HK another day closer to next eruption

Beijing ejects four pan-dems from the Legislative Council via an almost blasé NPC Standing Committee edict (reports here, here and here). What we say goes, and to hell with due process or existing laws and procedures

Although pan-dem lawmakers go into wrist-slashing-and-wailing mode (much to the delight, presumably, of their CCP tormentors), there really isn’t a downside to this. It doesn’t hurt Hong Kong democracy or ‘political development’ because there isn’t any. It doesn’t end One Country Two Systems, because that ended with the imposition of the NatSec Regime. It doesn’t turn LegCo into a rubber stamp – it just exposes the fact that it already was one. It does confirm that the Basic Law that supposedly protects the rights of Hong Kong people means nothing if and when the CCP finds it inconvenient.

Hong Kong’s freedom movement should see this as a gift that brings clarity. The remaining pan-dems being used as ornament-scapegoats can finally come to terms with the futility of staying in LegCo and quit. To take part in this fake political system is to pay tribute to Beijing. You can’t fight the Chinese Communist Party playing by its rules on its field. The future is an asymmetric conflict. Young techies, satirists and Milk-Tea Alliance meme-makers will have more effect than middle-aged lawyers urging us to vote in rigged elections and then ranting that the Leninists aren’t fair. The shared resentment of life under a malevolent colonizer will be more inspiring than high-minded demands for democratic structures.

Faced with a choice between ejecting dissenters and retaining a shred of legitimacy for the legislature, the CCP goes for the former. Makes the local puppets a bit embarrassed, but who cares? On a slightly amusing level, the squeezing out of moderate democrats from formal public life will leave members of the old-style tycoon-bureaucrat shoe-shiner establishment more exposed (Felix looking nervous). Loyalty (or ‘patriotism’) tests will also presumably apply to pro-dem District Councils. That leaves the independent judiciary on the CCP’s to-do list – indeed, the edict disqualifying the four lawmakers is specifically designed to sideline the courts.

Related links… NPC Observer discussion of the edict. From AFP, the purge of LegCo in vivid graphics. Badiucao’s rather excellent cartoon. And a poem – perhaps aimed at cliched journos, but could be dedicated to certain incessantly despairing (now ex-) pan-dem lawmakers.

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21 Responses to HK another day closer to next eruption

  1. dim maybe says:

    I think the balance should have stayed.

    But note, according to reports, the expulsions of the thrown out 4 have been back dated to 30 June. So they are going to be required to (re)pay July, August, September, October salaries and expenses (and any received for November).

    So a considerable financial hit as well.

  2. Casira says:

    @dim maybe: They would have to go to court to claim those salaries back, with a dim chance of success, so I think they’ll give it a pass.

  3. Gooddog says:

    Tragic day. Poor Hong Kong. Take your money and run.

  4. Chris M says:

    The upside: Beijing now owns whatever happens. They can no longer blame the pan-dems.

  5. where's my jet plane says:

    From Twitter via Guido Fawkes:
    Word discovery of the day
    Stiffrump 18th century; an obstinate and haughty individual who refuses to budge no matter what.

    I wonder who that might be?

  6. Mark Bradley says:

    “the edict disqualifying the four lawmakers is specifically designed to sideline the courts.”

    And this edict isn’t even an interpretation or national law. What constitutional basis does it even have in our legal system? Our courts should just commit suicide and issue an emergency injunction on this BS as soon as someone does a JR. Why even pretend that everything the NPCSC says is gospel with no check on its power and must be treated like case law? All that does is allow the NPCSC to write away all of the courts powers in the long run anyway.

    Because at this point the courts are totally useless. Just like our legislature and the Basic Law. All of it is now irrelevant and our autonomy completely liquidated. We don’t even have the autonomy we used to have when we were under indirect rule.

  7. Mark Bradley says:

    Are the affected parties even going to bother to do a JR on this? At the very least I want to see a judge explain how this complies with Article 79 of the Basic Law which regulates when a sitting lawmaker should be disqualified if none of them will brave enough to give the NPCSC the middle finger and kill the judiciary in one swoop.

  8. Probably says:

    So when will the “People’s Commons” be set up with it’s own universal voting structure. Surely the best way to upset the CCP but how bold are the democrats? If they were going to be prosecuted under the NSL for just being democrats then they may as well be hung as a sheep rather than a lamb.

  9. Chinese Netizen says:

    I take back my previous comment about legislators staying on and concur with Hemlock’s assessment that it’s all an exposed joke – officially now – and any remaining “Pan Dem” legislators should walk away. Plus it’ll be fun watching the remaining stooges go through motions every time like play acting knowing every time that the results will be pre determined.

    Truly a tour de farce.

  10. Get out of the vote says:

    I think now the Pro-HK camp should pursue a citywide campaign for everyone to deregister from voting for next year: LegCo can be made even more hilariously illegitimate if the actual electorate drops from just over 50% to only 5% of the population.

    If there’s still any point to voting at all by 2023, the populace can re-register before the District Elections. “click on De-registration”

  11. so says:

    On the ground that other places do it, from now on, each new LegCo Bill will include a clause requiring each LegCo Member to declare that the Bill complies with the National Security Law.

  12. Conference says:

    Panda Tantrum now in progress:

    ” In a statement, the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said the camp’s action showed their stubborn resistance against the central government. A spokesman said it was an open challenge against Beijing’s powers and the authority of the Basic Law. ”

    Another word we see now from the CE, and now here: “smearing”

    A sad day.

    Now all that is left to capture: The Courts, RTHK (going fast), Jimmy Lai.

    Then: close the open internet

  13. Mary Melville says:

    To keep the RS members busy as many folk as possible should take part in the sessions open to public participation, you get 3 mins to voice out. A good turn out will keep them in the chamber all day as the numbers will require multiple sittings.
    Previously the members who attended were majority pan-dem, the others, particularly FCs, wander in and out and when they were in played with their phones.
    To ensure they cannot escape their public duty call for a quorum when their numbers drop. I have done this, requested the chairman to ensure that quorum was met and also questioned why the members were not paying attention to what the members of the public, many whom had given up a half days pay, were saying.
    Those folk who are retired with time to spare could turn this into a informative and entertaining pastime.

  14. Pope Innocent says:

    One of the many things new powers have come up with which I wish we’d thought of in the Church is the concept of “freedom of speech”. Lull your serfs into believing the mere act of voicing their discontent will make a difference, and they’ll go back to their hovels, content in the knowledge that they’ve done their bit before coming back to the mill for more indentured servitude the next day. What’s more, it makes the secret police’s job of identifying troublemakers almost too easy.

    Without that simple lie they might realise that a well-placed crossbow bolt to the eye (infidels only, of course) is a much more efficacious solution to their leadership problems.

  15. Joe Blow says:

    In 1997 we were fooled into believing that 1C2S would be in force until 2047. As it turned out, the agreement was unilaterally abandoned in 2020 by the Chinese Communist Party. Lesson for any foreign party: if you sign an agreement with the CCP/ Chinese Government it means shit all. That’s all, folks.

  16. Mary Melville says:

    Re freeedom of speech, populating the Legco panels is of course not going to change the outcome but there is the satisfaction of keeping both the members and a dozen or so government officials tied up for hours.

  17. Reactor #4 says:

    @Joe Blow.

    The problem stems from the fact that many locals, plus their overseas handlers and supporters, wanted an independent Hong Kong. Unsurprisingly, the big cheeses up north pretty quickly thought screw this for a game of tennis (you seem unaware that in the grand scheme of things, several million people living on some lumpy ground at the arse-end of China are completely expendable).

    When the history of our times is eventually written up, it will be obvious who was to blame.

  18. Red Dragon says:

    Pope Innocent.

    Why didn’t you put #4 after your exciting new pontifical nom de troll?

  19. Chinese Netizen says:

    ” In a statement, the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said the camp’s action showed their stubborn resistance against the central government. A spokesman said it was an open challenge against Beijing’s powers and the authority of the Basic Law. ”

    So now the Gestapo/NatSecPoPo will round up the 4 fired legislators and all that walked out and FORCE them back to chambers and accept their salaries again as a way of legitimizing the non legitimate government…?

  20. Pope Innocent says:

    Red Dragon.

    I don’t believe #4 would ever advocate armed revolution.

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