Even the Standard’s Chinese Idiom of the Day sends a not-so subliminal message – warning that radical nihilists threaten to ‘burn the jade along with the rocks’. (The column, written weeks ahead, alludes to pro-democracy lawmakers’ filibustering, but some Confucian wisdom specific to Hong Kong Indigenous will no doubt follow.) Everywhere you look, you see the official line: there is no connection whatsoever between the Fishball Riot/Revolution/Mayhem in Mongkok last week and anything happening in real life….
The violence on the streets took place in total isolation from the city’s poor governance, socio-economic problems and gradual suffocation by the Chinese Communist Party.
So what was behind it? Beijing’s local top official blames radical separatists leaning towards terrorism. But he doesn’t explain what made them radical, separatist or lean towards terrorism. Hong Kong’s own leaders government, as one local academic writes, have…
…just relied on the public abhorrence of violence to whitewash their own responsibility for the deterioration in relations between the public and the police.
Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said whatever the causes of the incident, be they a breakdown of trust in the administration [of chief executive Leung Chun-ying], problems with the management of food vendors, or a backlash from the Umbrella Movement, all of these are still “excuses.”
What she meant by this was that we must concentrate on the perpetrators of violence and on bringing them to justice, because these explanations couldn’t possibly be what motivated the “mob.”
But if we don’t agree with their behavior, and we accept that none of these reasons account for it, then it can only be explained by a sort of irrational recklessness, or even a hysterical impulse to violence.
Or, of course, it’s the evil/hostile/foreign forces that ultimately lie behind every mishap that befalls the Chinese regime (note that the above quote comes courtesy of the US-funded Radio Free Asia).
Otherwise, the Hong Kong government is reduced to pitifully pleading with the media not to term the events the ‘Fishball Revolution’ – a request every hip outlet in the world will obviously fail to hear. The imagery of downtrodden vendors of street food nobly rising up is all too Storming-of-Bastille, Let-them-eat-siu-mai for comfort. (The hapless government is correct when it whines that the phrase is not strictly accurate in terms of what happened in Mongkok. But those who live by mendacity and spin, die by it.)
Have you ever seen a Hong Kong pro-establishment righteous-Westerner meme go viral, as if it were a clip of a reporter being dragged off a bus and beaten up by cops? You have now. This Facebook message (a copy is at this patriotic blog) is doing the rounds on pro-Beijing email address lists. There’s nothing exceptional about it; the writer expresses at length the standard viewpoint of many people exposed to/co-opted by the Mainland/bureaucracy/tycoon system. What is telling is the way loyalists are so impressed and grateful that a non-Chinese says such things that they have to email it to each other in wonder.
Elsewhere, the line that zombie psychos are solely to blame fails to get through. Worryingly for the administration, even the police are showing signs of anger at their own leadership. And the sort-of-separatist militants of the Heung Yee Kuk, traditionally pets of Beijing, are choosing an ideal time to stir up trouble by re-thinking cooperation with local officials. Though maybe there is some hope. Seen yesterday, St Valentine’s Day, I asked why a couple would want their wedding photos taken with the HK Government Lubyanka-Palace as a backdrop. The reply I got was…
Internment seems the only answer. Round up the separatists, bloggers, papists and stick them into a living hell. Soho sounds right. Or Ocean Park. It’s the only language these people understand.
Richard’s Wilkinson’s stirring paean to Mr. Plod would have brought tears to my eyes were it not for a number of grammatical infelicities such as “populous” for “populace”. What confused me most though was, when typing out “so-called Pan Democrats”, he placed inverted commas around “so-called” rather than around “Pan Democrats”. … Shurely shome mishtake, or is he surreptitiously laughing at those who dismiss the Pan Dem’s democratic credentials? I remain befuddled.
@Enid – good idea, but here’s a twist on it. Let’s round up all the separatists and troublemakers and turn the whole of Hong Kong into an internment camp for them. Kick everyone else (DAB shoeshiners, colluding tycoons, NT Mafia, CE and government ministers, Liaison Office flunkeys, self-censoring journalists etc. ) across the border so they won’t be bothered by the 4 million or so of us held prisoner.
Wilko’s post on his facebook has been deleted….curious….
I wondered if it might be Richard “Uncle Tom” Wilkinson even before I clicked on it.
‘So-called’ is regularly used by the propaganda people and their minions, yet they consistently fail to use it correctly. The error you identify, even more humorous than most, is one I haven’t seen yet, but they have misused the phrase in just about every other way possible already. For instance they might write, these so-called thugs.
They got the derision part down pat. The making fun of your enemy’s terminology part, not so much.
Why is it not surprising that the pro-government Facebook ejaculation comes from one whose snout has been firmly planted in the gold-plated Hong Kong infrastructure feedbag for the past 20 years?
@”city’s poor governance, socio-economic problems and gradual suffocation by the Chinese Communist Party.”
You have this back to front. Only a freer hand by the CCP can now correct a decade of poor Hong Kong governance under a lop-sided administration created and left in place by Bowtie and his mollycoddled tycoons. Divided democrats, even with more power, could never have got the balance right. Witness polarized USA as it sinks into crime-infested decadence posing as “freedom”.
Bowtie was thrust upon a far too trusting mainland government in a moment of temporary blindness following the unfair ousting of Tung Chee-hwa for his socialist housing programme during the widespread Asian financial meltdown. What is now needed here is a dose of true socialism with Chinese characteristics and the sooner the better.
I hope I have returned in true form and will not disappoint Hemmer’s thousands of anti-mainland followers.
Yes, we need true socialism with Chinese characteristics here, then we too can enjoy the benefits of exploding hazardous materials depots, man-made mudslides, poisoned milk powder and thousands of pig carcasses washing up in rivers. After all, there are no grasping tycoons in Mainland China, no, you never see people kicked out of their homes by developers colluding with officials, absurdly wasteful white elephant projects, fraudulent health care or plundered pension funds, no sirree. At least the chengguan will be given a free hand to beat up fishball sellers and their rowdy defenders, we can be grateful for that.
@Qian Jin: Tung’s depart hadn’t anything to do with his “socialist housing programme”. And you know very well, he resigned for health reasons. Do you have any doubts?
“a far too trusting mainland government” hahaha excellent sarcasm QJ, bravo!
“What is now needed here is a dose of true socialism with Chinese characteristics and the sooner the better.”
Qian Jin suggesting the CCP have made a dreadful balls up of being in charge for the last 19 years!? Shome mishtake, shurely?
Better check you’re still singing from the proper hymnsheet, there: you ‘ll get docked 50 cents for that sort of counterrevolutionary sentiment and might win a fabulous involuntary holiday of a lifetime in the motherland (passport and visa not required). Questioning the party’s infallibility!? Outrage!
But, yes, that’s almost certainly just what Hong Kong needs more of — an unaccountable government appointed by Beijing intent on pushing through unpopular and alien legislation, eroding freedoms of speech, press, assembly and protest, all the while pandering to the CCP’s paranoid insecurities and every whim whilst completely ignoring any of the needs/desires/views of Hong Kongers.
After all — what could possibly go wrong, eh? It’s not like the docile, apolitical population of Hong Kong would rock the boat and start a riot.
Welcome back, QJ. To be honest, I hadn’t noticed that you’d gone.
Happy to see, however, that you haven’t lost your deliciously mordant sense of humour.
Is your real name Richard Wilkinson by any chance?
Ad hoc Confucian values flow chart:
1) In every relationship there is a superior(‘S’) and an inferior(‘I’).
1a) If not sure who is S and who I, compete relentlessly until S is determined
2) In every case, S is A)correct and B) to be followed by I
2a) S is allowed to use all tools at disposal to enforce compliance by I
3) In the event that 2A is false or I does not want to follow rule 2B, return to step 1a
Yes RW’s FB message is oddly depressing but at the same time mildly amusing. More amusing were the replies including his own in response to being upbraided on his poor use of English. Anyway here is my own FB reply I have added to the thread:
“Sorry but it is ‘nonsense’ to excuse the failings of HKG due only to the errors of the ‘opposition’. Not least because the ‘Occupy’ and Mong Kok incidents followed 18 years of failure to get anywhere by being polite. The recent change for the worse in HK affairs is directly attributable to the CCP decision not to allow any measure of real democratic reform in the selection of CE candidates and HKG’s ready acceptance of that position. Like you I am always pro police in riot situations but to focus only on that aspect to the exclusion of all else is blinkered and unconstructive. Having lived here for more than half my life I like to think I can see the causes and not just the sad effects of HK’s decline and malaise.