Maturity mismatch

This weekend’s events in Hong Kong were sort-of unremarkable. A ‘stress test’ of airport transportation to which few protesters needed to turn up because the police and MTR engaged in pre-emptive disruption. A march perhaps naively asking the US Consulate to send the Cavalry, followed by closure and partial torching of Central MTR station. The usual outbreak in and around Mongkok, plus one in (of all places) Whampoa Gardens, and an above-averagely pointless tear-gas salvo outside Sogo in Causeway Bay. And some mall sit-ins and probably others I’ve missed.

Yet among the mayhem we detect an increasingly clear pattern: in their supposed attempts to curtail disorder, the Hong Kong Police and the MTR are pro-actively maintaining the cycle of violence. This has been happening on occasions throughout the last three months, but it has now obviously become their default operating procedure.

You can see why conspiracy theorists think this is deliberate, though more likely it is just stupidity. While the bureaucrats in government grasp for some way to appear vaguely conciliatory to mainstream public opinion, the cops are obsessively focused on a mission to crush and punish demonstrators at all costs – further alienating the wider community. Assuming that Beijing officials are directly barking demands down the phone to the Security Branch, this looks like a mismatch straight out of ‘One Country, Two Systems’.

(Here’s a timeline of yesterday in Central.)


…I hope this doesn’t put ideas into people’s heads.

Similarly on the subject of flags/ideas/heads – there’s this.

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26 Responses to Maturity mismatch

  1. Revolution says:

    The torching and vandalisation of the MTR over the weekend does not arise from the police or MTR maintaining a cycle of violence. It’s wanton destruction.

    Hong Kong people will join marches. They sympathise with blockades and strikes and will try and work round them. They will criticise and fight against police heavy handedness. But I suspect that they will not support pointless vandalism like we say this weekend.

  2. A Poor Man says:

    Fanny Law seems to have an itch that no one is willing to scratch. Why else would she fantasize about protesters having sex publicly on RTHK.

  3. Thomas The Tank Engine. says:

    A Poor Man: you must be one of the few people in Hong Kong not to receive the video of a young lady servicing a protester in a stairwell, while others await their turn. She did a brisk trade. Her parents must be delighted she’s pulling a train.

  4. Paul Serfaty says:

    As Orlando Figes noted on a use of language better understood north of Fanling:
    ”I cannot listen to music too often,” Lenin once admitted after a performance of Beethoven’s ”Appassionata” Sonata. ”It makes me want to say kind, stupid things, and pat the heads of people. But now you have to beat them on the head, beat them without mercy.’’

  5. Paul Serfaty says:

    Maturity mismatch seems to have missed the timeline provided above:

  6. Someone should tell the protesters that however understandably angry they may be with the MTR, it’s not the government that will have to pay to repair the damage they’re causing – it’s you and me. The first few weeks of the protests were highly targeted, but I think they’re losing their focus and letting anger override wisdom. This kind of destruction can only alienate hard-working taxpayers and weaken the impact of their actions.

  7. Paul Serfaty says:

    Apologies for the wrong attribution of’ guilt’ in my earlier post – I meant:
    Revolution seems to have missed the timeline provided above:

  8. Revolution says:

    I haven’t missed anything. Nothing that happened yesterday warranted damaging MTR property. Nothing.

  9. A Poor Man says:

    Thomas the Tank – Where you in the stairwell recording? Did the train stop when it was your turn to board? Whether someone pulls a train or not is irrelevant. I am sure protester have been having sex since protests began. Basic animal instincts/desires. Unfortunately I can’t confirm things like Fanny Law can. She seemed to emphasize “free” sex being the problem. Perhaps she does some side work as a madame or sex for her has to always be transactional, and can’t imagine anyone doing it for ‘free”.

    The point it she is a member of the Executive Council. Shouldn’t she have more important issues to discuss in public? If this is the most damning unsubstantiated claim that she/the government can make about the protesters they have already won.

  10. Headache says:

    @ Private Beach

    MTR station repairs, a few grand. Express rail link, $85 billion. I know which symbolic statement is the better use of my tax dollars.

  11. The Fanny Law (aka rule 34) says:

    Fanny Law appears to be one of the few people with access to the internet not to have heard of Rule 34. Which is extremely ironic, given her name is so apposite. Perhaps we should rename it…

    Anyhow — her source has been discredited by some person on the interwebs who has heard of rule 34, and knows the UFWD lie really a lot about protesters’ motivations.Via Eddie Chu’s facebook

  12. Fanny the Hooker says:

    I’m officially calling this a revolution and while I do not condone it, it strikes me as inevitable that someone is going to get killed.

  13. Reactor #4 says:

    What a load of twaddle. The people who smashed up the MTR system are idiots, as too are their apologists.

    As for democratic systems the rioters and their groupies should aspire too, what is the preferred model? The US, UK, EU, Canada, Frogland, whatever? Not one of those shitholes would I’d prefer to be in over HK in March 2019.

    In terms of a Pontoon hand, HK was a 20. Nowhere is perfect. Live with it.

    The ideologues out their need to get a grip (perhaps be sent on fully funded two-month tour of the West’s “Top Ten” democracies); the spoiled kids need a 4ckin good slap.

  14. Joe Blow says:

    Revolution entails wanton destruction. Can’t make an omelette without cracking eggs.

    Yes, somebody is going to do (I assume the 8 suicides you don’t count as such). I hope it will be Junius Ho.

  15. 加油 says:

    Like Pansy Ho the other day, Fanny Law needs to be seen toeing the line – it’s what the patriotic scum have to do.

    Her name is appropriate for the subject.

    And in this town, how dare you do anything for free. 畀錢!

  16. In the Name of the Father says:

    Private Beach: while I guess you could try to crowdsource serious thinking and reflective self-criticism, I wouldn’t have much confidence in the results.

    I was going to tell you about the dream I had on Friday night, but thought better of it. Some people have no sense of humour.

    Soldiers who were in Iraq and Afghanistan tell me that when you’re in the shit, it feels like it will never end. But it does. I’m sure people in 1968 thought that would never end too. Then again, look what it gave us. Clinton, GW Bush and the Donald were all in the Class of ’68.

  17. Knownot says:

    Nothing exceeds the license occasionally taken by the imagination of very rigid people.
    – Henry James

  18. @In the Name of the Father (which one?) – go on, tell us your dream. We all need a good laugh.

  19. Donny Almond says:

    That video of the girl in the stairway way nicked from a Vietnamese porn site.

  20. odaiwai says:

    I was in the MTR in Central and Wanchai this afternoon (Monday) looking for something dramatic to take pictures of. Everything was working as normal, apart from some broken (cleaned up) glass and some vague discolouration on walls. Exit J from Central Station (the one where the windows were broken) mainly serves the Court of Final Appeal and the Hong Kong Club.

    As far as I could see, all of the Octopus gates in Wanchai were functioning normally, but some of the screens weren’t functioning. LCD panels are cheap, and I’d expect them to be replaced in the next few days. This was literally thousands of (hk) dollars of damages.

    I’m not excusing or condoning the damage that was done, but to say that the MTR system was smashed is a gross overstatement of what happened.

    @Headache: “MTR station repairs, a few grand. Express rail link, $85 billion. I know which symbolic statement is the better use of my tax dollars.”

    At least the XRL is useful if you want to go to Wuhan or somewhere like that (it’s probably cheaper than flying). The real white elephant is the bridge to Zhuhai, a shameless exercise in funnelling HK money to PRC construction companies that has zero practical benefit to anyone.

  21. Mary Melville says:

    Fanny Law’s rant only confirmed how out of touch our ‘elite’ are. Hong Kong women are financially independent and are certainly not sitting around at home with their legs crossed waiting for Mr. Right to pop the question.
    Of course when you are part of the establishment still mired in the casting couch, arm candy, multiple ‘wife’ syndrome, the concept that women here are more than capable of setting their own agenda is inconceivable.
    Oh to be twenty again and have such a pool of fit and agile ‘leng jai’ to smooch with.
    Dream on Fanny, your boat has long sailed.

  22. Cassowary says:

    Technically it’s still targeted destruction. If it were wanton destruction, people would be looting shops and burning cars. But I do think that the MTR is a poor choice of target. They’re just a pawn. If they targeted every institution whose arm was twisted by Beijing, that would be a very long list.

  23. Irritated Observer says:

    Seems like somebody is having a meltdown.

    Yes, me me me me me me. A few entitled idiots (for the sake of clarification, I refer to exactly one individual here calling others idiots, the rest represent valid viewpoints) think exactly nothing should change (except what an undemocratic government proposes) because they are doing well out of the system. Well guess what, you aren’t the only person living here, and much as I might personally tend towards viewpoints looking askance at the tyranny of the majority, it is revulsion at people like you in and around government with unrepresentative and unaccountable leadership that drives situations like this.

    Strange that the slaves would revolt, you say…we were doing so well. *rolls eyes*

    If you are as adept at exploiting HK’s given environment as you have previously claimed, stop whining and go sell hard hats or something.

    @Private Beach
    Agree with the viewpoint that undisciplined vandalism, however symbolic and seemingly justified is quite misplaced. There is an asymmetrical monopoly on the use of force, and it really is only public opinion where the battle can be waged. Unfortunately that is the downside of leaderless protests, but again, guess where responsibility for that lies…

  24. In the Name of the Father says:

    Private Beach: I owe you an apology, when I typed “while I guess you could try to crowdsource serious thinking and reflective self-criticism,” I didn’t mean “you” personally, I meant “I guess THEY could try to crowdsource serious thinking and reflective self-criticism.” Sorry about that. ‘S what happens when you (meaning “I”) drink half a bottle of Sancerre on an empty stomach and fire up the old Commodore 64.

    About that dream, man, it was a doozy. But my enemies quota is currently full, so probably best to wait ’til my flat is sold and I get my new shisha bar up and running in Copenhagen. Stay tuned, pilgrims!

    For now, I can only offer some harmless highbrow entertainment. Reread Book VIII of Plato’s Republic, where Socrates, with uncanny perspicacity, explains how HK got from Queen Elizabeth to Xi Jinping. (Cheat for Econ majors: the intermediate steps are Tung Chee-hwa, Donald Tsang + Rafael Hui, CY Leung + Carrie Lam * protesters.)

  25. odaiwai says:

    @Irritated Observer: “If you are as adept at exploiting HK’s given environment as you have previously claimed, stop whining and go sell hard hats or something.”

    There is a local merchant who turns up at the protests with a little pop-up store selling hard-hats, masks, goggles, etc out of cardboard boxes for apparently quite reasonable rates.

  26. Guest says:

    “Not one of those shitholes would I’d prefer to be in over HK in March 2019.”

    What was so great about Hong Kong six months ago? (Maybe it was better than Hong Kong now, but still a powder keg waiting to ignite.)

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