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My Take
PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 November, 2013, 4:37am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 November, 2013, 4:37am

Scholarism protesters have taken over from 'Long Hair', more's the pity

Move over, "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung, it's time to retire. Young political activists are taking over the streets. They have proved far more willing to storm police barricades, scuffle with officers and disturb the peace. The torch has passed to the next generation. Leung, who for at least two decades has been the eminence grise in street protests, is passé. These days, his antics in the air-conditioned Legislative Council chamber are just too tame.

Just look at those brats from Scholarism, who led another rally against Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on the weekend. Its leader, Joshua Wong Chi-fung, was agile as a monkey as he slipped from one officer to another. Not only do kids like Wong have nimbleness and speed, they have endurance as well. They can lie in wait for hours for unfortunate souls like Leung to show up, have a brief period of intense scuffling and sloganeering, then wait for hours again for their targets to finish whatever public functions they attend before starting all over again.

Long Hair, who rarely trims his mane except when serving brief jail time, is rarely seen on our streets these days. Middle age has set in; those aching bones are no longer fit even for 1990s-style protests, which were much milder than now. The beer belly and love handles are showing. Kids like Wong and his friends are disgustingly slim and fit.

I do have a soft spot for Long Hair, though, who is fun to talk to and have a drink with after a day's work rallying and me reporting. He has a quirky sense of humour. He is like a child who never outgrows the need to disturb the peace of adults. Deep down, despite all the Marxist or democratic posturing, he must find it ironic that such an unemployable career as street protesting has landed him with a cushy job that pays HK$80,000-plus per month and more than HK$20,000 in expense claims thanks to disaffected taxpayers or voters who put him there.

By contrast, Wong and his pals are self-righteous, doctrinaire and humourless. Their idea of direct democracy - anyone can nominate anyone to run for high office - is at odds with representative democracy practiced almost everywhere in advanced industrial countries. If Wong could at least crack a joke, people might take him more seriously.

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whymak
Giwaffe:
Please don't drag the Swiss into this discussion. One of my in-laws is pure Swiss extraction. We have extensive family over there. They have an entirely different culture and tradition from ours.
Just a lesson to us HKers who view our mainland brethren with supercilious contempt.
One time we had yum cha lunch with our Swiss relatives. My HK Chinese relative at the table spitted out chewed bones back into his plate. Just by their looks, I knew such unsightly table manners must have shaken up our Swiss cousin and his wife. A year later when we met in Zurich, over dinner again I brought up the subject of cultural specificity and why our table manners are different from the West. They understood.
I am never embarrassed by protocols and manners that are part of my Cantonese culture. When we socialize with Westerners, we do in Rome as Romans do. But I am deeply ashamed of HKer's indecency toward fellow Chinese, Filipinos, South Asians, and not the least, our ignorant mindless worship of Western dysfunctional governments and religious superstitious beliefs.
Just remember with culturally specific systems and practices, one nation's meat is another country's poison. Capisce? Comprendre? Verstehen? 明不明白?
Do HKers still remember those spittoons at 陸羽 and other tea houses 茶居? Can you recall the stench in restaurant toilets at Causeway Bay and Wanchai even way into the 80s? Any reason why we should feel superior to mainlanders?
johnyuan
whymak,
.
The best way to enjoy eating 鳯爪in a restaurant with good table manner which I learned it seeing a Caucasian who spited out the bones into a small soup bowl held closed to his mouth. It was elegantly performed. I assumed he was a French since French enjoys 鳯爪 too. It took place in a 茶楼on Wellington Street during lunch. As a matter of fact, 陸羽茶楼 was one of my favorite where I would read my SCMP in the morning. The place and service is civil and decorated with class and restrain.
.
Poor table manner is natural unfortunately. Without learning and training from the beginning, it will become hopless to see oneself with poor table manner.
whymak
Readers below are calling for purging every ordinance from our statute book with prerogatives of freedom and claims of nonviolence. Stalking is good, so is disorderly conduct, blocking traffic and access to public venues, physical assaults (objects hurled at CE), verbally abusing police, resisting arrests, etc. The police should make no arrests.
SCMP readers have accused SAR police of partisanship, corruption, brutality for "harassing" the foul mouth teacher-heroine. Just look at the Youtube clips.
May I suggest building a monument for Bus Uncle, John the Baptist to all present political saviors?
White is black and black, white. Achieving Mob Rule - free-for-all nominations and balloting for unspecified number of candidates - has now become HK Democracy Cultists' war cry and their core value.
Let us ban mathematics. Math proofs are unacceptable because they show why the assumption with as few as 3 candidates standing in an election, no rational choice satisfying transitivity is possible. Forget about the issue of 1 candidate could have unspecified positions on 20 issues. A moron, but not an intelligent person, could sort them out.
Give every mindless a vote, it will lead to an orderly Utopia. This is the credo for charlatan Benny Tai and Scholarism illiterates. Free electrons under no electromotive force will organize into a directional current and do useful work.
Are they any different from the Red Guards and Communists instigating HK rioters in 1967?
321manu
That rates pretty high on the disingenuous scale, which is another genetic feature of CCP apologists. Who on this thread suggested that "stalking is good"? Who has called for eliminating legal statutes? Who suggested that physically assaulting Leung was okay? Man, with you people, it's as though capricious arguments are substitutes for honest, reasonable, and logical ones.
Yes, some peaceful protests might be an inconvenience. And that's legal in a law-abiding society. If that's too much for you, you can always choose to go live in a non-law-abiding one.
BTW, if you object to a candidate having unspecified positions on 20 issues, then isn't it conceivable that a CCP vetted "candidate" could harbour the same? Do you know where Leung stands on every issue? Did you know that he likens the Exco to a "jury", like he did recently to justify keeping deliberations about TV licenses secret? Any candidate can have any number of undeclared positions on any number of issues. That alone is absolutely no reason for restricting the nomination process. Besides, why would HK people want to trust Beijing morons to restrict candidates for them? That's just silly, dude. So no, let's not ban math. And let's try some logic. We might want to start with you.
Free elections does not mean there will be no unifying force. It only means that such force will come from within, rather than being imposed by Beijing. Not complicated if you just think about it. Try it some time.
honger
"Free elections does not mean there will be no unifying force. It only means that such force will come from within, rather than being imposed by Beijing."
The force that unifies the Benny Tais, scholarism and pan dems do not come from HK people nor Beijing, but is fed and led by external forces - US., UK , Taiwan - like yourself.
Of course you want a place like HK that you could stir trouble for China. But the majority of HKongers will not let HK be turned into a Tibet by the likes of you and yours.
321manu
Oh no, here we go with the straw man of "foreign influence". Are you speaking for all HK people now? LOL. Why do CCP apologists so often want to speak for people other than themselves? All the while insisting that other HKers be silenced? Another one of life's ironies that exceed the grasp of CCP apologist comprehension.
If you're so confident in what "the majority of HKers" do or do not want, then why not have the confidence to let them freely declare it themselves? Logic has never been the forte of the CCP/50-cent crowd, but their lack of it is still mind-blowing sometimes.
321manu
There should be no tolerance for violence. However, I don't see why a law-and-order society (like HK) would begrudge its citizens the right to peaceful protest. If Mr. Lo doesn't enjoy affording others the right to peaceful protest, he should go to an autocratic state and live under a regime that doesn't tolerate such things. Now, i wonder where he might be able to find an example thereof....think...think...
Mr. Lo is also confused about "direct democracy". That would entail direct citizen input on every government decision, for instance via referendum. That is indeed an untenable situation. But the nomination process is not within the usual scope of that concept. And neither is it under the auspices of representative democracy. The "representative" is the one chosen by election; but there is no implied restriction on who may stand for election.
In the end, it just appears that Mr. Lo doesn't like the content of these protests, and that's too bad/so sad for him, but he'll just have to learn to deal with it. But it's disappointing and disingenuous for a professional columnist to misconstrue the nomination vs election distinction simply in order to try to sustain an argument for his personal preference (that Beijing continue to control who can be nominated).
honger
"There should be no tolerance for violence. However, I don't see why a law-and-order society (like HK) would begrudge its citizens the right to peaceful protest."
Have u ever been in a protest before, manu? Also, the cramped confines of Central is the worse place to hold a demo - remember the lan kwai fong stampede tragedy?
A mob is uncontrollable, period. Seen the altercations between the opposite forces lately?
321manu
Why do you liken peaceful protesters to a "mob"? Jump to conclusions much?
Like I said, protests can be inconvenient, and can cause crowd-control headaches for authorities. But it's one of those things that those aforementioned statutes allow. Democratic societies presumably have felt that to be an acceptable price to pay. If you don't feel like paying it, like I suggested earlier, I can give you hints on where you can go so as not to be encumbered by the weight of democratic rights. I imagine you'd fit right in.
Giwaffe
In Switzerland, citizens have a great deal of input in government through referendums on major government decisions. So I would like to point out that although direct citizen input on every government decision may not be feasible, referendums on major issues are, and in the Swiss case have been shown to be, quite tenable.

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