My Take
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 June, 2014, 4:51am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 June, 2014, 4:51am

It's time for radical political groups in Hong Kong to face hard political realities


Alex Lo is a senior writer at the South China Morning Post. He writes editorials and the daily “My Take” column on page 2. He also edits the weekly science and technology page in Sunday Morning Post.

A Post op-ed recently castigates the rise of radical anti-democracy groups. They keep interfering with "the otherwise peaceful forums, rallies, demonstrations and protest marches" of pro-democracy groups and often hurl verbal abuse at them. Among these groups are the Justice Alliance, Caring Hong Kong Power and Defend Hong Kong Campaign.

Having been to a few of these rallies, I must say the verbal abuse was usually mutual. As for turning peaceful rallies into confrontation, I think the more uncompromising pan-democrat or anti-mainland groups have been far more active and ready to fight with police.

Those pro-Beijing groups are a joke and hardly deserve to be taken seriously. They have no real political influence or public support. However, the "radical" groups in the pan-democratic camp are no joke; they are close to taking over the whole movement and marginalising the more moderate democrats.

Scholarism and People Power succeeded in undermining all election reform proposals by moderate democrats in favour of their own civic nomination plans for the Occupy Central mock referendum to be held this month.

When you have Wong Yeung-tat of Civic Passion accusing Lee Cheuk-yan and the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China of being useless, or Scholarism's Joshua Wong Chi-fung heckling Civic Party legislator Ronny Tong Ka-wah like he was part of the chief secretary's entourage, you have a pretty extreme makeover of the whole movement.

Joshua Wong's only real democracy is civic nomination with no room for compromise. The older Wong told Lee he didn't just want full democracy, but to overthrow the Chinese Communist Party. I guess that means no deal and no negotiation.

The "radicals" on both sides have more in common than they think. Both refuse to recognise certain basic realities. On the one hand, some kind of full democracy is inevitable for Hong Kong. On the other, there is this colossus called China. The mainland will influence and dictate to Hong Kong simply by sheer geographical proximity. The communist state is not going away. The sooner we produce a political system and politicians who can reconcile these hard realities, the better.


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