Telling it as it is

17 07 2009

The Nation continues to print opinion pieces by Pornpimol Kanchanalak. PPT has mentioned her chequered history here.  Her views seem somewhat reflective of a growing Sino-Thai, middle-class despair over the state of Thai society and politics.

In the latest epistle (16 July 2009: “Looking for the holy grail in all the wrong places”), Pornpimol takes a swipe at almost everyone, blaming workers, government, politicians, tax collectors, demonstrators and sundry others for all that is wrong.

Her comfortable world seems to be collapsing. She believes that all of that is wrong has a root cause of this anarchy is the attacks on the monarchy: “Hateful and venomous websites are proliferating like wildfire. They are anti every ‘establishment’ in the book. What goes around on the grapevine is even more menacing.”

In hindsight, and reflective of a broader rethinking that seems to be going on, Pornpimol blames PAD for dragging the monarchy into politics: “Once that was done, everything was fair game, nothing off-limits. The pictures of the airport seizures by protesters holding photographs of His Majesty and the monarchy’s yellow f1ags palpably sent the unsubstantiated impression to the whole world that there was an ‘invisible hand’ behind the movement…”. Her beloved monarchy was “already judged blindly and harshly – guilty as charged by the kangaroo court of some circles…. Six decades of honest and earnest public service by His Majesty regrettably got lost in the viciousness of banal politics.”

Of course, she is wrong. The monarchy has long been involved in politics. The palace’s involvement in the planning and implementation of the 2006 coup is well-known. PAD served the interests of conservative forces when they attacked elected governments and their symbolic use of the monarchy was apparently accepted in high places.

That Thaksin has remained influential and the horrid red shirts want democracy, liberty and freedom is a real worry for Pornpimol. She opines that the red shirts don’t even know what democracy means!

Indeed, she now believes that everyone has got it wrong: “As much as religion does not create virtue, and money does not solve every problem, the bilious pretension of false hope and blind faith in unbridled freedom is not the Holy Grail of democracy…. We should stop looking for the Holy Grail of democracy in all the wrong places.”

Confused? Yes. She doesn’t like PAD and the reds are impossible. Pornpimol seems to desire a return to order and the old institutions that she feels make life simpler, less conflicted and more comfortable for the middle class. If that’s anti-democratic, so be it.


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21 07 2009



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