Articles: Politics

'Patriotic' HK scientists to get Beijing cash
RTHK, 15-May-2018
Comment: when a country filters its scientists for politics, it puts itself at a technological disadvantage. No wonder so many freedom-loving Chinese scientists stay overseas after leaving China for higher studies. Poiticisation of German academia under the Nazis and the purging of Jews drove many talented physicists to America, where they helped build the A-bomb.
CE & SJ v Nathan Law Kwun Chung, Leung Kwok Hung, Lau Siu Lai & Edward Yiu Chung Yim
HK Court of First Instance, 14-Jul-2017
Webb on "Backchat" re Policy Address
RTHK, 19-Jan-2017
1539 candidates in under 4 minutes
Today, a few people are choosing even fewer people who will select HK's new Chief Executive. Our compilation shows the details of all 1539 candidates for 1034 seats, including 300 uncontested. Last time, the electorate of the 637 densest seats (lowest electors per seat) was 4,363. There is healthy competition in the largest electorates, including Education and Health Services, but the most they can hope for is to tip the balance if 2 establishment candidates run for the job and Beijing doesn't pick a winner and direct its agents from the small circles accordingly. (11-Dec-2016)
Brexit: the Movie
YouTube, 12-May-2016
Well worth watching. Some of the conflicts of interest for those now lobbying to "stay" are exposed - particularly the funding that NGOs and arts groups receive from the EU, which ultimately is funded by the taxpayers of member states.
Home Shan't Be China
HSBC's decision to stay put is unsurprising, not just because of the reduced UK bank levy, but because of the risks of moving to what is increasingly seen as one country rather than two systems. (15-Feb-2016)
Behold, the One Belt One Road bandwagon.. and the Maritime Silk Road bandwagon
Companies named or renamed to fit Xi's China Dream. (15-Jan-2016)
The Webb-site 2015 HK District Council elections guide
All you need to know about 935 candidates in under 3 minutes. Equal time is given to each candidate, about 0.2 seconds, which is more time than most media give them. (3-Nov-2015)
Government: colonial posting boxes still in service are "inappropriate"
HK Government, 9-Oct-2015
The Government is "looking into ways to update the markings on these boxes". Send them suggestions on a postcard. So are the royal insignia on the Court of Final Appeal building, and the crown on its dome, also "inappropriate"? How about the street names? Queen's Road to become Deng's Road?
Transcend This
If the new policy of "decolonisation" requires HK Post to vandalise its boxes, then what comes next? Perhaps the royal insignia on the Court of Final Appeal building will be "transcended". (5-Oct-2015)
Statement on allegation by a legislator
ICAC, 15-Jun-2015
Cheung Tak Wing v Communications Authority & Director of Information Services
HK Court of First Instance, 12-Jun-2015
Leave is granted to apply for judicial review of the Government's propaganda or advertisements on 2017, issued after the public consultation had closed but while LegCo is considering the Government's proposals, using free air-time for "Announcements in the Public Interest".
NPCSC poll results: not much optimism
The results of the Webb-site Opinion Poll on "NPCSC decision - pocket or not" show that the opponents of the NPCSC proposal don't want to get stuck with it, but they don't expect a veto will produce a better offer for 2022. Meanwhile the proponents recognise that the current offer is fake democracy, but they think it is worth taking in the hope of real democracy later. (10-Feb-2015)
Beijing's 2020 vision for LegCo
In the past few days, it has become clear how Beijing plans to rig the 2020 LegCo elections to claim "universal suffrage" without losing control. This gives even less reason for legislators to approve Beijing's proposal for the 2017 Chief Executive election. (3-Feb-2015)
Occupy school suspension order was invalid
We have investigated the Government's actions during the "Occupy" protests and find that it lacked the legal powers to order district-wide class suspensions, and was therefore acting outside the rule of law. (13-Jan-2015)
HKGov: Basic Law factsheet change was "editorial refinements"...
HK Government, 7-Jan-2015
..."and did not involve revisions of any content and information" er, yes, except for the bits you revised, as Webb-site spotted on 18-Dec-2014. High degree of sophistry.
Webb on "Backchat" re Report on Recent Community & Political SituationThe report
RTHK, 7-Jan-2015
Government changes Basic Law facts
In a Webb-site exclusive, we reveal that the HK Government has revised its own fact sheets on the Basic Law with politically-sensitive consequences. (18-Dec-2014)
Moving on from Occupy to the Central Issue
The protesters have overstayed their welcome in Admiralty. They should withdraw and set a new deadline for C Y Leung to do the right thing: send a new report to the NPCSC, recommending restoring the nomination threshold to 12.5% from 50%. That would achieve free and fair elections without civic nomination. After all, only 305 members of the 1200-member committee nominated him in 2012. A New Year's Day march should celebrate or protest his choice. Sign the petition! (7-Dec-2014)
The Joshua-Free Zone
Response from CMAB on behalf of CE to democracy petition.
2607 people have signed the petition so far, and this is all they get in response. (22-Nov-2014)
Top court judge questions 'odd' injunction
South China Morning Post, 13-Nov-2014
Initial response from CE's office to democracy petition
It's not too late to add your voice - sign the petition now! (6-Nov-2014)
Templar's Old Take
From the 1992 archive... (5-Nov-2014)
Chris Patten testimony to Parliament, nearly 30 years after the joint declaration (TV)
UK Parliament, 4-Nov-2014
C Y Leung on cartels and politics
YouTube, 3-Nov-2014
Templar's Take
Templar's Take
Renowned local cartoonist Templar begins a digital presence on Webb-site. (1-Nov-2014)
Delivery of petition for HK democracy
Webb-site has today delivered to the CE's Office the petition with the first 2,114 signatures. The realistic and pragmatic petition remains open for signature, so it is not too late to add your voice. The CE has an opportunity to resolve the impasse over constitutional development, move HK forward, and land on the right side of history. (31-Oct-2014)
Cha 'regrets' slaves comment outcry
RTHK, 31-Oct-2014
‘No foreign forces behind Hong Kong protests’, says Legco president Jasper Tsang
South China Morning Post, 30-Oct-2014
...thereby contradicting the claims of Beijing and C Y Leung that the democracy protests are a foreign plot to undermine the one-party state.
Don't be a slave to reform, says finance figure
HK Standard, 30-Oct-2014
Laura Cha, HK Executive Councillor and delegate to the NPC, compares HK people to slaves in America, and gets her history on their voting rights hopelessly wrong too (clue: 15th Amendment, Laura). How charming. Sadly this is the person who is steering the Financial Services Development Council - and she worries about investor confidence being undermined. How ironic.
Statement by Chief Executive's Orifice
HK Government, 29-Oct-2014
He didn't say "those earning HK$14k a month are not entitled to the rights to make nomination for the election of the Chief Executive", but he did say that if the NC was numerically representative then "you would be talking to half of the people in Hong Kong who earn less than $14k a month. Then you would end up with that kind of politics and policies". So the paraphrase is "broadly representative" of his remarks. PR lesson: when you are in a hole, stop digging.
David Webb launches online petition to press HK political reform
HK Economic Journal, 24-Oct-2014
Broadly representative of wealth
C Y Leung tells 3 media from democratic countries that the Nominating Committee should be "broadly representative" of wealthy people, not the general public, who would otherwise wreck the economy, and explains how he has to pander to vested interests in the committee to get elected. Yet the lack of a popular electoral mandate has resulted in populist handouts anyway, as well as wasteful infrastructure spending to favour vested interests. Could a democratically nominated and elected CE really be any worse? We also look ahead to what the students should realistically be asking for tonight. (21-Oct-2014)
Webb-site analysis: C Y Leung lying about 2017 candidacy plans
YouTube, 20-Oct-2014
In last night's TV interview, he claimed that he had never stated an intention to run for re-election in 2017. We prove that his claim is false. Has Beijing told him not to run again?
HK protests: CY Leung 'foreign link' claim denied
BBC, 20-Oct-2014
Conversely, there is no doubt that C Y Leung was funded by foreign interests while in office - £4m from Australia's UGL Limited.
Foreign forces behind protest movement, says C Y Leung
RTHK, 20-Oct-2014
Comment: he is insulting the intelligence and feelings of the protesters by implying that they don't actually want democracy themselves. He should stop parroting the mainland Government and start representing the people of HK.
Newsline interview with C Y Leung
Asia Television, 19-Oct-2014
Unfortunately the interviewer does not ask about the obvious step of returning the nomination threshold to 1/8 from 1/2, within the Basic Law, and allows the CE to suggest that the protesters insist on civic nomination, which the BL does not allow. A fair nomination threshold would resolve the issue.
Man arrested over web messages to join protests
RTHK, 19-Oct-2014
Hong Kong Government is using delay tactics: Webb (video)
Bloomberg, 17-Oct-2014
Webb on "Backchat" re Occupy, economy and democracy
RTHK, 17-Oct-2014
David Webb: Hong Kong people will win democracy fight (ultimately)
HK Economic Journal, 15-Oct-2014
Cronies are killing HK
Bloomberg, 15-Oct-2014
Ignore the argument, blame the foreigners
Is the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong really just a devious foreign plot to undermine the future prosperity of China? (14-Oct-2014)
Admiralty address
Here's the speech by Webb-site founder David Webb to the crowd in Admiralty last night. (12-Oct-2014)
Declassified secret file shines a light on China’s true intentions
The Australian, 11-Oct-2014
Webb on "Backchat" re Umbrella Movement and C Y Leung's contract
RTHK, 10-Oct-2014
The secret history of Hong Kong’s stillborn democracy
Quartz, 10-Oct-2014
A good write-up which debunks the critcism from China that "the British wouldn't let HK people freely choose their leader so why should we?". The PRC would not let them, as was made clear via a message to Harold MacMillan from Premier Zhou En-lai in 1958. Obviously giving HK self-determination would have made Chinese recovery of HK much harder.
HK Gov spits the dummy, cancels talks with protesters
HK Government, 9-Oct-2014
You have to wonder which side is supposed to be more grown up here. The CS gases on in her speech that the NPCSC decision on 2017 "must be observed", and then says that the dialogue must not be linked to whether and when the protests would stop. She seems to forget why they even agreed to talks in the first place. Is the Government afraid of open discussion? Was it all a bluff to drag things out?
One HK, two possible outcomes
HK's civic freedoms and lack of democracy are an incompatible, unsustainable combination, which is why it is alone globally in that quadrant of the grid of democracy and civic freedoms. Either we move to a democratic open society, or we join mainland China and others with neither civic freedoms nor democracy. The status quo, with recurrent protests against an illegitimate and paralysed government, is not a viable option. (9-Oct-2014)
Germany shows unity with HK protesters
An interesting speech from the Consul-General at last night's celebrations of German Unity Day. (8-Oct-2014)
Government allows secondary but not primary school classes to resume
HK Government, 5-Oct-2014
Comment: this was never really a safety issue for most schools - but perhaps Government has belatedly realised that commanding secondary schools to suspend classes actually facilitated older pupils attending the protests. Incidentally, the Government never actually issued a closure order under Section 83 of the Education Ordinance, so its official line is that schools were open all along, but classes were suspended.
Government response to HKFS' statement
HK Government, 5-Oct-2014
Comment: the government-speak of "initial contact" and "working-level preparation" sounds like foot-dragging. The "hopes" expressed by Government as to reopening carriageways are not pre-conditions to talks, and the protesters would be strategically crazy to give ground in Admiralty now - it would amount to a "surrender-then-negotiate" strategy, but they could maintain public goodwill by allowing our overpaid civil servants and political appointees to get to their offices on Monday and withdrawing from flashpoints in Mongkok and Causeway Bay, as the leaders have been attempting to do.
Patten: The HK government must listen to its people
Project Syndicate, 3-Oct-2014
Our take on this: Patten is calling for a new round of consultation and report to Beijing, not one that merely narrows down the "counterfeit start" delivered by the NPC Standing Committee. He says: "The Hong Kong authorities have gravely miscalculated the views of their citizens. Like the bad courtiers against whom Confucius warned, they went to Beijing and told the emperor what they thought he wanted to hear, not what the situation really was in the city. They must think again.
HK protests challenge supreme power organ: People's Daily
Xinhua, 3-Oct-2014
"There is no room to make concessions on issues of important principles," says the commentary on the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China.
Transcript of C Y Leung's remarks
HK Government, 3-Oct-2014
C Y Leung: "We should work within the framework of the decision of the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) and so on, so forth. Only [if] we follow the provisions of the Basic Law and the decisions of the NPCSC can we have universal suffrage in 2017." Comment: better get another decision from the NPCSC then, or these talks are doomed.
HK protests: democracy 'snatched away' - Chris Patten
BBC, 2-Oct-2014
The Federation of Students open letter to Carrie Lam
HK Federation of Students, 2-Oct-2014
The highway guide to the Umbrella Movement of 2014
What's going on in HK? Here is our quick illustrated guide. Note 12-Oct-2014: we've amended the title from "Revolution" to "Movement" - as this subsequently emerged as the more accepted name for the pro-democracy protests. (29-Sep-2014)
China's island factory
BBC, 9-Sep-2014
An interesting documentary on what China is up to in the South China Sea, seeking to assert its preposterous territorial claims with military force.
Vote for chief executive must be wide open, says Regina Ip
South China Morning Post, 24-Aug-2013
"She told the South China Morning Post the dividend brought by universal suffrage, such as a stronger mandate for chief executive, would be lost if the electoral or nominating methods were rigged to rule out some candidates."
Pan-democrats should run for top job, says Fred Ma
South China Morning Post, 16-Aug-2013
"Ma said effective political reform could act like "medicine to cure" the present political climate. Barring pan-democrats from running in the next election would only weaken the effectiveness of reform, he argued. "After all … [Democrat] Albert Ho Chun-yan was allowed to run [last year]," he said."
Interview with David Webb
HK Magazine, 7-Mar-2013
Albert Ho Chun Yan v Leung Chun Ying
HK Court of First Instance, 5-Oct-2012
Tang planned to quit for free speech sake
HK Standard, 22-Mar-2012
Cozying up to CY
HK Standard, 21-Mar-2012
Statement by ExCoThe Oaths and Declarations Ordinance, Schedule 2
HK Government, 20-Mar-2012
Either Henry Tang was lying about What C Y Leung said in ExCo, or Henry Tang has breached the Oath of Fidelity taken by Executive Councillors not to reveal the proceedings of ExCo meetings.
Webb on "Backchat" re political party funding
RTHK, 20-Oct-2011
Lai splashes HK$60m on his democrat buddies
HK Standard, 18-Oct-2011
Money business for the cardinal
HK Standard, 18-Oct-2011
...and how much money has the Standard's controlling shareholder given to the Bauhinia Foundation, the lobby group of which he is "Protector"?
Statement by Law Society & Bar Association
Company media release, 20-May-2011
This follows comments by HK's Chief Executive claiming that "some political party politicians are using legal action... to disrupt major infrastructure just before kickoff in the name of environmental protection and conservation". In our view, his comments are disrespectful of the rule of law - if a project is delayed because of a failure by a Government department to comply with the law, then it only has itself to blame, whatever the motives of the person seeking the compliance.
Party lines drawn as Tsang hits out over bridge blow
HK Standard, 20-May-2011
Party finances in HK
Which is the wealthiest political party in HK? The answer may surprise you. We publish the accounts of the four main parties for their last two financial years, which go some way towards explaining the hand-to-mouth existence of several of the parties, and the lack of any coherent policy platforms in the pro-democracy camp. This is largely a result of the electoral voting system which divides and conquers them, countered by the secretive funding of the biggest-spending party. (7-Mar-2011)
Gang of four ex-Libs forms new group
HK Standard, 17-Jun-2009
Don's Donations discovers a Government black-out on details of political donations, breaking its own law and making it difficult to identify individual donors who financed Donald Tsang's campaign in the recent pseudo-election. Despite this, by careful analysis we have been able to estimate who were the leading donors, several of whom used dozens of unlisted subsidiaries or obscure executives to mask the scale of their contributions. We call for campaign finance reform to cap individual donations and ban corporate sponsorship. (7-May-2007)
Government proposes abolition of appointed DCs by 2012 or 2016
HK Government, 19-Dec-2005
Rethink on district council seat issue
HK Standard, 15-Nov-2005
Appointed district council seats to stay
HK Standard, 5-Oct-2005
Chief's allies rally round to raise HK$9.5m war chest
HK Standard, 25-May-2005
Tsang tipped to keep hopes of rival alive
HK Standard, 12-Apr-2005
Conjecture persists over Li quit letter
HK Standard, 24-Mar-2005
Li refuses to be part of Tsang's team
HK Standard, 12-Mar-2005

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