There have been some debates (and considerable nonsense) about how to identify and what to call this military dictatorship. We at PPT have used lots of descriptors – fascist, royalist, repressive, authoritarian, dictatorial, thuggish and more – and all may be applied to a regime that looks like sticking around for a considerable time.
Whatever one calls it, today’s Bangkok Post headline takes the cake, and reinforces another descriptor we have tried: this regime is dumb, dumber, doltish, dull and to get away from useful alliteration, just stupid.
The associated story states that: “The government claimed Tuesday that 99.3% of people in a poll were satisfied with its performance.” It is added that the poll was “conducted by the National Statistical Office.” Clearly, this once quite good assembler of data has also been undermined and politicized by the military junta. How else could such a Stalinist or North Koreanesque ridiculousness even see the light of day?
Thailand is run by ridiculous buffoons who can claim no skills other than the capacity for self-congratulations, royal posterior licking and adherence to hierarchy. This is not to deny that they are a dangerous bunch of ridiculous buffoons. It is their “training” in hierarchy and loyalty that makes them about as sharp as a bowling ball.
It is The Dictator at the head of this cabinet of clowns who creates the need for North Korean-style slavishness: “Gen Prayut[h Chan-ocha] said he has attached a great deal of importance to the presentation of the government’s one-year performance review and that he wanted to build a proper understanding of what happened before the coup in May last year and what followed afterwards.” By “proper” he means his interpretation. There can be no dissent.
The Post article includes many other “statistics,” all equally unbelievable.
The scary part for normal persons is that Thailand is, under The Dictator’s plans, to be stuck with him and his followers and legacy for more than 20 years.
Prayuth plans to outline”a 20-year national strategy blueprint to shore up reforms.” By “reforms” he means the repression of electoral politics, of all opposition and the embedding of military-royalist rule:
The 20-year strategy, based on the government’s reform policies and reform proposals from the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) [the junta] and the now-defunct National Reform Council (NRC), will cover security, the economy, social issues and legal and foreign affairs.
Royalists want more of this. Thailand appears doomed to decades more of this buffoonery and its associated nasty repression for a considerable period.