So, like an overweight, cumbersome white knight, ex-governor Chris Patten rode into town on Friday to hoist his tattered banner, proclaiming that the Communist Party will definitely grant Hong Kong democracy, better governance and no corrupt leaders if only Hongkongers would stick to the script and not annoy the dragon. His pseudo-sagacious postures and prancing were met with rapture from generations of serfs who have long since become accustomed to living in fear of the dragon. Our jaded knight’s reappearance was just what these peons needed to reaffirm their darkest fears, or that the dragon will definitely take away the mouldy carrot of half-baked democracy if we complain too much or, heaven forbid, become brave enough to fight for something more.

But who can blame our knight and his ilk? They have been wielding this mouldy carrot at Hong Kongers as though it were precious war booty valiantly stolen from the inner sanctums of the dragon’s lair for years. It’s our gleaming light at the end of Hong Kong’s dark tunnel, Hong Kong’s Holy Grail.

For them, the now glaringly obvious lie that is One Country Two Systems and real democracy for Hong Kong was the only thing they were brave enough to win for the city. Lord Patten implored Hongkonger’s to ‘take the moral high ground’ and embrace the mouldy carrot like it were a beacon of hope, or our only saviour. But the city has moved on. The carrot stinks and more and more people are rejecting the lie. His lie, his country’s lie, the communist’s lie.

Our faded knight’s antics amounted to telling the terrorised inhabitants of the city, the dragon will definitely stop stealing our gold and eating our children so long as we treat it nicely and don’t annoy it. Concentrate on the carrot he implored. If we do all this, and a lot more on top, he promises us that we will enjoy the benefits of the mouldy carrot of democracy, malevolently bestowed by the dragon in one hand while it plunders the city of gold with other.

Photo: StandNews.

For him and his kinsmen, who have built their careers and legacies on pacifying the dragon and selling the mouldy carrot as though it were a prized jewel, the only thing they can ever understand, ever see and ever preach, is more of the same. More adulation to the rotting carrot and subservience to the dragon.

But hark! Our plump crusader was not finished. Like all valiant knights, if he draws his sword he must draw blood. And draw blood he did.
What’s that? You think he challenged the dragon as all knights of our fair city should?

No, not at all. Our knight hadn’t become fat and rich fighting dragons in the past, why would he start now. Instead he saved his most directed attack at the city’s youth who had the audacity to disrespect the dragon.

See also: Ex-gov Chris Patten stood up for ordinary Hongkongers… if only his successors did the same

His dull and unused sword of truth launched a melee of strikes upon the city’s young upstarts, how dare they want something more. How dare they be strong enough, brave enough and valiant enough to stand up to the dragon and ask for a different future! A future which they want to control. A future not scripted by fat knights or dragons. How dare they squander the legacy of the mouldy carrot! How dare they deprive the city of the dream of half baked democracy for all. How dare they question the legitimacy of the dragon!

Richard Scotford

Richard is a freelance writer and long term resident of Hong Kong. He has a Master's Degree in Chinese Studies from CUHK and describes himself as a noisy muser on all things China. He has travelled extensively in Western China and once owned a trekking lodge high on the Tibetan border. He has a raw style of Opinion Journalism, with special interests in the South China Seas and deciphering Hong Kong's Localist/Independence groups.