Monday 30 September 2019

Our Five Freedoms vs your Five Demands

Letter to, who took out a full page ad in today’s New York Times.
Its strap is “The Chinese Communist Party is tearing Hong Kong apart. If we fall, who will be next?”
To which we say “huh?”.
The Chinese communist party is distinguished for having kept out of our recent Troubles. Not only is it not “the Chinese communist party” that is tearing Hong Kong apart, it is the FreedomHongKong people and hangers on who are tearing it apart.

The Letter, to FreedomHongKong:

You say in “About us”:
We are a group of Hongkongers from all walks of life, living in Hong Kong and across the world. We all share a common value: We believe that the right to liberty and freedom of expression are universal human rights. Our core values coupled with our love to our city [sic] united us in this fight for freedom. [emphasis in original]
We are also Hongkongers from all walks of life, living and working here for over forty years. We have established businesses employing thousands of local people and paying millions in taxes. We also love our city and share the above values: right to liberty and freedom of expression.

Where we differ is that we believe Hong Kong already enjoys wide ranging freedoms. We call these our Five Freedoms.
The Five Freedoms we already enjoy:

1. Freedom of expression
2. Freedom of the press
3. Freedom of movement
4. Freedom of religion / conscience
5. Freedom of assembly
(We ought to add 6. Freedom of trade and 7. Freedom of capital). 
ADDED: I should change it to the Seven Freedoms]

Of your “Five Demands”. [My comments in purple italics]
1.  Complete withdrawal of the extradition bill; [Already done]
2.  Retraction the characterisation of any anti-extraition [sic] protest as a riot; [How can this be when some protesters are engaging in wantonly riotous destruction such as the trashing last night of a poor hard-working taxi driver’s only means of livelyhood? Are we supposed to deny the evidence of our own eyes? ]
3.  Amnesty of all protesters in relation to the anti-extradition protests; [How can this be when some are guilty of destruction of public and private property? This would be abrogation of the Rule of Law. Is that what you want?]
4.  Establishment of an independent commission of inquiry to inquire into alleged police brutality; [The government has said that if the results of IPCC investigation are not acceptable they will implement an independent review. Can you not take “yes” for an answer?] and
5.  Immediate implementation of dual universal suffrage for Legislative Council and Chief Executive elections [You must surely know that “immediate” implementation is impossible. The equivalent in the US - to which you kowtow - would be to demand the “immediate abolition” of the Second Amendment or of the Electoral Colleges. Movement on universal suffrage needs to be done via the Basic Law. As Carrie Lam has said. Or do you wish to abrogate the Basic Law as well?]
We find your statement in today’s New York Times full of unsubstatiated assertions and baseless fear-mongering.

We established successful companies in Hong Kong after the handover and maintained a finger on the pulse on the extent to which Beijing has intruded itself in our affairs. What stands out is the extent to which it has been hands off. Not, to use your feverish invective, putting their “claws” into our body politic.

And pressing the US to implement the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act will only drive away companies from Hong Kong, as many businesses have said, and hasten the end of “One Country Two Systems”. Even if we grant your good intentions here, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”.

We must ask: do you folks really “love Hong Kong”? If so, why make demands that are impossible to meet? Demanding the impossible is the path to ruination. Why trash our streets? Why destroy public and private property? Why go doxxing? All this has a hugely negative impact on ordinary working-class Hongkongers, on Kong charities and on all Hong Kong business.

It is you — you and your followers — that will be the ruination of our fair city.

And for that, I say, shame on you all. Shame.