Just as you thought the barrage of bullshit couldn’t get any louder, up go the decibels. Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung says that Hong Kong can’t have elections in line with international norms because the city allows non-citizens to vote, which the rest of the world doesn’t. Actually, some countries do, but leaving facts aside, you would have thought he would at least try to present an argument with some logic. (Hint to CY: how about ‘Beijing can’t trust us with full democracy because it doesn’t trust foreign voters not to elect CIA-backed splittists’? That at least has an element of reason to it.)
Detractors point out that the Basic Law’s Article 39 binds Hong Kong to the UN’s covenant on political rights. The government seems reluctant to mention this, though again I have the perfect, watertight riposte: ‘the Chinese Communist Party isn’t bound by law, you dummy’.
Everyone is being dragged in to give the Occupy Central civil disobedience campaign a major kicking. Even the South China Morning Post’s usually insipid ‘My Take’ column follows the senseless official Lines to Take. The pro-democrat protestors will ‘undermine Hong Kong’s stability and reputation’, and the city can’t have top-notch elections because it’s not a country. Bizarrely, Occupy Central’s leader Benny Tai has himself been taken in by the propaganda, anticipating a major standstill, tear gas and general mayhem.
To refresh our memories: Occupy Central will be a bunch of people sitting in the street for a while. The movement was fading into an embarrassing flop until Beijing and its United Front machine started this absurd full-volume orchestrated freak-out, thus bolstering the campaign’s popular support and credibility. Its main achievement has been to discover, accidentally, Beijing’s hypersensitivity to academic-sounding, structured and methodical approaches to protest, presumably out of paranoia about some Mainland Gandhi or Martin Luther King bringing down the Communist regime through deliberation days and non-violent sit-ins.
If you think that sounds unlikely, this patch of mud (‘not much to see’, as the SCMP puts it) is going to be the world’s third-largest private equity hub…