One of the ways that the filthy rich feel better about themselves and their often ill-gotten wealth – through the black economy, using influence, corruption, exploiting and enslaving workers – is by shoveling money at royal charities. For the rich, one of the most pleasant ways of doing this is the annual “feast” described by The Nation as it details the lavish 2012 event at The Oriental (where else?).
As in previous years, the portly Princess Sirindhorn chows down with Sino-Thai tycoons, vacuous celebrities, minor royals and the odd politician as 22 “top chefs team up to create a lavish meal to benefit underprivileged kids…”.
Yep, the 10-course (6++) wine-matched banquet is all for the tiny unwashed. All that Hokkaido scallop tartare, Foie gras egg royal with tofu and shiitake mushroom, chilled duck liver soup, Atlantic lobster, and slow-cooked Les Dombes quail served with (oddly inexpensive and middling) wines like 2007 Domaine Blondelet Pouilly-Fume, 2009 Rhone Valley Tavel Rose and 2006 Chateau Fonroque Bordeaux, washed down with Moyet Fins Bois Cognac will make life better for those who are lucky to eat at all.
For this royal presence and nosh-up, tickets are just 10,000 baht for a nosebag, although you actually have to shell out for a table of 10.
Last year, the dinner raised more than 12 million baht and handed “the bulk of the funds” to the “Border Patrol Police Schools under the Patronage of Her Royal Highness.” Wasn’t it for the kids? Well, they do go to schools….
In fact, the need for the Cold War-era schools and the royal-BPP propaganda is debatable, but the royal family has a long relationship with the often corrupt and murderous BPP, associated with some of the nastiest of vigilantes.
The “gala dinner” is apparently organized as “a way of paying back to society…”. A paltry 12 million hardly seems a “pay back” for the huge wealth the rich have plowed from the exploited, but it probably makes the rich feel better as they bathe in royal aura.
More seriously, the event is a part of the endless events that tie Sino-Thai tycoons and their families to the royal family, in a set of ceremonies and donations that go back to the late 1950s. Royal-capitalist bonding is crucial to the solidarity of the royalist elite in maintaining political and economic control.