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  • Dec 20, 2014
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My Take
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 July, 2013, 3:44am

Why I can't help sitting on the fence

Someone's got my number. A critic in a blog, which I will call "Small Melon, Various Fruits", describes my column as a "Beijing-sympathetic-but-not-pro-Communist, pluralistic-but-not-pro-dem act." I couldn't have used fewer words if I tried to explain myself to my elderly parents.

For that, he said I surely deserve a Bronze Bauhinia Star. Just bronze? I was hoping for gold, despite the precious metal's price plunge. But I doubt Leung Chun-ying, our government boss, would consider me for the august prize, given the disproportionate number of nasty columns I have devoted to rounding on his government. My fruity critic has a much more impressive routine, though, a sort of "I feel compassion for Hong Kong but only because I'm so much cleverer than the natives". We have plenty of expats with that sort of superiority complex that is constantly hinted at but a social taboo to admit to. That would be too arrogant and possibly racist now, wouldn't it?

As for my sitting on the fence, which a few readers of his blog apparently consider a sin, I can't help myself. Sorry, there are just no real communists in China to join forces with; those who still fancy themselves as such are either nutcases or nonagenarians dozing off in Zhongnanhai.

What about my failure to support the pan-dems? Well, I don't know about you, but I really find it hard to side with such old drama queens as Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, Jimmy Lai Chee-ying and Martin Lee Chu-ming. Perhaps my blogging critic likes and admires those kiddies from Scholarism, as many in Hong Kong apparently do. As a father, I consider it bad parenting to let children spend so much time holding forth in press conferences and fighting city hall.

We live in an age of democracy and there is no rolling back the clock. But as soon as you point out there might be problems, you unfailingly hear the same comeback: "No one ever says democracy is perfect/ideal/a cure-all …." But the way some people fetishise "democracy" and brook no criticism, you kind of get the impression they really think it's godly perfection itself. Well, at least they believe in something.

My dear critic seems to believe, first and last, in his own witticisms and cynicism. There are at least some "isms" he believes in.

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blue
Interesting to see that Alex is a regular reader of the Big Lychee.
John Adams
Indeed so. It's essential reading these days.
The opinions expressed are usually very perceptive, although often somewhat cynical
And the blog is invariably hilarious :-)
Will.I.Am
"As a father, I consider it bad parenting to let children spend so much time holding forth in press conferences and fighting city hall."
Well said!
johnyuan
So Alex you have a very good job that allows you sitting on the fence. I am glad too or otherwise probably if I am not alert will be snoozing on some dogmatic views. I hope I am old enough not to be brainwashed by your confession for sympathy today. By the way, one of my favorite Shanghainese dish which I can also cook well is ‘Two-sided yellow’ pan fried noodle – crispy ad tasty (just soy sauce added). I can't help to make such comparison with your ' Why I can't help sitting on the fence' for the right reason.
shouken
Yes indeed Alex. Real communists are rare, very rare. If most of my party member colleagues are true communists, I might be able to persuade myself to join them. But alas, no.
caractacus
"I feel compassion for Hong Kong but only because I'm so much cleverer than the natives". We have plenty of expats with that sort of superiority complex that is constantly hinted at but a social taboo to admit to. That would be too arrogant and possibly racist now, wouldn't it?"
Alex, you show your chip on the shoulder again.
So Hong Kong was once ruled by another country. Grow up and get over it, PLEASE.
Dai Muff
There is a difference between totalitarian dictatorship and authoritarian dictatorship. Look it up.
captam
Your inconsistencies are consistently boring
laurencecheukyingrahamwells
I just think Beijing is pathetic, even petty. I know how good I am, and that I AM much better than a lot of people.
I do not make a habit of blowing my own trumpet, but there is a time to be humble and there is a time to recognise my knowledge and abilities. It also means I usually have to be the patient one, the restrained one. In that sense, I feel my "superiority complex" is justifiable.
If you want guarantees in politics, go to a dictatorship. I firmly believe democracy is the least-worst system ever devised by humans, and we would be better off in a democracy-based system, maybe something similar to the Nordic countries. I just don't want some group of old, power-hungry, money-corrupted geezers I never chose as leaders to meddle in the affairs of my home as if they own the place--okay, they do own the place, but they should respect the residents, which they do not.
jkhleung
There isn't one "genuine" democratic model that suits all! And overnight "democracy" doesn't work! Let's get there (whatever it is) slowly as the average quality of the people in HK is way below par!

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