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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sick and Tired of The Nation's Elitist Contempt for Thai People

Even though I haven't been blogging lately, I have been following The Nation's opinion writing for the last week.

Let me be frank: These columnists are assholes. They have contempt for the poor masses, they have contempt for anybody who supports Thaksin or is affiliated with him, and they have contempt for anybody who doesn't kow tow down to their myopic and elitist belief system.

What is troubling for me is that most newspapers in the civilized world actually have a diverse editorial board, made up of people from various political ideologies. Not at The Nation. There you must be a right-wing royalist-nationalist with contempt for the poor and disenfranchised to qualify as a columnist.


Now, unlike The Nation, I will actually prove my point:


I am going to start with Tulsathit and work my way back:


For the record, I voted "yes", predictably. But Thaksin Shinawatra would have laughed his head off had he known that my ballot was canceled out by my younger sister, who marked "no" with a broken heart. She had bought the reasons I gave as to why it should be passed, but things got complicated when my dad insisted on being wheel chaired to the voting booth in the searing heat so he could vent his anger against the junta. He wasn't well on that day, so the compromise was that my sister would vote "no" on his behalf.


I would bet anything that Thaksin didn't care about the canceling out of Tulsie's vote by his sister. Tulsie is shameless: he bullies his sister into voting "yes" then blames his sick father for canceling out his vote.


Here is more condescending contempt that Tulsie has for his sick father:


We never fight, simply because whenever I rant about Thaksin and corruption and how both led us to this impasse, my father only listens quietly and patiently.

Interesting that Tulsie has all the facts to present to his father about Thaksin's corruption, yet as the editor of The Nation, he hasn't produced one investigative report for the public proving it. Instead of sitting quietly and patiently, perhaps Tulsie's father should have said: "Where is the beef?"


Only behind my back did he confide to my sister and brother his little secret - that he supports Thaksin partly because the older generation of Shinawatras was "very fair" to him when they operated a local cinema in the North (at a time when Dad earned his living by doing voice-overs for foreign movies).


Tulsie must feel warm and fuzzy inside knowing that his father doesn't trust him.

A unique reason, isn't it? But who are we to decide which is a good or bad rationale for voting "yes" or "no"? An old friend of mine turned against the draft constitution simply because someone she greatly disliked was lobbying for it. If that kind of person likes the document, she concluded, it must be bad. Her reasoning makes my father's determination to vote "no" all the more puzzling.


Tulsie is implying that his father is ignorant, just like the masses he has contempt for, and that the reason his father supported Thaksin was to fulfill a bun khun (debt of gratitude) obligation to the Shinawatra clan many years ago. This is the same rationale that The Nation has been arguing about the ignorant masses. The Nation argued that because Thaksin created "populist policies" that supported the poor, the poor had a bun khun obligation to support Thaksin, politically.

Also, notice how Tulsie implies that unless your reasons for voting comply with his intellectual standards, then you are ignorant. Basically, he is saying that anybody who voted "no" is an idiot with weird motives.


A warning has been issued to the Council for National Security (CNS) in no uncertain terms through the strong rejection of the draft in the Northeast and North, but the figures also display a considerable drop in Thaksin's lingering popularity.


Of course, Tulsie 'who has never written an investigative report in his life" Tapthim correlates the "no" vote only with support for Thaksin, implying only Thaksin supporters voted "no."


The smooth passage of the referendum gives the Democrats a good head start, but the results must give the party anything but confidence.Looked at in a positive light, the result is a door slamming shut on Thaksin, and an unequivocal public statement that the junta is very close to overstaying its welcome.


It is not surprising that Tulsie is plugging for the Democrats. And I don't get how a "no" vote means a door slamming shut on Thaksin.


Now, let us move on to Sopon Ongkara and his bone-headed Soponisms:


Voters will have their first taste of a referendum, which they regard as an unnecessary political ritual involving a complex issue which requires a lot of reading and attention. Most Thais cannot claim excellence in serious reading and thinking.


I guess only the asshole columnists at The Nation have a monopoly on intellectual thought in Thailand.


In a way, the referendum will be a real test of the political strength and popularity of Thaksin Shinawatra...


Well, if this were true, then the numbers proves Thaksin is still strong and popular. But I think the "no" vote was a rejection of the coup and junta.

Let's imagine the horror if Thaksin were to step down from an aeroplane here. How many supporters, paid, mobilised or acting out of blind faith, would be at the airport to give him a rousing welcome like a hero? Big money would surely be spent on a tear-jerker, making the fugitive look more like a saint being crucified.


Then law-enforcement authorities would have to deal with daily demonstrations, rallies, distribution of leaflets and mob pressure during the court process. Anti-riot and other security units would have to be burdened with work. The government would find it difficult to function or enforce law and order.


According to Sopon, if you are a Thaksin supporter, you have been paid off or deluded.

Interesting that Sopon is scared of the Thaksin mobs disrupting the country, but joyfully applauded the PAD mobs that brought Bangkok to a standstill last year.

Remember, this is the same Sopon who predicted unruly mobs if the junta-picked Supreme Court ruled against Thai Rak Thai. None of Sopon's ridiculous predictions ever came about.


Here is Thepchai Yong, brother and receiver of nepotism from, his older and uglier brother, Suthichai Yoon.


There is a lot of hypocrisy involved in the ongoing campaign against the draft constitution by the Thai Rak Thai die-hards. Those who are crying foul over what they claim to be an undemocratic constitution are the same people who had no qualms about serving an administration that was bent on destroying the constitutional spirit. They kept silent as they watched Thaksin undermine practically all the mechanisms of checks and balances that formed the basis of the 1997 Constitution.


The Nation still hasn't produced one report demonstrating how Thaksin undermined the 1997 Constitution.

It is therefore exceedingly presumptuous for these Thaksin supporters to present Thai people with the choice between constitution and their former political master, who they want to portray as a democratic symbol. Their own political records clearly betray their trumpeting about democracy.


Still, no evidence.


While the new constitution may not offer an answer to all the political problems, it is much less sinister than they are trying to portray it to be. But if the referendum is to be a contest between a new political dawn and a return of Thaksin then the choice would be clear-cut.


At least he is honest: Thepchai is saying that the country can resort to extra-judicial means if that justifies getting what he wants politically, which is to rid the country of his personal enemy, Thaksin. Of course, a intellectual midget like Thepchai Yong can't reconcile Thaksin's crimes with the crimes he has enables by supporting an illegal coup. But hey, as long as he can get his mug on military owned state TV as much as possible to give horrible interviews.

A vote for the charter may not immediately put the country back on track to democracy but would at least set the stage for a less polarised and less despotic political environment. But a vote against - "for Thaksin" - would mean a vote for a return to a system in which electoral fraud and bribing of judges are part of the norm.


For The Nation, it is Thaksin this, Thaksin that, without one shred of evidence of him pulling the strings.

Notice that The Nation's columnists never wrote anything critical about how this constitution came about, the campaign to suppress the "no" vote, the confiscation of "no" vote materials. They never comment about how half the country is under martial law and that the Referendum Law basically criminalized any campaign that would oppose the state sponsored "yes" campaign.

The Nation keeps proving over and over again that it is a tabloid that spouts nothing but innuendo and gossip(never any hard evidence) concerning Thaksin's activities, but mysteriously silent when it comes to the junta or the Surayud government, especially regarding their anti-democratic activities.


Lastly, I want to address yesterday's editorial in The Nation.

The outcome of the referendum did not put an end to the polarisation of Thai politics, which is split between the urban middle class and the rural poor.

This is bullshit. You see, The writers at The Nation are lazy and incompetent. They couldn't even be bothered to look at the numbers from the election.

I guess all 85-90% of voters who voted "yes" in the South are part of educated urban middle-class. One of the things I truly hate about The Nation is that the writers never base any of their lofty intellectual ideas on empirical evidence. Thaksin is a crook, no evidence. The poor are stupid and uninformed, no research. The country is divided between the classes, don't bother looking at the numbers. The "no" campaign is a plot by Thaksin to return to power, yet no investigative reports. We are all just supposed to sit back and read Sopon, Suthichai, Thepchai, Tulsie and the rest and believe what they say, based upon what exactly? Their prejudices and personal feelings. The Nation accuses the public of being beneath their intellectual ardor, yet they don't produce one shred of evidence to back their ideas. The Nation has no right to feel contempt for the public. We should feel contempt for The Nation for being a worthless, hypocritical newspaper that doesn't even produce information to support their own prejudices and feelings.. The Nation says that the public is dumb and misinformed. No shit, people must be reading The Nation to get their information.


Here is more crap:

To the rural folk, voting against the constitution in the referendum was a way to show their loyalty to their political master. This show of loyalty can only be understood in the context of the traditional patronage system under which politicians are seen as patrons dispensing favours (in the form of populist policies) to the people who regard themselves as clients who have a duty to return the favour by putting politicians in power. The problem is that this patronage system tends to engender political corruption, including vote-buying, and thereby distorts democracy


This is, of course, the notion of bun khun I was talking about earlier.


Guess what? I guarantee if you replaced Thaksin with the words "king" or "parents" or "teachers" then all those right-wing maniacs at The Nation would be crying about the end of Thai civilization as we know it.

Put in another way, the notion of bun khun really is an integral part of Thai culture, but the assholes at The Nation want to pick and choose for you who you should be grateful to and for what.

For example, The Nation went on a right-wing rampage against You Tube over the videos they never saw that mocked the king. If people love the king or defend the king because they feel a debt of gratitude to him for all he has done, I get that. Same goes for our parents or our teachers. This has been part of Thai culture for a long time.

But, those assholes at The Nation think that poor people have no right to give loyalty to politicians that serve their interests. But hey, if the king does something for the poor, he is treated like a God. Should a politician do the same, then God forbid, right?

In the end, The Nation is really all about The Nation and its moronic political agenda, which is anti-poor, anti-Isaan, hypocritical and has no basis in any empirical evidence whatsoever.

1 comment:

Kahve said...

"traditional patronage system "

Yes, as you point out, this is unfortunatly integral part of everything that runs in Thailand. (Thailand is not alone in this old tradition) This doesn't bring actually anything good, or if it does, I'd be happy to hear from others what it is? Seriously, I am interested in the benefits of this system.

This "obligation" to politicians, teachers, kings, parents, seems to produce way too often "blind followers". Seem to result in corruption, and so many other things...