Yellow confusion and frustration

12 09 2012

It could be that the flood season is only welcomed by one group – the anti-Thaksin Shinawatra yellow shirts. They feel that the Yingluck Shinawatra government has had a charmed existence and they see a gradual movement by the government to gain control of the various powers and institutions that have opposed previous pro-Thaksin governments. They feel the political ground moving under them. Hence, if a monster flood was to again strain the government’s links to the electorate, then the yellow shirts would have a platform for harsh criticism of the government that seems well-entrenched.

A more vigorous ultra-yellow shirt position is seen in an op-ed by Tulsathit Taptim at The Nation. Tulsathit generally reflects positions popular amongst the ASTV-viewing, Manager-reading hard-core yellow shirts. Their frustration at being unable to destabilize the Yingluck government sees Tulsathit calling for Thaksin to return from exile. He seems to believe that having him back would provide the necessary stimulus for a popular reaction against the government.

Tulsathit explains his frustration while claiming that “righteous forces are holding their last ground against you”:

Here’s your situation: your sister is the prime minister, the national police chief is your former in-law, the capital’s police chief openly put up your photo for worship, and the defence minister allegedly wouldn’t finalise a military reshuffle plan without your stamp of approval.

Your political party controls Parliament. More than half of the population supports you.

And adds: “A bolder question is, with the police unlikely to abuse you and the government working basically at your command, why don’t you just come home and get it over with?” Getting it over with seems to be one last battle of the yellow shirt “righteous forces” versus all that is Thaksin, red, and “republican.”

It has to be admitted that Yingluck’s strategy, aided by Thaksin’s political savvy, has been about keeping the government in place. Compromising with the palace, sucking up to the Privy Council and the military, and leaving some high-profile red shirts and lese majeste victims in prison on the one hand. On the other, there has been a significant backing off on much-needed constitutional reform and accepting the decisions of the horrendously biased and corrupt Constitutional Court.

All of those moves have made the yellow shirts decidedly uncomfortable as their political support is chipped away. With the Democrat Party led by a tainted and despised Abhisit Vejjajiva, a flood or Thaksin’s return seem to be the only way to reassemble something resembling an oppositional alliance.


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