Saturday, 1 October 2011

National Day, Hong Kong

Can you imagine what would happen if Great Britain were to actually have a National Day rather than just argue about it?

Everyone would get upset and fight over their vision of what that should mean. London would arrange the party, Scotland wouldn't come. Cornwall would get the hump. Northern Ireland would send hate mail. Wales would speak Welsh to piss everyone off. EDL would hijack the event and someone somewhere would declare independence and lock themselves in the bathroom.

It would all end up in a big mess with everyone slagging each other off. We'd be totally united by discord, then we could all properly enjoy a national moment of irony.

Round here it is National Day.

Not for Hong Kong, obviously. It's National Day for the People's Republic of China. Which means that in Hong Kong, southern colony of Beijing, we get the might of political power uninterrupted by the noise of democracy.

Simply put, we are having fun and celebrating National Day. Shut up.

To make doubly sure, China has several hundred barrels of gunpowder lined up against Victoria Harbour, aimed at the IFC.* Each contains enough incendiary to blow your money sky high. Or they can send up a lot of happy fireworks which you can watch and cheer as the mother country reminds everyone who's boss.

China is in charge, and don't doubt it for one second. Any idea that Hong Kong is semi-autonomous? Well, that's all it is, an idea.

The Pearl River Delta megacity is proceeding nicely with infrastructure projects, financial centres, transport links and a dotted line on a map dividing Hong Kong and Shenzhen which can be removed when they print new maps.

It won't take too long in the Chinese long vision for matters legal, financial, and administrative to merge. If Hong Kong does put up resistance, China can simply switch in the parallel financial centre that operates out of Guangzhou.

Education is power, propaganda, and control, so no surprise that all schools in Hong Kong, primary upwards, are to include National Education as a taught subject. Some whiny churchman has had a little grizzle that it's 'brainwashing' (a bit rich coming from him, really) but somehow I don't think a few minor complaints will stand in the way of the national educational syllabus.

Then we have elections coming up for Hong Kong's Chief Executive. But don't assume that word 'election' means the same here as it does in London, or that Hong Kong's Chief Executive is anything like Boris. Here it means a group of Chinese officials decide which puppet to put in place in that happy alliance of interests between Hong Kong, Beijing, and the property developers.

So, given the choice, to cheer or not, the Grit family stays home. I declare my loyalties by catching up on old episodes of Coronation Street, Dig hides in his office to plot his retirement route, and Shark, Squirrel and Tiger take photographs of Arseface in a variety of hand-made ballgowns.

And you, people of Great Britain, should fall about your ongoing debates of nationhood, to be or not to be, as loudly, energetically and good naturedly as possible, because that is a very great freedom you have. Indeed, I hope you get nowhere with the plans, that you never have a National Day, but that you can just continue to enjoy a bloody great argument.

*IFC? The shopping mall is merely front of house.

And if you want to see how China reports the Hong Kong experience, with all the joyous brimming with cheer and jubilance, go here.


Rachel M. said...

yeah holiday in Hong Kong/China! means less emails for me to slog threw on a Monday!!

Ruth said...

You sound really homesick ((hugs))