CCP killed the radio star

This has been a long time coming… The Hong Kong government announces plans to transform RTHK from a public service to a state mouthpiece (story here). It begins by identifying ‘problems’ (not listening to complaints, management being ‘weak’) and outlining measures to fix them. The broadcaster’s boss has been replaced by a civil servant with no background in media.

We will now wait and see how quickly, and how much, RTHK’s reports become rehashed government press releases, quoting pro-Beijing views only – as happened with commercial media years ago.

In other news, the only quotable people will soon be patriots.

The CCP is also preparing to reform (the SCMP says ‘ramp up’) Hong Kong’s political system to ensure that ‘only patriots run the city’. But Beijing already has a monopoly of political power here, with the Liaison and NatSec Offices now directly overseeing its appointed local officials (Carrie Lam and her hapless ministers). Partially or wholly elected bodies (the CE Election Committee and Legislative/District Councils) are essentially powerless, mostly gerrymandered and increasingly barred to pro-democrats through loyalty tests. What is the point of rigging elections even more to further reduce pan-dems’ chances of winning seats in impotent organs?

One idea being floated is to split up the current Legislative Council’s multi-member constituencies. (Classic changing the rules: single-member constituencies were merged after 1997 in order to boost pro-Beijing parties’ success rate.) Another may be to narrow functional constituencies’ already-limited electorates. One aim would be to reduce pan-dems’ possible participation in the fake, rubber-stamp ‘elections’ of the Chief Executive. Some pro-Beijing figures are even calling for the quasi-election to be replaced by ‘consultations’.

Since the CE ‘election’ and other representative processes are simply ceremonial, it seems that what Beijing wants to do here is mainly about appearances. But appearances can reflect reality. The most visible problem for Beijing with elections in Hong Kong is that the bulk of the population vote for pan-dems, and this undermines the regime’s claims to legitimacy. It is the perennial problem for communists: they can’t allow pluralism because they will lose any free contest of ideas.

The remedy will be to portray critics as threats to the nation and eliminate them from any part in the make-believe representative system (perhaps a few stooge ‘independent’ figures will be allowed to join in). The CCP assumes that once the pro-democrats disappear from view (from RTHK as well as from ballots), public political discourse will range only from the sloganizing of avid shoe-shiners to the rants of mouth-frothing patriot freaks. We will come to forget that alternative views ever existed, and will cherish our right to vote in charade-elections for the anti-democracy candidate of our choice.

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12 Responses to CCP killed the radio star

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    What’s sad is that even if Xi Dada is finally toppled/assassinated/tarred & feathered/run out of town to exile, it’ll pretty much be impossible to undo what’s been done to HKCCPSAR. Amazing how a place can get so utterly fucked over in such a short blink of the eye.

  2. Big Al says:

    Maybe instead of “Xianggang”, Hong Kong should just be renamed “Airstrip One” and be done with it.

  3. Where's my jet plane says:

    The complaints handling section of the RTHK report is word-perfect applicable to the HK Police. Curious that it is an issue for RTHK but not for Asia’s so-called Finest.

  4. Stanley Lieber says:

    The NSL has shifted the playing field to peaceful non-cooperation.

  5. Toph says:

    “The CCP assumes that once the pro-democrats disappear from view (from RTHK as well as from ballots), public political discourse will range only from the sloganizing of avid shoe-shiners to the rants of mouth-frothing patriot freaks. We will come to forget that alternative views ever existed, and will cherish our right to vote in charade-elections for the anti-democracy candidate of our choice.”

    Once they make it dangerous enough to express anything other than mouth-frothing patriotism, failure to participate in the rituals of legitimacy will mark one as suspicious. Nobody will be able to discern the true opinions of their friends and acquaintances. Then it will scarcely matter what anyone really thinks. That’s what totalitarianism does. It renders individual thought irrelevant to public life.

  6. Where's my jet plane says:

    Dear gods, what will they think of next?
    https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202102/22/P2021022200277.htm

    Even uploading the “correct” history for reference just in case “The Spark” lights the wrong sort of tinder…

  7. where's my jet plane says:

    I suppose Xia Baolong can be excused for spelling errors but mistaking “patriots” for “puppets” is not so forgiveable:
    Top Beijing official overseeing Hong Kong declares ‘patriots’ must hold key roles in city’s executive, judiciary, legislature and statutory bodies

  8. Mark Bradley says:

    “Once they make it dangerous enough to express anything other than mouth-frothing patriotism, failure to participate in the rituals of legitimacy will mark one as suspicious. Nobody will be able to discern the true opinions of their friends and acquaintances. Then it will scarcely matter what anyone really thinks. That’s what totalitarianism does. It renders individual thought irrelevant to public life.”

    I don’t think they’ll care whether people participate or not just like they didn’t care when all democrats resigned from Legco. As long as only “acceptable” candidates can stand for election, they won’t give a toss what the voter turnout was. After all it’s not like the people who can vote for election committee candidates are significant portions of the population either.

    As long as the Legco is turned into a rubber stamp and there is some kind of window dressing of elections, voter turnout absolutely will not matter to the regime.

  9. Chef Wonton says:

    Irony is that RTHK is simply on an identical path towards the same leftist monochrome that the American mainstream “media” (media in quotes) have journeyed for a decade or more.

  10. dimuendo says:

    Chef Wonton

    Mainstream American media is left wing?!

    If you are not #4, you are closely related.

  11. Toph says:

    @ Mark Bradley: They won’t care about low turnout if it is merely the result of apathy.

    But I predict that if what remains of the pan-dems call on the public to boycott the elections, we will hear plenty of mouth-frothing denunciations of electoral boycotts as “unpatriotic”, “subversive” and somehow “against the Basic Law”. Just like the unofficial primary and the yellow economic circle, completely legal actions will be labeled unacceptable. Large employers will be pressured to press-gang their employees into voting, with photographic proof required.

    Any act of non-compliance, no matter how small, must trigger maximum freakout. Let the brave among us make them ban the use of Mao quotations.

  12. Chef Wonton says:

    @dimuendo

    Dang right American mainstream “media” (media in quotes) is monochrome left.

    Are you in some some twilight zone nobody told me about?

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