Sunday 1 December 2019

All quiet on the eastern front... the charge of the “must brigade"

Really! This ought to be distasteful to more than someone like me.
All quiet… at least for now.... A week since the District Council elections and all is quiet. An uneasy quiet.
My main concern since the elections is that so many folks are giddy with the “landslide” election, the win for pan-democratic parties, the US “support” via a well-meaning but harmful Act (*), that they have totally unrealistic expectations.
People are saying the Hong Kong government “must” do this and the Beijing government “must” do that. (Or this) (or that).
Well, perhaps our local government ought do something dramatic, but its record is not good.
And Beijing won’t feel the least pressure from these “musts”.  Indeed, the opposite.  They’ve been biding their time, the few statements made indicating barely suppressed rage. The magma is building up a head of steam, and soon may be the explosion, its lava to engulf these unrealistic dreams.
I’m all in favour of more democracy. My gripe is that this -- these protests, this violence --  is not the way to go about it. I’ve said that from the outset. That this show of defiance will only backfire.  So far it hasn’t and that’s good, a relief. But it is naive to believe that Beijing will see its way to some form of accommodation with young people it clearly despises.
There is no way, this side of being able to ice skate in hades, that Beijing will move in the direction the protesters want.
There was a chance.  In 2015.  But the pan-dems blew it. They gave away the offer of wider suffrage because it wasn’t full suffrage.  Had they accepted it, the Legislative Council election next year would have been by universal suffrage. Pretty big step forward. Confidence building. There’s no chance now, of even a reversion to that option, let alone immediate full suffrage, as demanded by the protesters. (“Five Demands, not one less”. Wuda suqiu. 五大訴求).
And those who are getting all giddy about something positive coming out of the elections? They are, as the Americans say, getting out over their skis.
I hope, I strongly hope —  I very much hope — I very very much hope — I’m wrong.
But I fear not.
ADDED: Regina Ip shares my view.  (I knew her back in my diplomat days.  She’s a tough cookie.  Mind you, the party she formed lost all its seats in the District Council elections last week, though still holds some  in the LegCo)
(*) AND:, re that the so-called “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act”, the protesters seem so to love, Yonden Lhatoo, no fan of Beijing, is tart:
Hong Kong has had its own nose cut off to spite Beijing’s face after US President Donald Trump signed the veto-proof legislation, which now means Washington will regularly review the state of human rights and freedoms here – applying its highly hypocritical, politicised, virtue-signalling, double-dealing, self-serving standards – to decide whether this city should be stripped of its special status as a separate trading entity from the rest of China.
ADDED (5’00 pm): oh well, didn’t last long. Protesters are out again on Salisbury Road, the one along the waterfront via The Peninsula; ladies having their High Tea have a prime view. So far peaceful, but violence is predicted. Is that self-fulfilling one wonders.