Dog days

Not especially good news for the pro-democracy camp, as a Lingnan University poll suggests that where political reform is concerned Hong Kong does have a ‘silent majority’. It’s not the fake one funded by the United Front urging us to ‘Run and sweat please’ to oppose Occupy Central. It’s a more-or-less real one, if you extrapolate from a survey of 1,000 people, and it seems fairly relaxed about the prospect of Beijing-style quasi-democracy.

It could be that Lingnan University’s researchers focused mainly on cretins. They certainly managed that last month with a poll in which the majority of respondents thought ‘traditional Chinese medicine’ is better at eradicating diseases than scientific, evidence-based medicine, which Lingnan for some reason calls ‘Western’. It could be that the questions were leading, or a bit stupid (one asked if it would matter if elections ‘went ahead without one-man-one-vote’, even though the absence of one-man-one-vote means there will be no election, just the existing appointment in the guise of a rubber-stamp small-circle vote).

But overall the survey doesn’t sound wildly inaccurate. It was carried out on behalf of a group of ultra-moderate pro-dems, and if it can be dismissed or ignored for any reason, it’s because the results just state the obvious. Worrying about nomination systems is something of a middle-class luxury.

Meanwhile, the beating goes on. China’s local emissary Zhang Xiaoming bleats about how Beijing must maintain control over Hong Kong to prevent chaos and defend national security. RTHK quoted him this morning as saying that no country in the world tolerates regions being run by forces that oppose the central government – which must be news to Barack Obama as he tries to get red states to implement his health-care reforms.

Executive Council convenor Lam Woon-kwong criticizes Occupy Central as unrepresentative and unrealistic in thinking Beijing will change its position under threat of civil disobedience. This is probably what Lingnan University’s docile majority would think, if you prodded and cajoled answers out of them. He may be right – though Beijing’s extreme mouth-frothing and the United Front excesses of recent weeks suggest that the methodology of non-violent resistance is touching a very raw Leninist nerve.

Lam suggests negotiating instead, but that’s a bad joke when Chinese officials have made it clear that their offer is the only one and it’s final. The pro-dems have little choice: shut up and accept what’s coming, or fight an almost-certainly unwinnable fight. It might be pointless this time, but history shows that the silent majority never achieved anything.

I would like to declare the weekend open on a vaguely happy note. Instead, I am still trying to recover from the attack of nausea that overwhelmed me when I opened the newspaper this morning and saw one the most revolting sights: a person kissing a dog. It’s disturbing enough when sad wretches dress canines up in coats and little boots and push them around in baby strollers. But this mental illness where people imagine an animal is a furry child descends into sick, stomach-churning perversion when you do this…

Really– these people need treatment.


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