Carrie Lam, self-censor-in-chief

By definition, Carrie Lam says, self-censorship is not government censorship. What part of ‘self-’ don’t you understand, duh? However, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive undermines her own thin logic.

Carrie must also publicly own and defend the expulsion of Financial Times correspondent Victor Mallet after he chaired a press meeting with national-security threat Andy Chan. While doing so, she must refuse to admit why it happened (‘can’t comment on individual cases’), and her administration has to insist that it has ‘nothing to do with freedom of expression or freedom of the press’.

The reason for the visa denial was of course to intimidate the rest of the media – so it is precisely about freedom of expression and the press, and nothing else.

Everyone knows it was Beijing’s officials – not Hong Kong’s sad pawns – who ordered the visa idiocy. Everyone knows this sort of vindictiveness is a standard CCP tactic, not a Hong Kong one.

So not only must Carrie contradict herself by pretending there is no connection between intimidation and self-censorship, she must maintain that she is personally responsible as this alien nonsense is being foisted on Hong Kong. Is she not the biggest victim of self-censorship under pressure around here?

Then it’s off on the compulsory weekly visit to the Mainland, to listen attentively as Chairman of Everything-for-Life Xi Jinping lists a mildly odd selection of dead/dying/past-it Hong Kong ‘elite’ compatriots who, apparently with the then-young Xi never far away, contributed to China’s historic mega-reform miracle thing. (The Not Very Magnificent Seven – the predictable Henry Fok plus others you wouldn’t necessarily expect, if you cared enough to think about it. It may be more interesting to consider who wasn’t mentioned. Or maybe not.)

Not for the first time, we get that strange nagging feeling about whether we should feel sorry for Carrie (and what sort of duress is involved, and so on). And then, it passes.

(Speaking of censorship…)

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9 Responses to Carrie Lam, self-censor-in-chief

  1. Des Espoir says:

    You mean, he MISSED OUT Ron Arculli…? Why that must be a first…..

  2. Stanley Lieber says:

    “Everyone knows it was Beijing’s officials – not Hong Kong’s sad pawns – who ordered the visa idiocy.”

    At first I read it as, “Hong Kong’s sad prawns”.

    Somehow I like that better.

  3. Bufton Tufton says:

    In England Carrie would be assistant to the Town Clerk responsible for parking meters.

    Never forget that in Hong Kong, if they could d the job, they wouldn’t be there. So stop looking for telephonists who can speak English (if they could do that they wouldn’t be telephonists) and leaders who know how to lead. Or in the case of Jian Ma, writers who know how to write. And so on.

    Present authorship excepted, Hong Kong is a first-rate place for third-rate people. Personally, I’m just slumming it.

    Nuf said.

  4. HillnotPeak says:

    It looks like that fat dude from Macau has the time of his life….

  5. dimuendo says:

    So beyond doubt CY will not have his collar felt as to HKD50m payment, or anything else.

  6. Chris Maden says:

    It’s interesting how they always sit so far apart in these CCP gabfests. I wonder if it’s body odour, or because they don’t actually say anything to each other anyway.

  7. @Chris Maden – in Deng Xiaoping’s day, that was to allow space for spittoons and ashtrays between the chairs. But as you say, they don’t talk – the Leader for Life speaks, the others are only required to look as though they are listening attentively.

  8. MeKnowNothing says:

    I would hope, after having been refused entry, that Mr Mallet NOT pay his outstanding salaries tax. It’s the least we deserve…

  9. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Chris Maden: Yes.

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