HK leadership battle hots up slightly, sort of


The story so far… Former judge Woo Kwok-hing declares himself a candidate for Chief Executive. Lawmaker and Executive Council poodle Regina Ip admits her all-too obvious lust for the job. Rumours insist that Financial Secretary John Tsang (described by Regina as useless) is on the verge of resigning and starting a campaign. Incumbent CY Leung snaps that members of his administration (Ip, Tsang and anyone else with ideas) should be focusing on their work, and questions whether any alternative CE could possibly match his success in tackling the housing issue and vested interests.

stan-johntsangwineThat last comment is not as nauseating or absurd as it might seem. Imagine Regina Ip or John Tsang as CE: both are bureaucrats who cannot envisage that unaffordable housing and vested interests are actual problems or that fundamental reform might be desirable or necessary. John Tsang has indeed been useless, spending the last decade doing little except getting budget forecasts wrong. Regina spouts nonsense about steering the economy into some 70s-style ‘hi-tech’ vision concept thing.

CY has a clear mission: to destroy freedom, pluralism, independent institutions and civil society in Hong Kong in order to ensure the Chinese Communist Party feels safe and secure. At least you know what he stands for. John Tsang has no hard principles, just a nice-guy attitude and a vaguely nostalgic attachment to martial arts and the comforts of French movies and coffee. Regina is a pure ultra-ambitious shoe-shiner, currently promoting ‘Belt and Road’ in a cynical attempt to ingratiate herself with Beijing, and now desperately backbiting rivals – which does little for her image problem.

As for former Justice Woo – some see him as a spoiler who will splinter the anti-CY bloc. But they forget this is a rigged poll, with Beijing deciding the result. A more charitable view is that the old guy’s ‘candidacy’ is a well-intentioned ploy to influence the debate as the Chief Executive ‘election’ charade begins. He criticizes CY for dividing the community, and he states that proper political reform is the only way out of Hong Kong’s mess. His reported comments on universal suffrage imply that Beijing has made a mistake. It’s nothing remarkable, but you could see him as setting a benchmark by which we can judge other, more ‘serious’ contenders.

These could also include, according to the Standard, Carrie Lam, Tsang Yok-sing, Antony Leung, Norman Chan of the Monetary Authority and – to everyone’s delight – Arthur Li of Hong Kong University Council. Emboldened or pressured by ex-Justice Woo’s example, these hopefuls will each go on the record as saying that CY is a disaster who must go, and Beijing must grant Hong Kong full democracy.

Of course we wake from this dream to find that Xi Jinping has crowned himself ‘Core’ of the Communist Party and indeed the entire universe. Experts debate whether this is symbolic or substantial, a Mao-tinged vanity trip or a major boost to despotic control-freakery. But it does not exactly scream out ‘Must listen to Hong Kong public opinion ahead of their make-believe CE election’.


I declare the weekend open with some suggested light viewing: imagine a nearly-three-hour documentary from the year 2116, featuring Syria’s Assad dynasty, Donald Trump, Henry Kissinger and Patti Smith, looking back to the wackiness of the world a century before – HyperNormalization.

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13 Responses to HK leadership battle hots up slightly, sort of

  1. A sadomasochistic Madame Domina, a pipe-smoking lobotomee, a moon-faced magistrate and a ghoul walk-on from a Bela Lugosi film.

    Sounds like a fairground freak show. Or an Ed Wood movie.

    Pull the string! Pull the string!

  2. Big Al says:

    The CE Election is basically a new reality show being produced by Beijing and directed by the Liaison Office. Tentatively titled “Hong Kong’s Got No Talent”, it features a line-up of sad acts desperate to Serve the Community. That they could do so by just fucking off does not occur to any of them. The contestants have been chosen by the producers because each have obvious personality flaws, if not outright physical impairments (such as John Tsang’s moustache) that will be preyed upon mercilessly week after week by the directors, much to the delight of the baying audience. However, what sets this show apart from the other reality shows is that after each episode, the contestant ejected from the competition is not told that they have been ejected and therefore bravely soldiers on, oblivious to what goes on behind the scenes. In fact, before the first episode is even screened, all but one of the candidates have already been pre-ejected (prematurely ejaculated?) by the producers and the audience just have to figure out who it is before the contestants do! Comedy gold. Can’t wait for Episode One!

  3. Joe Blow says:

    one thing is certain, Vagina will not be in the next exco line up.

  4. Cassowary says:

    If Clinton has her Basket of Deplorables, then Hong Kong has a Bucket of Unmentionables.

    But what are we to make of this? This does not look like a carefully choreographed show contest, it looks like a free-for-all feeding frenzy. Which means Beijing has no idea what it’s doing.

  5. Reader says:

    The spectacle of the emergence of “contenders” for Chief Executive was inevitable but has nevertheless very conveniently buried all talk of CY’s ambitious plan to emasculate Hong Kong’s rule-based principles, with the undermining of our independent judiciary and whatever was left of Legco’s dignity.
    Is it too paranoid to see at least media connivance in this bait-and-switch? (though HKFP are as re-focused as anyone else)

  6. Cassowary says:

    I’m starting to wonder if Judge Woo is taking the piss. First he describes Occupy Central as a hipster holiday camp (“I would’ve done it too if I were young to fit in with my friends”), and now he says the Tiananmen Square massacre was “very inappropriate”, as though Deng Xiaoping had merely picked his nose in public.

    This is satire, right?

  7. WTF says:

    Hopefully they will all start wearing face bikinis, but Vaginas certainly should be covered up for sanitary reasons.

  8. Knownot says:

    Big Al, 1.11 pm – Very good.
    – – – –
    The winner will be given the opportunity to appear as Chief Executive of Hong Kong.

  9. FOARP says:

    Re: Xi becoming ‘core’. Yes, this is big. It basically means the whole idea of China being run by a two-man team has been ditched and Xi is going to be supreme leader in a way that neither Hu nor Jiang were. It also makes it very unlikely that Xi will step down at the end of his 10 year term.

    Basically, all that talk about China not really being a Communist dictatorship just got shown up for the transparent nonsense it always was.

  10. dimuendo says:


    No, not satire.

    Two strong anti statements from Woo.

    First, identifying with Occupy.

    Second, strong criticism (given his background, age, ethnicity and position) of 4th June. 2009.

    Maybe understated by your standards but very real.

  11. steve says:

    Please note that our new progressive hero Judge Woo also says we should enact Article 23. Granted his strategy is to preempt Beijing from impoing something worse, but this isn’t Sophie’s Choice, it’s falling into their trap.

  12. WTF says:

    Mr (UGL gave me 7) Leung quoted former US president Harry S. Truman’s famous saying – “the buck stops here”

    Please do something with this next week, too good to ignore.

  13. dimuendo says:


    not aware. thank you.

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