Western bias for radicals starts to fade

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 4 Nov 2019

People with a range of political views were impressed by a fearless middle-aged Western man who marched into a Wan Chai street on Saturday afternoon.

He single-handedly removed barricades near the Hopewell Center, ignoring the objections of angry masked men in black.

They poured petrol onto the barricades and set them on fire to make his job difficult - but he continued to patiently drag them off the street.

"Lucky he was Caucasian," said Shirny Lau. "He would be beaten unconscious if he was Chinese."

Sad but true. Elsewhere on the same night, several Chinese people who expressed disagreement with the protesters' views were beaten unconscious.

* * *

Meanwhile on Twitter, one black-masked campaigner sent out a greeting to protesters around the world in Catalonia, Chile and Lebanon. "Hello all protesters around the world," the Hong Konger wrote.

A quick reply came from South America: "F*** you, we have nothing to do with those thugs from Hong Kong."

* * *

What's going on? Up till now, people overseas have been almost entirely on the side of the radicals, thanks to the international media's built-in anti-China bias. Old-school reporters in East Asia have a saying: "Is it true or is it CNN?"

* * *

Also from Twitter came the pictured tweet from Andy Curtain, a Melbournian who spends a lot of time in China.

* * *

Some Hongkongers are puzzled that live TV feeds show violent radicals rampaging around sometimes for hours before the police respond - and then are written up by journalists as if police started the trouble.

"Hong Kong Police attack protesters on eve of China anniversary," The Sydney Morning Herald reported, for example.

"Maybe they live in some parallel universe where effect comes before cause," said reader Jon Wacom.

* * *

The Hong Kong government has just opened a fancy new student health service c enter at the West Kowloon government offices. Staff expect it to serve 32,000 students a year. If students don't smash it up first, of course.

* * *

But returning to the press, Hongkonger Antares Au was surprised to see a newspaper picture of a woman struggling with a police officer captioned: "A partygoer is arrested near Lan Kwai Fong".

But he knew police hadn't jumped on an innocent reveler. He'd been there, and the woman was screaming profanities and poking police with her umbrella.

So Antares added the true story in the comment section.

It was quickly deleted with a note saying that it violated the newspaper's rules.

"This is the nature of the beast we're dealing with: a press which operates solely to advance its bias, to the exclusion of facts," he sighed.

* * *

The Hong Kong Appeal Board on Public Meetings and Processions still sometimes gives out permits to protesters who "promise" their rallies will be peaceful. An old English proverb says: "Fool me once: shame on you; fool me twice: shame on me." The board should have a special version: "Fool me once: shame on you; fool me 100 times in a row: shame on me."

* * *

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is due to spend Wednesday at a meeting of a group called: "The Leading Group for the Development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Leading Group)."

Clearly they like a tautology.

They will probably meet at "9am o'clock in the morning at nine am o'clock".

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