“It is not easy to hate for his principles a man whose principles differ very little from your own,” wrote the American intelligence agent Kim Roosevelt. “Let him be regarded, however, as a member of a party, and his individual beliefs are swallowed up by the larger body, which contains in fact a hundred shades of opinion, but which can, by judicious simplification, be represented by the most extreme.”（評 1）
Roosevelt wrote this about the English Civil War.（評 2）But the idea could equally apply to what is happening in Hong Kong today.
In the past month Hong Kong has had to live under the shadow of a National Security Law with boundaries our own judiciary unable to define.（評 3）
Protestors and teenage activists have been arrested. Slogans and songs outlawed. Books have been removed from shelves. Teachers sacked and journalists threatened.
For the past year the moderate, hopeful and dignified message has been to take our concerns to the ballot box.（評 4）People did in record numbers last November for the District Council election. But it was the Legislative Council elections, scheduled for this September, that mattered, as it was on in the chamber that a solution to what remains a political problem might be discussed.（評 5）
So the legislature was hobbled. Then candidates disqualified. And now the election itself has been postponed. Not even a symbolic victory might be tolerated.
What has surprised me, and pained me（評 6）to see, is the way some in Hong Kong no longer see these events for what they are, nor seem able to judge those caught up by these events for who they are and for what they have actually done.
There was a time not long ago when the theatrical arrest（評 7）of Martin Lee and Margaret Ng, for whom the Hong Kong police seemed warranted the deployment of a team of armed policemen, would have caused consternation even among those within the Beijing camp. This was the Hong Kong that was, and to my mind it was a better Hong Kong.
The reality is the overwhelming majority of Hong Kong people believe in the core tenets of the democratic ideal, of the rule of law, a free press and of core freedoms and political rights. These ideals are enshrined in the Basic Law, and are therefore central to the concept of One Country, Two System. Whilst there is no explicit reference to a reform timetable, to what was meant by democratic principles, nor any commitment made to follow international standards for free and fair elections, that universal suffrage is the goal and was promised is clear.
There is a reason why Hong Kong’s largest and most loyal pro-Beijing party, the DAB, are a “Democratic Alliance”. These shared ideals ought to be what united Hong Kong politically, from which we draw our common principles. Whilst we may disagree on how we might best reach our goal, the goal is the same.（評 8）
We must play the same game, to the same rules and to the same truths. This is what I see play out in Westminster. Even during the most trying times, real hate rarely exists outside of the fringes of politics.
What Roosevelt knew was that the way to destroy a society was to conflate the person with the politics of a camp or party. It is a lesson Beijing also knows well.（評 9）As a protest movement became increasingly frustrated, hurt and emotive, it not only shaped a new generation of political actors, but gave those that seek to undermine any effective opposition the means to slander our more moderated, constructive and sensible voices.
In what may well be a silent coup, the question we need ask now is not who will represent the opposition, as there must be an opposition for the charade of One Country, Two Systems to continue, but how will Beijing define a legitimate opposition in future?
- 羅斯福（不是美國總統那位）是美國資深情報官，曾在 50 年代初期派駐埃及，負責推翻當時伊朗總統摩薩台（Mohammad Mosaddegh）。摩薩台因決定將英國的石油公司國有化，令英美聯手發動政變推翻。此事在西方現代史上引起爭議，有人認為這是為伊朗後來外交政策轉向反美和原教旨主義傾向埋下伏筆。但羅斯福對於人性弱點有深刻的了解。尤其在一個動盪的時代，人因為政見不同，會如何造成誤解與仇恨。他發覺只要將不同政見的人，歸入一個政黨或組織，令反對者將此政黨視為極端，從而將他們打得你死我活。也就是說，不承認對方擁有獨立思考，只須一口咬定他是某一種政黨的會員，例如納粹分子、共黨分子等等。同理，在今日的香港，一旦被歸納為「藍絲」、「黃絲」，一個明明無任何政黨所屬背景的人，都會被標籤為敵人。
- 英國內戰，指 1642 至 1651 年間，當地與法國、西班牙開戰，要議會通過法案繳納稅金。議會反對，但國王查理一世派兵闖入議會，強行解散。英國國內分裂成「議會派」，與「保皇黨」陷入內戰，但主張共和的克倫威爾率領騎兵擊敗國王軍，查理一世被捕，判處死刑。克倫威爾在英國開創了一個短暫的共和制，但卻實行獨裁禁止市民飲酒娛樂、關閉劇場。這場「革命」不倫不類，成為英國民主抗爭史上的污點。
- 開頭以宏大的歷史場景為依據，將鏡頭拉到今日的香港，指出香港「國安法」的通過，有如英國內戰造成香港市民極端的衝突，播種仇恨。一般的抗議者與少年抗爭者被捕，口號、歌曲、書本一一被禁，教師被解僱，記者遭到恐嚇。With boundaries our judiciary unable to define：連香港的司法當局對於「國安法」也茫然不知如何應付。
- 評論時事，最忌失憶。作者引去年 11 月，區議會選情踴躍，暗示特府恐懼 9 月立法會落敗。
- 立法會選舉對於政府權力並無大威脅，只是象徵式，卻不能被容忍。所以不但令作者驚異，而且感到痛苦。Pain 這個字，當初以名詞用，但可以化為動詞，這是英文隨著時代自然演化的例子。
- Theatrical Arrest：Theatrical 和 Dramatic 有何分別？為甚麼作者在這裡會使用前者？
- 作者提醒讀者：親中愛國的「民建聯」，不要忘記全名叫做「民主建港聯盟」。證明 30 年前的香港左派，也認同「民主」一詞。他們應該明白雖然意見不同，但民主的規則和底線是甚麼。