The Basic Law is Not a Gift Beijing Can Withdraw

At a conference last Saturday I noted a common assumption among all the Mainland scholars who had come to speak, which was that Hong Kong has been granted a very special gift in the form of the Basic Law and in being allowed to be a Special Administrative Region. From this position it is not surprising that many scholars find irritation in the way the majority of Hong Kong people have reacted to the NPCSC framework.

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On Our National Day Advertisements

Next Wednesday, October 1st, is National Day. Around town banners, flags and posters advertise the occasion, proclaiming the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. It is this nation defined by politics, not the civilisation-state that it so often claims to represent, that we are being asked to celebrate. Both politically and aesthetically I find myself cold to the appeal.

An advertisement plays to a specific market. It references a specific culture to convey not only a message but also, and more importantly, a feeling. Colour and hue is used to set a general tone. Set to this is an image to communicate a more specific message, and to refine the way we react to it. If a slogan is used, the words, their tone and the font used will likewise appeal to this combination of message and feeling. All however is understood within a specific cultural framework.

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We Must Not Judge Those in Opposition as We Judge Those in Power

In this article Evan highlights the difference between those in opposition and those in power. He argues that whilst radical antics may have value in opposition, such antics from the establishment reveal only intolerance and a sense of illegitimacy.

Last week over dinner some friends light-heartedly accused me of double standards. Pointing out that whilst I was prepared to tolerate, and in some cases even support, radical or extreme behaviour by pro-democracy activists, I disapprove of similar provocations and antics from the establishment camp. “Shouldn’t one judge both sides by the same yardstick?” I was asked.

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Civil Disobedience Reflects Dissatisfaction with Government

Originally published in the SCMP, 17th September 2014

Your paper published on the 15th September a letter from Mark Peaker that claimed that the level of law enforcement in this city is “laughable” and this encouraged young people to take to the streets to protest (Enforcement of the Law Laughable – SCMP September 15th.) He writes that, “students are confident about engaging in civil disobedience and breaking the law because they believe they shall get away with it”.

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The NPC Offer: The Reaction from Tamar and Beyond 人大方案:添馬集會的反思

按:原刊於 Asia Sentinel Monday ,英文原文在上,譯文在下。譯文由 Sally 提供。

“Like thousands of others, I’m disappointed by the harsh, narrow and restrictive terms of democracy offered by Beijing”, read the message, “so I joined the Tamar protest to call for greater democracy”.

Another friend wrote of “sharing the genuine disappointment everyone feels with Beijing’s offer”. Another sent me a photograph of the government posters calling on people to vote as “laughable”. What makes all these comments so surprising is that this is the private reaction of those who support the establishment position; people frightened by and who have been vocally against both Occupy Central with Love and Peace (OCLP) and the Pan-democrats.

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