torsdag 29. juni 2017

'I should have done more': Chris Patten on leaving Hong Kong without democracy

One memory sticks in Patten’s mind from his last days in power. During a visit to a psychiatric hospital, just a few weeks before he set sail on the Britannia, he recalls being approached by a patient in a three-piece suit. “Governor Patten, could I ask you a question?” the man inquired. “You always tell us that Britain is the oldest democracy in the world. So could you explain to me why you are handing over Hong Kong to the last great totalitarian regime without asking the opinion of the people of Hong Kong?”

In spite of their location, it was, Patten says, “the sanest question in Hong Kong”.“Incredibly sane – and unanswerable. But at least we could have done a bit more to make it answerable.”