No fresh start for HK

The US is looking forward to a fresh start, with lots of healing and lovey-dovey stuff. (The scriptwriters should be ashamed of themselves. The Four Seasons Total Landscaping saga capping the US presidential election would have been just about believable – but placing it between a sex toy store and a crematorium was stretching the audience’s credulity. Sorry.)

No such luck for Hong Kong.

HKFP counts up the number of pan-democrat legislators who have not been disqualified, expelled or arrested. Out of 29 of them, only four haven’t. ‘In some cases they have been subject to multiple arrests on top of actions to remove them from the legislature.’

In Greater Bay Area news, relatives of the HK 12 are not allowed to know the names of the lawyers that will be allowed to work on their cases. And Chinese officials are intimidating a lawyer they tried to hire.

And, not content with having a Gestapo Snitch Hotline to play with, Beijing loyalists are resorting to even cruder ways to intimidate judges who don’t take part in the CCP’s lawfare against pan-dem protesters. Hong Kong officials seem slightly embarrassed by the zealousness of the tactics – but not much. Update: CCP-owned press join in.

That’s just to start the week. 

Some other links…

From Michael Pettis, a big-picture explainer on why Beijing derailed the Ant Group IPO (no gory inter-elite vendettas or dirt – just the reality of China’s state-controlled banking system).

HKFP has some photos of nocturnal Hong Kong creepy-crawlies (not the pro-CCP ones daubing threats against judges on walls).

And Asian Review of Books asks if there is such a thing as Hong Kong literature. (Not that it would qualify, but I am toying with the idea of distilling some of Hemlock’s Diary down to book-suitable size. Good idea? Bad idea? Just something to do?) 

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18 Responses to No fresh start for HK

  1. Roddy the Rodomontade says:

    Yes! Distil down Hemlock’s Diary and send the manuscript to Blacksmith Books. It’d be superb to see that on the shelves in Hong Kong.

  2. dimuendo says:

    No, Hemlock. To reprint what is topical at the time of publishing your diary merely becomes repetitive and stale. You published at least one book(20? years ago).

    If you were to rewrite and produce a memoir, or changes in HK while you have lived here, that might be worth buying.

    Or help Knownot to produce a volume of his /her ( better) verse.

  3. Goatboy says:

    The selected diaries would make an excellent stocking filler (for Xmas 2021, I assume). But who would play the ‘young’ Hemlock in the film adaptation?

  4. Bill Winter says:

    Four seasons landscaping odd choice. Really that incompetent??

    Media insisting Trump concede before any recount or audit. But many anomalies which deserve investigation

    Turnout extremely high https://twitter.com/JamesTodaroMD/status/1325531530966536194

    Address issues (ineligible voters) in Georgia https://twitter.com/kylenabecker/status/1325585740059856898

    Address issues (ineligible voters) in Nevada https://twitter.com/johnrobertsFox/status/1324509478138597377

    Odd shifts in mail-in voting after 3am on election night https://twitter.com/APhilosophae/status/1325592112428163072

  5. Siu jiu says:

    “That’s just to start the week.”

    Between the HKPF, Lam, HKU, and the Red Empire, seems we have appalling news three days per week, minimum.

  6. Chinese Netizen says:

    This is from October 15 NY Times:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/15/world/asia/hong-kong-snakes.html?searchResultPosition=1

    HKFP playing catch up or simply out of good ideas?

    Also: Just think of how much easier things would be in the States if they truly stuck to that “One man, one vote” silliness.

  7. old mind doctor says:

    Don’t think it would work, Hemlock. Your column is pithy commentary on daily absurdities with interesting links to informed opinion on current times. Can’t see it working as a compendium between the covers.

    Fiction is the way to go. Page-turning stuff when I got here in the late-70s included John Gordon Davis, Timothy Mo, Austin Coates, Le Carre’s The Honourable Schoolboy. Yes there were common tropes: the doe-eyed Chinese girl, the gin-soaked tai-tai, the rambunctious gweilo in the FCC (Sutherland House), corrupt coppers and always, in Chapter 5, a serious typhoon.

    And spies. Le Carre featured a character called ‘Old Craw’ who was directly and admittedly based on Richard Hughes. I was at the far end of the table from him in the Hilton Grill, a once-a-month lunch with types like Hu van Es, Kevin Sinclair and sundry old China hands. All gone now, in this city devoid of character.

    Hemlock, as a token gweil0 in a Chinese firm, you have stories. Fictionalise and exaggerate characters, find a story, and your retirement will take on new purpose as you bash out 10 pages of your pot-boiler a day. That includes a Taiwanese double-agent, a bitcoin scammer, a Brit cop living the NT and a clandestine affair with ‘Queen Yell’.

  8. HKJC Irregular says:

    @ Winter + 3 other seasons
    So pseudos on Twitter are now the authority. Let’s be clear about the vision that sums up the GOP post-election: Rudy Giuliani (who has fallen so much) at a rostrum with dildos + porn mags stored on one side of him, urns and coffins to the other.

  9. charlie says:

    I would very gladly buy and consume a copy, for what it’s worth

  10. Chris says:

    Your columns age well enough but they are already available online and further editing would only diminish them.

    If you are seriously looking for a project, I would certainly buy quadruple ply bog roll festooned with Chinese flags and Rectum #4’s hemorrhoidal insights.

  11. Red Dragon says:

    Serious load of old bollocks in this tranche of comments.

    “Old mind doctor” takes first prize for hindsight wanking as he ticks off all the dreary old FCC farts who made late colonial Hongkers so irredeemably naff.

    Get a grip, chaps! The FCC, the Club, the RHKYC, the RHKGC, the RHKJC, and Auntie Mildred, who sent her children to Billy Tingle’s while she took it up the bum behind the LRC, are no more.

    Let’s face it. The Hong Kong we all pretended to lurve is no more.

    Leave it to Reactor#4 and similar such tossers. Do yourselves a favour.

  12. steve says:

    @ Bill Winter: Your election fraud claims, as with Giuliani’s, that whole hammer & tongs or whatever the eff it is, and all the rest of the effluvium roiling the wingnut swamps at the moment–are errant nonsense, garbage, the most fragrant horseshit on the market.

    In a better world, the tumbrils would be rolling these criminals towards the blade.

    We’ll likely have to settle for Four Seasons Total Landscaping being hilarious for all eternity.

  13. old mind doctor says:

    Agree, RD, ’tis all gone. No characters now in this forsaken city.
    Your list of colonial clubs were not my stomping grounds.
    More dai pai dongs in Kennedy Town and the occasional excursion to the NT in a mini-moke that’s windscreen had rusted off. No highways, no MTR.

    I arrived with a one-way ticket and 50 quid and knew no one. I never ‘pretended’ to love Hong Kong. Just did, immediately on arrival. Auntie Mildred was a particular ‘mentor’ of mine, before she buggered off.

    Which, I suggest, you do.

  14. Mark Bradley says:

    “@ Bill Winter: Your election fraud claims, as with Giuliani’s, that whole hammer & tongs or whatever the eff it is, and all the rest of the effluvium roiling the wingnut swamps at the moment–are errant nonsense, garbage, the most fragrant horseshit on the market.

    In a better world, the tumbrils would be rolling these criminals towards the blade.

    We’ll likely have to settle for Four Seasons Total Landscaping being hilarious for all eternity.”

    Seconding this. There is absolutely zero evidence of election fraud. The lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign are nothing but theater, and 10 of them have been thrown out by the courts so far. Hearsay is not admissible in court. Even a Republican dominated court still practices rule of law not rule by law.

  15. Hamantha says:

    @Hemlock

    Given your unique writing style, you might be able to pull off a more satirical take on current affairs, maybe something akin to Jon Stewart’s “America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction” (2004), one of my absolute favourites.

    While you wouldn’t have a team of the funniest people alive to help with the material like Jon Stewart did, I’m sure you could pull off a real smirker. Plus, in satire, you might get past the new NSL censors!

  16. Mark Bradley says:

    “I never ‘pretended’ to love Hong Kong. Just did, immediately on arrival.”

    Exactly! Same here. It’s why I don’t want to leave despite the banana republic transformation.

  17. Low Profile says:

    @old mind doctor – hear, hear! A lot of us were never part of that whole colonial drinks-at-the-club lifestyle. A beer and a curry in Chungking Mansions or a hike and a swim on Lantau was more my scene. And I knew I’d fallen in love with Hong Kong when, returning from Thatcher’s Britain, I looked down from the plane at the now familiar landscape of HK and found myself thinking “home again”.

  18. Reactor #4 says:

    @Low Profile.

    I love HK also. Moreover, I too never got into the club scene. I don’t understood it and have never wanted to be a part of it. I put it down to not having been to a public school; I don’t have the urge to belong.

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