Wednesday, 5 January 2022

Chinese Whispers

As the 1.1 million inhabitants of Yuzhou join the 13 million inhabitants of Xi'an in being locked down for three cases of Covid-19, it could never happen here, could it? This is not China. The last time that we said that, then it took, what, a fortnight? It was certainly not a month.

And what of Hong Kong? It has never been part of any free world, anyway. Until August 2020, the Chinese had only been enforcing the old British Colonial laws in Hong Kong. One country, two systems, indeed. With regard to the laws imposed since then, where, exactly, does allow secession, sedition and subversion?

Hong Kong was no democracy when we ran it, although of course we never owned it. It always belonged to China. The late Andrew Alexander of the Daily Mail was a bone dry right-winger, and he is much missed today. As he asked in 1997, how grateful were the Chinese supposed to have been at the mere return of their own territory?

But anyway, Hong Kong was no democracy under us, and there was more than one outbreak of serious unrest over rampant poverty, slum housing, sweatshop working conditions, price increases, corruption, and the absence of representative government. Never mind Chinese agents. Those could not have exploited the grievances if the grievances had not existed in the first place.

Our repression of those outbreaks was merciless, and we are not talking about the Edwardian Period here. In fact, we are talking about a time when Britain had a Labour Government. A Labour Government that had presided over Hong Kong's rampant poverty, slum housing, sweatshop working conditions, price increases, corruption, and absence of representative government. At the time of the handover, which was also under a Labour Government, then no one took to the streets to ask the British to stay. They may want democracy in Hong Kong now, but that is something different.

As for the "Anglosphere" fantasists, quite apart from the fact that no part of the "Anglosphere" is doing anything for Hong Kong or has the slightest intention of doing so, it is side-splitting to watch the mutation into this of their old white supremacist ideology from the 1980s, which is heavily bound up with the cult of Margaret Thatcher. Hong Kong? You really could die laughing. Exactly the same people took full British passports away from the Saint Helenians because, "Otherwise, we'd have to give them to Hong Kong."

They have them back now, though. Whereas the Gibraltarians and the Falkland Islanders never lost them. Go onto Google images, and see if you can spot the difference. To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a riot in Saint Helena. There has certainly never been one against British rule. And Saint Helenians speak English. Not Cantonese. "Hong Kong, outpost of the "Anglosphere""? I ask you! Next you'll be telling me that Hong Kong was a democracy under British rule, or at the very least that people were free to agitate for it to become one. No, it was not. And no, they were not.


  1. You can just rustle these things up after dinner and while watching Coronation Street.