No disrespect to Calcutta, by the way…


For what seems like ages now, the South China Morning Post has carried a succession of near-identical opinion pieces whining about how Hong Kong’s pro-establishment SCMP-SeeingEnemies2politicians are willing to ‘move on’ so Why Oh Why won’t the naughty bad pro-democrats do likewise? ‘Move on’ here means ‘forget the humiliating Legislative Council political reform vote fiasco bizarreness ever happened’. Just like ‘focus on the economy’ means ‘pretend the quality of governance is not crumbling away before our eyes’.

So it’s refreshing to see something a bit different today – specifically a column that includes the phrase ‘reactionary womb’. It’s all about Hong Kong nativists and their insistence on inventing enemies rather than knocking back a handful of soma and looking on the bright side of things.

Hong Kong nativism is intriguing as a political and youth sub-culture for the simple reason it is so gloriously deviant. According to the official plot of our story, Return to the Motherland, young Hong Kong people are supposed to become more patriotic, Chinese and adoring of the Communist Party with each passing year. They are supposed to sing along during the national anthem, jump up and down in excitement about the opportunities presented by ‘One Belt One Road’, and take part in every Flag Raising Ceremony cum Extravaganza with breathless passion. (What results if a Flag Raising Ceremony cum Extravaganza takes place in close proximity to a reactionary womb? Eeewww. Never mind.)

And the kids have gone shockingly, hilariously off-script. To put it in Singaporean terms, it’s as if the city-state spawned a thousand Amos Yees and had no mental institutions in which to incarcerate them. They wave the colonial flag and discuss ‘independence’. This violates not only political correctness but logic – until you realize the impact it must have on Chinese officials, to whom it is blasphemy of brain-exploding proportions. They are rude and aggressive to Mainland tourists and shoppers. This can look like bullying and is therefore reprehensible and probably counter-productive – except when you get up close to the cross-border inundation, when it seems more reasonable on grounds of community- and self-preservation, and arguably even necessary.

If this sounds a bit of a stretch, check out this video of a stroll down a Sheung Shui street. Dozens of people are occupying the whole sidewalk, unpacking, sorting and repacking frozen-for-now-hopefully meat, letting kids pee on the trees, and discarding piles of garbage. Laws being broken in this scene run from work permits to obstruction of the footpath to littering to serious health and hygiene issues. There are no cops, public health or immigration officials because – hey ‘integration’. There is no story in the SCMP about this because – hey ‘Mainland tourism’.

Calcutta is better-run than this. No-one is ‘inventing’ it. There is no ‘positive’ to focus on. Nativism is a reaction to something that’s going seriously wrong.

(Just thought of a ‘positive’! Somebody hacks into the HK Tourism Board website and swaps the video of happy grinning rickshaw drivers and noodle-pulling panda bears gazing over the harbour with the City of Squatting Sweaty Sidewalk Meat-Packers clip, which promptly ends up on prime-time BBC and CNN. An ongoing ‘tourism trough’ must be worth a few vermin-infested piles of rancid bloody cardboard up in Sheung Shui.)

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10 Responses to No disrespect to Calcutta, by the way…

  1. reductio says:

    “Many claim Hong Kong has no history, and that is true to some extent, because we no longer make it a mandatory part of the curriculum.” Huh? The whole article is full of non sequiturs sprinkled with unsubstantiated claims and anecdotes. And this guy teaches language and communication!

  2. Jennifer Eagleton says:

    It’s called sarcasm, Reducio.

  3. mjrelje says:

    Yeah, but you cant argue with this though can you reductio “There are no cops, public health or immigration officials because – hey ‘integration’. There is no story in the SCMP about this because – hey ‘Mainland tourism’. Calcutta is better-run than this. No-one is ‘inventing’ it. There is no ‘positive’ to focus on. Nativism is a reaction to something that’s going seriously wrong.”

  4. dimuendo says:

    Not strictly on topic but herewith link of what Reuters apparently regard as their best writing and reporting on HK and Taiwan in the last tweleve months.

  5. Nimby says:

    Ignorance is bliss, and the biggest store of ignorance is at HK’s Education Dept. Yes, that’s the Education Department, where every upper level bureaucrat sends his brats to an “international” school on the rate payer’s dime, all the while cutting funding for public schools and working with the immigration department to clear express lanes at Lohu for mainland children to sprint back and forth to NT schools.

    If the nativeist has anything to thank, it’s the ability of the government to feed their ranks.

  6. gweiloeye says:

    ‘Seeing enemies everywhere’. Read it and thought..good a story about the communist party. But alas no…
    oh the irony.

  7. reductio says:

    Sorry guys, I think you misunderstood me. It’s the SCMP article I’m knocking. I know about our mainland friends – I live up here.

  8. PCC says:


    Thanks for the link to those excellent articles.

  9. LRE says:

    Three comments:

    1. Danny Chan should certainly give up his job teaching communication and language at Hong Kong Community College, Polytechnic University, and stick to his part-time career as Donald Trump’s speech writer.

    2. It is delightfully splendid to see that Ms Dong from the Liason Office attended the flag raising cum extravaganza. How indeed will the reactionary wombs receive Dong’s cum extravaganza? A sticky situation, without a doubt. They may well need a litter cum recyclables collection area, in order to clean up the flag and earn their Commercial and Industrial Waste Cum Certificates. If not, they may well be liable under the P.O.O.

    3. Why is the HK civil service so obsessed with cum? It’s like “Yes Minister” mated with “Are You Being Served?” and produced the current government departments. Actually that would explain quite a lot of HK politics…

  10. Nimby says:

    A different grade of filth from rotting meat and urine/feces in the open, but only just.
    Nothing quite like trying to explain away to one’s child what that “lady” was suggesting take place in the bushes at Taipo Water Front Park.

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