Carrie’s bold move nothing really

Hong Kong’s embattled/failing/bedraggled Chief Executive Carrie Lam follows up her shocking blockbuster decision to withdraw the extradition bill with a claim that it’s nothing really and doesn’t even count as a change of mind, so there, yah boo.

This is a strange thing to say about a much-heralded and overdue gesture supposedly aimed at ending a three-month popular uprising and ushering in reconciliation and dialogue. But it makes more sense seen from Beijing, where Carrie’s ‘decision’ was in fact made, with reluctance. After rousing Mainland public opinion to hate Hong Kong’s protest movement and oppose any concessions, the propaganda machine is scrambling to delete any mention of the ‘withdrawal’.

Is Hong Kong in for a relatively calm weekend? Either way, I declare it open with some recommended reading/viewing you might have missed.

For a fairly vivid reminder of how far we’ve come in three months, here’s Part 1 of Hong Kong’s Summer of Defiance – an Al Jazeera documentary, focusing on June-July. Australia’s ABC have come up with a longer doc, Rebellion: On the frontlines of Hong Kong’s uprising (good for sending to people overseas asking stupid questions).

Being up close, we tend to forget how photogenic this protest movement is – thanks mainly to Hong Kong’s unique urban and rural geography and the dignity and resolve of the young protesters (the contrast with CCP talking heads and PTSD-crazed cops doesn’t hurt). As an FT columnist wrote (paywall)…

They have uniforms — gas masks, construction helmets, umbrellas and black clothing — and they have martyrs, including a young woman who lost an eye from a police projectile. The movement is also cool and deeply romantic for young people who believe they are fighting for the future of their city. Many young couples in full battle gear can be seen hand in hand on the barricades.

Time for an anthem.

And from Geremie Barmé, Cockroaches that would slay dragons: an intro, then a translation of a Stand News piece about the anti-government protesters’ own elite special forces unit, the ‘Dragon Slayers’. While Quillette asks how a movement with no leadership backed Beijing into a corner.

In image-terms, this conflict is about as asymmetric as you can get. One side has all the power but no cool; the other has all the cool but no power. (International progressives looking on are fretting that the Palestinians, say, have neither.)

It is hard to criticize the Hong Kong protest movement without coming across as spiteful and seething. Today’s winner is Global Times, which is whining about how Hong Kong still has colonial stuff (like English-language schools using the British flag on their ads).

Which brings us to HK Free Press’s op-eds on Beijing’s dismal intelligence failure in Hong Kong, and its non-victories in bullying companies like Cathay Pacific. The SCMP also notes the future repercussions of Beijing’s heavy-handed and stupid treatment of the airline. Richard McGregor at Nikkei looks at how China’s failure in Hong Kong goes back to its co-opting of elites

With their backs to the wall, Beijing’s tactics have now come full circle. Not only are they targeting the protesters in Hong Kong, but the elites are being punished too if their employees stray from the party line.

The executives of any company, local or foreign, based in Hong Kong know the same could happen to them should they cross Beijing. As a result, fewer are likely to base themselves, instead going to Singapore and elsewhere.

Unless it wants to completely hollow out a valuable financial center, China needs a new strategy fast.

Quartz finds that Hong Kong’s protesters are stumped by Twitter – I thought it was just me who still can’t figure out what a hashtag is or does. And Atlantic turns to the sad fall of Hong Kong’s police.

Nothing to do with the cops – what do you think of when we mention Hong Kong’s islands for outcasts? You think Lamma, right? But no, it’s far more interesting.

Lastly, for the foodies: how China is addressing pork shortages (actually this is more about economics and propaganda and CCP stupidity).

Yesterday’s T-shirt… Someone got this: the schedule that got Cathay Pacific through the CNY cabin crew strike in 1993
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11 Responses to Carrie’s bold move nothing really

  1. Chris says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukhKS3aaHxE makes a catchier anthem.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFGr8K2MAZI is more likely to be the song of a generation though.

  2. Porky Xi says:

    Dipping into the pork barrel for the weekend i find:

    “Shortages would affect the “happy and peaceful atmosphere” during the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Peoples Republic, the vice premier said. Furthermore, Hu warned that a gaping hole in the pork supply and unaffordable pork for low-income people would impair the image of the communist party in 2020 when the “well-off society” is scheduled to be achieved.”

    If only the political appointees could figure out what type of political system could help avoid such embarrassment by enabling people to act independently to sustain a healthy economy and a food supply. I’ll wrack my brains over this this weekend by reading my poli sci notes from college to see if any historical precedent surfaces.

    Meanwhile #girdthyporkloin

  3. stanley gibbons says:

    When there’s one response on a friday to your blog, the game is certainly over.

  4. Northern Menace says:

    Is Carrie Lam a psychopath? Discuss.

  5. Mary Melville says:

    You admitted a mention of this heart warming story in SCMP, I note that the link was ‘buried’
    https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3025932/hong-kongs-pro-government-lawmakers-brace-impact-district
    Comments – “That’s because without this job their lack of intelligence and EQ will render them unemployed.
    The city is seriously fractured and all they’re caring about are their votes??!! How selfish and insensitive!!
    My local sheep is always claiming credit for local improvements made by others.”
    They are far too kind.
    What local residents will reflect on most of all is the complete lack of empathy and support for their constituents during trying times.

  6. @Mary Melville – spot on. I particularly noted “Dr” Quat’s comment: ““I don’t think the chief executive considered the possible impact on us when she contemplated the concession”. In other words, for once in her miserable life, Carrie Lam put the welfare of Hong Kong above the welfare of the DAB.

  7. Chinese Netizen says:

    “My Facebook likes have actually increased in recent months. I supported the bill and I presented my reasons. People see that it is a rational decision,” Vagina Ip said.

    What a f**king twat. How is it the likes of her in HK don’t permanently go into their little holes and leave society alone??

  8. Reactor #4 says:

    These rioters are getting right on my tits. I cannot wait for October 5 (2019). As of today (Sunday 8 Sep 2019), there are just 27 more days to go. Please Lord, make the Earth spin faster.

    Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Allah Akbar. Nameste. Nice to see you, to see you nice. Serenity now! 4ckin’ hell you, are not sticking that in me. Unlock. …………Was it a Titleist? M goi sai thank-you very much laaaa! Brexit means Brexit. I did not have sexual relations with that woman. You circumcised my finger? Taramasalata. There’s the A, the B, the C and the D………..the D’s the biggest.

  9. PaperCuts says:

    Political point scoring? Selfish politicians? Treating the average man like dirt? Lack of empathy? Grubbing for votes?

    If this kind of thing hadn’t been going on for the entirety of human civilization as we know it, I’d be shocked and outraged!!!

  10. Casira says:

    Those DAB goons shouldn’t worry too much, if the results are unfavourable, a few DQ will promptly reinstate them.

  11. SC says:

    There’s an English version of ‘May Glory Be To Hong Kong’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koOAJHt9UO8

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