Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

'Occupy' tail is wagging the dog

By Hannay Richards (China Daily) Updated: 2014-09-29 07:53

The "Occupy Central activists" kicked off another round of protest on Sunday, in the name of the "battle for full democracy". However, such protests will only serve the ill-intentions of some protestors to distort opinions in Hong Kong.

There has been much speculation in the Western media about whether the central government will put a stop to the rallies, but if the local authorities handle the demonstrations properly and stop them becoming lawless or holding the city to ransom there will be no need.

Those with a different agenda are trying to portray the protests as resistance to central government: plucky little lambs coming together to keep the big, bad wolf away. But politically "Occupy Central" is a storm in a tea cup, as it takes a leap of imagination beyond the bounds of reason to suggest that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is not under the central government's jurisdiction. Few, if any, words of outrage were heard from those countries squawking so loudly now during Hong Kong's 150 years of colonial rule when Britain denied the colony any democracy. It is the Basic Law which enshrines and guarantees universal suffrage.

The Western media's portrayal of rising tensions between those for and against the central government might go down well with an audience that likes to be spoon-fed the message that not only is the grass not greener on the other side of the fence, there is no grass at all. Yet, as they are in supposedly more democratic Western countries, the marches and demonstrations are a way for ordinary people to express their views when they feel that those supposed to be representing them appear a little hard of hearing when it comes to their concerns, especially when those concerns are lost in a cacophony of unrealistic demands such as those of "Occupy Central".

Most of the demonstrators know full well they will not change central authorities' entirely legal decision on the process to elect the chief executive; indeed "pro-democracy" lawmakers, who hold enough seats for a veto, have said that they will vote down any proposal based on the central government's ruling, which would only result in the chief executive being selected as before, which would be an undemocratic sham.

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