Updated: Wishing away murder, election fixing and policy corruption

3 03 2011

A couple of days ago the Bangkok Post had an Alice in Wonderland editorial where reality is turned on its head and fantasy rules the day.

It began with the absurd notion that “Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is a consummate politician” and that he somehow “illustrated” this when he “unofficially but aggressively kicked off” the Democrat Party’s election campaign. PPT isn’t sure that consummate is the appropriate description for a man who owes his position to the People’s Alliance for Democracy, the military and the support of a troubled elite. And, we can think of several occasions in recent months when Abhisit has “unofficially kicked off” the Democrat Party’s campaign for a still unknown election date.

The Post repeats several times that a “clean, spirited election campaign and an honest vote” is expected or hoped for. It stresses the need for lawful campaigning and civilized and tolerant behavior and calls on the public to “reward good candidates…”.

All well and good, except that Abhisit, his coalition partners and the party’s powerful elite backers have already engaged in massive electoral manipulation. PPT won’t rehearse all the actions again, but we urge readers to look again at our posts on “fixing the election,” here, here and here. These actions, ranging from huge budget handouts to salary increases for officials and murder and repression, do not even include throwing out throwing out a constitution and writing another, so-called policy corruption, dispatching a couple of governments, a coup and manipulation of the courts.

Has the Bangkok Post no shame? Clearly not, for it then admonishes the media:

All types of media owe it to the country and the democratic process to cover the election campaign carefully – aggressively but honestly. The candidates’ speeches and statements must be checked for accuracy. But the public must trust the media to do this in an honest manner. Even the biased media – those well known to support this or that party – have a duty to stick to facts in reporting political movements.

We guess the Post doesn’t include itself in the “biased media” category but even this short editorial shows that it is remarkably partisan. Just look at this statement about the need for civilized campaigning: “In the past three years, the prime ministers and cabinet members have been intimidated or even assaulted when visiting so-called ‘opposition’ areas.”

Leaving aside the inability to acknowledge opposition areas without inverted commas, an unbiased and serious newspaper would mention that this behavior was also displayed by Democrat Party supporters in the south who repeatedly chased away Thai Rak Thai Party ministers. Mentioning this would have the Post standing on high ground. In fact, it displays its bias.

That bias is again clear when the Post states:

Most of all, the country truly hopes that politicians and their supporters will stick to the important national issues. There are plenty of important ones, including the economy, responses to international events, the constitution and more.

That might make some sense for the uninitiated, but as we know from yellow-shirted Senator Rosana Tositakul, this is no more than an attack on red shirts who do want to remember that their electoral choices have been summarily pushed aside by the elite that has placed the Democrat Party in power, together with all of the slanders, repression, imprisonments, “fixing,” double standards, and murders that have  accompanied that process.

Somehow Rosana and the Post think these are not important national issues and that the impunity of officials who murder protesters can continue to be ignored. The media and politicians have yet to seriously debate and investigate such crimes in a transparent manner. Perhaps the media should seriously investigate parliament and politicians instead of being mouthpieces for privileged minorities. Perhaps… oops, slipping into Wonderland ourselves… The media of the elite won’t do any of this.

Updated: A reader points out that we should note the promises Abhisit made and associated claims of vote-buying reported in the Bangkok Post.


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