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Brexit: Why, despite the European election results, nothing has changed since the 2016 referendum

The recent European election results actually show nothing has changed regarding Brexit in terms of how many voters want to leave the EU and how many wish to remain, says a leading British political scientist.

British political scientist, Philip Cowley, brought some clarity to the topic of Brexit when he appeared at the FCC on May 29. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC British political scientist, Philip Cowley, brought some clarity to the topic of Brexit when he appeared at the FCC on May 29. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC

Despite the newly-formed Brexit Party making huge gains in the poll, taking more than 30% of the total UK votes, the country is still almost evenly split on the issue and the results mirror those of the 2016 referendum.

“It’s British politics as it has been played out since 2014, just in its latest manifestation,” said Philip Cowley, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University of London.

But what the results of last week’s elections did show was that voters want simple and powerful messages, as was seen from the two parties to gain the most: the Brexit Party’s push to simply leave Europe, and the Liberal Democrats’ adoption of the slogan, Bollocks To Brexit., said Cowley, author of a series of books on British general elections. The parties with the biggest losses – the Conservatives and Labour – campaigned on messages that were too nuanced, he suggested.

As a Conservative leadership contest kicked off with 11 names in the ring so far – “we’ve already hit a football team and I think we’ve got more to come” – Cowley said that although Boris Johnson was the bookies favourite to win, in every Tory leadership contest since 1965, the favourite has failed to be elected.

Watch the full video here

FCC will remain ‘strong, steadfast voice for press freedom in Hong Kong’, pledges new president, Jodi Schneider

Senior Bloomberg editor Jodi Schneider pledged that the FCC Hong Kong would remain “a strong, steadfast voice for press freedom in Hong Kong, Asia and the world” as she was elected president of the prestigious press club.

Jodi Schneider. Jodi Schneider.

Ms. Schneider takes over from Florence de Changy as Club President, while Eric Wishart was elected First Vice-President, it was announced this week. Tim Huxley was voted Second Vice-President.

Ms. Schneider is Senior International Editor at Bloomberg News, based in Hong Kong, where she discusses world politics and policy on Bloomberg Television and Radio, and edits coverage via the Asia Editing Hub. She is a founder and co-lead of the Women’s Voices initiative in Asia and a co-lead of the Bloomberg Women’s Community in Hong Kong. While in Washington, D.C., she was active in the National Press Club, heading the Fourth Estate Committee.

Eric Wishart. Eric Wishart.

Former AFP editor-in-chief, and past FCC president, Mr Wishart is responsible for special editorial projects for the Agency’s global news management. He teaches journalism part-time at Hong Kong University and Hong Kong Baptist University.

The FCC is one of the oldest and most famous press clubs in the world, having been established in China in 1943. Home to journalists and a host of other professionals, the members-only club provides a neutral platform for local and international speakers from the worlds of politics, business, sports and the arts. The club’s core mission is to promote and facilitate journalism of the highest standard, and to promote press freedom across the region.

“I am honoured to become the next president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong, undoubtedly one of the world’s great press clubs,” Ms. Schneider said. “As president, I will make a top priority the commitment to being a strong, steadfast voice for press freedom in Hong Kong, Asia and the world. We have a long tradition as a home for discussion and debate on press freedom issues and I will work to uphold that role.”

For the full election results, visit www.fcchk.org/election-2019

Election for The Board of Governors 2019-20 Result

PRESIDENT:
    Number of votes
1. Jodi SCHNEIDER – Bloomberg L.P.  110
     
FIRST-VICE PRESIDENT:
2. Eric WISHART – Agence France-Presse  109
     
SECOND VICE-PRESIDENT:
  3. Edith TERRY – Freelance  138
4. Tim HUXLEY – Mandarin Shipping Limited  217
     
CORRESPONDENT MEMBER GOVERNORS:
5. Emma CLARK – Agence France-Presse  57
  6. Reuben EASEY – Agence France-Presse  30
  7. Katie FORSTER – Agence France-Presse  40
8. Jennifer HUGHES – Reuters  75
  9. Jonathan JENSEN – CNN  28
  10. Tripti LAHIRI – Quartz  56
11. Richard MACAULEY – Bloomberg LP  73
12. Shibani MAHTANI – The Washington Post  68
13. Keith RICHBURG – Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong  93
  14. George RUSSELL – Financial Times  42
15. Kristine SERVANDO – Bloomberg LP 73
16. Feliz SOLOMON – TIME 58
17. Dan STRUMPF – The Wall Street Journal 66
     
JOURNALIST MEMBER GOVERNORS:
18. Clifford BUDDLE – SCMP 108
  19. Kurt LIN – Morning Studio, SCMP 38
  20. Babette RADCLYFFE-THOMAS – Fifth Black Media 61
21. Adam WHITE – Cedar Communications 87
     
ASSOCIATE MEMBER GOVERNORS:
22. Genavieve ALEXANDER – Genavieve Co. Ltd  178
  23. Christopher CHU  128
  24. William GILES – Partner of Hart Giles, Solicitors & Notaries  156
25. Kin-ming LIU – KM & Associates  206
26. Simon PRITCHARD – Gavekal Research  207
27. Christopher SLAUGHTER – Consultant  241
     

 

Video: James Bullard, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, on the U.S. Economy and Monetary Policy

The US economy and monetary policy was the topic of discussion when Dr. James Bullard, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, spoke at the FCC on May 22.

Watch the full video here

Media entrepreneur Jimmy Lai: Hong Kong Extradition Law is ‘the battle against the massacre of our freedom’

Hong Kong’s proposed changes to its extradition agreement with China will finish Hong Kong, warned media entrepreneur Jimmy Lai, as he called on residents to protest.

Jimmy Lai, founder and chairman of Hong Kong-listed Next Digital, at the May 20 club lunch. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC Jimmy Lai, founder and chairman of Hong Kong-listed Next Digital, at the May 20 club lunch. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC

If the bill passes, many foreign businesses will leave Hong Kong, Lai predicted, quoting a new and as yet unpublished survey that found 90% of businessmen in the city were against the proposed Fugitive Offenders Ordinance amendment bill that would allow the city to accept extradition requests from countries where there is no prior agreement. 

“This is the last battle. This is the battle against the massacre of our freedom,” Lai said at the May 20 club lunch.

The founder and chairman of Hong Kong-listed Next Digital, publisher of Apple Daily and Next Magazine, also described Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam as “evil” and gave this advice to young journalists: “It’s a risky business… but you’re fighting for society, which is worth fighting for, and that has a lot to give us as a person – the dignity, the pride, the reason to live.”

Watch the full video

Maria Ressa on press freedom, dictators, social media, and the day George Clooney made her coffee

The biggest battle for our generation is the battle for truth and as journalists, we must continue to fight for it, said Rappler founder and press freedom fighter Maria Ressa.

Maria Ressa at the May 17 club lunch. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC Maria Ressa at the May 17 club lunch. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC

Appearing at the FCC on a travel bond amid several pending court actions in the Philippines, the journalist at the centre of a harassment campaign directed by President Rodrigo Duterte discussed her country’s “descent into tyranny” but admitted that the pressure on her and her reporters “has made us stronger”.

During the lively May 17 guest appearance, Ressa gave her views on why so many populist leaders were being elected, in part blaming the rise of the internet and social media and their role in the spread of disinformation.

She also talked about the pressure that comes with being an international symbol of the fight for press freedom, which sees her traveling the world to meet global leaders and human rights advocates. In one anecdote, Ressa recalled a recent meeting with leading human rights lawyer, Amal Clooney, and her actor husband George, who made the two women Nespresso – for which the actor is global brand ambassador – as they discussed human rights issues.

Watch the full video

Temporary Suspension of Telephone Line Services

FCC Hong Kong statement on release of Reuters journalists

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong welcomes the release of Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo who had been jailed for their reporting on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.

Reuters journalists Wa Lone (L) and Kyaw Soe Oo, who are based in Myanmar, pose for a picture at the Reuters office in Yangon, Myanmar December 11, 2017. Picture taken December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Antoni Slodkowski Reuters journalists Wa Lone (L) and Kyaw Soe Oo, who are based in Myanmar, pose for a picture at the Reuters office in Yangon, Myanmar December 11, 2017. Picture taken December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Antoni Slodkowski

Over the 16 months the pair spent behind bars, the FCC Hong Kong and other press organisations had repeatedly called for the charges to be dropped and for the two men to return home to their families. They were only doing their jobs, and had not committed any crimes.

The FCC Hong Kong congratulates them on their long overdue freedom and reunion with their families.

Reporters in Myanmar continue to face prosecution for public-interest reporting as well as pressure to self-censor, even under the elected civilian-led government of Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate who had been the country’s most famous political prisoner for many years.

The FCC Hong Kong continues to call on Suu Kyi and her administration to support press freedom and ensure that journalists are able to work without threat of retaliation.

Limited FCCHK Operations Monday 5th August 2019

Because of protests and anticipated continued disruptions across the city today, Monday 5th August, the Club’s management notifies members that only the lounge and main bar remain open, offering a bar menu selection. Members will be updated if that changes.
 
We thank you for your understanding.
 
Please contact the Front Desk – 25211511 for up-to-date information related to the operation of the F&B outlets and facilities.
 

 

Heated debate over proposed Hong Kong extradition agreement with China

A proposed controversial extradition agreement between Hong Kong and China was the topic of lively debate when prominent lawyers with opposing views on the move discussed it at the FCC.

Dennis Kwok. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC Dennis Kwok. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC

Watch the video below

Days after an estimated 150,000 marched through Hong Kong in protest at the proposal, Ronny Tong, a non-official member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong, joined Legislative Council member Dennis Kwok to discuss whether the move was a knee-jerk reaction to the recent case of a Hong Kong citizen suspected of committing murder in Taiwan or a way in which China can legally abduct people from the city. Both men are co-founders of the Civic Party.

Ronny Tong. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC Ronny Tong. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC

Tong argued that the amendment would respect the human rights of those taken to the mainland under the agreement, and that extradition decisions would be taken having been considered by Hong Kong’s respected judiciary. He added that political crimes would be exempt from the agreement. Kwok, however, said he feared that once Article 23 was enacted, such crimes would fall under the agreement.

Watch the full May 2 debate here.

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