We're all losers in playing the blame game
By now, it's clear the passage in the Legislative Council of the government's electoral reform package is what scientists call a low-probability event.
As Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said in Legco this week, the chances of Beijing taking back or revising its August 31 edict on the reform in Hong Kong are practically zero. Meanwhile, the pan-democrats have said they would not pass any package that was set within the so-called 831 framework.
So, we have reached a stalemate with no room for compromise.
Why then is all the show and dance on both sides?
Pan-democrats in Legco showed off their paper-cutting skills by displaying elaborate paper deer with the word horse written on them. It was meant to be a satirical statement with reference to the old Chinese saying about a lie being likened to calling a deer a horse. The deer in this case was obviously the government's reform package.
To show he was not entirely witless, Leung made a reference to another ancient Chinese saying, something about failing to remove the horn even after you caught a deer, the horn being the most valuable parts, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine.
So, the pan-democrats are saying the government is really offering a deer but calling it a horse while the chief executive rebuts by saying no, a deer is a deer and you people just don't know how to remove the valuable horn.
All this sounds like a dialogue between the daft and the dumb.
I love to see what more paper artworks the pan-democrats will come up with tomorrow when they meet top Beijing officials in Shenzhen for a "showdown" on the political reform package. An atom-bomb mushroom cloud, perhaps?
It's game over. Or maybe it just gets started. What is really happening is that both sides have already given up on reform. But they are moving into a post-veto blame mode in which each side is trying to convince the public that the other side is to blame for the fiasco.
We all screw up, big time. So I don't want to join a vicious blame game that has already started. But I think we can safely conclude that we will all be losers for playing it.