United Front shoots self in foot, again

It has been tempting at times this year to wonder whether the Chinese government really wants Hong Kong to adopt its proposed quasi-democratic political reforms, or whether Beijing is secretly hoping that the opposition will succeed in vetoing the plan. Evidence that they are indeed determined to push the package through comes in the form of local Communist-front groups’ embarrassingly clumsy and desperate attempts to drum up support for the reforms.

Robert Chow’s Alliance for Peace and Democracy, with its glum and gruesome-looking ‘volunteers’, is on the streets conning unwary passers-by into signing its petition, even while opinion polls show – if anything – growing public disillusionment with the reform package. Their tactics range from the amusingly pathetic, like free bottles of oyster sauce, SCMP-ministerto the predictably obnoxious, like shoe-shiner bosses press-ganging their staff into signing.

The whole exercise provokes mirth and contempt among all decent people, and it is a delightful irony that both the reform proposal and its supporters would be better off without these activities. But in the Communist milieu, loyalists and grovelers scramble to be seen to do the right thing, even if the outcome is excessive and counterproductive. (Ultimate example: the pro-Beijing elements who set off deadly bombs in Hong Kong in 1967 for fear of being criticized as disloyal by the Cultural Revolution fanatics running things across the border, alienating the city for decades.)

And now along comes the Federation of Hong Kong Guangxi Community Organizations. (Any grouping with a name like ‘federation/association of associations/organizations’ is a United Front body. Typically, they are headed and bankrolled by some sort of businessman eager to get a pat on the head from Beijing officials as it might help further his slimy commercial activities on the Mainland. Guangxi, as we all know, is the exciting and important province where the funny mountains poking out of lakes are.)

The FHKGCO thought it could be clever by getting high-school students applying for a study trip to the US to make pro-reform statements on video and putting the clips online, where they attracted both positive and negative comments. The kids and their schools deny the FHKGCO’s claims that consent was given, and it has become a privacy thing, with the material hastily removed from the website, the Privacy Commissioner informed, and the Secretary of Education voicing concern.

If we are to be honest, it’s a bit silly: the United Front rabble screwed up and irritated the schools and parents. The story here isn’t the scummy behaviour of the FHKGCO, which is minor and amateurish as these things go – sort of a free bottle of oyster sauce that got out of hand. The story is the righteous indignation and fury and children being ‘emotionally disturbed’ by the trauma.

First, the criticism of the FHKGCO rests on the charge that the group exposed the kids to what is unquestioningly assumed to be widespread public dislike of the political reform. The implied unpopularity of the reform package is a given in this uproar; without it, the posting of the videos would have been benign.

Second, the eagerness with which schools, parents, media and the online hordes line up to beat the FHKGCO into a pulp over this reflects the widespread public loathing of murky United Front bodies (whose mission in Leninist theory is to win most of them over, and isolate the remaining diehards). It is a simple and clear message: Hong Kong people hate you.

The harder the Communist Party tries, the worse it gets. We have to wonder if and when Beijing will ever detect a pattern.

The South China Morning Business Post’s Chart du Jour (about Treasury Bond yields) goes into Ultimate Extreme Technical Analysis Voodoo. This time really is a parody, isn’t it?

The South China Morning Business Post’s Chart du Jour (about Treasury Bond yields) goes into Ultimate Extreme Technical Analysis Voodoo. This time really is a parody, isn’t it?

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16 Responses to United Front shoots self in foot, again

  1. nulle says:

    For those students who support the pro-Beijing pro-reform package should be disqualified immediately for their US study trips AND potentially flagged by BND, DGSE, DHS and MI-x.

    They could be reconsidered if they denounce the China Communist Party and the pro-Beijing United Front publicly.

  2. Cassowary says:

    Memo to United Front: Nobody cares when you give out oyster sauce and bags of rice to freebie-mad DAB grannies and granddads, but do not piss off the helicopter parents. We would have thought you’d have learned from last time you roped in a few hundred fake patriotic boy scouts who later said they were lied to and only did it for the free uniform. Or, you know, the whole National Education fiasco. Really. Next time you’re thinking about politically manipulating children, just save yourself some time and hand out free pitchforks and torches at the school gates, m’kay?

  3. Big Al says:

    The Pro-China Morning Business Post’s Chart du Jour is superb. Bullshit Bingo, anyone?

  4. reductio says:

    TA is like astrology. It gives people a sense of control and understanding in a very complex world using easily understood ideas. It’s a lot easier than trying to master multi variable time-series stochastic forecasting algorithms. Its unlikely that Nicole Elliott (“30 years FX veteran” according to one blurb) had got the inside on the big boys just using simple arithmetic and graphs. Also, why is she still working if it’s such an amazing technique ? Total, total BS so why is the SCMP printing it? Oh …

  5. PD says:

    It is perhaps no surprise that such charming guanxi (or piston (Fr.), gwan-haih (Cant.) or you scratch my back…) should be so emblematic of Guangxi.

    The PCMP has surpassed itself. How many pro-“reform” pan-dems can still be left who haven’t yet been bribed to regurgitate all over the rag?

  6. Monkey Reborn says:

    When all else fails, go after the children … to leverage their enshrined “untouchable” position in traditional Chinese society to further your political goals and objectives … a classic Maoist strategy.

    Unfortunately (or fortunately), I reckon the average HKG 13-year old has more critical thinking capability, more international knowledge and experience, and general worldly savoir-faire, than 99.99% of the hundred million or so CCP cadres … so best of luck with that hombres.

  7. Stephen says:

    The CCP has abysmally failed to win over Hong Kong for eighteen years (however it could be argued that could be extended to 1949). Sure there was a brief moment in 2003 when we liked Wen Jiabao as he came over all grandfatherly to SAR’s families, whilst Tung gormlessly looked on, but then the American press had to spoil it by informing us how deep his family’s snouts were in the trough. Yes they would like the “reform” to pass but are perfectly willing to play the long game. Anyone for 2022 anyone?

  8. NIMBY says:

    Interesting choice of students every time too. Ethnic cleansing, anyone?
    http://rthk.hk/rthk/news/englishnews/news.htm?englishnews&20150513&56&1099232
    Those little brother stars on the flag are all kowtowing to the big red Han star.

  9. dimuendo says:

    I do not look ethnic Chinese. However last Saturday (?) a nice young lady from one of the first Alliance for peace and Democracy stalls asked me was I permanent resident and when told yes invited me to sign her petition. I said I was not willing to do so as the caption was only in Chinese, which I cannot read. She then told me they were against the government and seemed disappointred when I still would not sign as I could not read the caption.

    I then had a similar encounter yesterday with somebody else

    It would appear those manning the stalls are fairly deperate for signatures, from anybody, on any basis.

  10. gumshoe says:

    United Front petition stations set up outside of all wet markets across the new territories. The only people I’ve seen signing are old men in polo shirts, slacks, and sandals out for a jaunt on a work day.

  11. Headache says:

    If only the United Front would shoot itself in the head.

  12. Joe Blow says:

    A big hand to Mike Rowse for stating the naked truth in today’s Pro China Morning Post.

  13. Joe Blow says:

    Here is the latest update in regard to the crowdfunding effort for the dental rehabilitation of Rimsky Yuen: to date we have received $ 12.50. “Thank you !” Hong Kong Dental Association. We couldn’t have done it without you.

  14. I’m very disappointed – I went out a couple of days ago looking for a good argument, but didn’t come across a single one of Robert Chow’s signature stations.

  15. NIMBY says:

    United Front gets religious, and religion is always scary stuff, especially the church of Mao. Look at what worshiping Mao got the USA. Links shat forth from the mouth organ of Uncle Sam, so make what one can of it all.

    http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-05-14/chinas-atheist-communist-government-embracing-very-capitalist-form-buddhism

    I tried to give a text only link since PRI.org is acting up, but WordPress decided to defecate on it all and damned it as spam.

  16. Rupert Hayesworth says:

    Has there been any credence at all to the rumor that Pan-dems are basically in the pockets of the landed elites? So basically Pan-dems strangle political reform which essentially keeps the status quo and allows the real estate cronies to continue to dominate the HK political economy.

    Not saying the reform will be much better but at least its a tiny step in the right direction?

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