The CCP wishes to remind us that it is really serious about cleansing Hong Kong’s public space of critics, opponents and people who think for themselves. Even all those District Council members you elected will be methodically ostracized by the administration – excluded from the many consultative and other bodies they have sat on for decades, as well as the rubber-stamp CE Election Committee. (More on Beijing’s planned ‘improvements’ to elections to ensure ‘rule by patriots’ here.)
To repeat from yesterday, Hong Kong has never had a system in which anyone you vote for will have any power if they win an election. All political power lies with officials picked by Beijing – or (nowadays) by those seconded from the central and other Mainland authorities. Fixing alleged loopholes in the largely Potemkin electoral system is about banishing non-kowtowers from even symbolic contact with government or access to official platforms. It will also provide another pretext, as if the NatSec law isn’t enough, to purge undesirables from public positions.
Note that Xia Baolong includes the judiciary among those who run Hong Kong – which is not new, but you wish they’d stop saying it. Bottom line: if judges wish to keep their ‘independence’, they’d better start doing what they’re told. He also states that anyone who does not accept the CCP cannot qualify as a patriot. What this guarantees – if it’s any consolation – is that those still sitting on councils and committees will be entertainingly stupid.
As if to prove it, the pro-Beijing rump Legislative Council members dutifully welcome not just the plan, but the fact that they will have no say on it. LegCo president Andrew Leung puts on a brave face over his chamber’s irrelevance by declaring that ‘as long as you are patriotic, you can have any views’.
But wait! It gets stupider! Never one to miss an opportunity to blurt out something both perplexing and dimwitted, Chief Executive Carrie Lam adds that those who ‘forget they are Chinese’ are also excluded. So no race-traitors, please. It would be naive to wonder whether or how the city’s barbarian ethnicities fit in.
Pan-dems who once spent their days sitting on futile committees, running ward offices and campaigning should consider themselves liberated from a charade that has zero remaining legitimacy. Abandoning once feisty forums like LegCo – and the associated ‘elections’ – to Beijing’s embarrassing mediocre sycophants will be a political win.