• Sun
  • Oct 19, 2014
  • Updated: 12:03am
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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This article is now closed to comments

What is it with CCP bootlickers and the compulsive need to wallpaper multiple threads with identical comments? You gave the exact same rant on article #1530388. You guys really are a sub-species unto yourselves.
Minbao reported yesterday on something that Benny Tai said. He wants to hurt HK bad so that China would comply with his wishes. 佔中發起人戴耀廷曾經同人講過,佔中係要傷害香港,咁就能逼中央就範喎。 When questioned, he didn't deny it because he couldn't.
What conclusion do you draw from this cutting the nose to spite the face intent? A strong hatred for China, plain and simple.
Readers' comments below reflect exactly the same sentiments. Are there any constructive agendas on how to manage HK's political economy other than demand for chaotic free-for-all nominations and elections? NONE. Even in the most dysfunctional democracies -- and there are more of them than well functioning ones, political activists and candidates ask to be elected because they claim having strategies to rebuild government. Allowing people with nothing but hate and resentment to participate in a rational discussion is a travesty of speech freedom.
Ironically, even Benny Tai realizes that China cares for Hong Kong. How else do you one interpret his confidence that China will accede to his blackmail by holding HK hostage?
Before any hate mongering reader attempt to reply to my post, ask yourself if you're not a knee-jerk cheerleader of Tai-Chan-Chu trio.
I do wonder if, some day in the distant future, some of those who hold most strongly to their CCP faith can finally discern the difference between the CCP and "CHina" itself. The reach should exceed the grasp, or what's a heaven for, as they say...except that some of these folks aren't doing much reaching.
The scientific method is great, and I'm all for it. But I'm still waiting to hear back on scientific evidence suggesting that the CCP is indispensible to China moving forward. Better yet, I'd like to hear of evidence of such necessity wrt HK.
I'm all for science. However, the really dangerous folks are the ones who can't distinguish science from their own faith-based convictions, and try to sell off copious amounts of the latter as products of the former. Thankfully, not everyone is as stupid as they evidently are.
I find know-nothing, publicity seeking young Joshua Wong repugnant, but we should broach no ill wish for him. He is probably not yet 17 and may mature some day to reject his own ignorance, religious faith and self righteousness. One can be sure of one thing: This kid can't do math or science.
His parents' oblivion to his potential unemployability might have an origin in their fundamentalist faith.
Interestingly, I have seen a parrot like 12 year-old preacher on TV who is capable of delivering hour long fire and brimstone sermons. Of course, it's always a regurgitation of the same Jesus-loves-you refrain interspersed with myths of miracles.
Along a similar vein, the few readers with reasonably fluent English commenting nonstop along the same Democracy-good-China-evil theme daily without variations in this publication are no different from Joshua Wong and the 12 year-old preacher. Meaningless use of unqualified and undefined terms like freedom, human rights, repression, etc. is always the signature in their rants. These brainwashed folks can no longer digest the simple logic of "If p then q" in other people's arguments.
What I find dangerous is how intense hatred of SCMP readers might transmogrify into government sabotage and other illegal, violent actions.
Were Carl Sagan still alive, he would be ecstatic over scientific experiments confirming the inflationary universe -- space expanding spectacularly within a trillion trillion trillionth of a second -- based on conjectures of Alan Guth and other brilliant theorists. That puts us earthlings on firmer footing investigating everything that had happened up to a tiny fraction of a second after this 13.8 billion year old universe Big Bang.
We all owe Sagan for his humanism and his eloquent popularization of science. The immensity of the observable universe and its secrets (physical laws) are awe inspiring enough without the need for Creation myths. Yet his over emphasis on extraterrestrial life is a source for nut case delusions of abduction by aliens rife in 80s and 90s.
There is a flip side to everything. Calling attention to gee whiz aspects of science detracts layman appreciation of the intrinsic beauty of the scientific method -- not to be mistaken as a few isolated nuts and bolts of technology -- as most valid means to get closer to Truth. By that I mean pure thought processes of geniuses like Newton, Einstein and the cooperative empirical spirit, which accepts as foundation that all scientific hypotheses and experiments are falsifiable and subject to challenge.
Contrast this with mindless HK bananas who hold up articles of Abrahamic faith and populist elections as the ultimate sources for moral systems and legitimate governance.
I think you have the situation right. That brat cannot get over the impact sloarism had in the spat over the curriculum. With so much time spent on political activities, what studies can he do? I hope he fails badly and become unemployable. In anycase, who would want to employ someone who would be asking for leave every week or be on the net to promote his campaigns? SCMP perhaps?
I was pleasantly surprised how well the CS put him down and told him to mind his manners. What kind of parents does he have?
Why are we wasintg time onf this tourble makers who cannot even think ?
"On the one hand, some kind of full democracy is inevitable for Hong Kong."
---based on the latest State Council white paper, I'd say the likelihood is in fact rather slim. And while moderate voices often hold sway within individual societies, that is much less likely to be the case when that society is subjugated to an external overlord. If anything, the pro-BJ groups will become even more obnoxious now, since they're on the side of the mob bosses, and the mob bosses have spoken.
The best HK can hope for now is 'democracy with toxic doses of Chinese characteristics'. She will be on the slippery slope to becoming just another Chinese city. Traditional Chinese will soon become the last bastion of HK-ness, and one wonders how long that will last. Victoria Park might become a good place for quiet meditation on May 35's of the not-too-distant future.
These morons are losers. The reason they behave this way is because they have nothing more to lose.
Sensible well-off Hong Kongers feel the pain of our compatriots -- the decreasing upward mobility of the underprivileged. I attended St. Joseph's College when HK living standard was only a fraction of the US. My schoolmates ranged from ones hovering at poverty line to the very wealthy. Yet everyone I know seems to have made it into middle class or better after long struggles from 60s to 80s. We did it under the most discriminating conditions of the colonial government. Never once I remember anyone scapegoating the British for our hardships.
Now these lunatics all desire to achieve instant power, wealth distribution and political fame not by self reliance and education, but by subverting governments and institutions.
The oligarchy left in place has been strengthened under the bureaucratic autopilot since 1997, with worsening cronyism and wealth concentration. By subverting the SAR administration, nut cases are denying any meaningful policy making that might lead to a better life for all.
These imbeciles are intoxicated with mob power, an anathema to effective policy making. Their goal is to dissolve all cooperation between Beijing and HK through a chaotic free-for-all election. 一拍兩散 is now euphemized as their struggle for HK self governance.
One thing for sure. If they lose an open election, they will behave exactly like the Thais -- more street riots.

There are far too many children being used by politicos to boost headcount in demonstrations. There ought to be a law against it.
Have you seen insults and fisticuffs exchanged between demonstrators and counter demonstrators? So far our police has behaved admirably when confronted by verbal insults. In any Western country, the foul-mouthed teacher would have served time for disorderly conduct and abuse of officers.
Only fools believe crowd stampedes and tempers could always be contained when hateful dark passions similarly expressed by readers here run amok. Don't forget the safety of those children in these demonstrations. Even a good-willed Lan Kwai Fong crowd could easily kill 20. You can only blame this on mob behavior.
Murphy Law says the worst would eventually happen when given a chance. When blood flowed in the streets, Benny Tai and his ilk would wash their hands behind the ivory tower and point their fingers at the Beijing government.
HK government is so stifled by fear of the mob. Constabulary actions are seldom taken against physical assaults, misdemeanors and disorderly conduct. In any Western country, hurling innocuous objects -- shoes, bananas, etc. -- at speakers is considered physical assault, but not in HK.
How could you guarantee that absolutely no one -- and there are plenty of provocateurs -- wouldn't snap or turn suddenly violent in a demonstration?
Just remember that during 6/4, blazing guns were the only proper response to killing soldiers.
How About
Sagan wrote of science :
One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power [your boogeyman] over you, you almost never get it back.
Feel free to insert the boogeyman of your choice...




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