HK yawns as minor party splits

What an action-packed week it has been… The fake-trendy Pepsi TV ad, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer on Hitler, and United Airlines’ passenger-deplaning methods provoked such vast global eruptions of mass-mouth-frothing that only a US strike on North Korea offers a prospect of relief.

In sleepy Hong Kong, the construction fatalities, schoolkids’ suicides and MTR breakdowns continued as usual. Few noticed or cared when textiles scion/amateur politician Michael Tien quit failed Chief Executive hopeful Regina Ip’s New Peoples Party. (Notable exception: South China Morning Post cartoonist Harry.)

The little tiff is of no consequence, but it illustrates the quandary faced by the more moderate, secular parts of Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing establishment. These are the political and other public groups and figures who work within the system while trying to attract the votes and support of the middle-class, educated, younger and social-activist constituencies who generally identify with the pro-democrat opposition. Without examining any murkier personal motives, theirs is a ‘realist’ position – that the best way to defend Hong Kong’s interests is by cooperating with rather than fighting the Communist regime that is ultimately in charge.

The problem is that as Hong Kong becomes more rebellious, Beijing expects and requires its local loyalists to kowtow and obey more overtly – thus losing the moderates the credibility they seek among the city’s pluralistic and freedom-loving population.

In her frantic attempt to prove herself worthy of the CE job, Regina horribly overdid the shoe-shining, and her sidekick Michael has now distanced himself accordingly.

Through its choice of local allies (tycoons and other parasitical interests) and its open contempt for local values and freedoms (illicit abductions, absurd persecution of dissenters), the Communist Party alienates a large portion of Hong Kong’s population. At the same time, it expects poor wretches like Michael Tien and Regina Ip to win the support of the middle class and professionals. And along comes next Chief Executive Carrie Lam, hoping to achieve some sort of rapprochement, particularly with Hong Kong’s younger, more educated community.

I declare the long weekend open by unveiling the Hong Kong Post Office’s contribution – stamps celebrating 20 years’ presence in Hong Kong of the PLA’s ‘Mighty and Civilized Forces’…

*Note vanishing point of parade of troops in hyper-perspective stretching into infinity – and such tasteful colours…

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20 Responses to HK yawns as minor party splits

  1. Sojourner says:

    The goose-stepping tells us everything we need to know about the PLA. … The crass insensitivity of our local bureaucrats is a wonder to behold.

  2. Mjrelje says:

    Oh no! You’ve mentioned the South China Morning Post again and included an excellent Harry Harrison cartoon. That fuckwit at NTSCMP is going to go apeshit.

  3. Red Dragon says:

    Nice depiction of the Prince of Wales Building. Shame it’s not on the stamp along with those prancing oriental twinks in their camp uniforms and knee boots.

    “Mighty and Civilised”, eh? Could have fooled me.

    Mjreje, “Don’t talk him up”, as the good folk of Norfolk would say.

  4. Stephen says:

    I often wonder in why the Pro-Dem parties are so fractured ? It’s so self-defeating. Is there such a political chasm preventing Ron (Tong) and Claudia (Moan) rejoining Alvin and the Civics. Is the Labour Party seismically different from the Democrat Party ? Are the ego’s greater than the cause ? Eventually the Liberals will die out and be replaced by the DAB. Two main political parties does tend to work in other democracies and, who knows, in Post Xi-dada days, it may work here ?

  5. Maugrim says:

    They say that the only creature to survive a nuclear blast is the cockroach. I’d add Michael Tien to that. Michael can’t stand not being in the limelight. Watch for his next incarnation, somewhere.

  6. Laguna Lurker says:

    Love the goose-stepping PLA. It speaks volumes. But that upturned bottle of former naval gin doesn’t quite jibe. Wot, no maotai? And why is the $10 stamp value crossed-out? Scratching my head….

  7. Walter De Havilland says:

    @Stephen. You make an interesting observation. There is a view that the likes of Claudia and Long Hair don’t actually want democracy. It’s easy being negative, being the opposition and ranting without seeking workable solutions. Long Hair has made a career of protest; getting thrown out of LegCo, so he can nip outside for a smoke. Claudia is developing a ‘falling down’ routine, which she has deployed on several occasions. Give these people real power to bring about change and watch them falter. Christine Loh is the classic example. The opponent given power and then floundering as reality meets ideals.

  8. Boris Badanov says:

    I’m sure the PLA glorification stamp was either based on some PLA Ministry of Truth artwork or produced in consultation with their commisars. The GPO is probably within mortar fire range from the PLA barracks and I’m sure that they’re conscious of this.

  9. Knownot says:

    [To the tune of ‘The British Grenadiers’]

    Some remember Lenin
    And good old Chairman Mao
    And Deng the great reformer
    And Xi our leader now.
    And some have not forgotten
    The night of June the fourth.
    With a tow, row, row, row, row,row
    For the mighty civilized force.

    The noble Chinese emperors
    Built the Chinese wall
    But now our nuclear weapons
    Can vaporize you all.
    All our soldiers know it
    How great we are today
    With a tow, row, row, row, row,row
    For the mighty PLA.

    The people of the colony
    Oh, how they were elated
    In 1997
    When they were liberated!
    Hear their happy voices
    Rising now in song
    With a tow, row, row, row, row,row
    The people of Hong Kong.

    Then let us fill a bumper
    And drink a toast to peace
    With all the handsome soldiers
    Stepping up like geese.
    May they and their commanders
    Triumph every day
    With a tow, row, row, row, row,row
    For the mighty PLA.

  10. Mjrelje says:

    Great REM track for the long weekend. Stuck in my ear now, but thanks anyway.

  11. Red Dragon says:

    Knownot, I have always admired you, but today’s offering is a tour de force. I sang it and it scans. Can’t say fairer than that. It’s witty, too. Bravo!

    Stephen has another greegrocer’s apostrophe. Naughty Stephen.

    The views of everyone regarding the “pan-dems” are bang on. Bunch of tossers to a man and woman. Hong Kong was theirs to lose, and they lost it. No sympathy.

    Lonesome George is silent. We may all sleep soundly in our beds while he inserts suppositories in the vain hope of producing something interesting.

    Having just seen the sun set over the mighty Salween as the lithe, brown boys squirt the hapless passers by from their bamboo pandals, l am tempted to see Hongkers for what it is.

    Fucked, folks, fucked.

  12. Chinese Netizen says:

    You just know it’s a 180 degree opposite if a propaganda shill has to bill the so called friendlies as “mighty AND civilised”!

  13. Joe Blow says:

    There are 2 i’s in Christine. One for incompetent and one for immoral.

  14. Knownot says:

    Red Dragon – Thank you for your comment.

    – – – – –

    Laguna Lurker: “And why is the $10 stamp value crossed-out? ” – The illustration is a specimen stamp, and the value is crossed out so that it can’t be used. It’s commonly done.
    – – – – –
    I was impressed by something Christine Loh said years ago, before she joined the government. It was during the SARS crisis and the government was asking China for help. When the help was received – for example supplies of surgical masks – the government expressed fulsome thanks. As I remember, she said it was humiliating for HK to be behaving like that.

    It is humiliating for HK to be issuing this stamp.

    I suppose those who know China well will not be surprised, but I am surprised to see something so artless – in two senses. First because it is politically so unsophisticated, second because it has so little artistic merit. Some very fine propagada art has been produced – more in the USSR, but at least some in China.

    Perhaps the explanation is similar to our blogger’s explanation of the feeble activities allegedly being held to mark the anniversary. Some cunning officials have issued this stamp to deliberately undermine the celebration.

    There is also a 20th anniversary song. All the singers in the video are young and good-looking, so if we sing it we will be young and good-looking too.

  15. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Knownot: You say “I am surprised to see something so artless – in two senses. First because it is politically so unsophisticated, second because it has so little artistic merit.”
    And then… “Some cunning officials have issued this stamp to deliberately undermine the celebration.”

    EXACTLY THAT!

    Perhaps “La Résistance” has begun in some way…

  16. HillnotPeak says:

    Driving along Island Road, I sometimes are stuck behind a PLA truck; the kid soldiers in the back are hardly described as Mighyty and Civilised, more Peasant and Underaged.

  17. Donny Almond says:

    In the old days Henry Steiner did banknotes and stamps. Him has died ? Did you know Henry was a member of MENSA ? No ? That’s okay because he would have told you within 5 minutes of meeting him for the first time.

  18. Old Newcomer says:

    @Stephen – the pan-dems are so fractured because they are allowed to think for themselves and therefore have a diverse variety of viewpoints, not all of which can be comfortably accommodated within a single party. By contrast the pro-government forces appear united because they only allow one viewpoint – the official line – to be expressed.

  19. Joe Blow says:

    Today’s column by Vagina Ip is the first one, IMHO, where she talks sense.

  20. PCC says:

    @Donny Almond

    Henry Steiner is alive and well. I saw him last week. No mention of MENSA.

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