Welcome to Hong Kong, where – in a barely surprising plot twist – 15 of 47 people who haven’t done anything illegal are given bail but stay in jail anyway. Who wrote this show trial script? It’s corny and predictable. Or as Jerome Cohen puts it, an ‘unthinkable travesty of justice, apparently about to get worse’. Some pics.
Nor exactly coincidentally, Hong Kong is ejected from the Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index, on the grounds that the city no longer enjoys autonomy and is run directly by Beijing. (Taiwan ranks at number 7.)
I remember back in my Company Gwailo days, representing the Big Boss – who had more important things to do with his lithesome masseuse in a Mid-Levels penthouse – at one of these occasions. Must have been late 90s. The mutual fawning was unpleasant to behold and there was much surreptitious use of air-motion sickness receptacles. Who needs an anal swab when you’ve got Hong Kong’s top bureaucrats’ tongues in such close proximity to Heritage Foundation bulky-white-guys’ rear ends?
The Foundation labelled Hong Kong the world’s ‘freest economy’ even though the Hong Kong government owned all the land, accommodated cartels, systematically excluded public opinion from policymaking, and squeezed genuine entrepreneurs and innovators with red tape and cronyism. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Beijing-appointed leaders overlooked the think-tank’s papers calling for tougher US military preparedness against the PRC – long before it was fashionable.
From the Reuters report – those anal swab tests take Barbarian-trolling to a new level. They are…
…performed with a sterile [well, gee, thanks] cotton swab, which looks like a very long ear bud, that is inserted [a rather breathtaking] 3 cm to 5 cm (1.2 inches to 2 inches) into the anus before being gently [we hope] rotated out.
Next Big Thing: the improvements to the HK electoral system. By ‘improvements’, we mean ‘more zombie-like puppets if we can find them, since even we thought we were scraping the bottom of the barrel with Elizabeth Quat and Holden Chow’. With LegCo elections postponed until 2022, or thereabouts, there’s still time to dredge them up.