We are losing height, the pilots are locked on the flight deck and the computer is calling out, ‘Terrain, terrain!’ All I can suggest is put your head between your legs and brace. Impact with national security legislation is imminent.

That so much has been denied by so many to convince so few in the last few weeks is a huge indicator that security laws will be applied here even before the next revision of the high speed rail cost overrun is announced. To get it over with very quickly, we may be rabbit punched by them whacking the China version straight into Annex III of the Basic Law. That could not happen said former justice secretary and NPC member Elsie Leung, who is a faithful servant of the state, which means it could if it wanted to. Elsie is one of the three regular Hong Kong Witches of Tiananmen, the others being Rita Fan who also says not to worry, which we should, and Maria Tam who has said nothing yet. Normally, Maria is heavily scripted and they probably did not want to risk her rolling loose across the Square with this one.

Photo: Wikicommons.

Hong Kong government secretaries have been flocking in denial. Chief Executive C Y Leung said that security laws would not be introduced during his term – which could end on Saturday, of course. (This is a rolling website so pick your Saturday).

Combining the NPC’s view and Leung’s, the script we have goes thus: “It is the obligation of Hong Kong to protect national security. National security laws will not be introduced in Hong Kong.” This could furnish test questions for national education curriculum students. ‘Turn the two sentences into one by using a suitably harmonious conjunction.’ You cannot. ‘Where can the equals sign be placed to make that an equation?’ Nowhere.

And if that is not a forecast for fog and oppression in the morning, please notice that the Party’s United Front workers, busy as Santa’s elves at times of obfuscation, wheeled Henry Tang out of the CPPCC or the Home for the Distinguished Mentally Malleable, to screw up his eyes in the sunlight and say no, there would definitely not be national security legislation.

Henry Tang. Photo: Wikicommons.

That clinched it for me. I got hold of another CPPCC member, Rocky Tse, former property developer and director of the Institute for the Correction and Reform of Country Parks, to see what his insider estimate was on the timing for legislation here.

‘Two weeks on Thursday, give or take twenty four hours, ’ was his view. ‘It will be a bit like death and childbirth. The event itself could be painful but once through it, there will be quiet.’

Rocky was reassuring about the laws which had just been passed in Beijing. ‘They are about giving the PLA clout to invade things; to conquer the deep sea and quell the giant squid and go into the Antarctic and tell the Norwegians that  Queen Maud Land is in fact  Li Peng Land. More control is being exerted over deep space. As each section of the Universe orbits over Chinese territory, it will have to radio ahead for permission.

‘What we are obliged to watch out for are treason, secession, sedition and subversion. Nasty, hissy things and writers regularly fall under all four buses. You and your harmful information will be harmoniously disappeared before you can even hit the send button and the addressee will have evaporated anyway.

‘Very soon, probably by Christmas, which will be abolished as culturally harmful, harmonization will be dispensed with. It means striking chords and that can go very wrong as anyone who watches Hong Kong TV entertainment will know. The media, cyberspace and conversations on the tops of buses will all be singing the same easy note.

Photo: Wikicommons.

A mistiness formed in Rocky’s eyes not seen since they successfully rezoned Long Harbour for luxury villa development. ‘National security isn’t just about banning. It’s about simplifying so that the mind becomes so protected, so stress free, it can switch off almost any time, maybe all the time.

‘You know about the mainland’s recent plans to simplify the language? Admittedly, it is starting with a bit of banning- about 124 hugely popular expressions used in online chat which create unhappiness. I must confess I’m going to miss ‘green tea bitch’ – innocent on the outside and scheming within, which so describes my ex-wife – but that is only a beginning.’

He moved subversively closer. ‘Did you know that ‘1984’ is bedside reading in Zhongnonghai? They are catching on to actually reducing vocabulary and making one word work for several meanings. That way you reduce meaning itself. Brilliant!’

Rocky toyed with sedition. ‘CY has got the hang of it.  Dennis Kwok asked him a question in Legco and he said, “There is no provision in the Basic Law for that and it does not accord with political reality. Therefore, the question does not exist.” A question that had actually been spoken was reduced to non-existence! That man is reading Orwell too.

‘Hey this chat is off the record, right? Otherwise, I will be ‘unhelpfulled’ – a new word that’s coming. Look out for it.’

Stuart Wolfendale

Stuart Wolfendale is a freelance columnist, critic and writer based in Hong Kong. He wrote a long running weekly column in the South China Morning Post, was daily diarist of the Eastern Express, back page columnist of the Hong Kong Standard and contributor to Spike magazine. He also trains people in presentation skills and public speaking.