Jail for saying the government is crap

Not only is Tam Tak-chi facing sedition charges for ‘inciting hatred, contempt against the government and causing discontent and dissatisfaction among the Hong Kong people’, he has been denied bail. He is not accused of any act of violence, theft, fraud or anything else most of us would consider a crime – simply of expressing ideas (and solidly mainstream ones at that). Yet he stays in jail until his trial in November. (He is already on bail for another charge, which presumably doesn’t help.)

That trial will be particularly interesting. For example, how will the prosecution prove that Tam has caused discontent and dissatisfaction among the population? Surely (his lawyers will argue), responsibility for the government’s extreme unpopularity lies with Carrie Lam and friends, not with any ordinary citizens? 

Of course, if the court throws out the case (say on the grounds that the archaic colonial-era sedition law contravenes modern human-rights standards), the judge can expect a major backlash from the CCP and its cronies.

But maybe the CCP has no need to prove anything, and the court will find Tam guilty regardless of the idiocy of the charge, sentence him to a spell in prison, and make it clearer than ever that rule of law and freedom of speech are now a joke in Hong Kong.

Or will the court try to wangle its way out of it by finding him guilty but releasing him with a nominal sentence like a small fine – thus pissing off everyone?

One which subject: the HK Police have managed to piss off bus drivers.

Some mid-week reading…

In Atlantic, fascinating background to the HK Police attempts to rewrite the Yuen Long 7-21 story. Among other things, top government officials in the bunker were watching broadcast media that evening and were oblivious to reports being circulated on social media.

And the truth about 8-31: a Yellow Journalism interview with someone who was in Prince Edward Station when the police went berserk, and went through arrest and a stay at San Uk Ling detention centre.

Overseas: one of the Australian journalists on how he fled China, and a thread on the implications of the NatSec Law for UK academia.

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16 Responses to Jail for saying the government is crap

  1. Reactor #4 says:

    If the protesters and their supporters hadn’t kept on stickin’ it to the HK Government, plus the real one up in Beijing, then there would not have been a clampdown/protracted strangulation. It’s hilarious that things have moved in the direction they have. Utterly predictable – how rubbish at chess must many in this town be? Personally, I’d like to rewind the calendar to early 2019 and see the game played again. Most of the idealists, though, could not contemplate backtracking and compromising – it’s an all or nothing “revolution of our times”. The fact is, though, the pain is now setting in and it ain’t going to go away – see above. Thank-you very much you b4st4rds.

  2. Andrew Mountford says:

    At this rate 60% of HKG will be in gaol.

  3. Andrew Mountford says:

    …then again the society Calamity Lickspittle is creating here it won’t be much different if you are in or out of gaol.

  4. Chris says:

    The police conduct in the Atlantic is very disturbing no matter how large a pinch of salt I take it with.

    But what’s as disturbing is the three white-clad men inside the train, armed with dangerous weapons and looking for people to beat up.

    @Andrew: good one on Calamity Lickspittle – I hadn’t heard that before.
    @I-only-post-here-to-get-a-rise #4 – “Most of the idealists, though, could not contemplate backtracking and compromising” – I take it you refer to the CCP…?

  5. Stanley Lieber says:

    @ Reactor #4

    The protests revealed the true face of the regime, the better to contend with it. Naturally there is a price to be paid for that.

    The protests also revealed something beautiful and stirring about HK people.

    This thing isn’t over.

  6. Just Following Orders says:

    @ Stanley Lieber

    Spot on!

  7. Gromit says:

    ‘Surely (his lawyers will argue), responsibility for the government’s extreme unpopularity lies with Carrie Lam and friends, not with any ordinary citizens?’
    In most places that claim world-city status, this could be a reasonable argument; but it doesn’t take into account the concept of the infallabilty of a Marxist-Leninist party: as the HK government and police were/are being steered by mainland organs, and as the Party cannot be wrong, it follows that anyone criticising the HK government is indulging in wrong-thought.

    Simple logic or syllogistic? I am not mentally-disciplined enough to answer that, but it reminds me of Yes Minister: ‘My cat has four legs. My cat has four legs. Therefore my cat is a dog.’
    Not dissimilar to some of the HK government’s best lines.

  8. Gromit says:

    ‘Surely (his lawyers will argue), responsibility for the government’s extreme unpopularity lies with Carrie Lam and friends, not with any ordinary citizens?’
    In most places that claim world-city status, this could be a reasonable argument; but it doesn’t take into account the concept of the infallabilty of a Marxist-Leninist party: as the HK government and police were/are being steered by mainland organs, and as the Party cannot be wrong, it follows that anyone criticising the HK government is indulging in wrong-thought.

    Simple logic or syllogistic? I am not mentally-disciplined enough to answer that, but it reminds me of Yes Minister: ‘My cat has four legs. A dog has four legs. Therefore my cat is a dog.’
    Not dissimilar to some of the HK government’s best lines.

  9. Wolflikeme says:

    I had to google “spanner”

  10. Red Dragon says:

    Nury Vittachi #4

    Haven’t you made this point before? Indeed, isn’t this the only point you ever make?

    In essence, your premise seems to be that the woes of Hong Kong are entirely attributable to those amongst its people who simply, and for no particular reason, desire to “stick it” to the Hong Kong “government” and its overlords in Peking. You never admit to the possibility that it was the very conduct of the local authorities (under direction, no doubt, from above) which stimulated the protests in the first place and, subsequently, exacerbated them.

    The bitterness revealed in your sarcastic final line is telling. It suggests to me that you feel personally affronted by the fact that the privileged, colonial, expat lifestyle which you have so long enjoyed may now be coming to its end. Do bear in mind, however, that while you might be satisfied by a colonial lifestyle with CCP characteristics (just as long, of course, as the latter do not interfere too much with the enjoyment of the former), many of the people for whom Hong Kong is REALLY home, and who have never enjoyed your privileges, find the accelerating absorbtion of their city into the mainland model not quite their cup of tea.

    Clearly, the protest movement has caused Peking to tighten its grip rather more rapidly than might otherwise have been the case, but that grip would have tightened in due course in any case. What you really object to, therefore, is, I think, the speed at which your cherished lifestyle is beginning to crumble. No doubt you would have preferred to fudge the issue for longer so that the blow, when it finally came, would have fallen on others rather than on you.

    As things stand, however, all you can do now is continue to “double down” on your refrain that everything is the fault of those who oppose the imposition of a regime with which you, the better to have a quiet life, are quite content to rub along. Consequently, I imagine that we shall all be obliged to endure the endless loop-tape of your viewpoint, expressed, as always, with that inimitable narcissism which you have made your own.

  11. Penny says:

    Red Dragon – you have hit the nail squarely on the head but doubtless the troll will back to continue to his pathetic bleating.

  12. Low Profile says:

    Some people – such as W innie the Pooh – want to be emperors and lord it over others. Others – such as Reactor #4 – are content to be serfs. Most of us just want the first group to get off our backs, and the second group to stop whining about how lovely it is to be trodden underfoot.

  13. Chinese Netizen says:

    Red Dragon: Beautifully put. Thanks.

    But let’s not feed the POS troll too often…

  14. What us manage? says:

    The Atlantic piece was a fairly revisionist history itself — no mention of how the police and triads obviously cooperated, with the police not just failing to show up to (or even answer hundreds of emergency calls throughout the evening, even before the attacks) but actually abandoning their posts in the MTR, and when they did eventually return to the station and the streets, failing to arrest the hundreds of visibly armed and obviously triad men wandering around right in front of them — patting them gently on the back (or in the new revisionist HKPF version moving them back [but still not arresting visibly armed men in white when you’ve been called out to reports of attacks by visibly armed men in white, which still goes up to 11 on the Worthless Policing scale of 0-10]).

    That total and deliberate betrayal of everything the HKPF allegedly stood for all got condensed down in the article to a simple “the sluggish response by police”.

    I understand that brevity is required for these sorts of things, but that sort of disingenuous brevity is probably the sort of redemption through omission that the HKPF were after when they came up with their latest set of outlandish lies that pass for a cover up of their very obvious collusion with two organised crime gangs to indiscriminately attack Hong Kong commuters.

    Nothing either about how the triads were fairly obviously hired to do it for the authorities (and with their blessing and cooperation) through Junius Ho amongst others perhaps using CY Leung‘s Triad contacts.

    Again I appreciate the evidence is somewhat circumstantial but there is such an awful lot of it that it is hard to dismiss or explain any other way: pics and video of Ho having dinner with the triads and glad-handing them on the night and gushing “You guys are my heroes!”; WhatsApp messages from Triads about “the legislator” refusing to pay because he’s furious about those pics and videos; Ho’s parents’ graves getting mysteriously desecrated shortly after that; more WhatsApp messages from Triads about how the boys had to make “the legislator” pay in another way.

    And where to begin with the alleged government’s fairy tale excuse?
    “We were all trying to follow what was happening by watching TV in a room with no phones, no line to the cops and not a single computer hooked up to the internet, so we only found out about Yuen Long when Betty ‘my husband is coincidentally up for appeal soon’ Fung went out for a piss.”
    I can see the TV interview now: “I really did not expect it, because I don’t consider myself to be a person who understands politics Hong Kong social media crisis management very well, I am an administrator.”

  15. dimuendo says:

    J Ho’s parents grave was NOT “desecrated”; it was vandalised (in the sense of criminal damage).

  16. where's my jet plane says:

    Has Yonder Latrine reached peak stupid?

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