Another weekend, another – not one, but 2.5 protests: an interesting anti-dama one and the Tsimshatsui Mainlander-leafletting march that morphed into another display of cops out of their depth. At best, it seems the HK Police see mass opposition to a garbage government as an ultra-urgent traffic problem. On their tactics, here’s a good analysis of the Retreat from Fortress Legco.
It’s unrealistic to expect the police to know how to handle all this when the government itself is so clueless. The big initiative is a bureaucrat-crafted on-line charm offensive. The answer to everything is communicating, especially with young people.
Non-official Executive Council member Aunty Reg is on a charm offensive of her own. Again, the core, or at least ostensible, I want to be Chief Executive!!! message in her Me me me for CE!!! op-ed column is that the Hong Kong government’s main problem is I could do much much better as leader!!! weak communication.
The ‘poor communication’ argument is attractive because it sounds vaguely touchy-feely, and it suggests that an easy, simple tweak will fix everything, like adjusting the amount of salt in a recipe.
It’s arguably less insulting than officials’ other explanations for discontent: Hong Kong people are too stupid to understand how wonderful the Mainland is; the kids are brainwashed/funded by evil foreign forces; it is a manifestation of sullen resentment against the Mainland’s new prosperity; it’s caused by the ‘liberal studies’ high-school course (which admittedly does wonders for the kids’ creativity); it’s simply down to housing prices and inequality.
But we have just had a month – four (?) mega-protests, several outbreaks of mayhem, the selective sacking of Legco and dozens of smaller gatherings – in which the public sent a clear message, the only way they can, to the government. There should be no need for more ‘communication’.
But it seems there is. Next Change, as they used to say in the cinemas: smuggler-clogged Sheung Shui, exotic Shatin and pro-Beijing TVB’s HQ in Tseung Kwan O.
Update: a tally of protests.
My favourite is the teenager whose editorial in the SCMP — which now seems to have vanished? — arguing that Carrie Lam has been really good for high school kids. And by thewayihaveanonprofitthathhelpsteenagersandiwouldreallyliketobeanexecutivecouncilmembercarriepickme!
“…only way to preserve Hong Kong’s status as a vibrant and safe city.” ~Madame Broomhead.
As a non HKer with a keen interest, I don’t think that HK’s status as a vibrant and safe city are at risk from the protests…what’s at risk for HK’s “status” is the continually entrenched, obstinate and BRAINLESS reactions, comments and actions of no substance in ADDRESSING the root causes by sycophantic, non elected hand wringers that wanted to PLAY government on behalf of the unseen but omnipresent overlord that we all know exists and holds the actual power.
The “establishment” crowd has fucked up and fucked up monumentally. In a setting where people had honor and a sense of moral duty, there would be MASS resignations. Not so in “Asia’s World City”.
Richard Scotford’s analysis seems probably the best fit, using Hanlon’s Razor.
As to the charm offensive: where a communist think tank is all tank and no think, a communist charm offensive, is all sorts of offensive with no charm.
And Dama Reggie’s schadenfreude-filled shoeshine song of the day’s “poor communication” line of happy horseshit is not really a departure from the HKSARG line. And with her choice of words, you can’t help but think she’s just unknowingly divulging some sort of kinky S&M fantasy based on that scene from Coolhand Luke.
On the kids taking over the DAB’s junkets to eat them dry: if Ann Chiang Lai-wan reckons the DAB can cope, you can be assured it will be ruinous for the DAB.
The Teen Govt shoeshine cum sponge* is still on the site, just not advertised (as is SOP now for any SCMP piece that starts out as “this is bound to work” government agitprop and ends in “never speak of this again” fiasco as the comments rip it to shreds — often to be replaced by a startlingly similar article that is also destined to end in a similar fiasco).
*In the finest non smutty, HKSARG sense. Honest.
I was once chosen as “Most Dashing Man About Town” by Tatler Magazine.
Does Ginger Beaver mean article by Joseph Wan of Support Int Foundation? It only takes a gander at the website to know where he is coming from. International schools co-opted into the pro-establishment network, and lets face it who else can afford their fees.
Chair is Lau Ming Wai, Youth Commission. Funding probably from Bauhinia Foundation. Henderson, Chun Wo and Sino Land also on board and impeccable connections with SCMP/Alibaba ensuring media coverage.
Allan Zeman is an advisor, say no more
RIp needs to find a hole to crawl into and RIP until 2047.
Mary Melville – The word I couldn’t think of on Sunday afternoon is vigilance. Thank you once again for your dedication. You are not alone and many people appreciate your effort.