So, there will not be a Legco election in September, nor indeed for another year and even then the government has ensured that it won’t be anything resembling a free and fair election. The unprecedented ejection of 12 candidates, with more to come, indicates what elections of the future will look like.

For all their fighting talk about widespread popular support, the pro-China camp are quaking in their boots at the prospect of having to face the electorate. This is the only real reason for postponing the Legislative Council elections.

Photo: Stand News.

All this waffle from the Quislings about the problems of holding an election during the pandemic is barely worth serious consideration, not least because since the outbreak of the coronavirus over 50 countries and major regions have successfully completed polls without suffering serious health problems. In Asia alone elections were held in places such as Japan, Singapore and South Korea, all of which have far more serious virus outbreaks than Hong Kong.

Were it merely the case that the usual suspects were scared of losing it would be bad enough but there is more to this than that. It appears that Hong Kong’s autonomy was given another body blow because the decision to delay the election was taken in Beijing, where, in case anyone has forgotten, heads rolled after the go-ahead was given for the November District Council poll where democrats swept the board.

This delay of  the election by a year is clearly designed to somehow secure majority support for the pro-China camp. According to an editorial in the pro-China newspaper, The Standard, the hope is that within 12 months enough people likely to vote for the opposition will have emigrated to Britain.

Another advantage of the delay is to give the government time to devise even more rules to lay the grounds for disqualifying democrats from standing for election.

Legislators from the pro-establishment camp take photo on the last day of the sixth Legislative Council term. Photo: Legislative Council, via Flickr.

Carrie Lam’s use of catch-all emergency powers to circumvent the Basic Law’s provisions for holding elections, yet again, shows that the administrations’ frequently stated love for the law is highly selective. When the law is not convenient, they fall back on ancient colonial regulations. Yet Lam and the other Quislings cite lack of respect for the mini-constitution as a major reason for disqualifying democrat election candidates  – lovers of irony please note.

The usual Peking Duck-eating suspects keep banging on about how they are not against opposition to the government but insist that it must be peaceful and orderly. What could be more peaceful and orderly than an election? Amazingly, their answer to this question is to plunge into a convoluted discussion of why the democrat primaries were somehow illegal and why the prospect of a democrat victory at the polls is tantamount to subversion.  

The bald facts of the matter are that the enemies of democracy are not merely opposed to what they repeatedly describe as being violent protest, they simply hate all forms of opposition.

The useful idiots who claim to be standing midway between Hong Kong’s yellow and blue camps seem to think that if only the opposition could be persuaded to be more reasonable and compromising the Chinese Communist Party will transform itself into something resembling a cuddly toy maker and shower everyone with cuddles.

Photo: Kero/United Social Press.

What is it that they don’t understand about anti-democrats and indeed the Party that has a fearsome record for suppressing all forms of dissent?

In case the idiots missed this why don’t they consider the case of 17-year Howey Ou, a school student from Guilin, who is campaigning for greater awareness of climate change. She has been called the Chinese Greta Thunberg but unlike her more famous Swedish counterpart, who is feted in her own country, Ou has been hauled in for questioning by China’s police and banned from going to school.

It’s not that Ou is advocating any form of opposition to the Communist Party but in taking independent action she is defying the control that the party imposes on discussion of all social and political issues.

Supporters in Sweden. Photo: via Fridays for Freedom.

This is the reality of how the Party operates and we are seeing it here – elections postponed, educators sacked, media clampdown with self censorship rife, witch hunts against dissidents in all walks of life and the prospect of jails filling up with large numbers of political prisoners.

Did someone mention a middle way?

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Stephen Vines

Stephen Vines is a Hong Kong-based journalist, writer and broadcaster and runs companies in the food sector. He was the founding editor of 'Eastern Express' and founding publisher of 'Spike'. In London he was an editor at The Observer and in Asia has worked for international publications including, the Guardian, Daily Telegraph, BBC, Asia Times and The Independent. Vines is the author of several books, including: Hong Kong: China’s New Colony, The Years of Living Dangerously - Asia from Crisis to the New Millennium and Market Panic and most recently, Food Gurus. He hosts a weekly television current affairs programme: The Pulse. Vines’ latest book, Defying the Dragon – Hong Kong and the world’s largest dictatorship, will be published in 2021 by Hurst Publishers, London