Sliding into stupidocracy

Hong Kong is headed for a state of unprecedented establishment stupidity. The day is soon coming when Holden Chow gets put onto committees because he brings some brains to the proceedings. 

An observer at the recent judgement in which Martin Lee et al were found guilty mentioned something along the lines of ‘a class/status divide in the courtroom … the accused were some of Hong Kong’s top legal minds, while the judge looked out of her depth – though enjoying the chance to stick it to the smart-asses. Our best and brightest thinkers are being persecuted by resentful second-raters who can now exact revenge’.

Quick interlude on the subject of ‘best and brightest’: Nathan Law gets asylum in the UK.

Meanwhile, back in out-of-their-depth-land… 

In a Bloomberg TV interview, Hong Kong Police deputy commissioner Oscar Kwok talked of national security risks arising from the ‘aggressive DNA’ of countries like the US who want to ‘suppress the development of China’. Kwok would have acquired his profound international relations expertise at a week-long course in Beijing, possibly at the Chinese Academy of Governance, which gives Hong Kong public servants, academics, journalists and other attendees a fetching little pin. These days, only those dumb enough to take this sort of thing seriously will make it up the ranks.

What with screening, vetting, loyalty oaths, firings and good-old-fashioned jailings, the range of people permitted in public office and formal political positions is dwindling. At the same time, the demand for ideologically qualified ‘talent’ is rising – the new ‘improved’ Legislative Council will have 40 seats reserved for certified patriots who will need to be dredged up from somewhere. And now the NatSec regime is going to trawl people’s pasts for evidence of incorrect thinking from decades ago. Obviously, the thought-police will sniff out youthful indiscretions of those the CCP wants to persecute while overlooking those of born-again loyalists or potentially useful idiots. But still, it makes you wonder who – or what – will be left in the pool of acceptable patriots.

Some ceremonial (and needless to say genuine) posts will no doubt be filled by CCP-connected Mainlanders, who will bring their own creepy skills and agendas into the Hong Kong establishment. But the local people in exalted or executive positions in future will be the out-of-their-depth second-raters. (And yes – that’s by the standards of today’s not-exactly-cerebral pro-Beijing camp and Gold Bauhinia Medal awardees.)

There will be no checks, criticism or questioning from an all-shoeshiner/loyalist vetted legislature stacked with dimwits Starry, Holden, Elizabeth Q et al. Nor will any skeptical or investigative journalism come out of a muzzled press. A witless ‘elite’ and declining official transparency are a recipe for incompetence and corruption. For a taste, consider the Sinovac-pushing/BioNTech-smearing mess. 

It won’t stop at cops and judges. ‘Better Red than Expert’ will apply to appointments and promotions not only in RTHK and the universities, but throughout the civil service, probably in hospital brain-surgery departments and the bureaucracies that keep the sewage pipes clear and the electricity and gas running. We will mourn the glorious days when the big problem was bad English on official signage.

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22 Responses to Sliding into stupidocracy

  1. Toph says:

    Yes, we will get a deluge of the stupids in the short run, but the end goal is to create a society just like the Mainland in which nobody rises to the top without the endorsement of, or being beholden to, the Party.

    The reason why the ranks of loyalists were filled with mediocrities for the last 20 years is because Hong Kong offered plenty of better ways for a smart person to succeed. In the long run, any clever ambitious young person will have to jump on the CCP bandwagon or else be consigned to a lifetime of office drone drudgery. That’s how the CCP staffs its technocracy – by choking off opportunities to grow outside the system and cutting down anyone who manages it regardless. See: the soon-to-be-ex proprietor of the SCMP.

  2. A Poor Man says:

    Oscar Kwok? Perhaps he should show his patriotism and Chineseness by using the mandarin/pinyin version of his name. Doubtful that he was named Oscar by his parents. If he is into choosing his own name, maybe Guo Xinhua would get him a promotion.

  3. Casual Observer says:

    Any comment on Nury Vittachi’s announcement that he is disappearing for a few months and will “emerge in a new form”? Either he has landed his dream job at the Global Times or his better half has reached retirement age which means an end to the housing allowance and other expat benefits and a one way ticket back to the UK.

  4. Mark Bradley says:

    “Any comment on Nury Vittachi’s announcement that he is disappearing for a few months and will “emerge in a new form”?” Hopefully that idiot is miserable.

  5. Big Al says:

    “But still, it makes you wonder who – or what – will be left in the pool of acceptable patriots …” Probably those with the backbone, integrity and intelligence normally associated with pondlife invisible to the naked eye?

  6. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    Anybody noticed the further mainlandizaton of the English speaking TVB Pearl channel, with a looooong advertisement for Financial News in Putonghua? I am sure the need for such was the result of an in-depth market study! For a moment here I thought I switched channel by mistake to CCTV 1

  7. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Poor Man: Guo 爱国 (simplified, naturally) would definitely be promotion worthy.

  8. YTSL says:

    “That’s how the CCP staffs its technocracy – by choking off opportunities to grow outside the system and cutting down anyone who manages it regardless. See: the soon-to-be-ex proprietor of the SCMP.”

    His case shows people that being a CCP member can’t save them from harm.

  9. Mary Melville says:

    Nury to fill in the RTHK Morning Brew slot Steven Vines was kicked off?
    It would take some weeks of intensive ‘grooming’ to ensure that he sticks to the patriotic promotion theme rather than deviating to promote his latest book.

  10. Mjrelje says:

    I thought Vines is heading to Backchat?

  11. Revolution says:

    This process is already well underway. I deal regularly with the Police as part of my job in relation to non-protest related crimes. The decline in their responsiveness and their general competence is alarming. Where have all of the competent officers gone?

    The SFC also seem to be on the decline if my recent dealings with them are anything to go by.

  12. Toph says:

    @YTSL – you’re right, CCP membership is no guarantee of protection. Jack Ma’s a rank-and-file rando who got in early on the internet boom and probably lucked into kissing the right butts at the right time. The princelings think he’s gotten too big for his boots.

  13. Containment Building#4 says:

    “….overlooking those of born-again loyalists or potentially useful idiots.”

    Aha! A shoe-in for Reactor#4 in LegCo then?

  14. HKJC Irregular says:

    I understand Vines gets a weekly co-hosting spot on Backchat, meaning he’s been reduced to the affable sidekick level of Ninxy (not a minx) Lam, Mike Rowse and any other charlatan they can prise from the FCC.
    My guess is slimy Nury will hop to the SCUMP with the toads there wanting a period of quarantine between the freesheet and the broadsheet. Won’t be surprised to see the tw*t resurface as RTHK’s loyal trash gets the ascendancy, blathering his generalisations and tedious excuse for humour to avid cretins who thinks he has amusing insights.

  15. so says:

    English is an Indo-European inflected language, which behaves by theft.

    A cursory read of the LegCo changes in HK election rules and their grammar, reveals that a camel is a horse designed by a committee.

  16. Chef Wonton says:

    That Slimy Nury is still around proves just how bad Hong Kong has slid since 1997.

    The Baldie was over promoted FILTH even recycling mis-spelled menus on the back page below the fold of the SCMP when it was still a proper newspaper.

    Titter, titter, ohhh those mis-spelled menus, how we all guffawed.

    Still, on the upside for Nury, now he starts to look like a trailblazer, as every single senior position seeks to be as toad-like and slime-like as Nury.

  17. Cassowary says:

    I used to laugh at Nury Vittachi’s column in the 1990s. In my defence, I was a child.

  18. Austin Powers says:

    Time to go. You old expats should be gone by now. Hong Kong is fucked. Stop whingeing.

  19. Andrew Mountford says:

    Nurat Vitarsey; a little man with little talent & no shame or self-awareness.

  20. Real Fax Paper says:

    Not just Stupidocracy, and not Just Another Mainland City: what’s coming is going to be considerably worse. Arbitrary and unaccountable Rule by Law superimposed on top of a system of inflexible rule-following inherited from the Rule of Law. If HK’s governance seemed sclerotic before, it will pale into insignificance compared to the absolute grinding dysfunction that is likely to come. The worst of both worlds.

    (Another reason it’s not going to be Just Another Mainland City is likelihood of a Tibet/Xinjiang style rectification program aimed at reprogramming the locals – which could see a two-tier society of ‘trustworthy’ northern imports, and untrusted, surveilled, harassed and locked-out indigenous people. I’d love to believe this is an unlikely scenario, but…)

  21. Siuyiu says:

    @Revolution: Very interesting about the HKPF. Can you tell us more, suitably edited and anonymized?

  22. Ho Ma Fan says:

    @Austin Powers; Oh, behave!

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