Yesterday was all about humongous mouth-frothing over a Communist-front group’s abuse of helpless Hong Kong school kids – luring them into expressing support for the government’s political reform package, and posting the video online for ridicule by merciless pro-democracy citizens. This outrage continues, with the Privacy Commissioner poking around, and the Federation of HK Guangxi Community Organizations bleating about how ‘heartbroken’ it is.
But the FHKGCO is not alone in this despicable practice. Another organization is preying on innocent individuals – conning them into making hackneyed pro-Beijing statements and then publishing the results for all the world to see, and of course jeer at. The institution concerned is the South China Morning Post, and their target is middle-aged, middle-class men who are suggestible and perhaps not quite worldly enough to understand when they are being used. It’s not hard to do. The newspaper sends a vivacious young mini-skirted reporterette to flatter the well-meaning gentlemen and entice them into providing near-identical quotes.
Young people today? Expect homes! Not realistic! Occupy Central? Not good! Wrong way to make a point! The reporterette crosses her legs and leans forward, eagerly jotting it all down in her notebook, or at least ticking the boxes. Put community first! Responsibility! Innovation!
So far, the SCMP have cruelly tricked: Professor ‘contribute to society’ Lo; Design Guru ‘social morality’ Kan; Fund Manager and guy-we’ve-heard-of Cheah Cheng ‘volunteer corps’ Hye; and token youth Innovator Rex ‘young are misguided in blaming politicians’ Sham.
This is yet more of a series that started a while back called ‘Moving Forward’, in which the SCMP locates and presents members of a ‘silent majority’ to spout views that – above all – absolve the national or local governments of any responsibility for last year’s Occupy-Umbrella movement. (Previously discussed here.)
Although the SCMP obviously has a pro-Beijing agenda and prods its victims into making correct noises, glimmers of reality shine through. Each interviewee mentions housing prices. The faults of young people today are numerous, and it takes time to list them all, but then this particular problem crops up. No-one dares join any dots (housing prices -> tycoons -> HK government -> Beijing), but this one issue keeps turning up in the middle of the conversation like some huge mute who won’t go away.
To be fair, Cheah Cheng Hye – co-founder of Value Partners – hints very heavily that he knows what is going on. He doesn’t call the privileged entitled elite who won’t let go ‘parasites’, but makes it plain that they and the officials who mollycoddle them are the problem. Hong Kong, he says, needs a leader who…
…emerges as a hero of the Hong Kong people, able to mobilise popular opinion directly to overcome vested interests and doubters from all sections of society, including the wealthy elite, the foreign elite, and parts of the media and the political establishment…
Wow… ‘Moving Forward’ moving a bit off-message. But relax. Still to come in this lengthy extravaganza is Jockey Club (gambling monopoly) boss Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, who will presumably succumb to the SCMP reporterette’s charms and happily recite the standard, normal, non-freaky analysis of why these spoilt kids are so stroppy.