With friends like these, does Beijing need enemies?


So the expectation was that 42 pro-Beijing legislators would vote in favour of Hong Kong’s proposed ‘quasi-democracy’ political reform, while 28 pan-democratic members would vote against. The pro-dems would deprive the constitutional package of the two-thirds majority it needed to pass, but they could be portrayed as villains who thwarted the popular will supposedly represented by the 42. Instead, just as the voting started, most of the pro-Beijing lawmakers rose from their seats and filed out of the chamber, embarking on what would go down in history as the United-Front Turkeys of Zombie-land Death March.

They were attempting to delay things while waiting for the elderly New Territories representative Lau Wong-fat – who rarely shows up – to arrive, as they felt he wouldn’t want to miss the vote. Unfortunately, they got things in the wrong order (for future reference, it’s supposed to be: walkout before the vote takes place). But not all the pro-government lawmakers went along. The Liberals had been left out of the loop, mainly because the other pro-Beijing people all hate them. (Frankly, who doesn’t?)  And a couple of other loyalists stayed behind, apparently uncertain what to do…


It’s to do with information overload. The brain seizes up for a few moments while it processes more input than it was designed to handle. You can do this for yourself, with an appropriate subject, as demonstrated here.

The final vote therefore came out as 28 to 8 against the package. The orchestrated pro-OD-8yanBeijing hate-fest against the evil pan-dems had to be hastily re-scripted to strip out the bits about how 42 obviously morally outweighs the tyranny-of-the-minority 28, who had cruelly denied Hong Kong universal suffrage. Chief Executive CY Leung went sort of Zen on the loyalist lawmakers’ disappearance and just savaged the pan-dems.

Most right-thinking people are understandably still collapsing in fits of uncontrollable mirth at this whole absurd hilarity. Serious-minded pan-dems and others meanwhile warn that this is just the beginning of a new era in the fight, and they cannot always rely on circumstance and opponents’ incompetence to give them unity and victory. And Beijing officials must be asking whether to finally wise up and try a new approach to Hong Kong, or stick to Communist form and seek murderous bloody revenge against the pro-democrat menace. But before we start to Focus on the Economy and ponder on the profundities of what will happen next, it’s worth looking at the 31 pro-government legislators who walked out and asking – what were they thinking?

The 31 include former senior official Regina Ip and rising star Starry Lee, who are both at times mentioned as potential Chief Executive material. They include the pompous great and good of the patriotic community, like Ip Kwok-him and Tam Yiu-chung, and representatives of our oh-so important smug and entitled plutocrats like Abraham Shek and Jeffery Lam. And they include venomous attack dogs like Priscilla Leung and self-styled thinking moderates like Michael Tien. Having received medals and appointments in return for shoe-shining, they strut around apparently believing in their own superiority – over pro-democrat politicians and over the rest of the populace. And now we see: they can’t even push a button at the right time.

One of their number called the walkout ‘a stupid and careless mistake’. But only individuals make stupid and careless mistakes. Even 31 sheep would probably not all simultaneously make the same ‘stupid and careless mistake’. The loyalists who walked out are, we can only conclude, obedient, unthinking, slavish, unaware – useful idiots to a Legco-CMoLeninist machine, but probably not worth listening to about anything, and certainly unfit for public office. That was Beijing’s leadership material in action.

I declare the weekend open with yesterday’s lesson: while exasperating at times, the pro-dems at least have their own minds and souls and the freedom to use them.


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27 Responses to With friends like these, does Beijing need enemies?

  1. PHT says:

    If the Liberal Party members had walked out too, would the vote still have taken place and been valid with less than half of the Legco members present?

  2. anon says:

    but you, at least, must be deliriously happy, at last…?

  3. Stephen says:

    This story did feature globally. The intricacies (rigged) system of legislative representation would be lost on most. Hence 42 denied by the 28 would have played out well internationally. I’m struggling to understand the what and why of yesterday and can only conclude the Pro-Establishment legislators are utter f*ckwits and their ability to consistently amuse knows no bounds. At least Beijing can take comfort that they can make Hong Kong in its own image in 2047.

  4. PD says:

    PHT, I’m venturing into deep waters as my numerical explanation yesterday didn’t quite add up. But it would seem that without a quorum, ie 50% ie 35 legislators, no (important?) decisions can be taken. That, at least, is one interpretation, admittedly post hoc, of the reason for the Great Walk-Out, so as to postpone the Votation, as they say in some countries. In sum the answer is: probably not. In other words, the Walk-Out chose the best combination to maximise the damage.

    Instant classic Hemlock today, of anthologisable level. That rabble do indeed look, behave, perhaps smell like a different species of humanity: Homo pekinensis?

    The choice now for our wise leaders is: continue as before; direct rule, abolishing the Basic Law and absorbing us back into Guangzhou, as we were officially under the evil foreign barbarians; or increase the intimidation, by stiffening up the police, deploying the PLA to strut its stuff, positioning a few battleships off Central, showing off a few tanks, expelling a few undesirables, gradually removing the border, curtailing the airspace, and so on.

    But a necessary first step, neglected to date, is the ritual blaming of the devilish outside forces in our midst: Rizzy? the British Council? the French lycee? people who read books in foreign languages?

  5. reductio says:

    A two day w/e. The mrs is away for a week. And now this.

    Good times.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I suspect that China’s internal press will – if it’s allowed to cover the story at all – tell everyone in China “Look! We offered HK democracy and they said `no’ by 28-8. That resounding defeat tells you what a wonderful job we’re doing.”

    That, to me, is the only possible explanation for the walkout.

  7. Scotty Dotty says:

    Hemmers: “The loyalists who walked out are, we can only conclude, obedient, unthinking, slavish, unaware – useful idiots to a Leninist machine, but probably not worth listening to about anything, and certainly unfit for public office.”

    Bravo. Summary for the ages.

  8. Big Al says:

    @ Anonymous

    That’s not the only possible explanation. As @ Stephen rightly points out, the actual explanation is that they are indeed a bunch of fuckwits. Amateurs, the lot of them. Make sheep look erudite, particularly Poon Shiu-ping. She probably needs a fourth button to be installed in her desk and labelled “None of the Above” or “Don’t know”.

    The phrase “couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery” shall henceforth become “couldn’t organise a vote in LegCo”. Honestly, you couldn’t make this stuff up.

  9. cccrrrgh says:

    It’s been a while since you last brought up chicken hypnosis. But if ever there were an occasion….

  10. grumpy old man says:

    If the pro establishment legco members want to sabotage the final vote knowing the result would not be in their favor, one of them just have to lit a cigar, set off the fire alarm system, activate the sprinkler system so everyone has to evacuate the building and abort the pending vote. Now they made one of their members from NT who arrived late the fall guy. Beijing should know better to whet the politicians in its pocket that they studied Niccolò Machiavelli and parliamentarian procedure.

  11. PD says:

    I see that Regina has burst into tears — just the sort of stern stuff we would like to see in our potential leader. Made my day.

  12. chris says:

    I question why your followers on this forum are so negative on the DAB. Just because they have been bleeting about pocketing the reform proposal doesn’t mean that they are stupid…. has no one here ever pretended to be sick to stay home from school? has no one here pretended his unfinished homework was complete but he just didn’t submit it because of the black rain signal? Even the DAB doesn’t want to vote in favour of this shite.

  13. Casual Observer says:

    I would think it’s a well played game by team Carrie + CY. They knew the pan-dems would vote it down, yet they could still get something out it – Regina and Starry were humiliated and CY’s re-election campaign should be much easier with two major potential competitors (largely) out of the game.

  14. @PHT – I am not sure of LegCo’s specific rules, but I believe in most legislatures, in the absence of a quorum, business continues as usual unless some member calls for a quorum headcount. If this shows less than the required number of heads in the chamber, the sitting is then suspended until more show up.

    Usually the quorum rule benefits the pan-dems who can use it to filibuster, since many of the pro-establishment legislators only bother to turn up for important votes. In this case, it appears that the pro-Beijing lot were trying to use it to their advantage to delay the vote. However, they made two mistakes: 1) not all of them left the chamber, so the meeting remained quorate; 2) no one remembered to call for a count anyway. The whole idiotic episode sounds like fodder for one of those “Priceless” jokes.

  15. Bystander says:

    Jasper says HK people will be shocked at bizarre end to reform plan.

    I am not.

    From the people who were “allegedly” capable of arguing black is white, and who could not tell you the size of your flat until recently (your share of the outhouse is 1 square foot, your share of the …. ), the outcome seems like some divine retribution. I mean, you could not make this up. Is Regina crying about being such a prat, twat ? And hapless Carrie looking even more hapless.

    I would say most of the pro Govt cabal in Legco, the Kuk, the Fuck Constituencies had this coming to them. Laughing stock – not a crying matter.

  16. stinky foot says:

    I have a somewhat different take or speculation on this event. Was it an ill-timed walk-out or following a last minute script? Perhaps the ‘pro’ in pro-Beijing fellow travelers ain’t so ‘pro’. I can imagine the CPC bullying that those stooges have had to endure since the white paper was flagged–hence the hysteria and heavy-handed response to the umbrella crowd and the hilarity of the clown-car spectacle to gain public support. Dim-witted yes, but a light must have been turned on at the eleventh hour. After all, the shoes keep coming back to be shined and spending one’s life on your knees for a few tips from the uncles is a dreary life choice. Maybe their inner Hong Kong-ness welled-up or the realisation that Beijing looks at them as a subspecies of the great Chinese take away. A solution presented itself–mishear the role call, walk out in search of an absent comrade (what a cringe-worthy excuse) and in trying to escape responsibility for their actions please neither the Hong Kong public or the overlords from the north. Face saved. Rituals of the tribe preserved.

  17. PHT says:

    Anyone else believe that the James Tien and his Civic Party stayed behind on purpose to keep the meeting in quorum so that the bill would fail then and there and/or to make the other pro-government flunkies look stupid? It wouldn’t be the first time he and his party were a bit naughty.

    It was hilarious to see Vagina get a little moist around the edges this morning!

  18. Real Tax Payer says:

    The Harry cartoon today was the best take on this farce:
    “Well looking on the bright side – it they had stayed to vote they would probably have voted NO by mistake ”

    My personal problem now is how to explain this to the top bods at my company western HQ in terms that don’t read like a Monty Python script !

  19. gweiloeye says:

    PHT I think it was mostly the Libs not the Civs that didnt get the memo/text from the liason office to walk out.

  20. Joe Blow says:

    The minx Vagina crying on camera. Gone are the tough talk, the bravoure, the trolling, the mindless provocations, the unsolicited sucking up to various constituencies: the moment she realizes her big chance is gone forever, she shows what she is really made of: wet cardboard.

    Yes, there is a God, Virginia.

  21. Knownot says:

    “I see that Regina has burst into tears.”

    “It was hilarious to see Vagina get a little moist around the edges this morning!”

    – – – – – –

    My friends, I am so sorry if
    We made a boo-boo. (Sniff)

    A simple ploy. I don’t know why
    It didn’t work. (Cry)

    Hong Kong patriots still support
    The new proposals. (Snort)

    Of course our masters need to vet
    The candidates. (Regret)

    We may have to wait for years
    For another chance. (Tears)

    I hope my humble posture shows
    My sorrow. (Lachrymose)

    I bow my head, and homeward creep
    In the shadows. (Weep)

    I promise that I will not fail
    In the future. (Wail)

    The trouble is, I think perhaps
    We look like twits. (Collapse)

  22. C.Law says:

    So, the arse lickers finally got fed up of the taste of shit.

    Nice theory, may even be true, but they sure had second thoughts during the night, going by today’s various performances.

  23. LRE says:

    Well that’s one nagging HK politics mystery solved:

    We finally know exactly who the pro-establishment were actually referring to when they kept claiming that people in Hong Kong weren’t ready for democracy and didn’t really understand it. Turns out it was themselves and Heung Yee Kuk.

    Who’d have thunk it!

    And what a sight to behold — a weeping vagina live on TV!

    Perhaps it has finally begun to dawn even on someone as thinking-intolerant as herself that “for you, Vaggy, ze politics is over.” It’s only taken her 12 years longer than the rest of Hong Kong (during which she endured the dread political death of a thousand embarrassments). She can now retire and concentrate on trying to win her husband back from their maid.

  24. Reader says:

    PHT is on the money with James Tien as the man of the moment.

    EJ Insight details just how many come-uppances he delivered by cunningly sitting still and doing exactly what he is paid to do – against Jeffrey Lam, for splitting his Liberal party by starting Economic Synergy; Lau Wong-fat, for dumping him at Beijing’s behest, after Tien (arguably) stood up for Hong Kong by pissing on the Article 23 legislation; Vagina, for – well, being Vagina; Chun-ying (as we subversives now call him) for not being Henry Tang. Plus he gets credit from both ordinary Hongkongers, for entertainment value as much as principle, AND from the Liaison Office, which rang him to thank him for voting in favour.
    The only question is whether this was brilliant piece of opportunism, devilishly hatched plot, or the old rogue just got lucky.

  25. Joe Blow says:

    The readers’ poll in the Pro-China rag: 71% happy with the vote outcome, 21% unhappy (rest: no opinion).

    The writing is on the wall in Causeway Bay: a fond aloha (in this case: goodbye) to Starry, Vagina and a few other no-hopers of the DAB and the DAB 2 (aka New People’s Party).

    On a bright note: be glad you don’t live in mainland China: they have dungeons there for losers like you.

  26. PD says:

    If you think about it, the 33 dimwits/machiavellians is the exact minimaxed number to achieve the worst/best result: 35 or so and an inquorate call could have been made; anything less than 30 might have given the impression that the anti-dem camp was split.

    As a bonus, the final numbers 28 to 8 represent the double happiness of arrogance being hoist by its own petard/the fantastic sight of the loose-jowled, flabby wormtongues and weeping and trembling Suck-Ye’s (more or less sic) humilating China.

    Must rush: got a meeting with Uncle Fatty.

  27. Cassowary says:

    Everyone is too busy laughing their asses off to care about the bomb plot anymore. It’s nice to watch the United Front fail so spectacularly at scaremongering. They’re doing their best to glower sternly and blame the pan-dems for Bringing About the Ruination of Hong Kong, but are coming off about as menacing as a small yappy-type dog in a silly hat.

    Or as Mr. Cassowary so succinctly puts it, “These people suck at evil!”

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