People’s Daily becomes HK’s top policymaker

For decades, the Professional Teachers Union has been the biggest, indeed mainstream, body representing educators. Then, People’s Daily and Xinhua publish articles accusing it of being an ‘anti-China tumour’. Within just hours, the Hong Kong government announces that…

…it will no longer hold meetings with the union and its representatives, nor will they consult the group regarding education topics. Concerns and cases forwarded by the group will not be dealt with, teacher training courses held by the union will not be recognised, and PTU representatives may lose their seats in different government consultation groups, officials said.

Who makes Hong Kong government policy?

For a clue, consider that Benny Tai (already in jail) is now being pursued for supposed electoral malpractices committed in – but overlooked since – 2016. The ICAC thus joins the HK Police, Justice Dept prosecutors and others as…  

…previously respected – even admired – institutions … pressed into service and discredited in the eyes of the public by their efforts to display a becoming level of enthusiasm for reform, stability and one-party rule.

Other recent horrors: police arrest a man on suspicion of booing during the national anthem, and another one for ‘intimidation’ – namely urging a boycott of pro-Beijing businesses.

In the midst of this ongoing collapse of a once-free society, the SCMP turns increasingly desperate in its attempts to paint a brighter picture. 

Their democracy-hating columnist who emigrated to Canada sneers at other emigres and predicts that they will go scuttling back to Hong Kong. Hypocrisy aside, this refrain (heard also from Regina Ip and others) ignores some major differences between the pre-1997 flight from Hong Kong and today’s when the worst fears of that time are coming to pass. 

It also tends to exaggerate how awful things will be in the UK compared with Hong Kong. YouTube posts of delighted Hong Kong kids running around 1,200 sq ft HK$5 mn new-build semi-detached houses in UK suburbs suggest that not even a full restoration of Hong Kong’s autonomy would entice them back to their old rabbit hutch in Shatin. (Uncle Bob’s Escape from the Commies series meanwhile explores boat-hire options.)

The SCMP also produces a not-very-convincing feel-good story about ‘expats who think Hong Kong has a great future’. Obviously, no-one cares what a handful of older, wealthier, apparently establishment-friendly gwailos think: they have foreign passports and – blissfully – little idea of other people’s problems outside their homes on the Peak and in Clearwater Bay.

The real issue is several million Hongkongers, especially with young children, who face a crummy enough quality of life in tiny flats. who now see a future of brainwashing in schools and the crushing of civil society, rule of law and people with a conscience. Idea for the next SCMP article: how compelling do ‘Greater Bay Opportunities’ and 16.5% salaries tax sound to them?

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16 Responses to People’s Daily becomes HK’s top policymaker

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    Oh fer F**KSSAKES…Mark PEAKER of the Peak…say no more. Prolific letter writer of brown nosing platitudes to the SCCPMP even well before 2014. I guess it’s good for business and perhaps he’s trying to elbow out Mister LKF as the go-to Gwailo for that very necessary “longtime foreign resident” perspective. What a tool.

    He hesitates to speak candidly amongst his elite friends abroad for fear of being branded politically incorrect. Better that than being PROSECUTED for treason for the same act in Hong Kong now that you don’t know who your friends are and maybe someone will use the NSL against you for their own advantage!

    This motley crew assembled for this SCCPMP article are indeed the true “useful idiots”.

  2. dopey says:

    It’s just so depressing…

    Unlike Richard Harris I wasn’t afraid to go to Central, however I was worried that my teenage children could be out and about and be “subdued” or “questioned” by the police.

    Swings and roundabouts I guess.

  3. YTSL says:

    I couldn’t be bothered to read that SCMP article but did watch its accompanying video:

    Are the interviewees featured in the video the same as those in the print piece? If so… someone selling expensive Chinese art (who also is a Peak resident) and a woman talking about how working hours in Hong Kong are fewer than in her native Spain really don’t make for the most representative of Hong Kong expats, never mind Hong Kongers, do they? As for Judith McKay: I understand where she’s coming from but, if I were to put it harshly, she’s way closer to the end of her life than those who still have a good part of their lives ahead of them, never mind their children.

  4. D3SH says:

    “I don’t find it threatening. I think it was – in terms of the stability of Hong Kong – almost essential,” says Sallnow-Smith, a director on the board of the Wynn Macau casino resort.

    Yes, I’m sure the sort of crony (state) capitalist that sits on a Macau casino board speaks for the majority in Hong Kong. Bravo!

    Perhaps the paper could interview those younger deplorables on the NET programme or the ones that prop up much of the hospitality industry in and around Central? Or would they not have the appropriate opinions?

  5. Guest says:

    Allan Zeman wasn’t available to be interviewed for the SCMP article? Was he busy getting a haircut?

  6. Chris Maden says:

    I skimmed the article. I’d like to think it was a deliberate parody.

  7. Joe Blow says:

    How come they didn’t interview “patriotic” District Councillor Zimmerman?

  8. Johnny Jardine says:

    D3SH: or how about asking the even more deplorable FILTH working in ‘finance’ in Central.

  9. reductio says:


    No, as I believe the interviews took place during day time, Alan would still be in his coffin.

  10. Low Profile says:

    According to the SCMP article, Nicholas Sallnow-Smith is a “prominent British citizen” in Hong Kong. If he’s so prominent, how come I’ve never heard of him before? Hands up anyone else here who has.

  11. Just following orders says:

    Weren’t / aren’t pricey HK art galleries used as a means of laundering dirty Commie cash? If so, that’s very unpatriotic and deserves a spot of attention from the local NSL Gestapo, doesn’t it?

  12. Mary Melville says:

    re Low Profile: He was a boss at Link Reit for some years. Another prime example of valuable public assets gifted to a developer at bargain basement cost.

  13. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Low Profile: Isn’t a Brit with a hyphenated last name prominent enough for you?

  14. Mark Bradley says:


    “No, as I believe the interviews took place during day time, Alan would still be in his coffin.”

    I thought he slept upside down hung from his ceiling? Or am I mixing him up with CY?

  15. Del Preston says:

    @Mark Bradley
    No, that’s Keith Richards, and sleeping like that may well be the reason why Keith cannot be harmed by conventional weapons.

  16. Hamantha says:


    “I thought he slept upside down hung from his ceiling? Or am I mixing him up with CY?”

    I heard he hangs rightside-up — inside a closet a la David Carradine — for autoerotic asphyxiation purposes.

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