Pan-democrats left fighting a losing battle | South China Morning Post
  • Sun
  • Jan 25, 2015
  • Updated: 1:08pm
Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 September, 2014, 3:41am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 September, 2014, 5:50am

Pan-democrats left fighting a losing battle

BIO

Michael Chugani is a Hong Kong-born American citizen who has worked for many years as a journalist in Hong Kong, the USA and London. Aside from being a South China Morning Post columnist he also hosts ATV’s Newsline show, a radio show and writes for two Chinese-language publications. He has published a number of books on politics which contain English and Chinese versions.
 

Pan-democrats left fighting a losing battle

Beijing has stuck it up our, well, you know where. That's left the pan-democrats in shocked pain. Our bosses have given us the right to choose our next chief executive but from a list of candidates virtually chosen by them. So you can forget about "Short Hair" Leung Kwok-hung. But at least we get to choose. Who do you want? Leung Chun-ying for another five years? Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee perhaps? Civic Party legislator Ronny Tong Ka-wah found Beijing's jab so painful he cried on television. Other pan-democrats are too macho for that. They want to knee Beijing where it hurts even more than sticking it up, well, you know where. That's fanciful thinking, of course. It is pointless to inflict pain on a recipient that feels no pain. Beijing's message is clear. By only allowing us political reforms that even the most moderate democrats reject as fake democracy, our bosses have told us to go shove it, that Occupy Central doesn't scare them. The pan-democrats had touted the civil disobedience protest as their nuclear weapon of last resort. But do you still press the button when you know the other side is unfazed? What worth is a nuclear weapon if it does great harm to the side that fires it but little to its target? The trouble with the pan-democrats is that they have no endgame. They deluded themselves into believing Beijing would bow to the threat of Occupy Central. Beijing didn't, rendering the nuclear weapon useless. But the pan-democrats say they'll fire it anyway. That means paralysing Central, forcing shops, offices and other businesses to close but getting nothing back in return. At least David knew he could win when he fought Goliath. But our democracy champions are fighting to lose. Our Beijing bosses have given us a choice that sucks. Take a glass that's only a fraction full or an empty one. By taking the empty one we'll kiss all hope of future democracy goodbye. By taking the glass that's only a fraction full we can live to fight another day. Good card players know when to hold and when to fold. Beijing called the pan-democrats' bluff. Do they then hold and fight a losing battle just for the sake of principle? Or should they fold and wear a poker face for the next fight? Public Eye recommends that our pan-democrat fighters read Sun Tzu's The Art of War.

 

How Beijing took a leaf out of Sun Tzu's book

Our Beijing bosses obviously know Sun Tzu's The Art of War by heart. They never wanted universal suffrage for Hong Kong. But former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen somehow convinced them to give us a democracy timetable, a decision we now know they regret. So how to backtrack? Simple. By only allowing us a kind of democracy they knew pan-democrats would reject. It even came with a condition that, if rejected, they'll entertain no more talk of democracy. Our Davids of democracy gullibly fell into the trap. Legislators in the democracy movement have signed a pledge to vote down the reforms on offer. That will serve their conscience, but will it serve the overall interests of Hong Kong? Public Eye is no war strategist but this much we know: if you choose to fight, you fight to win, not to lose.

mickchug@gmail.com

 

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