Wolfson College in Cambridge sort-of-strips Carrie Lam of her honorary fellowship. Strictly speaking, they mumble – under pressure – about looking into her role in suppressing Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms, and eventually she gets the message and does a stroppy foot-stamping act of ‘returning’ the award. Like she ‘withdrew’ the visa the US cancelled the instant she was sanctioned. (‘Please find enclosed your Fellowship, for which I have no further use. Thank you for your attention.’)
To emphasize how little Beijing cares about the slight from Wolfson, Globular Times publishes a stream of articles excitedly praising Carrie as mature and dignified, and We spit contemptuously on your Western fellowship flim-flam, and Gosh Cambridge U is making itself look silly isn’t it?
Meanwhile, another great and noble seat of learning invents the meaningless but allegedly fancy-sounding title ‘Belt and Road Academician from Oxford University’ for Hong Kong tycoon and donor Chan King-wai. (Note the multi-dimensional shoe-shining going on here: Oxford flatters the guy with a tawdry fake accreditation, while he – and the university – grovel to Xi Jinping by giving a name-check to the neo-colonial debt-trap vision. An obsequiousness win-win!)
The Guardian says the award and inane cosplay presentation ceremony ‘raise concerns about Chinese influence on UK higher education’. But surely, in cases like this it’s the other way round – exploitative and cynical universities mesmerizing vain and gullible Hong Kong industrialists (born on a fishing boat and barely went to elementary school) with tawdry honorary awards in order to extract money from them.
Mr Chan is boss of Hong Kong King Wai Group and a CPPCC member, and also sits on the Our Hong Kong Foundation’s Alarming Hair sub-committee. He likes cultivating – or being cultivated by – academia. Shoe-shining administrators at HK Baptist U rush to announce Dr Chan SBS’s idiotic-sounding ‘Oxford Belt and Road Academician’ bauble on their own website. The odious fawning over the odious.
In case there’s still room in your sick-bag, fans of shameless grovelling will like this from around 10 years ago – a French film director pens a putrid pile of puke-provoking Panda-puffery begging for another chance after ‘hurting the feelings’ with a movie about Tibet. What’s French for ‘Eeewww’?