The word is out: if you are one of Hong Kong’s great and good and you want some sweeties or a pat on the head from Beijing, you better start talking crap. Not that our establishment worthies need much encouragement. Involuntary pre-emptive shoe-shining is part of their DNA. They have just had a nasty shock after seeing Liberal Party leader James Tien dragged into a corner, given a severe smack on the bottom and sent to bed with no supper. And, hey – they’re just good at it anyway.
The financial bureaucrats are leading the way. Monetary Authority boss Norman Chan says the city’s pro-democracy protests will shake the foundation of the local financial market (yes, the one he oversees) and damage the rule of law. His predecessor Joseph Yam also spouts the ‘rule of law’ warning, predicts a loss of employment opportunities and fears a reduction in Beijing’s ‘preferential policies’ towards Hong Kong. For the record: those ‘foundations’ are 100% intact; the main threat to rule of law seems to come from overzealous law enforcers arresting people for wearing Captain America costumes; we have, if anything, a labour shortage; and the idea that Beijing has ‘preferential’ policies for Hong Kong is a myth.
It takes real skill to compress so much crap into so few words. Of course, it helps to present the doom as forecasts. Chances are that, by the time it becomes clear that the horrors didn’t happen, we’ll have forgotten that Norman and Joseph mentioned them. Won’t we?
Executive Council member and markets regulator Laura Cha takes a different approach: history crap. Unlike the hackneyed warnings about the economy and law, this is exotic and attention-grabbing. Indeed, it can be quite memorable. And that’s the problem. As ex-Security Secretary Regina Ip found with her comments 12 years ago about democracy and Hitler, this sort of crap gets you into hot water.
Laura says: “American slaves were liberated in 1861 but did not get voting rights until 107 years later, so why can’t Hong Kong wait for a while?”
Let’s not quibble over 1861 (Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation was a couple of years later, and the 13th Amendment was ratified in 1865). And let’s ignore ‘107 years later’, 1968 (the Civil Rights Act was in 1964). Her main assertion is simply wrong. Freed (male) slaves were given equal voting rights after the Civil War (the 15th Amendment, 1870). A white, especially southern, backlash – poll taxes, the KKK, lynchings, Jim Crow laws – gradually deprived them of those rights in the following decades.
More to the point, the whole analogy is absurd: is she likening Hongkongers to recently freed slaves? And what’s this stuff about ‘wait for a while’? If you have atrociously bad governance threatening livelihoods and possibly social order, you don’t ‘wait for a while’ to fix it.
Not everyone is joining in the Let’s Talk Crap for the Motherland campaign. A few of our biggest plutocrats have made vague let’s-all-be-happy-and-harmonious pronouncements, but most have been reluctant to say anything. Beijing probably understands. Everyone hates the property tycoons, so it would only make things worse if they stood up and said they support CY Leung and think he’s brilliant – not least because everyone would know they are lying.
Then there’s the curious case of Tsang Yok-sing, a leading figure in the Communist Party’s local front, the DAB, and president of the Legislative Council. By disputing whether evil foreign forces are manipulating the Occupy Central protests and fomenting revolution, he is directly contradicting one of Beijing’s key Bits of Crap You Must Say You Believe (of course it’s all run and paid for by the CIA – look at all those supplies of bottled water the protestors have in their camps). He is a born member of the Communist ideological faith, not some instant-noodle patriot tycoon shoe-shining whoever’s in charge. He has no business empire in the Mainland for Beijing to hold hostage. He is in some ways in a privileged position. But at the same time, he more than anyone should be echoing the official line perfectly.
We can only assume that he has permission to talk sense to provide a badly needed flash of credibility amid the constant idiotic diatribe, to reassure us that the powers that be have not lost their minds, and there is some sort of sanity at the end of the tunnel. A reminder that the talking of crap is to prove loyalty to Beijing, not to change minds in Hong Kong.
I’ve no time for the DAB or the United Front, but I’ll say this for Tsang Yok Sing – he’s been saying for some time that as we aren’t going to get true universal sufferage, let’s focus on making things better for everyone in Hong Kong in other ways. He also seems to have a few ideas about how to go about this. I wish some of the Democrats would think like this once in a while.
Funny to see concern from BJ about the rule of law and the economy when it suits, but alas, that’s where the introspection stops. The “we’re going to lose money” mantra works well with the Mercedes driving, maid beating, HKJC member, vole-faced, Shanghainese hairstyle set, but will mean little to the youth who are protesting . They know they’ll never make money .
The Great Wait – read this litany of bullsh*t that has been spouted by Beijing shoe-lickers over the last 15 years, “delay” “too early” “next round” “not ready”, etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_development_in_Hong_Kong
The next CE election is THREE YEARS AWAY. The toadies can’t keep trying to delay this any longer.
Their constant betrayal and deception would make a more volatile population burn the mother f*cking house down. The toadies should count themselves lucky HK has such peaceful, orderly leaders like Benny Tai or else they might have ended up hanging from lamp posts.
My God, give the people the vote – I’ve never seen a more peaceful, conservative, orderly population – they will vote in a nice, steady accountant or lawyer who won’t confront Beijing and the sky won’t fall down on our heads. It’s not that hard. The alternative is constant turmoil.
Revolution, if Tsang actually said that he’s confused. So long as there’s no democracy in HK and the CCP, the life of HKers will never get better because the CCP doesn’t want the life of HKers to get better. The CCP has had 17 years to make the lives of HKers better and it hasn’t happened because the CCP doesn’t want it to happen. The CCP’s attitude toward HKers is very colonial and it sees the HK as important only in so far as it helps itself.
If Tsang Yok Sing has any ideas about how to make things better for everyone in Hong Kong then why is he not stating them clearly? What are they? We should be told.
Everyone knows that the Occupy brats would run home with their tails between their legs immediately if they were forced to buy their own bottled water. Darn you, darn you CIA, with your dastardly international hydro-sedition strategy!
In CY’s shameful dereliction of duties, I nominate you to write the new report to Beijing. Simply elaborate a bit on what you just said here.
They may just listen. Worse things could happen.
“My God, give the people the vote – I’ve never seen a more peaceful, conservative, orderly population – they will vote in a nice, steady accountant or lawyer who won’t confront Beijing and the sky won’t fall down on our heads. It’s not that hard. The alternative is constant turmoil.”
Couldn’t agree more. If only BJ could see that this would instantly give them credibility and sort out the CE election in one fell swoop.
I’m beginning to believe that they’re running their PR so badly on purpose….for what end I’m not sure but surely our political and economic elite can’t be this craass. Can they?!
The ugly woman has a point…we should wait like the slaves did in U.S. …and some who get any early ideas of freedom can have their genitals removed before being hung from a tree…female slaves get off much lighter.
…Oneleg likes Tsang Y.S. …saw him once calmly brushing off some academic/student types in a forum with common sense and facts…both commodities sorely lacking in local politics.
Vote Yorko man.
I wonder if HSBC will be making a statement disowning Ms. Cha’s incredible stupid statement. Maybe not since the unwashed masses don’t have as much money on deposit as the plutocrats.
However upstanding Tsang Yok-sing is as a person and whatever good ideas he has, it’s not his job to make people’s lives better. His job is to provide votes for the government. The DAB isn’t a political party in the normal sense, it’s a get-out-the-vote machine for coupon-clipping grannies and Victoria Park uncles. So regardless of his own views or those of his constituents, he and his party members will vote with the tycoon class every time.
Has Hong Kong really sunk so far since the handover that we’re reduced to complementing Jasper? Surely we’re talking crap as well!
Occasional sensible comments aside, this is a man who fronts up for a party which killed tens of millions just a few decades ago and has overseen one of the most corrupt wealth creations in human history.
Amazing – some people here seem to think that the right to elect the CE might be given by the CCCP to HK people.
Even if, magically, we got universal suffrage, rid of CY and an acceptable but middle-of the-road CE, the essential problems (“contradictions” in commie-speak) would still be there: that HK, with all its sophistication and prosperity (well, comparatively) would still have to kowtow nine times before breakfast to the plebs and thugs up north.
In other words, if our society could ever be viable, it should definitely not have started from here (as in the old Irish joke).
The students have been talking a load of crap as well, maybe it’s in the water the commies have been piping down.
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