Talking endlessly about not talking

How can we curb all this dangerous and seditious talk about Hong Kong independence? Why, of course – we must go on and on and on and on (and on and on) about it.

This is not as illogical as it seems. Young radicals’ scurrilous calls for a separate city-state have scared insecure paranoiacs in Beijing into declaring splittist opinions illegal and demanding that the traitors concerned be resolutely and vigorously crushed. Lacking the powers to do Mainland-style crushing but desperate to display obedience, Hong Kong’s establishment indulges in choreographed mouth-frothing about how terribly awful, bad, shocking and disgusting all this independence talk is – at great length. This show of righteous outrage and wrath is mainly aimed at the grey, grizzly, grumpy old malevolences in Beijing, rather than at the Hong Kong people.

This is clear because, in so doing, Hong Kong’s leaders are making the idea of independence sound cooler by the day. Chief Executive CY Leung refers to Golden Bauhinia Square as a unification gift from the motherland and a must-see destination for Mainland tourists, who support national unity and (dabbing tears from his eyes) might not want to visit any more. This plays to the official post-1997 story that Hong Kong survives only because of ‘support’ from Beijing. CY assures his audience that he shares their fantasy that Mainland tourists are a favour and we fear a drop in their numbers.


Local residents, who detest the inundation of visitors, can’t believe their luck: demand GoldBauhindependence – get rid of the tourists. Who’d have thought it could be that easy? (Maybe they can take the ugly Gold Bauhinia eyesore with them.)

CY’s localist detractors and other tormentors take a break from skewering him over Airport Bag-Gate and mock his sudden insistence that pro-independence chatter will harm the economy. In essence they jeer: “One minute you say you will arrest us, and now you realize you can’t so you’re trying to con everyone into thinking we will cost people their jobs – how pathetic.” It is almost painful to watch. If I were Beijing, I would cut Hong Kong loose just to rid the country of such heartless and cruel youths.

The South China Morning Post’s contribution to the campaign is a lengthy editorial on Not Talking About The Thing We Must Not Talk About. I failed to share the writer’s sense of cosmic wonder contemplating why the law allows us to have ideas that are neither feasible nor constitutional, and suffered a sudden attack of Attention-Deficit Disorder around sentence 3. But as with CY’s remarks, we are not the intended audience.


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12 Responses to Talking endlessly about not talking

  1. mjrelje says:

    “Maybe they can take the ugly Gold Bauhinia eyesore with them” hahaha! Perfect. Made my morning 🙂

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    My favorite go-to CCP reaction at anything that deviates from what they’re trying to shove down the People’s throats: “Hurt the feelings of the Chinese (Hong Kong?) people…”

  3. WTF says:

    It’s all a considerable favor. The more distractions the better, seems to be the motto of a every modern government that lacks an absolute monopoly on domestic power. If there are enough bits of flosdam and filth floating in the soup, no single one will provide the unit of cause to create an action. Everyone just gets dizzy whirling this way and that like a school outing to a candy shop.

    Lufsig should can/stop funding the ICAC advertisement/public service(?) announcements. Every time I hear it, I want to call the hotline to ask how are things getting on with prosecuting Donald The Duck Tsang, has anyone reported all of Exco yet, is Superman Li in the docket, and when will Lufsig offer himself up to the courts.

  4. Dr Ruth says:

    There are also lots of taboo subjects in Hong Kong, the Rainy Season and Hepatitis B and psychotherapy…bloggers often avoid them for some reason and stick to boring politics and the economy day in day out. Why is this? I ask merely for information.

  5. Joe Blow says:

    How much TNT would it take to blow up the Gold Kitsch Extravaganza Flower Thing ?

  6. Watch it Joe. That sounds like borderline incitement. Expect the 5 am knock any time. Solicitors come at HK$ 3500 an hour and they want it up front. Jewellery is kept in the safe however and they take anything golden. And Legal Aid is NOT free.

  7. Laguna Lurker says:

    What “gold bauhinia”? It looks nothing like any bauhinia flower I’ve ever seen. I think the mainland sculptor was confused. It’s really a bok choy.

  8. Chopped Onions says:

    “The Golden Bok Choy” Love it, sounds like a particularly dreadful take away, bordering a council estate, in Grimbsy.

  9. Knownot says:

    I went back to England but couldn’t stay long
    Away from the glamour and thrill of Hong Kong.
    I moaned in my pillow and week after week
    I dreamed of the harbour, the trails, and the Peak.
    And when I returned, I did nothing but think,
    Like a junkie of dope, like a boozer of drink,
    Of how I must urgently push through the crowd
    To the place where I felt most devoted and proud,
    And at last like a pilgrim I found myself there
    At home and at peace in Bauhinia Square.
    I gazed at the sculpture, and lo and behold,
    I saw my own heart, newly minted in gold,
    While within, a new heart was now beating with joy,
    Partly bauhinia and partly bok choy.

  10. Headache says:

    Applause! Gold Bokchoy Stars all round.

  11. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    One of the interesting aspects of the localist movement is the increasing irrelevance of the old guard radicals.

    Former institutions of the radical fringe, like Long Hair, have been left bewildered and with an uncomfortable feeling of irrelevance. Not unlike Victoria Park Uncles (but without the blind nationalism to channel their energy into), they have descended into the back-biting and the “kids these days don’t appreciate my wisdom” thinking much favoured by grey haired once-were-radicals.

    Something to bear in mind with the old guard – while they may see some of the pre-2047 incursions (and we’ve already seen those starting), they don’t really have much of a stake in this fight. Unlike kids these days, they will be dead long before 2047 rolls around and even the pre-2047 incursions don’t have as much of an impact on the long term outlook for their lives, security and living standards as it does for yoof.

    How this works against traditional Confucian respect and deference to elders makes the experience all the more acute for the aging radicals.

  12. pcatbar says:

    I actually found the ‘how to curb talk of independence’ editorial quite decent by the low standards we have come to expect from SCMP. The message, (though put over politely with excessive deference to Beijing) is perfectly valid: By all means talk about it for it will come to be seen as a non starter without popular support provided the ‘two systems’ part of HK’s constitutional foundation is properly maintained. The obvious but unspoken sub text being, without the CYL led assault on our rights and values which underpin that separate system there would be no independence movement to speak of!

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