Candidates for the new-style all-patriot Election Committee must disclose extensive details of past employment, foreign passports/residency (including spouse’s), ‘political’ plus (apparently) media/academic connections – and their friends and family will also be vetted. What’s weird about this is that the EC is in practice a ceremonial body with no real powers. But this is classic CCP-enforced righteousness. Shoe-shiners wanting the social cachet of being an EC member will now have to sweat for it.
On the subject of integrity, top Hong Kong officials are punished for breaking social-distancing laws over hotpot with just a small fine, while ordinary folks get arrested for shopping or picnicking – and Carrie gets flustered at the criticism. And a judge warns Yuen Long thugs of stiff sentences. Savour such tales of bureaucratic transparency and judicial independence while you can.
Beijing’s officials are really scrubbing the SARs clean. Pan-dems in Macau – a small but hardy bunch – are banned from the gambling enclave’s pseudo-elections. Again, the legislative body there is powerless anyway, and Macau has a small, docile, Mainlander-heavy population and is already under tight Beijing control. Xi must have ideological uniformity.
RFA reports on the extension of NatSec surveillance into universities, through official encouragement of student-teacher snitching. Not creepy at all.
Small wonder that people are leaving. As this Bloomberg op-ed points out, it’s difficult to measure the number of people emigrating. The net departures in the Immigration Dept figures include expat workers leaving because of Covid and not being replaced, from laid-off pilots to domestic helpers. There will be some Hong Kong-resident Mainlanders moving back over the border for the same reason. The rest must mainly be the middle-class refugees fleeing to the UK or Canada. And unlike the emigration of the 1980s-90s, these people are not getting an insurance policy – they’re cashing one in.
Local officials’ bravado over emigration suggests they find this a touchy subject, though Beijing’s overseers surely find satisfaction in seeing unpatriotic ingrates depart, and in tormenting them by withholding their MPF retirement funds.
All we can say is that lots of people – especially those with kids – are talking about it, and most of us know someone making serious preparations to go. One possible indication of how many: dozens of YouTube channels offering tips on housing, jobs and life generally in Manchester, Watford, Cardiff, Nottingham, Edinburgh, more Manchester, and almost any other city (did you know the small and obscure city of Hull has a social centre for Chinese elderly?). Some videos are by property agents, but many are emigres sharing experience – a new YouTube binge-category ‘Hongkongers in British suburbs’ is born. Their delight at the size and price of their new houses suggests they’re not coming back to Hong Kong soon.
Mrs Ho and I are not making plans to leave any time soon, but my concerns have been mounting steadily. Her indoors is of the opinion that she doesn’t care about politics, therefore politics doesn’t care about her. Or something.
For me personally, I believe that the tipping point will be when I have to tell my children that not everything they get told by teachers is correct, and in so doing not to listen to authority. That is very damaging. The eldest is only 5. I feel that this conversation is fast approaching.
“Their delight at the size and price of their new houses suggests they’re not coming back to Hong Kong soon.”
Yup. That’s reality. Yet the no brainer wumaos on the SCMP comments keep harping on the fact that HKers in UK will face non stop racism and that they’ll NEVER be considered British. Fucking hate mongers. I can’t believe SCMP lets this trash stick around. If you’re going to have propaganda bots, can you not make them such hateable dickheads? Not going to feel sad at all when that paper implodes and toads like Tammy Tam and Yonden Lhatoo are out of a job or perhaps their new mainland owner simply lays them off for not being patriotic enough.
Yes of course there are racist twats and ahem chavs in the UK, but most people there are lovely. But these insecure bots just want to focus on the negative side only.
At least places in the west like UK and US are facing their own issues with race head on whereas in China it’s all swept under the rug. Of course to a Han supremacist this isn’t a problem.
You’d think with the HKer fetish for all things cutesy Japanese, many would be running for the chance at repopulating a dying, small Japanese town in the boonies there. But then again, xenophobic Japan has always frowned upon and discouraged immigration and their (non)handling of the WuFlu is appalling.
Perhaps a village in Italy at the toe of the boot??
@Mark: At least HKers in the UK aren’t black, so they have that advantage. Plus they can whip out the “I Like Chinese” song if necessary to diffuse a tense situation.
You’re being a bit harsh on Hull – see https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-humber-25018146 and https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/sep/11/-sp-to-hull-and-back-the-rebirth-of-britains-poorest-city – plus the Watersons came from there.
Highly recommendable: Netflix’ new series „How to become a Tyrant“. Lots of parallels, and what might lie ahead for Hong Kong. Scary!
I meant DEFUSE a tense situation, of course! Aiyaaaa
@kwun tong – saw the Netflix series – Its already in China. Also reminded me of Boris Johnson and his cabinet cronies also – they’re taking quite a lot from the dictators playbook.
@Ho Ma Fan: Children should learn early and often that authority figures are not always correct. This is a healthy lesson that will save them a lot of grief later in life. Far more damaging is for them to stay here and learn that might makes right, no good deed goes unpunished, and the way to get ahead is not through merit but by snitching, lying, and finding the right arse to kiss. Living in a society that is not always that bleak is an immense privilege we no longer have.
The tiny and obscure town of Hull is my birth place. It has a pleasant cobbled old town, a marina, a nearby airport with 45-minutes flights to Amsterdam, and very cheap property.
But it’s constantly mocked because it is often at the bottom of all the social league tables. A Kiwi taxi driver in Sydney even laughed when my daughter told him her dad was from there. He said something like, “Isn’t that where all the teenage pregnancies are?”
Yet there is a simple reason for the low social score. Hull is the only the city in the UK without a middle class area. The adjoining middle class area, where I was brought up, is governed from nearby Beverley, a stunning and wealthy market town with a glorious minster.
Why? I suppose for mediaeval reasons. Apart from having two saints and sanctuary stones, it was basically used for R&R by the Percy family, aka the Dukes of Northumberland – England’s main line of defence against the Scots. The town has kept its influence ever since.
But I digress. In short, Hull can be rough but you can get a two-bedroom flat with a marina view for about 275,000 pounds and a one bedroom in the centre of town for 70,000 pounds (see link below).
In the interest of disclosure, this is not my flat and neither I, nor my family and friends, have an interest in it etc, etc.
@Mark Bradley ‘swept into a work camp’ is more where the racial problems go on the mainland
@justsayin Indeed that too