The Hong Kong government – enfeebled, emasculated, eviscerated and more lobotomized than ever – draws on all its powers of creativity to Be Seen To Do Something.
In a dazzling display of originality, it draws on the same script used under three former chief executives and announces that the city (bursting at full capacity with shortages of labour and accommodation) faces imminent economic collapse. Going further into out-of-the-box lateral-thinking wackiness, it proposes a range of extremely tired one-off sweeteners including the immensely stale free-electricity-for-everyone, an extra month’s welfare payment for the poor, tax waivers, a rent-free month for public-housing tenants and subsidies for school students, plus even more stunningly inane little quasi-handouts for smaller businesses.
The SCMP, trying to be delicate about the crass and hackneyed freebies, reports that ‘different sectors found them underwhelming’.
Financial Secretary Paul Chan insists that the package has nothing to do with the massive protests that have rocked Hong Kong. Everyone else insists that it is totally a reaction to unrest – but will, just as totally, have zero impact at all in calming things. (Chan could have befuddled his critics by boldly agreeing that, yes – he had no intention whatever of using the sweeteners to calm things. But our senior officials are being sparer than usual with their wittiness these days.)
I declare the weekend open with a hopefully more-impressive package of sweeteners.
An interesting selection of mayhem-porn from the authentically no-frills neighbourhood of Shamshuipo.
For graphic arts fans: Badiucao’s latest great cartoon (check mug and T-shirt offer), and a reminder that Hong Kong’s anti-government movement is so broad-based that we now have to like not only civil servants, but dog people – posters for protesting pets.
Willy Lam asks Will Xi Send the PLA In? In a nutshell: probably not. However, he has interesting thoughts on what happens further ahead, including the installation of an administration of local CCP loyalists under Liaison Office direction.
Time magazine does a good wrap-up of the whole situation in Hong Kong – just in case anyone hasn’t been following things up to now.
And SCMP Magazine does an in-depth article on – not handbags, not some fancy new restaurant, but… tear gas.
The China Media Project – which normally has the patience of a saint – finally gets rather exasperated with the bone-headedness of People’s Daily…
This is a Party-state that claims to have benevolent global ambitions, to offer a “China Solution” to issues facing the world – and yet it cannot speak a human language. It cannot admit any subtlety on complex issues.
Another China Heritage ‘Hong Kong Apostasy’ translation – thoughts on the protests by businesswoman Canny Leung.
And lest we get too wrapped up in the idea that Mainlanders’ views are shaped only by official propaganda, here’s some perspective.
For a complete break and a badly needed dose of pure relaxing sanity: this (don’t listen at work, or in front of kinds – in fact, best not listen to it at all, seriously. Not sure why I’m putting it here.)