Government sticks ‘Kick Me’ sign on own back

At the behest of the authorities, a Hong Kong court issues arrest warrants for former legislator Ted Hui and former district councillor Yau Man-chun – both now overseas. Their alleged crime: calling for a boycott or the casting of invalid votes in the forthcoming quasi-election. While now illegal under recent hasty revisions to the elections laws, urging people not to vote is perfectly acceptable in any free or democratic country, so the warrants are an absurd and embarrassing gesture. HKFP story here. Official announcement from the ICAC (pursuing those who encourage non-voting is apparently a job for the anti-graft agency) here.

Ming Pao quotes (in Chinese) a pro-Beijing businessman as saying that a low turnout in the quasi-election will be the result of foreign forces attempting to put citizens off voting. (The same foreign forces that got two million people on the Hong Kong streets in 2019, presumably.)

A China Daily op-ed accuses pollsters PORI of breaking the law and inciting people not to vote – by asking whether they plan to boycott the election…

The common objective of public opinion surveys on elections all over the world is to rate the popularity of the election candidates. But for the HKPORI, as explained in their press conference, it’s clearly more interested in registering the number of respondents who would cast blank votes. As this is clearly irrelevant to the primary objective of election surveys, there is undoubtedly an ulterior motive behind this exercise…

…by conducting the survey to ascertain the number of respondents prepared to cast blank votes and disseminating the results of the survey, it likely constitutes a prima facie case of incitement…

…The HKPORI would be wise to stop their public opinion survey on the election or it may face the same consequences as those of their associates now languishing in jail.

As the above three stories suggest, the government is frantically trying to draw attention to the fact that It’s Really Worried About A Low Turnout On December 19. You’d almost think it’s a very clever subliminal campaign to convince the public to boycott the exercise. Essentially every official and every CCP shoe-shiner is now running around shrieking: 

You really really must go and vote in this election even though the results have been decided ahead of time! The unelected regime will look bad if you don’t turn up at the polling station on December 19! If there is a low turnout it will make the CCP unhappy and sad! If you admire and wish to endorse this regime and this system, please please please turn up and vote!!!!

Obviously, the key players here are more interested in appearing (to distant superiors) to be anti-boycott than in actually persuading the public to take part. For example, does the former ICAC guy writing in China Daily really believe what he says?

While you are duly noting and considering this heart-rending appeal, I will do my best to help. Do not follow reports of the courts ordering pan-dem politicians accused of a ‘vicious plot’ to subvert the government – holding primary elections – to be kept in jail without bail for 12 months by the time their trial begins. Here’s another. And on no account read Bitter Winter’s All Elections in Hong Kong Are Now Meaningless.

Some mid-week links…

A thread on the CCP-supporting leadership at the WHO.

Another on an (alleged) first-ever leak of ‘Top Secret’ comments by a Chinese supreme leader on Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang.

The Spectator’s contribution to the Peng Shuai saga, focusing on the concubinage angle. Perhaps the funniest item so far on the poor PR skills displayed by CCP media in the Peng affair is this – in Russian state media by a Beijing-worshiping Westerner. CGTN has banned him for his candid analysis.

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13 Responses to Government sticks ‘Kick Me’ sign on own back

  1. Joe Blow says:

    Somebody-I-Know saw last Sunday’s Alibaba Yawn hanging in the paper rack of the gym. Carrie’s picture was on the frontpage. So he/she/it took the paper out of the rack, scratched Carrie’s face out and left her hanging “with no face”.

    Somebody-I-Know is very naughty.

    (I hear the ICAC is on the case)

  2. Kick Me says:

    The author of the “funniest item” thinks that Peng Shuai being sexually assaulted is communications issue that will “blow over.” I wonder how many rape victims would feel that the issue was one of communication.

  3. Load Toad says:

    I’ve noticed all the vibrant, innovative political parties out on the street trying to educate the voters as to their radical, challenging and positive manifestos and giving out pamphlets (& I think DAB 2022 calenders; every day the same shit for another year I guess)…and I haven’t yet seen one Hongkonger accept any of this free bumf.

    Can’t read anything into such visible disinterest obviously.

  4. Cornjulio says:

    “It is very frustrating to see the advantage the US has over China in this sector – in particular, the inability of state media itself to confront the scale of propaganda and misinformation launched at Beijing every day. A huge overhaul is needed, with even Taiwan getting the better of it when it comes to setting the narrative – despite the fact it is clearly in a far weaker position.”

    This right here tells me everything I’d want to know about Tom Fowdy. Rather than being “frustrated” that underlying the party-state’s “media” problem is the fact that the state is not in fact interested in persuading anybody through soft power logic and reasoning, and as always wants to rely on might-is-right hard power instead. And he is “frustrated” that the materially weaker state of Taiwan is still able to capture hearts and minds because underneath its communication efforts is a system with which outsiders actually sympathise.

    Hired media thug.

  5. Chinese Netizen says:

    Oh Zhang Gaoli…WHO (not the organization dabbling in health) the f**k told you that hair style was a good idea??? Even for an old commie it’s absolutely horrific…

  6. asiaseen says:

    From his website:
    “Tom Fowdy comes from humble roots in Sunderland”

    “In his work Fowdy endeavors to keep an open and objective view of the world…”
    Yeah, it shows/sarc

  7. Ho Ma Fan says:

    @Load Toad – in relatively down-at-heel Kwai Hing and Cheung Sha Wan estates I regularly walk through, it’s the same story. Flag waving buggers everywhere, with speakers blasting bs, and everyone filing past studiously ignoring the offered flyers. The anger is so palpable you can almost smell it. People are seething. December 19th is going to be interesting for sure.

  8. MT says:

    “I’ve noticed all the vibrant, innovative political parties out on the street trying to educate the voters as to their radical, challenging and positive manifestos and giving out pamphlets (& I think DAB 2022 calenders; every day the same shit for another year I guess)…and I haven’t yet seen one Hongkonger accept any of this free bumf.”

    Yes, I had an unpleasant start to the day when I emerged to find blue- and pink-clad cohorts of boosters for the fake-election candidates lining the way between the corner of our street and the bus stop, and — saving the biggest horror for last — Regina Ip lurking pinkly at the end of this gormless gauntlet.

    Although I briefly considered stopping to suggest Regina jump off the nearby bridge, I joined my neighbours in studiously ignoring the lot of them, for which self-restraint I probably deserve some kind of medal or certificate.

  9. Din Dan Che says:

    Tom Fowdy is no stranger to sleaze himself. Pro-CCP leftards from across the word rounded on him when a red starlet outed him for trying to groom her on Twitter. He’d be very much in the pro-groping ranks when it comes to victims. It’s on a sleazebag level along with this adoration of the North Korean regime.
    He’s the latest in a bunch of forlorn dickhead Western hacks who swarm around the Russia Today detritus.

  10. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    Do you think the slogan:

    “Support Hong Kong’s Democratic Elections!”

    is also against the Nazional Security Law?

  11. What's Propagood for the Propaganda says:

    Re: Toady’s RT “Chinese Propaganda sucks” article.
    I hope we all marvelled at last week’s glorious own-goal tweet from the Chinese embassy to the remaining parts of Sri Lanka that don’t already belong to the PRC for ~99 years?

  12. Low Profile says:

    @Kick Me – just what I was thinking. So long as China fails to address Peng’s allegations seriously, and not just treat the case as a PR problem, this issue will not go away.

  13. Reader says:

    Fowdy, our ‘Beijing-worshiping Westerner’, urges China’s media to provide stimulating news that encourages their audience to think about issues, and even to differentiate their publications so that readers can shop around for various viewpoints.
    What on earth does he expect to happen next?

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