The pro-Beijing/establishment’s contrived mass scare campaign against the pro-democracy Occupy Central movement seems to be metastasizing. The mouth-frothing against the planned civil disobedience explores ever-more desperate new angles, the latest being that the sit-down protests would be against family values. Next thing, they will add to climate change and endanger pink dolphins (and noise pollution – don’t forget the noise pollution).
Inevitably, the orchestrated alarmism is showing some strains. Trade Development Council boss Jack So reassured Americans last week that Occupy Central will be just another Hong Kong protest and everything will be business as usual. To the true believers, such a departure from the United Front propaganda script is unforgiveable. He was supposed to tell the overseas business community that the movement will create chaos and disaster and the destruction of billions of dollars of wealth. Rabid commentator Lau Nai-keung, in one of his gloriously North Korean moments, demands the enforcement of correct thinking.
A couple of years ago, a half-crazed poultry farmer climbed onto a walkway in Central. A policeman called Lau Chi-kin tried, perhaps unwisely, to get him and slipped and fell to his death. Now, lawmaker and former Security Secretary Regina Ip and a bunch of hangers-on nauseatingly feign respect for the deceased’s memory as part of the anti-Occupy Central campaign. We are supposed to conclude (in case you’re wondering) that lone aggrieved chicken guy and pro-democracy demonstrators are much the same – protestors, cop-killers, etc.
As if all this isn’t doing enough to convert the apathetic, skeptical and agnostic among us to full-blown radical activism, along comes an even grubbier anti-protest initiative: retailers eyeing a chance to make money out of shoe-shining Beijing. The shops offering a discount for three hours during the afternoon of this year’s July 1 march are, sadly, not the sort that right-thinking people will have an opportunity to boycott in future, catering as they do to the mentally feeble (pre-owned handbag outlet Milan Station, say).
To cap everything, pro-Beijing and official groups will hold celebrations and carnivals as a sort of counterweight to this year’s July 1 event, which will mark the start of a 12-month countdown to the Occupy Central non-violent sit-in extravaganza. You would expect Chief Executive CY Leung and Beijing’s local Liaison Office boss Zhang Xiaoming to attend the patriotic gathering at Tamar. The genius organizers have also arranged the presence of failed CE-wannabe, rich kid and husband of alleged illegal basement owner Henry Tang and property tycoon Henry Cheng. And with that, the United Front’s estrangement of pretty much everyone in Hong Kong is complete.