Royals bringing themselves undone

10 01 2020

As the “crisis” of the British monarchy hits the headlines and the actions of a couple of self-righteous twats are criticized, The Straits Times begins a story on social media criticism of members of the royal family saying, “No longer content to just whisper in private settings their views on the monarchy, Thais are now openly discussing, and at times criticising, the royal family despite harsh laws.”

The story is built around the recent activity criticizing shutdowns of shopping centers, whole islands and many streets in order to facilitate the Hello magazine-style lifestyle of the royals.

As the “authorities closely monitoring Facebook, more people in Thailand … are venting via tweets, while hiding behind fake names and photos…”.

From Wikipedia

The most recent incident was criticism of the king’s pampered and vain daughter Princess Sirivannavari’s new year jaunt with rich friends to the south for a bit of partying and sightseeing. Trouble was that no one else was permitted in the same areas – on land or sea – as “the authorities closed off parts of the popular southern islands…”. Even fisherman were ordered to go elsewhere or stay in harbor. The result was the “#IslandsShutdown hashtag was used about 382,000 times as of Jan 1 but has since been repeated more than a million times.”

An earlier hashtag “#RoyalMotorcade became the top trending hashtag on Twitter in October with over 250,000 retweets” as netizens piled on criticism over road and shopping center closures to satisfy the fabulously wealthy royals who seem oblivious to the extent of their privilege and the trouble this causes for hundreds of thousands of people.

The criticism is considered “unprecedented,” which is not quite accurate, but Soraj Hongladarom, a philosophy professor at Chulalongkorn University is quoted as saying this represents a “macro-level structural change of Thai society which has already been set in motion” as attitudes to the monarchy change under the grasping reign of King Vajiralongkorn.

In fact, though, the most recent bouts of outspoken criticism of the monarchy have their origins in King Bhumibol’s support of military dictatorship and especially of the 2006 coup and then the brutal crushing of the red shirt rebellion by royalist military leaders, most of whom have run the government since the 2014 military coup.

It looks very much like the current king’s own behavior is abominable as he jets about, using taxpayer money to spend most of his time away from Thailand. He has that in common with Prince Harry who also seems uncomfortable in his own country.


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14 01 2020
One lane monarchy | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] recent months there’s been unusual online criticism of Thailand’s pampered, obscenely wealthy, tone deaf and protected (by law and censorship) […]

30 05 2021
Seals and frogs | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] diver like the princess. When she goes diving, she stays at luxury resorts, used luxury yachts, and uses the Navy to shut down all other activities in her area so she can have everything for herself and a coterie of pampered […]

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