Hong Kong’s other anniversary

If the touchy-feely PR spin-doctor geniuses at the Hong Kong United Front propaganda department know what’s best, they’ll nip this in the bud – veteran leftists demand exoneration for 1967 bomb-makers.

When we are just about to joyously celebrate the 20th anniversary of the handover from the UK to China, the last thing the Hong Kong government needs is the 50th anniversary of the 1967 riots to butt in. To refresh memories: pro-Beijing forces attempted to overthrow the colonial regime through violence, including the killing of innocent people, and the masses refused to join in (or ‘remained loyal to the British’ in the romanticized version). We don’t want to go there right now.

In the New York Times, Ching Cheong discusses the events, starting with the labour dispute that triggered the conflict…

Participants at yesterday’s gathering tried to distinguish between their ‘just’ cause – a struggle against labour exploitation and harsh social conditions – and contemporary Hong Kong’s anti-government protests. The circumstances are so different that any comparison is pointless. But so is it pointless for aging Communist loyalists to argue that it was OK for them to set off bombs, but not OK for the Umbrella Movement to set up barricades. Certainly, the Hong Kong establishment does not want a public debate on that right now.

However, there are bigger reasons to sweep 1967 under the carpet. Hong Kong workers in the mid-60s had legitimate, compelling reasons to fight for better conditions. But activists with Mainland connections were sucked into Mao’s Cultural Revolution insanity. In essence, they started setting off lethal bombs in Hong Kong for fear that Red Guard fanatics across the border would denounce them – maybe kill them – for not doing so.

For decades after, they were outcasts in Hong Kong and felt themselves to be victims. A consolatory post-handover medal to one of their leading figures met with public disgust. So is mid-2017 the right time to start trying to rehabilitate these old guys, and dig up Mao’s bloodthirsty lunacy and other Communist Party dirty laundry in the process? Probably not.

But wait! There’s more!

Ching Cheong goes on…

Do any of these things sound familiar? Government policies exacerbating gap between rich and poor? Check. Greater pressure on poor due to influx of Mainlanders? Check. Ideological clampdown by power-hungry dictator in Beijing? Check.

A Communist historical revisionist treatment of the 1967 riots? Not today, thanks.

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10 Responses to Hong Kong’s other anniversary

  1. James says:

    and somewhere in NT Shi Junlong gives a knowing nod and a wink

  2. Laguna Lurker says:

    I abhor the loose employment of the term “leftist” to describe Chinese Communist rioters and bombers during the 1967 disturbances. Let us not forget that the British government of the day, under Labour’s Harold Wilson, was also avowedly “leftist”.

  3. They aren’t leftists. They’re dumb Commies aka neo-feudalists. I bet you also confuse Liberals with Socialists. Tut, tut.

    Like Tories, Communists do not age well. Addled brains, you see. All that denial and self-deception is so hard on the cerebellum.

    Yesterday I was watching a programme about Texans who have forgiven the murderers of their loved ones. All the murderers had been executed but still it is hard to forgive, poor dears. I on the other hand can find it in my heart to forgive Tories like yourself. After all, it is evident that most Tory brains were executed long ago. I bear no grudge.

  4. @LL – I am not sure that “left”and “right” have any universally agreed meaning any more. In HK, “left” has traditionally meant aligned with Beijing, but this can no longer be correlated with the traditional meaning elsewhere of socialist/communist/radical – in fact, the “left” here is in many ways deeply conservative.

  5. @Hemlock – excellent summary of the issue, by the way.

  6. Joe Blow says:

    Those 1967 riot leftists are bad bombres.

  7. pie-chucker says:

    @ Hemlock. Yes, glad you’ve given ‘event’ daylight – and pungent take on it in current circs.

  8. LRE says:

    Well of course bombs and rioting are traditional, whereas the protesters nowadays use all sorts of dangerous things to attack the authorities like umbrellas, sandwiches, water and breasts…
    No — I can’t quite wrap my head around the doublethink required by these crazy old farts to justify their actions in the past and still be condemning the umbrella movement in the present (the umbrella movement’s weapons sound more like the makings of an excellent picnic, for a start).

    The link to the funeral of refurbished veteran terrorist, Yeung Kwong, had an interesting quote — when asked in 2001 whether he regretted the bombing & killing: “It is not a matter of who encouraged this kind of action. Oppression will result in popular revolt.”
    I’d have loved to have seen the mental contortions involved in trying to square that quote with taking a position against the 2014 protests. It may well be what finally killed him. One can but hope.

    Also fun to note “acting chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor offered her condolences to Yeung’s family and praised the man for his contributions to the labour movement”.
    Golden Bauhinias and failure to join the dots all round!

  9. Chinese Netizen says:

    Gold Bauhinias are becoming as common as McDonalds collectible toy promotional giveaways…minus the toys’ collectible and monetary value.

  10. WTF says:

    Can you delete the website section from the comment form? This could drive off the fly by (fly spec?) advertising.

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