The claims made regarding the Bike for Mum palace-military propaganda event are as expected. A quarter of a million bike riders we are told in most reports, although only about 80,000 in Bangkok, with the pictures suggesting less than that showing up. Like most things royal, the claim will stand without scrutiny.
The Dictator, General Prayuth Chan-ocha declared the event another test of loyalty. He said it would show “love and unity among the Thai people” and urged people to show up. He reckoned it was an opportunity for the “Thai people” to express ever more “devotion” for the royal family: “The event will also showcase to the world how devoted Thais are to their Queen.”
She hasn’t been seen since May.
This “devotion” was organized as a reflection of the royal-military view of Thai society’s correct arrangement.
After a ceremony at the King Chulalongkorn equestrian statue “the Crown Prince led cyclists in Group A as they took off from the starting point. Cyclists in this group included Gen Prayut, Deputy Defence Minister and army chief Udomdej Sitabutr, Supreme Court president Direk Ingkaninant, Constitutional Court president Nurak Mapraneet, National Legislative Assembly chairman Pornpetch Wichitcholachai and Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda.”
His first daughter, Princess Bajrakitiyabha “led Group B, which included heads of government offices and representatives of the private sector and various organisations.”
Bringing up the rear was the “general public formed Group C.”
That seems to be the way the royalist elite views society and its hierarchy.
This contrived display of unity and hierarchy wasn’t cheap for the taxpayer.
A police boss “said more than 9,000 policemen had been deployed to provide security along the 43-kilometre cycling route” in Bangkok alone. In addition, the “Public Health Ministry, military, police, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, private hospitals and health associations were deployed to provide medical care in three zones.” There were “more than 200 mobile teams of doctors and nurses with first aid equipment and ambulances were deployed along the cycling route in Bangkok.”
That expense is justified for its support of royalist loyalty and hierarchy.