During several days while I was waist-deep in the pre-removal sorting of household junk, the rectification of Hong Kong continued in all its classic Leninist subtlety. Three stories summarize the gloomy outlook.
The government appears to be seriously planning to purge as many radical oath-distorting Legislative Council members as it can. Officials are being suspiciously blatant, even leaking details of the number of lawyers involved. So this could be their idea of managing expectations – a show to frighten the remaining pan-dem monkeys after the killing of two or three localist chickens, or simply to impress the overseers from Beijing.
If the government really does sweep eight or a dozen lawmakers out of office, it is steering Hong Kong towards potentially deep trouble. Many assume that the government aims to use an even-less-representative legislature to rubber-stamp Article 23 national security laws into being. But this is missing the point – Beijing already can and will kidnap and abduct people off Hong Kong’s streets to protect ‘national security’. The big picture is a significant decline in the already weak roles of the legislature and the election system (and possibly the courts). And of course that diminishes the government’s already laughable legitimacy. Hong Kong’s style and method of rule could end up more ‘colonial’ in terms of intolerant, top-down control than at any time since the late 1960s.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Communist Party’s most cunning, scheming, profound micro-managing United Front brains have contrived an ingenious method to consolidate the Hong Kong government’s power base at this difficult time – give traditional moderate pan-democrats the right to cross the border and visit what is supposed to be their own country anyway. Delighted and flattered, the mainstream pan-dems and public opinion will obediently line up to kowtow to Beijing and reject the evil separatists. By way of icing on the cake, the aging idealists will enjoy many trips to the Mainland, where they will learn the truth about the wonders and benefits of the Communist one-party system. Yup.
Lastly, the latest gossip insists that Beijing has told Financial Secretary John Tsang to forget about being Chief Executive. If Tsang showed signs of original policy vision, we might lament this as a lost chance for Hong Kong to reform its distorted and crony-ridden economic structure. As it is, we can only mourn for the fact that the affable bureaucrat would not have embraced ever-more oppression to crush Hong Kong’s pluralistic spirit. That, in a second term for CY Leung, is the default scenario – as is greater discord and resistance.
The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity.
We are spiralling towards dark times.
John Tsang would be bumblingly incompetent but maybe reasonably popular – for watching football, drinking coffee etc. Can’t have that!
10 lawyers at the DoJ working on that? I was told they only had a team of 4 working on all the Occupy Central prosecutions.
I assume that means they will no longer be whining about lack of resources there. Shame they can’t spare anyone to deal with the illegal occupation of Government land by the Heung Yee Kuk, isn’t it?
Why would the “affable bureaucrat” want the role ? His default strategy is to do nothing which is not going to work when you have Beijing aggressively pulling one way and 60% of the population pulling the other way. No more (pretend) inclusive Legislature, common law legal system, impartial Civil Service. Hong Kong has regressed to such an extent over the last 4.5 years and god only knows what another 5 years of CCP cheer leader CY Leung as Chief Executive will bring ? What is clear to me is that the CCP no longer gives a f*ck how this looks to the outside world (including Taiwan) and the outside world doesn’t care much anyway. Time to sort out my old books … ?
Agreed that all this repression is tragic for Hong Kong and that the default position for CE, one that saves Peking the bother of checking on other candidates, is CY.
It would be helpful if you could expand on the “potentially deep trouble” Hong Kong seems to be heading into: what forms might the “greater … resistance” take? Is there any way of halting the CP juggernaut? Are there any historical examples that might give us a smidgen of hope?
If there is a second term for D7689 there will be blood in the street.
I spluttered with indignation when that lying creep Slimesky Yuen had the audacity to suggest that the moves against localist lawmakers were made purely on legal grounds and no political considerations were taken into account. Blatant dishonesty.
For the weekend.
From Monday’s post:
The South China Morning Post devotes both its main and business sections’ front pages to a hitherto unheard-of but Extremely Important and Probably Intelligent and Influential tycoon from the Mainland called Chen Hongtian. (Shenzhen-based. We could add ‘property and finance’, but you guessed that.)
Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
A member of the new elite
Look at how I’m dressed.
I was young when Deng Xiaoping
Said, Economic Zone.
Shenzhen was a village then
Look at how we’ve grown.
Pleased to meet you
Hope you caught my name
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game.
I was there when the ministry
Said, Take those paddy fields.
I befriended many a farmer then
One by one they yield.
I was there when Xi Jinping
Turned against corruption
But my business carried on
Pleased to meet you.
My pleasure, you reply.
But what’s puzzling you is:
Who the hell am I?
Ex-ministers and minor princelings
Fill my boardroom chairs
I take an interest in their sons’
I sit here in my Hong Kong house
High up on the Peak
With the wisdom of my wealth
Loyally I speak.
Pleased to meet you, I say
To everyone in reach
But what’s puzzling you
Is how I got so rich.
[with acknowledgement to ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ recorded by the Rolling Stones]
What did I tell you two weeks ago? Purges are coming. This is happening, people.