Hong Kong localist groups have been quick to distance themselves from an alleged bomb plot this week, claiming that the plan may have been a conspiracy to smear them ahead of Legco’s electoral reform vote. Looks like it’s time for another edition of Conspiracy Corner...
An alleged plot to blow up the legislature, foiled at the very last minute? Sounds familiar to us. How does that old line about the Gunpowder Plot go? “Remember, remember, the Fifth of November / For gunpowder, treason and plot.” It’s true that “Remember, remember the 17th of June” might not trip so lightly off the tongue, but could this plot be Hong Kong’s very own Guy Fawkes Night?
After all, it’s suspicious timing. This Sunday is the Dragon Boat Festival. Legend has it that dragon boat races take place in order to scare away the fish who would otherwise eat the body of the poet and minister Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in protest against the massive governmental corruption of the day. Seems like someone’s trying to tell us something.
The Dragon Boat festival is also the time when we all eat glutinous rice zong, which sticks around in the stomach for days. Know who else has been offered a dangerous meal? “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, who claims that a mystery person offered him a huge sum to support the government in the electoral reform vote. Although if the Chinese government really is trying to bribe Long Hair then they’re even more ignorant of Hong Kong politics than we thought.
Meanwhile, the MERS virus is still terrifying Hongkongers, who remember SARS all too well. While MERS is a very hard disease to catch, South Korea has nonetheless dropped off the destination list of many a Hong Kong tourist. But what else has dropped in Hong Kong? The level of discourse, obviously. CY Leung is taking advantage of this alleged bomb plot to warn the public that there’s a slippery slope between peaceful protest and blood in the streets, although he seems to have forgotten that most of the blood during Occupy came from protesters.
Could the entire bomb plot affair be a conspiracy to throw the opposition into disrepute, tarring them all with a single terrorist brush? Perhaps. But there’s one last curious point to bear in mind. In England the Fifth of November is commemorated by the burning of an effigy of Guy Fawkes, the man who tried to destroy a country. In Hong Kong the only effigies burning are those of CY Leung. Coincidence or conspiracy? You decide...