We didn’t think to refer to these policies as “populist,” mainly because the term is used as one of political abuse by Thaksin’s opponents; we think the policies were just a bit of Keynesianism.
But those opponents, smarting at the appointment of a minion of the “evil one,” have attacked the junta for reintroducing populist policies. It is reported at The Nation that the criticism has stung the military policy plagiarists.
Major-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the military government’s spokesman, used to fibbing for them, declares that the “government’s new economic policies are not populist as some have suggested because the government always holds firm to principles of stability, prosperity and sustainability…”.
That sounds unconvincing.
Knowing that he must distinguish the junta’s policies from the nasty but popular elected politicians the military and royalists hate, Sansern babbles that it is “impossible” for the military dictatorship to engage in “actions that were used to destruct national financial and fiscal disciplines” that were in “exchange for votes.”
This is utter nonsense and a reinvention of history. At the time when these particular policies were introduced, they were widely credited with contributing to an economic recovery.
Sansern went further, attacking those who “labelled the government’s policies populist,” as “irresponsible” saying their views were “imaginary” and accusing them of “rocking the boat.”
As usual, that’s a threat. The military dictatorship really is bereft of ideas, policies and sense.