SCMP on the Lam

The South China Morning Post goes into a painfully contrived and disproportionate democrat-bashing frenzy today – devoting the front-page lead, laborious backgrounders, in-depth blah, a tedious editorial and pliable hack-columnists #1 and #2 to the Howard Lam saga.

At best, this is a sad tale of an obscure member of a faded political party who is undergoing a mental-health crisis. At worst, it is an illustration of the climate in Hong Kong today, where reasonable people cannot rule out the possibility that Communist Party thugs would abduct and punch staples in an opposition figure, and do not feel they can trust the police to be politically impartial. (On cue, the HK Police almost instantly arrested Lam on suspicion of misleading them.)

The SCMP’s overdone orchestrated freak-out over the story could just be cack-handed misjudgment of an opportunity to attack and smear enemies of the state. It could be a muddled smear against the cause (espoused by Lam) of the disappeared Liu Xia. More likely, editors eager to please the government calculated that a mass-mouth-froth on the issue would help discredit opposition to the location of Mainland law-enforcement at the West Kowloon rail terminus.

But also, by ramping up the Lam story, the paper conveniently distracts readers from the re-sentencing – and jailing – of activists from the storming of the Legislative Council back in 2014. (The coverage goes into the City section.)

A similar case comes along tomorrow, involving international name Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow. The government’s use of appeals to get harsher sentences for opposition activists can be seen as part of a bigger trend in which Hong Kong people, denied representative government, are heavily punished for protesting against bad governance.

What the Communist Party wants (Hong Kong officials are simply pawns here) is a population that plays no part in politics and is intimidated or cajoled into silence and acquiescence. Creating what will look uncomfortably like ‘political prisoners’ will be part of that process.

The SCMP, with its avowed mission to explain China positively to the overseas audience, will perhaps be pushing much more Howard Lam in the next few days – or maybe it will be panda bears.

 

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11 Responses to SCMP on the Lam

  1. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    The kidnap and stapling tale smacks of being too conveniently good to be true.

    Which is not to say it’s unnecessarily untrue, but I would have thought the anti Beijing camp would approach it with more caution.

    The risk they run is the story turns out to be a lie, or even just never confirmed and left in sufficient doubt, such that future claims of Beijing heavy handed actions in HKSAR are treated skeptically.

    If I was a really nasty totalitarian, I would actually do to the guy what he claims happened, but ensure there was sufficient doubt that public opinion remained highly skeptical. Something like, say, a history of gambling debts to the Triads, an estranged ex wife bought off by Beijing who alleges a history of fabulism or just a leaked medical record of depression or other mental problems would do.

  2. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    * collection: necessarily untrue

  3. Hemlock criticizing the SCMP.

    THE PREDICTABLE IN FULL PURSUIT OF THE UNREADABLE.

    What went wrong? You used to be half-way interesting.

    Pip, pip!

  4. Stephen says:

    If they jail the boy Joshua the world’s press will cover it – negatively. The Pro China Morning Post can carry on with their overblown sad tale about Howard Lam whilst Carrie can blather on about education. The Head of the Hong Kong Government and a once great newspaper are becoming an irrelevance in today’s Hong Kong.

  5. Not Shirley Yam says:

    And Shirley Yam has been abducted too !

  6. Headache says:

    In the latest of an apparently endless stream of pointless ejaculations, did the boy from NTSCMP just complain that criticising the SCMP is boring?

    Hemmers, please, just ban him. It might make the fatuous twat feel important but more importantly it’ll spare the rest of us.

  7. LRE says:

    So how come the LegCo activists aren’t shouting about double jeopardy? Was that completely removed in 2012?

  8. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Stephen: “are BECOMING”?

    I’d say they became and surpassed in irrelevancy a few years ago.

  9. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Headache: Don’t ban the twat…let him continue digging deeper.

    Somehow I think Hemmers has a grand design on Sir Tawtley Cuntadale and one day the trap will spring.

  10. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    I agree with Chinese Netizen re: letting the man dig.

    The fool transparently apes his betters (eg Private Eye) and does it very poorly. His derivative attempts manage to suck all humour from his source material, demonstrating the Stanley man doesn’t get humour.

    It seems he has an eternal grudge that Hemlock didn’t join him on some endeavour where the Stanley man could ride like a parasite on Hemlock’s coattails.

    The only point I disagree on is that there may be a great trap awaiting. I think this is the trap (as tedious as it is for the rest of us). The Stanley man, by his own volition, soils himself and his reputation further each day.

    It is like a Greek tale of Tartarus. We are the chorus and the tragedy is the fool from Stanley, even if he can hear is, cannot save himself from pursuing his ill fate.

    Keep digging, Georgie!

  11. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    Correction: hear us

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