Another week, another…

We need a snappy word for ‘big venture into authoritarianism’, because they’re becoming a regular thing.

The good news is that Hong Kong-based Financial Times correspondent Victor Mallet was not getting his visa renewed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul (and hey – at least he isn’t/wasn’t president of Interpol).

The bad news is that by de-facto expelling him and implicitly intimidating overseas journalists and their press club, Hong Kong downgrades itself from First World to Third World as an international media hub – and that this is a fairly predictable step in the city’s ongoing Mainlandization. (Apparently ‘Mainlandization’ is a ‘vile label’. Wish I’d known earlier.)

Here’s a summary, a personal commentary, and a reminder that Chief Executive Carrie Lam is a hapless stooge here amid the emperor’s eunuchs and overeager minions.

A rule of thumb: when Carrie acts decisively, you know she is following orders from Beijing’s officials behind the scenes; when she dithers and waffles about committees and consensus and sectors, you can rest assured ‘One Country Two Systems’ and ‘high degree of autonomy’ are being respected.

Another rule of thumb is that the more exhaustive and breathless the coverage Hong Kong’s pro-establishment media give a local ‘political’ event, the staler and more meaningless the ritual. This week’s biggest snore is likely to be the Chief Executive’s Grand Blather Policy Address on Wednesday. Prepare for page after page of distraction from what’s really happening.

Meanwhile, the Genius No-Frills Cartoon of the Day Award goes to whoever created this…

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