People living in Hong Kong no doubt already had enough to contend with as China brings the formerly semi-autonomous region under more centralised control, but now even their hamsters aren’t safe.
The order to Hong Kong residents to surrender their pet hamsters to be killed because they are supposed to present a Covid threat is yet another list of things for Hong Kong residents not to be cheerful about.
Hong Kong authorities ordered the killing of hamsters from dozens of pet shops after they said a Covid-19 outbreak had been traced to a worker at a shop.
While it has reported that 11 of the little furry chaps had tested positive for Covid-19 up to last weekend there is of course no genuine fear in relation to the possibility that hamsters might kick start an ailing pandemic.
That ought to be “no genuine scientific or medical fear” because of course the Chinese Communist Party mostly governs through manufactured fear, and will have noted the impact which the Wuhan virus and the original footage of people dropping dead in the streets – remember that? – had on the global population. They may be reluctant to let this go.
Apart from people who have little to be doing with themselves other than infecting hamsters with the virus, there would appear to be little or no natural connection between Covid-19 and the spread of the virus to humans.
Indeed, the recent intensified lockdowns in Hong Kong and presumably in other parts of China where less is known, all smack of the Desperately Seeking A New Reason to Tell People What to Do phenomena that also has its fanatical adherents in countries such as Ireland.
China slaughtering pet dogs & cats of Covid patients in bid to stop the virus under draconian new law (the-sun.com)
The Chinese have previously slaughtered large numbers of dogs and cats who were accused of spreading Covid even though virologists like Professor Rachael Tarlinton of Nottingham University insisted in November that there was no evidence that cats for example presented a serious threat of passing the virus to humans.
All of this is from the Chinese Communist Party playbook. At various stages in the generations of horrors they have inflicted on those unfortunate to fall under their control, the brutality of mass murder, torture, artificial famine and labour camps have been compounded by little acts of cruelty that are as much as part of the manner in which totalitarian regimes induce fear as the more direct means.
Indeed, like one of those nasty little boys who progress from torturing small creatures to doing the same to other humans, the Great Helmsman himself Chairman Mao, still beloved of imbeciles in a certain party’s youth section, launched random mass campaigns to kill birds and pets.
Sparrows rather than socialist collectivization were once blamed for eating seeds and grain and peasants were encouraged to induce them to die of heart attacks in flight by banging saucepans – which was probably the only use they had for them in the late 1950s when millions starved as the Party thugs stole their food – as the little birds would not be able to land.
During the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s cats in particular were identified as symbols of bourgeois decadence and liable to be beaten and tortured to death and even eaten by members of Ógra Red Guards.
The response of the Chinese people has been one of quiet defiance. From the Buddhist monks to the Legion of Mary, Uyghur poets and university students who stood in front of tanks, the human spirit has proven to be indomitable often if only at an individual level. No wonder the Left is currently engaged in a new attempt to suppress Orwell’s tale of Winston Smith.
There is no shame in breaking in Room 101. There is certainly shame in placing people there and worse, pretending that it does not exist. Whether that be in a Shanghai suburb, a Berlin basement or a cottage in the middle of Ireland.
Resistance to China’s power grab in Hong Kong was highlighted again in December, when the estimated turnout in the election for the city’s legislative council was around 30%.
This was a stark comment by the voters on the Chinese Communist Party’s reduction of the body to one that no longer even has the pretence of being a democratic assembly. Just 20 of the 90 seats were up for popular election.
There was a 70% turnout for local council elections in 2019 which saw anti-Communist candidates win a majority in 18 of the 19 councils. The suppression of democracy has been accompanied by a series of draconian measures targeting individuals and groups opposed to the Party.
Some Hong Kongers have resisted the purge of the hamsters by establishing an escape route for the little beasts. They have established a kind of underground railway where people who do not want to hand over their pets and who fear them being seized can give them to people who will find them new homes.
One of the organisers of this in Hong Kong explained her reason for being part of this:
“I don’t care about that, the police. Fuck them. They arrest people anyway for doing nothing,” she said.
“Some of my friends are in jail now. Not because of a hamster. I would rather save a life. A hamster life is still a life and that’s what a lot of volunteers are thinking.”
That of course is not a trivial thing in the face of the dangers that people in Hong Kong and the rest of China face. It is also a profound and courageous stance because it not only attests to human bravery but lets their oppressors know that they are not going to cower in fear like the subject of Pastor Niemoeller’s poem about the Nazis, but will refuse to comply with even the smallest and most petty of the Party’s decrees.