Friday, March 10, 2006

Thaksin and democracy

excerpt from a great satirical piece in The Nation:

Hello and goodbye from Democracy scorned

Dear Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra...

...I was tempted to write a long time ago, when you made that world-renowned statement about me in December 2003. "Democracy is not my goal," you said.

Leaders who shared your belief that I'm just a "tool", not an inspiration, have often used me as a stepping stone. Once they got what they want, they forgot all about me. They all have one thing in common though: whenever their backs were against the wall, they called for me.

...They order drug suspects or alleged militants shot in the morning, force news outlets to sack editors in the afternoon, buy off those employed in checks and balances in the evening and come to me with flowers when they have nowhere to go. They don't really know me or my essence. I'm only their springboard and last resort, nothing else.

...I had to fight back tears every time you invoked those "19 million votes" to defend your actions, knowing full well that deep in your heart, you never really appreciated my real merits and principles.

...Do you honestly think it's right for the government to help provinces that supported your political party first? And when members of the public criticise you, are they "stupid", or are they just performing their duty as Thai citizens?

...You said on Monday that you had done your best. Well, sorry, my friend, your best wasn't good enough.

Goodbye from someone you never really knew,


To be perfectly accurate, Thaksin's favorite phrase used to describe critics of his policies is "ngo badsop," which translates to "idiot scum" -- a term a fair bit stronger and unstatesmanlike than the mere word "stupid."