While Beijing dithers over what to do, Hong Kong people can entertain themselves with the sight of their ‘government’ and its supporters wallowing in their own cluelessness.
Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung repeats the banal bleating about listening to the people. He stresses that the photo-opportunities at which officials plan to meet the peasants should not be seen as a PR stunt. Such hackneyed and unconvincing charades would have been insulting even before this crisis; now, after years of bad governance have blown up in the administration’s face, some bureaucrat comes up with this brainwave. The community is indeed looking forward to these Neighbourhood Warm-and-Cuddly Dialogue Fun Days. The ministers will have to meet the hand-picked commoners behind huge water-filled barriers and rows of riot-police, just to get back to their chauffeur-driven limos without being lynched.
Cheung, who almost triggered a police mutiny when he expressed shock at the Yuen Long MTR triad attack, is a bit predictable. For serious wackiness, we turn to Executive Council member Fanny Law, who regales RTHK listeners with her lurid fantasy about teenage ‘comfort girls’ servicing burly, virile rioters on the barricades amid swirls of tear gas. Is she saying this because CCP propagandists told her to? Or did the 66-year-old, breathlessly dabbing the sweat from her brow in the studio, actually believe it?
Back on Planet Earth, Fitch Ratings gives Hong Kong a downgrade. This is dry stuff, but the first two main opening paragraphs are worth a careful look. Key phrases…
Hong Kong’s conflict and violence are testing the perimeters and pliability of the “one country, two systems” framework … Hong Kong’s [growing linkages with the Mainland] imply continued integration into China’s national governance system, which will present greater institutional and regulatory challenges over time. In Fitch’s view, these developments are consistent with a narrowing of the sovereign rating differential between Hong Kong and mainland China…
Ongoing events have also inflicted long-lasting damage to international perceptions of the quality and effectiveness of Hong Kong’s governance system and rule of law, and have called into question the stability and dynamism of its business environment.
Reading between the lines: Mainlandization (as a reaction to public discontent) is going to damage Hong Kong’s integrity as a business centre; certain events (which, unless they mean Carrie Lam’s hair issues, must refer to politicization of the police, Beijing’s bullying of Cathay Pacific) are specifically going to screw the place from investors’ point of view.
Fitch are not blaming the protests or protestors – but Beijing’s response. The local administration is superficially dismissive, and most likely seething.
Setting my egg timer to three days, because that’s how long I am going to give the local press to point out that it’s China’s actions that are changing the credit ratings. In fact, never mind, I don’ think that they are going to catch on.
“Being out of town, I unfortunately missed
the coverage of Carrie Lam visiting the
gangsters’ victims in hospital [in Yuen Long]”
– Big Lychee, July 26
In time of turmoil, let us call to mind
The purer part of impure humankind;
In time of turmoil, goodness does not fail.
And see! She came, a second Nightingale,
A lady with a lamp, and by each bed
She paused, and tender words of comfort said.
And as her soft and kindly eyes alit
Upon the places where they had been hit,
“I will,” she swore, “bring justice for this night;
To travel safely is your civil right.”
A sight beyond imagination:
Rack and ruin of Central Station.
She cried, “How could it come to pass,
Alas, a pile of shattered glass!”
And then, with greater sadness turned
And saw an entrance had been burned.
“No, they cannot cower me,
Vandals on a wrecking spree.
For freedom I arise and fight:
To travel safely is your right.”
Someone was saying on the radio this morning that the pictures of “comfort women” were lifted from a porn site dated 2017.. Is this correct?
Yeah it is correct @Des Espoir
Will we get to see a Mainland newspaper run the headline ‘Fitch Ratings Does Not Understand China’, or will they be lumped in with the ‘Evil Foreign Forces’?
Des Espoir: It is allegedly from a Vietnamese porno.
@Batty: Waiting for the joshua wong spin on that one then.
Matthew “Penfold” Cheung’s unguarded moment of truthfulness that nearly caused the police mutiny reminded me of the WH Auden verse:
Private faces in public places
Are wiser and nicer
Than public faces in private places.
The Fitch rating downgrade due to accelerated mainlandisation happened on the 5th, so catch on they did not…
Look, my friend told me that he knew a woman who’s daughter had a friend who said her friend had sex with a guy at the protest. See? Foreign forces.
Chaps, it over for Hong Kong. Either accept the new reality or move on. We had a decent run. By the sound of it, most of you can opt to head home to the UK, if it’s still intact. Penang is a good option, at least you can pretend to be expats there.
“…head home to the UK…”
My goodness, are there still any of those left in Hong Kong?
@Thomas – “most of you can opt to head home to the UK, if it’s still intact.” Unless someone assassinates Boris Johnson in the next few weeks, it won’t be. And our options to retire to other EU countries will be buggered as well.
@Thomas The Tank Engine: “Either accept the new reality or move on.”
Exactly. All good parties come to an end. As the calendar keeps on rolling, the desire for every day to be Christmas is by January 3 a distant memory (for me, by lunchtime on December 25). All the best, good luck etc.
Revolution and debauchery go together like peas and carrots.