The case for blaming Carrie, if you want

I’m hearing more insistence (not just from the Chinese ambassador in the UK) that Carrie Lam herself alone instigated the extradition idea. The word, genuinely believed in officialdom, is that she was overcome with emotion upon reading pleas from the family of the girl murdered in Taiwan, and insisted on acting. As a Hong Kong civil service Infallible Supreme Intellect, she had no need to hold a public consultation or to listen to any advice. It’s quite a touching story, by the standards of Hong Kong bureaucrat-zombie-puppets.

If it is true, it would suggest that the extradition proposal is not part of Beijing’s retaliation for the arrest of Princess Meng of Huawei or the broader fight against evil foreign forces – Carrie’s unfortunate timing just makes it look like that way. That said, Beijing’s officials must have approved any measure affecting cross-border and Taiwan relations. (And then, it could have been the locally based murky intermediaries in the Liaison Office who inadvertently or otherwise gave Carrie a green light. Complicated!)

We are left none the wiser. Internationally, the Hong Kong extradition issue comes at an atrocious time for China – that’s obvious. But good luck working out whether the cluelessness originates in Upper Albert Road, Sai Wan, or Zhongnanhai. (Ultimately, the buck stops with the Emperor-for-Life. For a readable – disregard the formatting – view of Xi’s capacity for miscalculation, see here.)

It’s basically just nuance at this stage. So is Carrie Lam’s personal fate. Her forthcoming defenestration will be of entertainment value, but otherwise irrelevant. (Of even greater morbid fascination will be the Grand Patriotic-Nematode Barrel-Scrape Search for her successor.)

Hong Kong is in an impossible position where it is under a Leninist regime but at the same time supposed to be pluralistic and open. Its authorities must prove to Beijing that they will use violence to crush and intimidate opposition, yet simultaneously show the world a stable, modern, hip-and-trendy international financial hub. Hong Kong is incompatible with the PRC. No wonder even the establishment is in a panic – behold former senior official Joseph Wong in disbelief.

There may still be some moderate hand-wringers out there who ask whether better governance – as in giving a damn about the population and their livelihoods – might still offer a way out. Seems a bit late in the day. Here’s a vivid description of the role our cartelizing and shoe-shining business and bureaucratic ‘elites’ have played in running Hong Kong into the ground.

I declare the weekend open with – for those who are into it – some ghost-city porn.

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13 Responses to The case for blaming Carrie, if you want

  1. Docta Derisio says:

    The demos were only maximum 0.1% of China’s population on the streets.

    No one up North cares much what you write and what people here say or do.

    Wake up and smell the hair dye!

  2. I have it from someone with good contacts that Beijing’s primary interest in pushing the extradition bill is to get back some of those who have spirited themselves out of the mainland with large sums of probably ill-earned money – and of course their assets. But of course, it wouldn’t stop there.

  3. Stephen says:

    Khun Bernard has started the climbdown.

  4. Cassowary says:

    Michael Tien has gone squelchy too. The Tien brothers are the best nematodes a person could ask for.

  5. steve says:

    Would the Party decide to reappoint 689 as CE, on the basis that they need someone who will put some stick about without breaking down in tears? A real man! And he might jump at the chance, in order to sort unfinished business (e.g., Article 23) and settle scores, which he’ll be free to accomplish thanks to the end of the rule of law.

  6. dimuendo says:


    That is a very real concern
    Give me Carrie every time

  7. Chris Maden says:

    I think it was Carrie’s idea. After waiting 20 years for HK to show some initiative in reintegrating itself with the mainland, someone at the liaison office said “Yippee guys! At last, they’ve finally come up with something worthwhile.” And of course, when both Hong Kong’s and China’s leadership are so completely out of touch with … well, just about everything … they couldn’t imagine how it would end.

  8. Din Gao says:

    Just out:

    Source: government will “suspend” extradition bill

  9. Goat boy says:

    I haven’t seen a Roky Erikson tribute pic or anything. I know there are weightier matters afoot, but still..,,

  10. Mary Melville says:

    The about turn on extradition was probably triggered more by news that the tycoons are pulling their cash out of HK than any concern for the views of the general public.
    While the legislation was not welcome, it is galling that we victims of the parasitical, rent seeking, corruption and cronyism that has turned us into a nation of tycoon slaves, did all the heavy lifting that allows these sycophants to continue to enjoy the spoils.
    Catch 22 indeed.

  11. old git says:

    There’s a nasty little clause in THAT BILL which no one’s taking about

    It’s Section 2(1) of the Mutual Legal Assistance Ordinance which is extended to the ORC

    It means that any PRC judge carrying on an investigation can ask a HK Court to freeze HK assets or assets controlled from HK

    This is infamously known as attainder – banner in USA and elsewhere – where there is no defence to a judicial action or decision

  12. Gooddog says:

    Everyone who touches the CCP turns to sh*t. They have the reverse midas touch. Who will be the next victim? Unluckily for us there is always there is always some ludicrously nasty Tracy Flick waiting to do Beijing’s bidding (Vagina Rip anyone?). Hong Kong is stuck in a recurring loop of terrible governance – this city could have been so good.

  13. Paul Serfaty says:

    Actually, old git, Prof. Simon Young at HKU has focused on just that point.
    It also applies to offences that carry more than 2 years (not 7 years, as for extradition) in jail.
    The HK Bar Assoc has also extended its comments on that aspect.
    It is, as you say even more intrusive than being able to send off murderers to be executed.

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