Explaining the colonial-style paramilitaries transformation miracle

With complaints of sexual harassment (see also here and here) and talk of cops dumping protesters’ bodies in the sea, some links on What the Hell Happened to the Hong Kong Police?

An article (based on an original in Chinese) on how cops turned into colonial-style paramilitaries so fast and enthusiastically, and now seem to be running the government rather than vice-versa. (A synopsis is here.) Includes discussion of the force’s recruitment methods and high salaries.

This raises the question of how, from the 1980s-early 2010s, they managed to be a relatively respected and popular public service. My hunch is that the transformation has much to do with recent Mainland intervention rather than/as well as latent colonial-era structures.

And, with reference to Vietnam War press briefings, some more on how the Hong Kong police have lost credibility.

Next week’s big excitement will be Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s Policy Address. An administration that has a longstanding inbuilt inability to craft decent policy, and which has lost nearly all credibility, and which has had much of its power usurped anyway, will try to distract attention and even win popularity by presenting irrelevant welfare and livelihood measures – which will, we can guarantee, be utterly lame anyway. Stay tuned for episode 59 of Let’s Make Everyone Angrier, coming Wednesday.

I declare the weekend open with some reading from Quartz. Hong Kong benefits from the NBA Streisand Effect. (No! Don’t mention the NBA!) And how the protests have given the spoilt, pouting ‘gong nui’ a makeover. I thought the Canto-princess stereotype belongs more to the materialistic 1980s-90s, anyway. One unique and unmissable contribution of young women on demonstrations is their highly effective, piercing cheer-leading for slogan-chanting.

For media fans, the challenges facing the Hong Kong press – protests and censorship.

And the brilliance of online advertising algorithms.

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14 Responses to Explaining the colonial-style paramilitaries transformation miracle

  1. cantoribs says:

    My family and I were celebrating a recent birth by eating at a local establishment way off in the New Territories a couple of evenings ago. To echo and corroborate the “Philadora” essay, we noted that two tables near us were occupied, one, by a police officer and his family, and, two, by a group of older police officers.
    What I found striking was that several exhibited this “law of the jungle” cultural swagger. One, in fact, was actually wearing his riot purse, strapped to his leg, in which he carried his baby’s bottle and pacifier. the fact that, even given the hard looks that local people have given the people lately, this one officer still parades around in certain venues with his buzz cut and riot gear on, even in the most casual of scenarios shows that on one level he believes he is adored and admired for this swagger, and two, he is completely a dunce cap and ignorant of his own social impact.
    The other table of elderly police — confirmed by my fire chief (retired) father-in-law, was the loudest group in the restaurant, using some pretty salty language to talk about the demonstrations.
    Indeed, there is a split in society. There are the very rich (who aren’t actually that smart) and the middle class and poor, who also aren’t that very smart on average. And rather than being of a mindset that we should all integrate together, it seems every camp is in an us vs them mentality. And shall always be that way.

  2. PaperCuts says:

    It’s an indication of how sad this all is when businesses, companies, franchises and corporations start scrambling, gag-ordering and squealing and or whispering about profit losses and economic instabilities and stakeholders and the fine line between political and financial correctness…and the little people actually listen and buy into it.

    What a world. I weep for Brand Hong Kong.

  3. Knownot says:

    Five staff members from a Ma On Shan shopping mall – four security guards and a customer service officer – have been arrested on suspicion of obstructing police officers in the execution of their duty. – RTHK, October 9th

    “Lars Porsena of Clusium
    By the Nine Gods he swore . . .”
    So the poet chronicled
    The valiant men of yore.

    In our own inferior age
    On Cathay’s blighted ground,
    Could such pure unselfish valour
    Any more be found?

    Indeed! Their equals live today.
    No need to venture far.
    Go, my friends, to Ma On Shan
    For that is where they are.

    In flame, in flood, in force they came,
    The rioting police.
    Staunchly forward stepped the guards –
    Five! – to keep the peace.

    Honest, decent men they were,
    Not young, nor strong, nor tall;
    Duty, honour guided them
    To save their shopping mall.

    Rough invaders, armoured, many,
    Pushing from outside;
    Pressing hard against the doors
    The valiant guardsmen tried.

    Bold resistance, no less noble
    For being sure to fail.
    Cry we all with single voice,
    “Noble guards, all hail!”

    And if to trial the baleful powers
    Should ever bring this case,
    All shall cry, “Whose is the honour?
    Whose is the disgrace?”

  4. Cassowary says:

    I see parallels between the frothing panda tantrums of the volunteer wumao army and the religious fundies in America who have convinced themselves they’re being persecuted by plain red Starbucks cups and kneeling football players. The fundies have less of an excuse because no-one forced them to worship an idiotic orange grifter.

  5. Mark Bradley says:

    @cantoribs so nobody is very smart??? Seems our protesters have enough brains to create good protest art that lets them own the soft power at least.

  6. Mark Bradley says:

    “I see parallels between the frothing panda tantrums of the volunteer wumao army and the religious fundies ”

    Yup. The wumao remind me of both far right religious fundies that would start complaint campaigns and boycotts as well as far right SJW “cancel culture” types that do the same thing as the fundies; usually over something petty rather than over some real atrocity. They never seem to be around to condemn the ccp.

  7. Mark Bradley says:

    Oops I mean far left SJW “cancel culture” types.

  8. Big Al says:

    Any individual or company with vested interests in China is constantly walking on egg shells, in perpetual fear of somehow causing offence and hurting the feelings of the Chinese people, resulting in mouth-frothing full-on panda tantrum. For this, they must immediately kowtow, apologise, grovel and atone for their incorrect views, in order to keep their snouts in the trough for just a little bit longer (although what happens when the trough runs dry is another question).

    But for those without vested interests in China (or who do, but have balls of steel) and wish to participate in panda-bating, then the reverse-kowtow is something to behold. If a snide response, a la South Park, is not possible then simply saying the following should suffice:

    “We refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram”.

  9. Chinese Netizen says:

    Wumaos attacking their own as traitors for actually selling out Shanghai stadium for the NBA game, cheering the teams on and having players autograph little paper commie flags.

    Too funny.

  10. old git says:

    LegCo next Wednesday

    Second Reading (debate to resume – for the purpose of making an announcement of the withdrawal of the Bill)
    Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019
    Secretary for Security
    (Whether this item will be transacted at this meeting is subject to the President’s permission upon recommendation of the House Committee under Rule 54(5)(c) and (e) of the Rules of Procedure.)

  11. @Knownot – nice one, though for the sake of historical accuracy it should be noted that two of the “honest decent men” were actually women.

  12. Penny says:

    Winnie the Pooh now accessible again on the disney site from HK computers.

    Thought you should know!

  13. Guest says:

    @Cassowary: Amen.

  14. Knownot says:

    Private Beach –
    Thank you.

    Undaunted, women too, unarmed
    Faced the armoured horde,
    Sure to fail but resolute.
    Louder we applaud!

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