Populism is impossible

31 08 2015

In an earlier post, we pointed out that the military dictatorship had decided to resurrect and Thaksin Shinawatra-era economic policies.

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.


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2 09 2015
If the king can’t say it, Prem can | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] In the Bangkok Post, the aged political boss is reported as having “lashed out populist policies…”. Nothing unusual there, except that the junta itself has been accused of populism in its policies (denied, of course). […]

2 09 2015
If the king can’t say it, Prem can | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] In the Bangkok Post, the aged political boss is reported as having “lashed out populist policies…”. Nothing unusual there, except that the junta itself has been accused of populism in its policies (denied, of course). […]

21 09 2015
Confused on democracy and economic policy | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] He then decided to defend his government’s “populist” economic policies by denying they are populist. He declared: “Our national anthem clearly states that Thailand is a nation state (Pra Cha Rat) not populist (Pra Cha Ni Yom)…”. As the report points out, his recent changes to economic policy, implemented by a resurrected Thaksin Shinawatra minister, have “been widely criticised,” mainly by anti-Thaksin activists for plagiarizing Thaksin’s innovations in 2001-05. […]

21 09 2015
Confused on democracy and economic policy | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] He then decided to defend his government’s “populist” economic policies by denying they are populist. He declared: “Our national anthem clearly states that Thailand is a nation state (Pra Cha Rat) not populist (Pra Cha Ni Yom)…”. As the report points out, his recent changes to economic policy, implemented by a resurrected Thaksin Shinawatra minister, have “been widely criticised,” mainly by anti-Thaksin activists for plagiarizing Thaksin’s innovations in 2001-05. […]

22 09 2015
Deep problems, no solutions | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] is also clear that economic reform is off the agenda unless this means a half-hearted plagiarism of Thaksin Shinawatra-like policies relevant for 2001, when politics was quite […]

22 09 2015
Deep problems, no solutions | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] is also clear that economic reform is off the agenda unless this means a half-hearted plagiarism of Thaksin Shinawatra-like policies relevant for 2001, when politics was quite […]

5 11 2015
Junta populism and promoting business | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Fortunately for the military junta, it doesn’t have to play by any rules, and it claims to operate with a curious anti-politics agenda, so by its own definitions and rulings, it can’t possibly engage in either populism or policy corruption. […]

5 11 2015
Junta populism and promoting business | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Fortunately for the military junta, it doesn’t have to play by any rules, and it claims to operate with a curious anti-politics agenda, so by its own definitions and rulings, it can’t possibly engage in either populism or policy corruption. […]

26 01 2016
More Thaksinism | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] of 2001 to 2005. The policies have involved “innovations” such as rural subsidies that can’t possibly be populist, buying up rubber as if it were rice (yes, Thaksin had a rice price support program) and a revised […]

26 01 2016
More Thaksinism | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] of 2001 to 2005. The policies have involved “innovations” such as rural subsidies that can’t possibly be populist, buying up rubber as if it were rice (yes, Thaksin had a rice price support program) and a revised […]