To counterbalance today’s depressing mood, we will begin and end on notes of ‘positive energy’ and optimism.
First, to its credit, the South China Morning Post carries an enlightening graphic on voting patterns at individual polling stations in Sunday’s New Territories East by-election…
Winner Alvin Yeung of the Civic Party did best in particular neighbourhoods of Tai Po, Shatin and Tseung Kwan O. A very brief check on Google Maps suggests that we are talking about middle/lower-middle class areas of private housing or the more genteel public estates. Hong Kong Indigenous candidate Edward Leung did best at polling stations in Tseung Kwan O, Fanling and Tai Po. My unscientific ‘Google Maps’ glimpse-analysis suggests somewhat grittier New Town districts. This is what you would expect.
The Communist-front DAB candidate Holden Chow, on the other hand, scored best in more rural neighbourhoods – the top two being in Sha Tau Kok, at one of which he won an eye-raising 75.5% of the vote. Sha Tau Kok is a little place out in the sticks at the border in the far northeast corner of Hong Kong. A dark, swampy hellhole of tin shacks full of inbreds. Again, as we would expect.
The SCMP is stunned by the by-election result, particularly the rise of localism. The editorial is a classic case of what psychologists call cognitive dissonance. In this case, the writer can’t reconcile the loathsomeness and universal hatred of localists with the fact that (in one part of Tseung Kwan O) they won 29.4% of the vote. Hence the use of the word ‘despite’…
Delete ‘despite’ and insert ‘owing to/because’, and maybe it becomes clearer. You will note also that the writer retreats into the passive voice in order to avoid telling us who, exactly, believed that localism ‘used to be confined to a small fraction of society’.
The fact is that up to a few years back it didn’t exist at all. Then Beijing denied Hong Kong any hope of legitimacy in government and accelerated efforts to undermine the city’s pluralism and identity. The ending of impartial administration and policing, rocketing housing prices, the swamping of the city with cross-border shoppers/smugglers, and official deafness bordering on malevolence – and all the rest – led to serious alienation. ‘Pro-independence’ sentiment is not deviant: it is the only channel left open to these young people. If the SCMP had any sense of history, it would be thankful that HK Indigenous got only 15% this time.
The big news is the forced confessions of the abducted Hong Kong book publishers. (The Lee Po transcript is translated here and here.) It is hard to see what Mainland authorities are trying to achieve through this gruesome charade, except to further increase the aforementioned alienation of Hong Kong people. At some point, the Hong Kong government and pro-Beijing forces like the DAB will have to publicly embrace Beijing’s rancid official story – perhaps in time for September’s Legislative Council elections.
Amazingly, the SCMP leaves the Lee Po story off the front page. It’s on page 3, occupying a similar amount of space as the page 6 report on the viral ‘Marry someone like Xi’ song.
For a touch of the fifth dimension, consider the cosmic weirdness of counterproductive propaganda (the Lee Bo confession) being presented in a report that is itself counterproductive propaganda (SCMP’s absurdly incurious and superficial account of the supposed confession).
For light relief, here’s some sub-Global Times artwork from page 11…
We conclude this gloomy journey into Hong Kong’s Beijing-ized English-language media with a quick glance at the My Take column, in which Alex Lo denounces Alvin Yeung’s Civic Party for its extremism, notably filibustering. The SCMP is parroting the official line that democratically elected lawmakers who obstruct bad government decisions the only way they can are wasting taxpayers’ money and holding Hong Kong back.
But wait! We end, as promised, with ‘positive energy’ and hope. Over in the Business section, Jake van der Kamp contradicts the My Take column by stating that legislators Definitely Should filibuster the High-Speed Rail monstrosity to death. He suggests using the tunnels for mushroom farming. (I think columbariums would fit, too – and we could re-house Sha Tau Kok residents down there when their border area gets redeveloped).
They have removed the hoarding in front of the SCMPravda Dungeon of Shame in Causeway Bay. Odd rays of sunlight now break through the darkened glass. The staff blink like moles.
I still haven’t clicked on an article since who knows when. You don’t read it. You deconstruct. Sad really.
The CCP has become Peter Cook’s E L Whisty on a park bench, reciting interesting facts.
I have a fairly high threshold of gag-inducing media stores but I literally could not get through Tom Plate’s article. And this joker’s a professor and “distinguished scholar”? Of what? The best this crack-pot would ever be is head of the Delusional Studies Department at the University of Sucking up (unaccredited).
With a little creativity one could combine the columbariums with mushroom farming, underpinning Hong Kong’s ambition to become a creative industries-hub.
@”A dark, swampy hellhole of tin shacks full of inbreds”
You more aptly describing the round-eye infested streets between Soho and Hollywood Road.
Nasty little whiff of racism creeping into your otherwise hilarious contributions, QJ?
Keep it clean, babe, or I might go off you. After all, I’m your biggest, and probably your only, fan.
Ah but that’s where you’re wrong, QJ…the round eyes where you mentioned don’t inbreed…they tend to mix up with the local girls that are well educated, cosmopolitan, and quite well put together. Because they quite frankly can’t stand toady (both in politics and appearances) chaps like you.
Do i smell a Boxer Rebellion 2.0 brewing? are you of genuine, authentic intent to throw out the unwelcome, barbaric foreign ghost forces and re-establish the global supremacy of Han Civilisation, with all other races and nations in their rightful place of subservience, kowtowing the best they can while their knees and leggsies tremble with fear at the Divine Might and Terror and Eternal Glory of the Eternally Glorious Middle Kingdom under the Eternally Glorious Chairman’s guidance, who dances and frolics (with the underage girls He was partial to) beyond the grave, occasionally revisiting this plane of reality to whisper 4 character idioms of His Eternal Wisdom into your and Daddy Xi’s ear? Have you fulfilled one of your divine purposes as a Han, and wept with gratitude and joy at the feet of the Eternal Chairman’s mummified corpse of slightly funky odours in Tiananmen, your heart beating with filial obeisance to the Han State, deeply trusting in your Divinely sanctioned mission, to make the sick, bedevilled Dragon of the East great again? Loins-a-lustful with the knowledge that, despite any manly impediments you may suffer, your newfound national riches and obvious cultural superiority will lead to you getting all the poonani that shunned you in your youth, and likely continues to shun you today?
Ummm… might i suggest an alternative path of greater ease, co-creating authentic harmony for our planet and its peoples? perhaps some daily sit-ups? (credit to Mr. Bill Hicks the Master, RIP)
p.s. @Mr. Knownot… I do believe QJ is due his own ode at some point… or perhaps an early eulogy, that we may know the mark of his greatness, while he still yet walks among us earthbound, filthy, barbaric apes and animals…
A house in our village, view-able from our roof, was sold to a mainland cadre with connections to Hainan Island land deals, a sure sign of triad background. It became a CCP “AirBnb” last week and over the weekend. It was packed to the rim with mainlanders, all here on a shopping & medical tour. They were having fun with local village
crookKuk chief using the Shanwei accent of Chiu Chao dialect to instruct them on how to vote with their “temporary” id cards. Fairly sophisticated for the Kuk, he was running them through the process with ballot copies and a bare bones simulated voting station manned by a few village yahoos. Some of the mainlanders kept haranguing the man about when they would be taken to the ER of the local hospital. A good time was had by all apparently, and this morning a bus picked them all up. The sounds of majong, spitting, arguments and ear splitting opera have gone with them. Seems too quiet now, like a calm before a… load of shit hits.
No, I’m a fan as well. Sort off… I mean all we noble contributors to this blog tend to be of a like mind when it comes to the CCP, CY, DAB, HK bureaucrats, the Kuk, and tycoons. I.e. they are variously crooked, sycophantic, devious, greedy, obtuse, criminal and self-serving. And we all agree the SCMP is mostly scoop-a-poop material (Except for Tom Plate, my dog would take it as an insult if I put that dunderhead’s ravings under his arse) . But QJ does have his moments and adds something to what would otherwise be a Hemmers Love In. Although being racist is not the best way to get people to read you seriously, QJ.
Don’t forget that Tseung Kwan O is a district heaving with students, particularly HKUST as it’s so nearby. Which is why it’s not surprising that it was a major base of support for HK Indigenous, as well as one of the party’s major campaign spots.
QJ I have downgraded you from ‘wumao’ to plain old nasty boring ‘troll’. Very disappointed.
I second that: re: QJ: stop feeding the troll. Judging from his grammar and word choice he is as Chinese as my left foot. And he is having a big laf.
QJ you gave yourself away as a white dude by using the term “round eye”. No Chinese would ever say this, not even an ABC.
Eventually the CCP will of course have to kill all those book publishers, or risk having the real story leak out. I wonder how long they’ll wait?
You’d be surprised how much Sha Tau Kok has changed over the past few years. It seems to be mostly skyscrapers nowadays, at least on the mainland side – it’s hard to check without the necessary permit. I agree the election results appear rather suspect – I guess it being a restricted area makes it hard for candidates to go canvassing there and for the public to scrutinise the election procedure as they are able to do in other areas.
Anyone noticed the piece by feng shui ‘master’ Kerby Kuek in The Standard on China’s inalienable sovereignty over The Spratlys because they form the missing feet of the rooster that is the map of China? So that explains it… (So they’re no longer claiming Taiwan as one of the feet?)
my friend from the mainland said the abducted publishers should be allowed to publish, but ‘just with extra taxes’… I was like what aspect of freedom of the press do you not understand here…
Its already 11 am Hemmers and no update. Is that swinging and uplifting “Toward the Unknown Region” by Vaughan Williams to commemorate your own passing ?
Re your Youtube link – I spent my whole childhood in Hertfordshire and never knew it had a chorus.