The Hong Kong government is now officially super-ultra-hyper sensitive about the phrase ‘political prisoner’.
It has been caught with its pants down. But it cannot admit the truth that the Beijing bogey-man hiding behind the curtain pulled the pants down to start with – and absurdly it stands there, trousers visibly on floor around ankles, flatly denying the pants even are down.
It won’t acknowledge that the selective and targeted actions against protestors and lawmakers arise from the purely political Umbrella movement for better governance and promised reforms. It can’t concede that anything might have happened that tarnishes its much-vaunted ‘rule of law’ and its claim to be Asia’s legal hub.
It grasps in desperation for a way out, and the best it can manage so far is to link accusations of political persecution with the integrity of the courts. The logic goes like this: if we have political prisoners, it follows that our courts no longer protect our rights; therefore, if you establish that we have political prisoners, you (yes you, you heartless bastard) have destroyed our courts’ ability to protect our rights.
In short, if you see something happen – you caused it. Shut up, don’t see, and everything’s fine!
Obedient press-handlers tasked with government ‘communications strategy’ show this to top officials who are frantic for a superficially plausible position. Imbued with an old colonial civil service assumption that the public have a mental age of 4, the bureaucrat-politicians deem it convincing – after all, judicial independence is Hong Kong’s apple pie. Thus the crappiest-ever line-to-take filters down to hapless columnists who must need money awfully badly…
Having found how easy ‘rule by law’ oppression is in Hong Kong, the Communist Party will be back for more (and that’s on top of rounding up scoundrels posting mutilated renditions of March of the Volunteers on YouTube). Hand-wringing Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s soul will shrivel and die before us as she pleads that all is normal and well.
The irony is that if Beijing had left CY Leung in charge he would have come up with a far more credible angle. He would state calmly but firmly to the assembled reporters that teenagers wanting democracy are a threat to national security, it is his duty to crush them like vermin, and what the hell are you going to do about it?
Carrie’s only (thin) hope is to divert everyone’s attention with some shock-and-awe, radical and reformist good governance on livelihood issues like housing. Behold – a 30-member Land Supply Prevarication Talking Shop to do 18 months’ worth of hand-flapping about how there’s no consensus.
Meanwhile, please be considerate and bear in mind that every time you mention ‘political prisoners’ you cause untold agonized squirming among our poor wretched sham-leaders.
And MickChug the self loathing South Asian, American Citizen, Hong Kong Permanent Resident is relevant how???
When your best writers are either forced out or quit willingly and all you have left are government ass lickers – who need to keep their HK residency status in good stead – and normally would be treated like shit upon asylum seekers (Chugani and Lhatoo) by the Mandarins of the SAR, then you know your product is bird cage liner. Both literally and cyberly*.
I attended the Hong Kong-North Korea Asian Cup game at HK Stadium in June. There were just over 8,000 people present, roughly half of whom booed the National Anthem when it was played before the game.
Does the Government plan on arresting 4,000 people if this is repeated after the new legislation comes in?
Such legislation strikes me as incompatible with freedom of expression under Article 27 of the Basic Law, but no doubt that will be brushed aside when someone is prosecuted as the rule of law is eroded yet further.
Anything you might have to say – all those neo-con York Harding sub-cliches – is nullified by the SCMP extracts.
It’s a dogpile. Stop reading it. And stop writing all those dumb cliches. See if you can come up with an original phrase sometimes. You could do it once.
Had to smile at your concluding sentence–puts me in mind of the Blackadder bit where he takes delight in discomfiting the obnoxious actors tutoring the prince regent by repeatedly mentioning the name of the Scottish play. Almost as if you were daring readers to do likewise (lightbulb!)…
Government committees are made up of paid civil servants and unpaid others who are put on the Central Personality Index of possible medal recipients. The actual results of committee work are pre-determined, by civil servants. Unpaid input is disregarded unless it coincides with the pre-determination. If so, a clause on consensus is added. If not, the word “majority” is deployed. To achieve this requires a capitalisation of 3/4 of a trillion Hong Kong dollars to answer civil service pensions.
The CCP will regret jailing Joshua Wong. Bigly.
Hong Kong’s self-anointed Great and Good have long subscribed to the magical fairy dust theory of government. It all works as long as people close their eyes and believe.
– We will have prosperity and progress as long as those obstructionists in Legco don’t complain about bad governance
– Our rights are secure as long as people don’t exercise them
– Beijing will leave us alone as long as we are docile and quiet like Macau
– Rule of law is sound as long as you do not question it
Survivors of controlling and abusive families will recognize this tactic as “I Will Love You As Long As You Do What I Want”, otherwise known as “Look What You Made Me Do”.
For none chiese readers the official englsih language translation of the court of Appeal judgement in the review of sentence application as to the famous three is on the judiciary website for yesterday (Tues)
Over whelmingly clear Wally Yeung is politically motivated. Couled not face wading through Jeremy Poon’s judgement, which is the main one as to reasons for allowing application for review and imposing prison, Yeung and Pang agreeing.
Wally was a wally 20 years ago and has remained consistent.
As to the “national” anthem, what happens if you do not treat it seriously enough ie what is “serious”. Am I to be shot a la N Korea for not applauding enthusiatically “enough”? Or am I exempt as not being ethnically chinese , let alone Chinese?
@Revolution – “Does the Government plan on arresting 4,000 people”? I wouldn’t put it past them to be that stupid – especially with the Liaison Office at their heels. That should clog up the courts for several years if they all plead not guilty.
I’ve said before that everyone who at any stage joined the Occupy sit-ins – probably at least 200,000 people – should line up and demand to be arrested for unlawful assembly. Building several dozen new prisons to house them all should keep the construction industry gainfully employed after the useless bridge and unnecessary third runway are completed. Of course we first need to set up a committee to find the land to put them on…
Chugani used to be for the little guy. I wonder what made him change.