Then they came for the sandwich-throwers…

It looks as if, with only two months left in office, CY Leung’s obsession to prove his loyalty to the Communist Party through vindictiveness is bordering on farce. Here is a list of government opposition figures who have been arrested, charged, prosecuted, sued or barred from public office – mostly on shamelessly obscure or contrived grounds. It is like the time CY mentioned ‘Belt and Road’ 50 times in the same speech, except with cops knocking on doors. Another eight (including some duplicates) this morning.

This looks like the work of CY and his psychopath buddies in Beijing’s local Liaison Office – rather than Beijing itself – because, even by the standards of witch-hunts, it is overreaching and a last-minute rush.

The classic United Front tactic is to isolate and crush fringe opponents who might have only limited sympathy among the wider community. That would mean focusing the persecution on young-radical types whose behaviour has shocked liberal gentlefolk. But this crackdown extends to pursuing even harmless and dated idealists and uppity moderates like Benny Tai and Tanya Chan, who could be any of us.

Alternatively, there could be a gruesome Leninist logic to the clampdown, and Beijing has approved if not decreed it.

Either way, this sweeping and overtly political campaign is pushing the police and prosecution system further away from their traditional public-service neutrality. And it will put the courts and judiciary under pressure to become more of an arm of government; if they diligently protect citizens from abuse of state power in some of these cases, they expose themselves as foreign-infested threats to national security.

The crackdown also makes it harder for Carrie Lam’s incoming administration to distance itself from CY’s phobic antagonism towards the local opposition. This opposition, lest we forget, wins 60% support in polls among the population as a whole, and significantly more among the younger and better-educated demographics. However out-of-touch Carrie might appear, she must know that CY’s belligerence towards the majority of this pluralistic society is a burden on governance.

Maybe there is an opportunity – or even a demented United Front plan – to create some sort of bad cop-to-good cop transition on July 1. This particular ongoing round-up of dissidents looks as absurd as it does sinister. But the bigger, tragic context is an erosion of Hong Kong’s institutions, simply as a force of one-party-state nature.

The city’s press-freedom ranking has just fallen to 73rd. Our land and property markets have become an escape valve for the Mainland elites’ dirty cash. The stock exchange is listing Mainland corporate scams. There’s lead in the water pipes, and even the MTR doesn’t seem to be able to run a decent rail system anymore. It’s nothing personal, and it’s not deliberate – the Communists are turning Hong Kong into a banana republic because that’s all they know how to do.

 

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14 Responses to Then they came for the sandwich-throwers…

  1. Dr. No says:

    This looks like the work of CY and his psychopath buddies in Beijing’s local Liaison Office

    This should read: “This looks like the work of CY and his buddies in Beijing’s local Liaison Office and the Constitutional Affairs office”.

    I hear that there are some A-1 ass lickers in that government department who have 689’s ears.

  2. HillnotPeak says:

    What kind of sandwich?

  3. John Pilger says:

    NOWHERE LIKE THE UK for abusing laws to shut up the opposition, opponents of nuclear power, surveillance, privacy invasion. Nothing special about Hong Kong. Your agenda is showing.

  4. Marks & Spencer says:

    WTF is Sixtus Baggio Leung wearing? His pants are either the rear end of a pantomime horse or he’s got them on the wrong way. Eitherway, it’s not a good look.

  5. Bigot says:

    Allegedly a stale tuna sandwich.

  6. Hank Morgan says:

    UK – John Cleese
    HK – BL,VS

    John Cleese ‏Verified account @JohnCleese Feb 19

    John Cleese Retweeted DENNIS F MURRAY

    Yes I have an agenda. It’s a characteristic of people who have an intellectually organized life. Have you not come across one before ?

  7. Old Newcomer says:

    @HillknotPeak & Bigot – according to Ng, it was a chicken wrap (Substandard, 16 February).

  8. LRE says:

    “Maybe there is an opportunity – or even a demented United Front plan – to create some sort of bad cop-to-good cop transition on July 1.”
    Nope, they really are that stupid, absurd, sinister and petty. There is an opportunity, but they plan not to tke and just press on with “bad cop/bad cop”.

  9. Knownot says:

    I heard somebody ringing at my front door
    I said, Who are you looking for?
    We want you
    Yes, we’re coming for you.

    I said, Who me? I haven’t done anything!
    They said, Tell that to Leung Chun-ying.
    We want you …

    I never was rude to a cop, I said.
    I never hit one with a piece of bread!
    We want you …

    If you ever tried to learn from the democracies
    If you ever said you didn’t really feel Chinese
    We want you …

    If you ever said the NPC’s decisions weren’t correct
    If you ever spoke of China without due respect
    We want you …

    If you ever wondered why those publishers had disappeared
    If you ever said the number six-eight-nine and jeered
    We want you …

    If you think that Hong Kong people ought to rule Hong Kong
    And believe that you are one of them, you’re wrong.
    We want you
    Yes, we’re coming for you.

  10. LRE says:

    D’oh! Stupid fingers!

    tke = take it

  11. John Filcher says:

    Adams (@John Pilger) – is that your stance ? Bad things happen in the U.K., so there’s no need to examine bad things happening in Hong Kong ?

    Your childish jealousy of the author of this site just makes you seem like an intellectual pygmy.

    I pity you. As a supposedly educated man you should be capable of so much more.

  12. Red Dragon says:

    John Filcher,

    It is quite futile to attempt to fathom Lonesome George, as futile, indeed, as it is to engage him on any conventional intellectual level.

    He is a law unto himself. He is a bully, a narcissist, a buffoon, and a whiner. A pseudo intellectual with the hide of a rhino, he inhabits a self-made world in which he is the sole arbiter. He has no appetite for argument and seeks only to browbeat those whom he regards as his inferiors, namely everyone. Such, however, is his vanity, that he continues to churn out poorly written “books”, which nobody buys, and to pen a woefully lame blog, which nobody reads.

    But is he downhearted? Is he fuck! The fact that he is universally scorned merely strengthens his resolve. It is not his fault, you see, that we benighted mortals view him with contempt and distaste. Rather, it is our inadequacies that prevent us from appreciating the brilliance of his genius.

    You are quite right in identifying the jealousy which drives this clumsy, carrot-topped, Geordie poseur constantly to carp at the musings of the suave, silver haired, Belgian thinker whom we know as Hemlock, but do not make the mistake of thinking that it is jealousy alone which motivates him.

    No, it is not jealousy, or any of the other unsavoury characteristics that “Doctor” Adams so freely displays, which make him such a tricky customer. Indeed, l would go so far as to suggest that, as a sociopath, he has no motivations whatsoever, merely an utter disregard for the feelings of others, and a lack of remorse or shame.

    My advice: don’t touch him with a barge-pole.

  13. creme brulee says:

    Could someone please interpret Hank’s code for me?
    Perhaps I’m missing something.

  14. Old Newcomer says:

    @Red Dragon – “He is a law unto himself. He is a bully, a narcissist, a buffoon, and a whiner. …he inhabits a self-made world in which he is the sole arbiter. He has no appetite for argument and seeks only to browbeat those whom he regards as his inferiors, namely everyone. ”

    Are you sure you’re not writing about Donald Trump?

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