It’s a fascist regime

23 03 2015

Abigail Haworth’s blurb at The Guardian states that she is the senior international editor of the American edition of Marie Claire. UK-born and based in Asia she writes about global women’s issues and human rights. In The Guardian she has a long magazine piece on Thailand that is well worth reading in full.

It begins at “a five-day extravaganza, Discover Thainess 2015, to showcase how united and happy the country is under martial law,” with “colourful stalls selling local food and crafts … cultural performances, and … cheery peasants pose[d] beside plastic water buffaloes.” One observer said: “It’s like 20 or 30 years ago. It’s not like Thailand today.” Of course it isn’t! This is The Dictator’s notion of the Fatherland.

The author notes that the “event is ostensibly to promote tourism, but it’s also thudding domestic propaganda … based on the ’12 core values of the Thai people’ that coup leader … General Prayuth Chan-ocha compiled after seizing power…. All Thai school-children are required to recite the 12 sayings daily and, to prove that feudal values can also be fun, the junta has issued downloadable stickers for Thai messaging apps.”

Prayuth’s politics are on show: “There’s no greater way of showing contempt for the rule of law than by removing an elected government, however flawed, at gunpoint. But such inconsistencies don’t trouble Prayuth.”

Prayuth’s fascism is on show: “Disagreeing with his path, he declared, was incompatible with the very nature of ‘Thainess’.” Prayuth thunders: “Whoever causes chaos to Thailand or disrupts peace and order, they should not be recognised as Thais, because Thais do not destroy each other…. The charm of the Thai people is that they look lovely even when they do nothing, because they have smiles…”.

Prayuth’s exasperation with even a compliant, even supine, media is on show: “I was asked by a reporter: ‘What are the results of the government’s work?’ I almost punched the person who questioned me in the face.”

Prayuth’s regime is fascist.


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