Is the United Front starting to wind down its choreographed Great Youngspiration Oath-Mutilation Freak-Out? A glimmer of hope comes in today’s South China Morning Post hand-wringing why-oh-why let’s-move-on piece – the dreaded ‘Cheena’ mouth-froth outrage meme is missing! Perhaps Beijing’s local propaganda masterminds are worried that the orchestrated witch-hunt could go too far, as all sorts of trouble-makers flood the courts with applications to disqualify half of Hong Kong’s public office-holders. Or maybe the SCMP editors just cut it out to save their sanity.
There are two possible logical explanations for the Baggio Leung-Yau Wai-ching mass-feeding frenzy. One is that, after two years’ hyping of the ‘pro-Independence’ menace, the Liaison Office/CY Leung machine saw and took the opportunity to implement Operation Contrived Anti-Radical Clampdown – the use of legal process as political tool being either an accidental or intended outcome. The other is that the mighty and confident Xi Jinping regime is a paranoid and insecure elephant petrified by the Hong Kong geek-mice.
Yet – the Liaison Office, local officials and media have successfully convinced perhaps the majority of Hong Kong’s news-following population that two young lawmakers’ childishness has alone brought legal and constitutional calamity upon the city (with one-country-two-systems nonetheless/miraculously/naturally surviving intact). Having squeezed this much from it, and with the CY Leung re-appointment/defenestration looming, the United Front message-management operation must be tempted to ease off while it’s ahead.
If so, lawmaker Regina Ip hasn’t received the memo – or is ignoring it.
As the Chief Executive quasi-election draws nearer, the more frantic and desperate the lady gets. Her SCMP column yesterday pushes every button, including the beaten-to-death ‘Cheena’ insult to Chinese people, the casting of young geeks as threat to national-sovereignty, and a contorted revisionist history in which the evil British embedded Western democratic poison in Hong Kong as a bulwark against Beijing (it just looked like Chris Patten embedding egg tarts as a bulwark against weight-loss).
It is understandable that a hyper-ambitious no-hoper imagining a last chance stoops to such unseemly depths. But this really is trying too hard. Even in 2016, there is a limit to how much grotesque fantasy can become real. (Surely?)
A rule of thumb about the South China Morning Post’s op-ed page: the longer the bio-blurb beneath the column, the more ridiculous the blather*. And if you need to include the author’s CCTV show’s producer’s name…
*This assumption based on a 10-second scan of the linked boot-lick.