And so, it seems, we say farewell to the Great 2017 Junius Ho Hoo-hah. Many observers will conclude that the pro-Beijing lawmaker himself comes out of it looking rather like what is vulgarly known as an asshole. But even at the best of times, pro-Beijing lawmakers come across as (say) turkeys, at least.
In a way, Junius Ho showed unusual originality and flair in demanding that supporters of Hong Kong independence be killed. This outburst was not in accordance with instructions from Chinese Communist Party officials. While they would approve of the sentiment, they could not have welcomed such a blatant call to violence at a time when the United Front would prefer to encourage local moderates to split away from ‘extremist’ radical students. Struggle sessions and Red Guard lynch mobs can wait for a later stage of Hong Kong’s Cultural Revolution.
So Junius Ho was actually using his own mind, ugly and shallow though it may be. This is slightly impressive. Usually, the DAB and other pro-Beijing stooges say and do only what they are told.
The saga continued with a fuss over Ho’s academic and professional qualifications. Put kindly, he perhaps absent-mindedly misrepresented rather than blatantly lied about his status as a legal practitioner in England. This led pro-dem veteran Emily Lau to call for the Legislative Council to verify members’ claimed credentials. This in turn reminded everyone of the case of ‘Dr’ Elizabeth Quat of fake-degree fame (ditto ‘Dr’ Philip Wong).
Which brings us back to the pro-Beijing camp’s sorry roster of turkeys. Behold, along with Ho and Quat, lawmakers Priscilla ‘Rat Queen’ Leung, DAB figurehead-boss Starry Lee or deputy sub-assistant moron Holden Chow. These are the best the Communist Party’s local front can manage to attract as their friendly public faces and ‘popularly’ elected members of our rigged legislature. Of course, this is a camp that by definition does not allow its followers to think critically. At best, they are opportunists reciting the party line for some sort of gain. At worst, they are genuinely devoid of the intellect required to make coherent arguments. Either way – embarrassments.
Not all pro-dems are geniuses, but as a whole they are in a different league. Edward Yiu (who like all holders of real doctorates doesn’t style himself ‘Dr’) can run rings around our land and housing officials and would in a democratic system likely be in charge of those portfolios, but instead has been disqualified from the legislature. Eddie Chu is, among other things, an expert on rural affairs and a Persian-speaker. From stodgy old Democratic Party moderates to fringe radicals, they can nearly all put up a decent verbal fight that would put the pro-Beijing dimwits to shame.
(Possible part-explanation: perhaps honest intellectuals have no choice but to question authority. Among the few pro-Beijing types you can imagine reading books are the veteran Tsang brothers, Yok-sing and Tak-sing, whose loyalty to Beijing dates back to anti-colonial activities in the 1960s.)