Former lawmaker Raymond Wong Yuk-man was recently sentenced to two weeks in prison for throwing a glass at Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying during a Legislative Council meet­ing two years ago.

A few days before the sentenc­ing, the people of Hong Kong were treated to the edifying spectacle of Legco members flinging pieces of luncheon meat at each other, the spat a corollary of outrage over the behaviour of two Youngspiration law­makers as they were taking their oaths of office, which many felt was disrespect­ful to the occasion and offensive to the Chinese people.

Inside the Legco walkout: how pro-establishment lawmakers used opponents’ own tactics to turn the tables

It would seem it’s no longer necessary for mem­bers to observe decorum in Legco, a state of affairs that has its genesis in October 2008, when a bunch of bananas was thrown at then-chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen.

There was also very little decorum on display at court in Beijing on an autumn morning in 1449. Having lost a battle, Emperor Yingzong, of the Ming dynasty, had been taken prisoner by the Mongols and his brother, Prince Cheng, had been made regent in his absence. Blaming the eunuch Wang Zhen, who had perished in the conflict, for leading the emperor to war, the court ministers were baying for blood.

Wong Yuk-man convicted of common assault for throwing glass at Hong Kong chief executive

Three of Wang’s close associates were dragged out and beaten to death by the normally well-mannered scholar-officials while the regent help­less­ly looked on. Despite the violence and blood spilled, the ministers were eventually pardoned.