Democracy and free speech go hand in hand but there has to be a limit. Declaiming 'Democracy now!' from the steps of Legco at lunchtime can only make the meal more enjoyable for the plutocrats - imagine how happy Hong Kong's property tycoons must be as they tuck into filet mignon and watch the police put up barricades, just in case protesters get rowdy.
Which one of them got the contract to make those barricades? Whoever it was must be required to buy a round of champagne every time the masses hit the streets. Then they can toast Beijing's commitment to 'harmonious development', or 'universal suffrage when hell freezes over'.
Last week, however, pro-democracy advocates went too far. They began doing something that threatens to undermine the sanity of the people. And the weapon of mass distraction they've chosen is one that drives fear into the hearts of even the bravest. That weapon is the vuvuzela. This spawn of the devil's throat, which has ruined many a football World Cup match in South Africa, must be barred from our streets before it's too late. Allow it to get a foothold and Beijing's fears about democracy will pale into insignificance against the prospect of a population that would rather rip its own flesh than hear one more vuvuzelan note. If the price of banning the fiendish instruments is a full-blown dictatorship, so be it.