Bomb bizarreness


Young Hong Kong radicals have the balls to make bombs. Except of course they don’t, which is why the alleged ‘plot to cause mayhem and bloodshed’ uncovered by police in Sai Kung looks absurd, to the point of stretching credibility.

SCMP-PoliceFoilThe least-bad scenario is that a few misfit-fantasists set up a Facebook page in the name of a ‘National Independence Party’, possessed air-guns, maps and localist/Occupy/protest materials, and attracted the authorities’ attention by discussing or researching explosives. So far, all legal. If they were demented enough to acquire particular ingredients in order to make explosives, the police obviously had every reason to move in. The timing and current mood – cops and government acting like a revolution is about to take place when the political reform proposals go before the Legislative Council tomorrow – are just coincidence.

The really awful scenario doesn’t bear thinking about, because it’s 10 times as idiotic and – surely – unthinkable. No respectable observer dares mention it for fear of sounding gauche, alarmist, paranoid or worse. But anyway, it’s this: the Liaison Office or other Chinese government agents assembled the cast of villains and their paraphernalia in what trendy commentators call a false flag operation, in order to portray localist radicals as terrorists and justify a clampdown on dissidents, passing of Article 23 national security laws, torture chambers, etc, etc.

Of course, the Communists wouldn’t be so desperate and stupid, would they? Therefore, we are left with the first explanation: the misfit-fantasists with their ‘unknown until yesterday’ movement and laughably contrived-looking plot.

They would have greasy hair and acne, and be loners (most of the 10 or so suspects the police have rounded up being innocent bystanders). They would have accumulated serious stocks of Occupy-type stickers and Guy Fawkes masks because they think the imagery is cool. (And they would be oblivious about the fact that Guy Fawkes’s gunpowder-plot target was… a legislative building. As would, now I think of it, Chinese government agents provocateurs.) They would have maps of Admiralty showing ‘certain places’ because they’re too dim to find, say, the vast and ugly Government HQ otherwise. They would have computers because terrorists always do. And the Hong Kong Police displaying the captured weaponry yesterday really are too stupid, as they claimed at the press conference, to distinguish a BB gun from a real assault rifle (clue: is it made of PVC and light enough for a child to pick up?)

We can sympathize with the South China Morning Post’s editorial, which coyly ventures to suggest that bombs are ‘simply unacceptable’ – on a par perhaps with such antisocial behaviour as eating on the MTR. Assuming a case exists, it will be interesting to see how much the police and authorities try to and/or succeed in depicting the suspects as actual representatives or associates of the sprawling range of pro-dem/Umbrella/nativist youth sub-cultures. Somebody somewhere has an opportunity, maybe a need, to smear the activist, radical, and whole opposition community. Handled over-eagerly, clumsily or otherwise ‘wrongly’, this case will do the opposite and just accentuate how peaceful and intelligent that nice Joshua Wong is, and how nativists and localists, in their youthful and noisy way, are reasonable and have a point.


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26 Responses to Bomb bizarreness

  1. NIMBY says:

    Long Hair just let off his own suicide weapon, his mouth. He admitted making up the story and money about the bribe. I suppose the Liaison Office can sue him for defamation of the character of the PRC; and his defense council can argue the CCP has left the PRC with no character to defame.

    As to false flag, it’s more likely the HK police did an FBI, ie: put an informer in the group who incited them to move forward, put the chemicals in their homes, etc; and they sort of passively went along with the show until it our finest got the order from above to put on a show. Idiots are easy to find in any society.

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    Ah, in HK politics and CCP palace intrigue/shenanigans, it’s always timing, timing, timing.

  3. Stephen says:

    If this is a false flag or plant it does smack of desperation. By whom? Which leads back to the question if ‘the united front / establishment’ are now so desperate for this legislature to pass the ‘reform’ proposal, why did they not put forward a proposal that stood some chance of passing this legislature? Political amateurs who failed to run Hong Kong during the calm and will be well out of their depth now it’s desperately polarized. How’s things in the leafy Home Counties Carrie?

  4. PD says:

    I don’t believe in coincidences, well not of this sort. If it smells like a set-up and looks like one, then….

    To understand how the set-ups work, just look at the modus operandi of the AFCD (Ag, Fish and Construction Dept, although the former two disappeared from HK a while ago). Stings, entrapment, staged, almost stylised, scenarios, undercover agents, spy cameras galore, as if they’ve watched one too many Jim-Si Bohng films.

  5. Big Al says:

    I’m surprised that Hong Kong’s finest didn’t discover the wigs and false glasses/noses, as we know these are always used during subversive acts like this – masks? Pah! And as for paper maps with locations circled in red felt tip, come on, everyone uses Google Maps these days, with walking directions! (of course, had they used Apple Maps, they would have ended up in the mid Atlantic. Probably). This will all make a great film one day …

  6. NIMBY says:

    Quiz time: Which idiot just went on record to say:

    “We won’t tolerate illegal activities of any kind!”
    while his/her face implied (except for advanced bribes, delayed bribes, illegal structures if they are on the Peak, parking with engines idling, if it’s in Central, …).

  7. Maugrim says:

    Ha! Wait till those young democrats see how post-Colonial Governments have dealt with bombers from the 1967 protests, that will make them think twice! Oh wait …….

  8. Cassowary says:

    Others have already pointed out that whoever wrote these guys’ slogans appears to be unfamiliar with localist ideology, and in a few cases, basic literacy. I was initially inclined to say that a real false flag operation would look more convincing than the work of some inept LARPers, but given the quality of the signage wielded by the patriotic astroturf groups, I’m not so sure. Robert and Leticia’s minions always showing up to counter-protests holding signs with egregious Chinese mistakes. Not even handwritten ones, but ones that somebody presumably paid money to have printed up.

  9. Jason90 says:

    Perhaps the localist ‘bombers’ will all receive Grand Bauhinias and semi-star funerals – that’d be fitting punishment for ‘simply unacceptable’ behaviour.

  10. Jason90 says:

    ‘State’ funerals…

  11. Red Dragon says:

    Good lord! Whatever next?

    I really do smell a rat, or “tikus”, as we say down here in Malaya.

    I’m going to be watching this one closely.

  12. Probably says:

    As soon as I read this I though That it just smells like a ‘Marinus van der Lubbe’ moment, the guy who burnt down the Reichstag to justify Hitler banning the communists and thereby giving himself a majority government.

    Too crass to be true, even by HK standards.

  13. Probably says:

    In English this time………

    As soon as I read this it smelt like a ‘Marinus van der Lubbe’ moment, whose the guy that was arrested for burning down the Reichstag which gave justification for Hitler to ban Communists from parliament and thereby giving himself a majority government.

    Too crass to be true, even by HK standards.

  14. Probably says:

    Anyway, I’m sure Dr. Adams will claim that this is the start of the revolution,

  15. gweiloeye says:

    I am not usually one for conspiracy theories, but something just doesn’t gel here. I googled this oxymoronically named National Independent Party (NIP) -hey i didnt invent the name- and all i could see was some HK independence site that had a “news” item in saying the NIP was registered in the UK in Feb.
    I see a lot of other news sites are starting too think something a bit fishy in their self censored way.

  16. PD says:

    Apparently the NIP used the word “reunification”, when they meant the Great Chinese Takeover: the rat is beginning to stink to high heaven!

  17. inspired says:

    Kudos on the excellent Father Ted photo

  18. Scotty Dotty says:

    Another great post from Hemmers. Thank you for the daily sanity.

    Bombgate ABSOLUTELY timed to impact the vote tomorrow. Too obvious, chaps of the darkside.

  19. Joe Blow says:

    When I was in high school we used to make smoke bombs that we set off in the school corridors. It was tremendous good fun when the hallways filled with white smoke (otherwise harmless) and even more when we got an extra hour off.

    Flipper dictator Ferdy Marcos once set off a few bombs during election time and used it as an excuse to declare martial law. Hey ! There’s an idea.

    By the way, did y’all know that Tim Hamlett, once the most boring person on planet Pro China Morning Post, now writes columns for the China Daily. I sh*t you not.

  20. gumshoe says:

    Although I would agree that it probably is what it says on the tin, having just finished the new James Ellroy book Perfidia, rife with corrupt cops framing perceived enemies and planting hate tracts and evidence all over to ensure the proper image of convictions… I have to wonder…

  21. C.Law says:

    Hemlock, Joe Blow et al,

    TATP is not “tremendous good fun” nor is it “harmless” smoke. This is the explosive which was used to such devastating effect in London in 2005 and is one of the favoured home-made explosives of bombers worldwide

    It is, unfortunately, not difficult to make. The recipe is out there on the internet, though if you get it wrong it can be deadly. When made it is highly sensitive and needs careful handling, which is why it makes sense that the persons making it should have chosen somewhere like an abandoned TV studio to make and test their explosive.

    There have been several cases in HK of people making TATP, with unfortunate consequences – which is how they came to light. So far these have been youngsters playing the fool or isolated nutters with a personal axe to grind. There is nothing to say that someone who has a political viewpoint is not also so crazy as to think that bombs are the way to go. There are plenty of examples worldwide, why not HK? It’s not as though we are total strangers to bombs in politics, viz 1967, nor to self-starting bombers – remember the “HKTA” in 1986?

    Whilst it may be possible to point to various problems with websites and publications which the arrested persons have been linked to, which may invite various conspiracy theories, there is nothing to say that a small group of people on the extremes of the anti-CCP spectrum have decided that bombs are a good idea. Not that this should be taken as an excuse to draw inferences regarding the whole of the pan-dem movement, though that is undoubtedly how the situation will be seized on, starting with the CE, who has already had a dig today.

  22. C.Law says:

    Last para: “there is nothing to gainsay that……”.

  23. steve says:

    There’s at least one more ring on the obliviousness onion. All of those “Guy Fawkes” masks snapped up by idealistic young Occupiers all over the world are copyrighted Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. Every purchase therefore contributes to the coffers of one of those transnational neoliberal entities that’s part of the problem you’re fighting (unless it’s a pirate copy, in which case you’re contributing even more directly to the exploitation of the Bangladeshi or Chinese worker who made it).

    That’s some catch, that Catch-22.

  24. Red Dragon says:


    On the whole, I thought the English in your first post was better than that in your second.

    You highlight an interesting historical parallel, nonetheless.

  25. NIMBY says:


    Long Hair likes to wear his Che T-shirt, which I guess means his constituency is strongly homophobic and he’s pandering to them.
    But mostly it would not surprise me to learn he bought it on Amazon.

  26. NIMBY says:

    C. Law:

    It struck me as odd that the Police would allow reporters to take flash photos (EMP) of any peroxide based nasty, or even be in an enclosed room with the stuff. I’m surprised they didn’t dispose of it immediately at the nearest safe areas. This isn’t something to leave around in the lock-up so it can be taken into a crowded court room. However As I wrote earlier Society is full of idiots, and some of them wear uniforms.

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