The creation of palace propaganda

7 09 2018

Remember those kids who were rescued from the cave, several of whom were stateless, as were their families. A wonderfully uplifting story. But even at the time, we expressed some reservations about the uses being made of their predicament and rescue for state and royal propaganda (here, here, here, here and here).

Readers might recall the picture of what we now learn are royal volunteers for the king, all decked out in the king’s new uniform, cleaning up. Now there’s also the claim that these very same volunteers fed 4,000 people a day at the site of the rescue mission, although we have to say we didn’t see them during the endless broadcasts from the site at the time. We are thinking that the claim is a belated capturing of the event for the king.

But even if they were there, the propaganda value for the palace is being wrung out of the event. After all, it is a chance for the new king to be portrayed as a wonderful chap, in Thailand and internationally.

A story about the “royal sponsored” celebration of the rescue reminds us of how palace propaganda is made.

The young footballers have been lined up and spruced up so they can be seen to show “their appreciation to His Majesty the King and all people involved in the mission.” In Thailand just thanking “all people involved in the mission” cannot be permitted. The top royal has to get in on the act, whether he’s directing the getting in or the junta is doing it in his name. They proclaimed: “We all appreciate the concern and kindness of His Majesty the King…”.

It seems they were then uniformed up in the new king’s favorite gear: “Wearing yellow shirts and baseball caps, the boys recounted their ordeal and the moment rescuers found them.”

These seem like nice kids and their story is a great one. But that makes them fodder for palace propaganda.

We highlight this because we think that it won’t be very long before the international media will be using the same kinds of lines applied to Bhumibol for Vajiralongkorn. We are looking out for the first use of “revered.” Remember how palace propaganda is made because many have forgotten how it was made for Bhumibol.

 


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28 02 2019
Palace propaganda and the new reign | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] recently, we have seen the creation of “royal volunteers for the king,” all of them decked out a loyalist […]

28 02 2019
Palace propaganda and the new reign | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] recently, we have seen the creation of “royal volunteers for the king,” all of them decked out a loyalist […]

29 07 2019
Updated: Constructing the monarch | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] have previously posted on the Jit Arsa 904 “volunteers” that have been created as a force for the king and to burnish and propagandize his image. A couple […]