Year of non-stop laughs beckons in 2015

SCMP-police-belly

Hong Kong Chief Secretary Carrie Lam starts 2015 with a sobering reminder that a make-believe constitutional reform consultation process remains underway. That’s enough fun with yellow umbrellas, banners hung from mountains and police bellies, she could be saying; time to get back to the real work of fake opinion-gathering, fictitious consensus-creation and pretend-fascination with the minutiae of rigged electoral bodies.

During an earlier part of this exercise, the government sent a report to the Central Government pretty much stating that Hong Kong people would be delighted to go along with Beijing’s predetermined ‘quasi-democracy’ outcome. This, and Beijing’s subsequent white paper insisting that the ‘quasi-democracy’ would be ultra-quasi, fed into the anger that exploded in the Occupy-Umbrella-Chalk Girl-etc uprising of the last few months.

Un-nerved by the students at the start, the government promised to send a sort of supplementary report to Beijing – the implication being that this one would be a tad more truthful. This will soon be ready. However, it cannot contradict the earlier narrative; instead, it promises to be some sort of account of the August-December period. It will not admit that Hong Kong’s atrocious governance had for several years been making some sort of disturbances inevitable. But it might concede that the community is not as fully supportive of rigged election nominations as it could be. (Will the new report mention the ‘foreign interference’ masterminding the protests and threatening national security? The Hyper-Nervous Choice of Words Section of the Government Scribes Department will be working overtime on this document.)

As a hint of the dreariness to come, a university professor proposes that voters be given the formal power to reject all the Chief Executive SCMP-New2017candidates on the Beijing-approved ballot. Sounds fun. But in the event of this happening, the 1,200-strong Nominating Committee would elect an interim CE in the traditional way (that is, Beijing decides the winner). So in effect your veto gets vetoed in no uncertain terms, as someone even less acceptable gets the job for a period to encourage voters to think positive next time.

He’s a mildly pro-Beijing prof, and no doubt only trying to help. Legislative Council President Tsang Yok-sing seems OK with the idea, while Executive Council member Cheng Yiu-tong doesn’t. Both are from the Communist Party’s core local front. (I suppose Beijing might find the idea appealing if it reduces the possibility of voters physically boycotting the election and dragging the turnout down to credibility-busting lows.) The Civic Party’s Alan Leong gently points out that this still doesn’t offer any real choice of candidates. Now he mentions it, in the grand scheme of things – feudal cartels, property hegemony, Mainlandization, collusion, corruption, inequality – it’s totally irrelevant. We’ve got months of this ahead.

I declare the weekend open with hopes that sitting through The Interview, purely for purposes of research, will not be as tedious as some reviewers suggest.

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8 Responses to Year of non-stop laughs beckons in 2015

  1. gumshoe says:

    Not really on the subject of the article, but BJM is one of the best bands ever. Thank you.

  2. Joe Blow says:

    @gumshoe: let me guess: you’re the drummer ?

  3. Oneleggoalie says:

    Happy New Year to all of Oneleg’s ghost friends here…good drinking…good writing…and Midget Sex…he can wish you more ?…

    …and thank you Mr. Blogger for your work last year…

  4. Flip-Flopper says:

    “… one officer was alleged to have pushed the crowd away with his belly.”

    Never let it be said that HKP don’t have any guts.

  5. Cassowary says:

    The report will blandly state that there is intense opposition to Beijing’s framework “in some quarters”, but that there is also strong opposition to the protesters who are viewed as making unreasonable demands. Also, the Silent Majority is broadly supportive of gradual and orderly progress. They will trot Robert Chow’s 1 million signatures vs the 800,000 pro-democracy signatures even though the former is is packed with fake footballers, cartoon characters, and cuss words. Then they will say that the business sector and Various Stakeholders are pragmatic and think that the framework should be adhered to.

    Then they will go ahead and hold the public consultation, after which they will announce that they received 394 valid submissions, 268 of which support transforming the Election Committee into the Nominating Committee with no changes in composition and a 50% threshold, and 126 supporting a wide range of other ideas with no consensus. They will further report that 4,059 submissions were discarded for failing to meet the parameters of the consultation. They will also count one milquetoast pro-democracy petition with 50,000 signatures on it as one submission but each cookie cutter form letter from a pro-Beijing organisation will each count as one submission.

    We’ve seen this movie before. It happened in 1987. Now it’s time for the sequel, with 75% more ‘splosions.

  6. Herr Torquewrench says:

    Once you have seen “The Interview” you will realise why Kim Jong-un was so distressed. It’s not so much because it’s Anti-Kim – it’s because as a movie it is utter dross…..

  7. PD says:

    The first five minutes of The Interview can be watched if you’re desperate, but otherwise it’s worth about 2.8 on the IMDB scale.

  8. Doug r says:

    I enjoyed The Interview especially Diana Bang with a machine gun.

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