In the interests of making this a happy Friday, a reminder that Hong Kong’s growing authoritarianism is a very watered-down version of what the Mainland is going through in Xi Jinping’s rectification campaign.
Obviously, if this were the Mainland, there wouldn’t be an independent Bar Association warning of threats to rule of law, and it wouldn’t be electing evil foreign human-rights-pushing elements to head it. Joshua Wong and his fellow activists would have vanished, and their names would have disappeared from any media. The lawyers who defended them would be in jail rehearsing their televised forced-confessions for subverting state power, and the families of all concerned would be followed and intimidated wherever they were in the world.
The new Secretary for Justice would not have unauthorized building works, but billions in real estate, shareholdings and other assets secretly stashed away in a variety of English-speaking democracies. Christians would be distressed when the government pulled down their ugly churches, rather than eagerly inviting developers to do it. Muslims would be tracked by CCTV and forbidden to let their kids attend mosques.
There would be no Google, YouTube or Twitter, and bookshelves and media content would dwindle as ‘Western’ culture and values were replaced by patriotic positive energy. It would be a crime to suggest (among other things) that Communist forces played only a small role in fighting the Japanese in the war. There would be no women in senior government positions.
On a brighter note, golf courses would be eradicated.
For what it’s worth, Leninist Mainlandization of Hong Kong is not even 5% complete. The Communist paranoid control-freak wimps still daren’t even impose simplified characters. Maybe Chief Executive Carrie Lam could stress this – the cup is still 95% full – with a big smile and cheer everyone up, rather than look so depressingly resigned about overseeing relentless stagnation.
I declare the weekend open with a ray of sunshine in the form of early 1970s Ethiopian popular music, before Marxists brought Red Terror and starvation to the country – a mesmerizing jazz/North African/dash-of-minimalist hybrid.