Much fuss at the weekend, when my esteemed colleague Wang Zhenmin accompanied Comrade Wolf to a birthday party for the Basic Law.
Under normal circumstances, this shouldn’t have been a controversial event. We’d invite a few loyal friends, have a nice dinner and a patriotic singalong and share ideas on annoying the democrats.
But with Comrade Wolf attending, the local press were all over the event like a provincial tour group at a Thai prawn buffet.
Since agreeing to spend more time with his family, Comrade Wolf has been on good behaviour, and he kept his comments uncontroversial: Twenty years in the embrace of the motherland is greater than a century of colonial humiliation, independence is bad, and when the Basic Law says ‘autonomy’ it doesn’t actually mean ‘autonomy’. Of course it doesn’t. It means autonomy with Chinese characteristics.
And this is where everyone gets things confused.
It’s our Basic Law, not theirs
Even Comrade Wang, one of the motherland’s finest legal scholars, admits the Basic Law isn’t perfect. When we wrote it, Hong Kong was still under the heel of colonial oppression. The Basic Law had to be carefully worded to reassure our local compatriots that everything would carry on as usual, but better, for the next 50 years. And most people seemed happy with that.
Padding the law out with ambiguity suited us just fine. Whenever someone asked a difficult question, we’d just issue an interpretation to show ‘one country’ trumps ‘two systems’. Simple.
But every time we do this, we get yelled at by pedantic Hongkongers who insist they should have a say in the matter. I mean, for Mao’s sake, it’s our Basic Law, not theirs. We wrote the thing, so I think we should know what it means better than they do.
It’s that kind of quarrelsome Hongkie attitude that Comrade Wang considers a huge insult to the entire Chinese race.
Reinterpret it and start again
Me, I’ve never been convinced by the whole One Country, Two Systems idea. Yes, it was an ingenious scientific concept, but it was probably too ingenious for Hongkongers to understand, their minds being so corrupted by foreign influence.
My learned colleague has the same opinion. What’s the point in having two systems if they don’t both follow the same rules? wouldn’t that be a contradiction? And if there’s one thing the Party hates, it’s a contradiction.
And imagine the embarrassment of that. “If [one country, two systems] fails, the country will only lose face, but Hong Kong will lose everything,” he said.
“The country is only exercising its sovereignty in accordance with the law and that should not be regarded as ‘interference’,” said Comrade Wang. “Just like we cannot say your brain is interfering with your limbs as they have always been part of your body. [The brain] is only carrying out its own functions.”
Now a cynic might question my comrade’s choice of metaphor. After all, a leg doesn’t have a high degree of autonomy, it just does whatever the brain tells it to do.
But what he was doing there was using ‘limb’ as a euphemism. Like the foreign expression “a third leg”. Obviously, speaking at such a public event, Comrade Wang couldn’t tell the audience that he was alluding to cocks, but he was.
Hong Kong is China’s embarrassingly prominent appendage. And like my little party member (as I like to call it), Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy. It’s perfectly capable of standing up by itself without any interference from the brain. It’s been a highly productive member in the international community, but since 1997, the Central People’s Government has been responsible for its foreign affairs.
And the motherland is getting tired of having its dates ruined by demands for attention from its special region. It’s time Hong Kong realised, not every date has a happy ending.
Where have all the Boy Scouts gone?
The event was held at the BP International hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. On the way out, I lingered in the lobby and gazed at the statue of Baden Powell and two young uniformed Boy Scouts, with their uniforms, scarves and the promise to always be prepared. It took me back to my own days in the Young Pioneers.
They were good times, pioneering times, when the motherland wasn’t troubled by talk of laws and respect for foreign capitalist ways. If I ever entertained a doubt, I would simply ask myself, “what would Lei Feng do?”
Well I think I know what Lei Feng would do. He’d gather an angry mob of party members and drag all these so-called ‘democrats’ and ‘localists’ off to a dark corner and give them a good kicking.
The Youth are with us
On Sunday, I awoke with a patriotic Maotai hangover. But I still had to get up early enough to trawl through the newspapers and approve a mountain of Wumao responses before heading back to work. This might be a long holiday weekend for International Workers Day, but Comrade Wang was booked at another bloody event and as propaganda head, I had to tag along.
His task this time was to remind The One Country Two Systems Youth Forum that the Liaison Office considers anti-sedition laws a bigger priority than democratic reform. Sadly, the press was still talking about Comrade Wang’s metaphorical cock, so most of them seemed to miss the message. No matter, there were bigger things to come.
This new forum is the latest member of the United Front. It’s headed by Comrade Henry Ho Kin-chung, former Political Assistant to Comrade Paul Chan Mo-po. Comrade Ho had to quit the government after that unfortunate kerfuffle over an undeclared conflict of interest in Kwu Tung.
Anyway, this ceremony was going to be hosted by Chief Secretary Comrade Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, a man so unpopular, even his mother won’t quote him in Christmas cards. He went on, and on, and on.
Virtual reality intervenes
Knowing how painfully boring Comrade Cheung can be, we invited Comrade Rao Geping of the Basic Law Committee along. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it in person, but he sent a video. As it turned out, that virtual appearance caused more excitement than Comrade Wolf’s muddled messages the day before.
Comrade Rao compared One Country Two Systems to a ship at sea, and the Central Government to its helmsman. For those of you who’ve not yet taken your patriotic education, our great leader Mao Tsetung was known as the Great Helmsman, and he certainly steered us through some interesting times.
Comrade Rao noted the motherland’s expedience in allowing ignorant foreigners to act as judges and civil servants, and hinted that their expiry date was imminent.
And then getting back to the Basic Law, he noted that our late, lamented Paramount Leader “Deng Xiaoping foresaw possible intervention. Beijing could make some necessary adjustment to its policies for the sake of the application of the one country, two systems principle.”
And we all know what happened when Comrade Deng chose intervention.