Posted in China, Politics

Thoughts from Hong Kong

Still in East Asia and before returning to Europe I have decided to throw in a “flow of consciousness” post and, even if it might be tempered by a background and plan of sorts, there will be no real thesis and no attempt to influence the reader’s conclusion. Of course, it is difficult to imagine that  he, or she, will perservere with this to the end. However, be that as it may, some guidance will still be offered by way of the writer’s observations and, yes, opionions which, although purely speculative and subjective, are to some extent informed.

Deng Xiao Peng’s road to socialism, or “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics”, is, of course, incongrous at best and, watching it in action, it is a downright affront on marxist theory. Do these idiots really believe that aping an economic model that is based on infinite demand on the planet’s finite resources can lead to anything other than the end of the planet itself, or, in a best-case scenario, to a dystopia which will make 1984 look like a garden party? Of course, it might be better to answer that with two other related questions. Firstly, do they actually have an inkling of marxist theory and secondly, if they have, do they really give a fuck?

The silly bugger, Donald Trump, withdraws from the Paris Accords on climate change and the EU and China have got each other’s backs, or at least that’s what Angela “were selling our cars, emissions and all, in China” would like you to believe. Scepticism should be the order of the day and on scanning an ariticle in yesterday’s ‘South China Morning Post’, under the headline “Mainland Aims to Turn Waste into Fuel”, it is easy to see why with it being pointed out that experts believe the plan “might not be as environmentally friendly as it seems.”

Yes, the huff and puff merchants down ‘Beijing Lu’ are at it again and there was me on the train from Nanjing to Shanghai last year and the little spots of blue sky that interrupted the same 301 kilometre journey in 2008 have all but disappeared. No real questions are being asked and most definitely not in the land of the three wee monkeys, where, zombie-like, the addicted masses unconsciously avoid any cognitive processing of their being in society, as “no news”, wechat messages, and banal games are bombared onto the screens of their phones. With the end of the planet just around the corner, a dystopic brave new world has already arrived.

Still, the “Mao 70% good, 30% bad” crowd have done their job well on the mainland and in Hong Kong the people are being told to celebrate the 68th anniversary of the PRC, even although they, their parents, or grandparents might have actually ran away from there in the first place. Of course, while being swamped by rude mainland tourists might be difficult to ignore, the 68th anniversary of the PRC will be given no, or little, attention by most of the erstwhile British colony’s population. The soundbites and newspeak from Beijing must all seem like a funny joke for many of them.

Indeed, for many of them there are more pressing problems than Wùwàngguóchǐ“  (“never forget national humiliation”) and, when walking from Whampao MTR station through one of the city’s poorer areas, lots of bent and fragile older people collecting cardboard can be observed as they sink into their own very real humiliation. Neither here, nor in many other areas can it be expected that Carrie Lam’s  government will be indulging any experiments that involve a real redistribution of wealth. Then, apart from anything else, that would displease the SAR’s masters in Beijing and  might result in the tanks being sent in to clamp down on socialism. Yes, neither Orwell, nor Huxley could’ve written that script.

 

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Posted in Uncategorized

In Hong Kong

Sitting in Hong Kong and thinking about the whole quo vadis of the blog once again. It has been two and a half months since I have posted and, almost coincidently, that last post was on China. Different impressions are the order of the day when you get a bit closer to the source and the mind drifts back to 2006 and my getting upset when they closed Starbucks in Beruit’s Hamra. Well, the bombs were flying over my apartment, which was next to the AUB, on their way to South Beruit, but closing Starbucks just because of the Israeli attacks on the Lebanon. Life for the rest of us has to go on, doesn’t it?

And that is why I am in Hong Kong and not the PRC. Although, after Xi’s speech a couple of days ago, I am not quite sure if Hong Kong is the PRC, or not? Still, whatever it is, it is still fast free internet, people letting people out of the train before they try to get on, “rechtsstehen und linksgehen” (standing on the right and moving on the left) when they are walking up the escalator and, all in all, a civil society that most Europeans would recognise. A coming up for air and a living in the bubble until the other is all pervading. Yes, reminds me of those halcyon days in Beruit before I had to get onto HMS York and make a dash for Cyprus.

Posted in China

Never forget national humiliation, but forget everything else

Wùwàngguóchǐ, or for the non-Chinese speakers, “never forget national humiliation” was originally coined in response to the ‘Mukden Incident’ and the resultant Japanese aggression in Manchuria. Fifteen to twenty million Chinese  were to ultimately die in World War II and during the period leading up to that war. Japan bears the responsiblity for most of those deaths. The Nanjing Massacre and numerous other crimes against humanity should not be forgotten.

However, “never forget national humiliation”, but forget everything else in the People’s Republic of Amnesia’? Yes, forget the forty million or so who starved to death between 1958 and 1962 and the millions more who died either during, or because of, the Cultural Revolution. Don’t even think about the fact that the man, whose face appears on every Chinese bank-note, was a mass murderer on a par with Adolf and Uncle Joe. And, if you haven’t quite got the gist, those who propagate the “never forget” narrative are the same people who profited from the Chinese government ordering the slaughter of its own citizens in 1989.

Where this blackout, or, to be more accurate, block out, leads to became obvious once again this week when 100,000 plus signed a petition on behalf of a Vietnamese-American grandfather who was dragged off an overbooked flight. There they were our “chip on the shoulder, China must be strong” jingoistic nutters screaming out about the injustices that Chinese still have to suffer despite the fact that not only was the man very probably randomly selected, but he also wasn’t Chinese.Yes, of course,

Chinese lives matters, as all lives matter, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if they really did start to understand their own history. However, to be fair, while the “never forget” narrative in the “People’s Republic of Amnesia” is there to serve the interests of the CCP, the West has cultivated, and still is cultivating, a plethora of lies, lies, and statistics that has produced a rape of the planet that is still going on. Still, the first step in ensuring that an increasingly powerful China doesn’t metamorphose into a similar ogre might be for the country to confront the past in all its facets.

Posted in Politics

Manufactured News in China and the West

It was November 2007 and back then the Shanghai Maglev train, travelling at 431 kilometres per hour, took you from Pudong Airport to Longyang Road Station in about eight minutes. From there it was a hop, skip, and a jump to my chum’s appartment near Century Park. Well, it wasn’t actually his appartment, but rather it belonged to his friend, who was a journalist with Xinhau. Not only had I just experienced travelling 30 kilometres in about seven minutes, but I had also arrived at a place in China where there was unlimited access to Western media.

Fast forward nine and a half years or so, and ego is supping his afternoon cappucino in a German High Street Cafe while embarking on Yang Jisheng’s “untold story of Mao’s great famine”, ‘Tombstone’. After graduating, he was assigned to Xinhau News Agency and exposed to facts that contradicted the party line, he writes, before going on to say, “as a Xinhau reporter, I learned how “news” was manufactured and how news organs served as the mouthpieces of political power” (ibid:11).

In the Kingdom of the Blind, the one-eyed man is King, perhaps, but while it might be imagined that knowing what they know could have been at least source of frustration for both Xinhau journalists, in a country where trains travel at 431 kilometres per hour, it is to be expected that today there are a few hundred million Chinese citizens who privately find the party’s narrative total bullshit at best. As the “never forget national humiliation, but forget everything else”, gobblydegook wears thin this is what gives ‘The People’s Republic of Amnesia’ a modicum of hope.

Yes, where there is hope, ….. and what hope is there for the West? The Syrian government is being blamed for a horrific gas attack in the Idlib Governorate this morning, which killed “at least 58 people” . Unsubstantiated “evidence” and there is a sense of Déjà-vu. After all, is it really so long ago that the Western media conjured up a similar narrative when it used the  East Ghouta chemical attacks in an attempt to facilitate a crusade against the Assad regime?

Yes, Yang Jisheng might have discovered that news is manufactured and the news organs serve as the mouthpieces of political power when he started to work at Xinhau, but wouldn’t it be a welcome revelation for a BBC journalist to come out and actually confess that he is broadcasting disgustingly dangerous drivel? After all, “not knowing” the truth cannot be, or at least shouldn’t be, an excuse.

 

Posted in Politics

Parcel O’ Rogues: Robert Burns

Sleazy subterfuge, dasdardly deceipt and bullying and blackmail will accompany London’s last hurrah, as it stoops to the methods of the guttersnipe in an attempt to head off that civic nationalism that will still culminate in an independent Scotland.

Therefore, even if harkening back to the bygone days of yore, might seem like some sort of misplaced nostalgia for a non-existent time before the Act of Union,  it is important that we remember how that union came about and in doing so reaffirm that Scotland not only was, but still is a very different place from xenophobic Brexit Britain.

It is all about identity and those who still identify with the union in Scotland would do well to read the lyrics and listen to the song above. It might be enough! After all, the bribe of a better off future together is nothing but a pathetic platitude from the very people who have kept the Scottish people in their place since 1707 and, even if the British establishment is willing to grease certain palms, it is not going to be those of the deluded union flag wavers, who misguidedly identify with a horde of hoooray Henrys and a motley crew of hangers on, who really don’t give a monkey’s about them.

Posted in Politics

Can’t Pay? We’ll Take it Away, Zero Hour Contract Britain and the Post Brexit Race to the Bottom

You really cannot make this shit up; Theresa May’s kind and generous country” ;  a country where voyeur Britain gets to watch reality TV shows like “Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away” and here you have it:

“Agents Stewart McCracken and Elmore Victor head to Liverpool for what they expect to be a routine repossession, but instead face the most challenging eviction of their careers. Behind the front door, they find a critically ill two-year-old child with major heart problems, who is on constant life support and unable to breathe without a ventilator.”

And there they are Stewart and Elmore, with their run of the mill, “well, no need to worry, you have got an hour to get your stuff together” . Still, Steward and Elmore, as they themselves say often enough, are “only doing their job”, and teven having a job is important in the “zero hour land of hope and glory’, where, despite the EU having slated these contracts,  they are still there and post Brexit Britain will at least have something left in the race to the bottom.

Posted in Politics

The “Terrorist” Khalid Masood and three quite stupid Articles

The Guardian maintains that Khalid Masood  “was known as a potential extremist in 2010”  and elsewhere the same newspaper tells us that he “acted entirely alone for reasons that may never be known”. It really is difficult deduce the exact message the mainstream media is trying to get across. Nevertheless, while anything the daily drivel pumps out might be viewed with academic caution, there is at least news value in both stories that is worth a modicum of cognitive processing.

A minimal of chewing the cud is as good as it gets with our shoddy press, but the Guardian articles, nevertheless, offer slightly more than a woeful piece in the Independent under the headline, “Khalid Masood: How popular schoolboy became a mass murder who brought terror to Westminster”. “He was a very good sportsman, his mother was a Christian, he was an all-round nice guy, and the drivel and dross goes on and on and Alice Williams, 59, landlady of the Rose and Crown pub tells us that “he would do The Telegraph crossword and would make intelligent conversation, but he was a bit of a racist.”

Now, the gullible glaikit goons get sort of personally involved and genuinely interested in this refuse. After all, for many, gets real, sort of personal, as they could know, or have known, a real landlady like Alice Williams and, hey, who doesn’t like to play the amateur psychiatrist? Yes, who doesn’t want to kow, how a popular schoolboy could become a “mass murderer”?

What are we talking about here? We are talking about a man who “acted entirely alone for reasons that may never be known” and is responsible for four deaths and a few injuries and the real mass murderers? Well, alright there was Stalin and Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot ….but, do I hear that is history, as is Kissenger, Nixon, etc. and that the newspapers are about “news”? Well, if it is real news and real mass murderers that are to be discussed, look no further than the British government supporting the Saudis in killing poor Yemenites along with its active participation in the killing of innocent men, women, and children all over the Middle East.

There we have it and we might even discover that the butcher Blair “was a very good sportsman”, whose  “mother was a Christian, and that “he was an all-round nice guy, or that the buffoon Boris Johnson “would do The Telegraph crossword and would make intelligent conversation, but he was a bit of a racist.”. But, now I am becoming even more implausible than the mediocre media that is forced upon us every day. After all, is anyone really going to believe that Boris Johnson could complete the Telegraph crossword and hold intelligent conversation?