which she has become accustomed.
Nice post, Hemlock!
If CY were such a ‘real politician’ as Bela claims, he certainly would tell this HKYCA bunch of idiots to shut up and disappear.
Yes I stand corrected on that point. And if I recall a couple of the other MRLP campaign items eventually became law as well
But pity that the 99 p coin did not catch on
@ Sojourner : I fully agree
Given Ms Jiang Zemin, we may assume, has parents with similar doses of Rampant Sinophilia, the safe British version is surely… Steptoe and Mum?
So Annabelle is one of the Bond Blondes ? I was afraid she was.
Why does she remind me of Nancy Kissel ?
For once you missed the really big thing today – the ICAC thing
This is big – I mean BIG !
I am pissed off as pissed off can be that I hold an internal standard of anti-corruption in my business dealings which now seems to be very many quantum levels than the ICAC itself
This maybe explains why the handful of ‘very probable’ corruption cases which I raised to the ICAC ( with full documented evidence) in the past decade fell on deaf ears.
As one govt dept official ( the dept name had a certain “land-ish” name” ) once said to me over the phone ( in essence) : “you will never prevail in these kind of accusations regarding govt/ developer collusion cases because the evidence has long since been buried , so basically give up or f**k off”
So when the Kwok bros and R Hui are hauled before the courts, I can only assume that the evidence against them is overwhelming positive.
“….quantum levels HIGHER than the ICAC itself ….”
Freudian slip : the word lower keeps coming to mind when I think “ICAC” these days
Why do these folk always wear track suits, anyway?
That’s my old CityU Chinese politics lecturer in the video too. Dr. Yep.