Carrie’s ‘warm and fuzzy’ – the first 4 weeks

As Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam nears the end of her first month in office, her hoped-for lovey-dovey unity and harmony with everyone isn’t turning out too well.

Carrie’s hands are largely tied on the Oath-Gate purge-in-progress of opposition lawmakers. This could go all sorts of ways in the long run, with legal appeals, bankruptcies and by-elections, not to mention possible moves to disqualify more representatives.

Nearer-term, the culling of pan-dems looks likely to hinder as much as help the government in LegCo. Surviving pan-dems will hardly be receptive to her attempts to ‘reach out’ and build consensus. The legitimacy of the legislature and its elections (and related laws) in the eyes of many voters is weaker than ever. With fewer members present, there could also be more legislative procedural problems to do with quorums and so on.

Meanwhile, the new administration can’t help but rush to make itself unpopular among the rest of the citizenry.

They might appoint overtly pro-Communist ideologue Choi Yuk-lin as Assistant Deputy Sub-Flunky for Education. This is like setting off a very loud citywide alarm screeching ‘Brainwashing Your Kids Alert!!!’ Common sense says it won’t happen. Can Carrie really be so stupid or subservient to the Liaison Office to provoke and alienate every mild and decent parent in town? OK – so maybe it will happen. Pro-dems will rub their hands with glee.

Then there’s the co-location of Mainland border-control officials inside Hong Kong at the terminus of the high-speed train line to Shenzhen. (Should be a joke here: what happens when you cross a white elephant with a hot potato?)

In a normal situation, with halfway trustworthy and accountable government, this would be no big deal. If the rail link is to work as advertised and zip you seamlessly to Shenzhen and Guangzhou and up to Beijing overnight blah blah, it makes sense to do the immigration and customs stuff right at the start. Hence French cops at the London rail station, US officials at Canadian airports, etc.

But of course, this is not a normal situation. In addition to trying to brainwash your kids and overturn elections, the Chinese authorities have abducted people from within Hong Kong, not to mention snuffing out Liu Xiaobo and so much else. It is not a ‘lack of trust’, as officials awkwardly admit – it is a not-unreasonable vision of CCP thugs dragging innocents off to torture chambers and televised confessions. On top of that, Beijing presumably sees this as a partly symbolic thing (a more PR-minded regime would delegate the ID checks to Hong Kong Immigration).

So, near the top of Carrie’s to-do list: ask pro-dems ever so nicely to forget being kicked in the teeth for a minute and support ‘co-location’ when the necessary legislation comes along, and not freak out and spread panic everywhere, pretty-please. Just another 59 months of this ‘warm-and-fuzzy’ to go.


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8 Responses to Carrie’s ‘warm and fuzzy’ – the first 4 weeks

  1. Magnus Pym says:

    Your talk of Communist brainwashing is interesting. But Capitalist brainwashing is much more subtle and effective.

    Some years ago, during the Cold War, a delegation of Russian journalists visited Washington for a week. At the end of their stay they unexpectedly expressed admiration for Western media.

    ” It’s so impressive. All your newspapers report the same stories and say almost exactly the same. How do you achieve this without gulags and secret police? It’s quite amazing.”

    You, ten thousand similar neo-con blogs, the Economist and the Washington Times.

    Manufacturing Consent.

    Give us a break please.

  2. Property Developer says:

    Thanks for the Hamlett link, a writer whose methodical, subtly mocking-through-apparent-pedantry style is guaranteed to wind up the enemies of truth (your cue, George).

    When I was young, trains to Switzerland had passport control in situ on the trains, ever-so-polite officials passing from compartment to compartment. Don’t suppose it could work here, though.

    There will only be one by-election, goes the word on the… path (no streets out in the jungle). Just coincidence of course that this will work against the pan-dems.

  3. Stephen says:

    I rarely go to China so the train, like the bridge, is of little interest to me. However just the wipe that smug look off Carrie’s face I would like to see her get her first (of many) real good kicking over locating mainland immigration facilities at the shiny new train station. What’s not to like about having mainland police enforcing mainland law in a part of West Kowloon ?
    Noted a few of the legal types, Ronny ‘bouffant’ Tong forewarning that this arrangement is incompatible with the Basic Law and wonder if Ron has been paying attention ? If the Court of (not so) Final Appeal find it’s incompatible with the Basic Law then fear not, Ron, the NPC will interpret it for them.

  4. pd says:

    Those old enough to remember Kowloon Walled City, aka the Yamen that Will Always Belong to the Fatherland, will also recall that the Queen’s writ was virtually powerless inside, House of Lords notwithstanding.

    So I don’t suppose the court of semi-final appeal will touch the hallowed platforms with a barge pole. But just as the Red Guards used to kill people within Sha Tau Kok, I suppose we’ll still be free to pass wind from upwind or judiciously aim phlegm.

  5. pie-chucker says:

    Has Carrie said anything to the people of Hong Kong since her inauguration?

  6. Joe Blow says:

    The compatriots at the co-location.

  7. Joe Blow says:

    @pd: I used to visit the Kowloon Walled City on a regular basis in the 80s. The (Royal) HK Police patrolled the place like anywhere else. One thing I’ll never forget where the Chinese dentists displaying false teeth in their front windows. Like ‘get your teeth here’ and then go upstairs to slurp your noodles.

  8. ChoppedOnions says:

    That bloke from nscmp is getting really boring. His blog thingy is shiite too.

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