Here is a list of the pending events that will shape the future of the country. The volatility is still high.

-Political situation
The country remains deeply divided, polarized. Add to this reality, the matter of the royal succession and you get an amazing conundrum.

-Government
Thanks to a group of defectors at the House (allied of Thaksin before), the Democrat Party has managed in december 2008 to form a new coalition. Abhisit, the leader of Democrat Party, has been elected Prime Minister.

This move came after an acute crisis with the PAD, who occupied the Government House for 3 months, and closed Bangkok’s airports for a week.

The People Power Party (ghost of Thaksin’s party, TRT, disbanded) who won the elections of december 23 2007, has been disbanded for electoral fraud.

Samak himself was disqualified as Prime Minister in september by the Constitution Court… Replaced by Somchai, Thaksin’s brother-in-law.

The end of 2008 has been very agitated.

Now, it’s going to be difficult for Abhisit to manage his “Frankenstein coalition“. And, other Sword of Damocles, in case of elections, it’s likely that the Democrat Party would be defeated. Again…

-Thaksin
The ex Prime Minister is under fire, convicted in the Ratchadapisek Land (2 years jail) and on the run. The UK revoked his visa.

Thaksin is a liability for the stability of the country. He has been humiliated (arrest warrant with his picture, jail term, etc.) he probably wants his revenge, he has the financial means, he’s still popular (the elections were a proof).

-Royal succession
This is the most “taboo” issue in Thailand. This explains why all the public debates (if there are real ones) are totally biased.

And this is probably the issue the most difficult to understand for foreigners.

However, it’s the key issue for the future of the country.

Basically, the King is 80 years old (december 2007). He’s going to pass away. This is not politics, nor disrespect, just nature

Unfortunately, he has several health issues (read here).

Thanks to the “lese majeste crime”, the Junta and thai authorities have instrumentalized the image of the King, as a leverage (or as a shield…).

Therefore, the thai society can’t speak about it. The taboo is total.

Who will succeed this great monarch ? King Bhumibol has been ruling the country for 60 years (!). He’s seen as a living god.

Yes indeed, for us, descendants of the French Revolution and The US Declaration of Independence, it’s difficult to understand. We have the Queen of England, and some Prince in Monaco… Quite a different level…

Anyway, on the paper, the succession is simple : the Crown Prince.

The risk is high that the death of the King could “wake up” the figthing between many factions.

This is from my point of view the greatest risk for the future of Thailand.

And the problem is : no place for chance here.

It will happen. The only uncertainty is… when.

-Conflict in the South
The rebels, insurgents, terrorists, militants whatever we call them continue their actions : target killings, schools burning, bombings, road side bombings…

It’s also a liability for the future. No one can believe than the problems in the South can be solved quickly. And there is always the risk that the militant would extend their operations… to Bangkok.

In january 2009, the conflict enters in its fifth year…

To contact me :
cthai2 (at) yahoo. com

46 Responses to “WHY WE SHOULD WORRY”


  1. 1 hobby 21 June 2007 at 11:22 pm

    Nice summary.

    The last two on the list are the real problems for Thai’s.

    Also, if Thaksin ever makes a comeback, the extent of his vindictive streak could be a worry.

  2. 3 Dodger 13 July 2007 at 7:35 am

    Yes the questin of succession when the old man dies…..will be interesting.

    The Army made their move early enough by removing Thaksin and will stay in the political areana now.

    Maybe the Crown Prince will hve an accident, when his daddy shuffles off this mortan coil, like his Uncle and they leave his toddler son as a regent until maturity!

  3. 4 Jose 14 September 2007 at 3:45 am

    If the King dies this year or next, I suspect the Princess will take over – not the Prince.

  4. 5 Strictly Anonymous 15 September 2007 at 1:43 pm

    It will happen. The only uncertainty is… when.

    The other uncertainty is “how”. HM The King in his wisdom could have indicated to the privy council that it is his wish to step down (abdicate) on his 80th birthday. The privy council had to make sure that a PM with certain republican leanings will not be in power when this occurs to prevent him from taking advantage of the situation, so the coup had to be staged in due time. And this could be the “December event bigger than an election” that Gen. Sonthi and PM Surayud have hinted at (being a possible cause for election delay). Everyone knows that succession while HMK is still alive will be much smoother and more peaceful. For dynastic reasons the Crown Prince will become the new regent.

  5. 6 thaicrisis 15 September 2007 at 3:00 pm

    Thanks for your message “Strictly Anonymous”.

    Your hypothesis is indeed very interesting.

    And it would of course solve many issues.

    Anyway. Three month to wait. And see 😉

  6. 7 hobby 30 December 2007 at 1:30 am

    I see you have added more things to worry about since my previous comment.

    For clarification:
    I was referring to Succession and the Southern Insurgency as the two biggest problems for Thai’s.

  7. 8 thaicrisis 2 January 2008 at 4:16 pm

    -> Hobby
    Indeed. I keep the site updated. 😉

    After the elections, though, I need to revamp this page a little bit.

  8. 9 somebody 16 January 2008 at 4:30 am

    on the subject of the conflict in the south… i had a conversation with someone last year, a long-time expat, who was of the opinion that the southern conflict was being helped along directly by parties interested in stopping a shipping channel from being built across the isthmus of krah that would cut out the route now being used around the straits of malaka. pardon my spelling errors, please. i can’t remember (beer was involved) but i believe this person believed the malaysian gov’t was involved and was just fueling the fires for its own end.

    don’t want to go off on a conspiracy rant, just wanted to get some feedback on this as it’s interesting and i haven’t been able to find any info. any ideas?

    by the way, love the site. keep up the good work.

  9. 10 chinesethai 21 January 2008 at 5:00 am

    Many Thai people have begun to discuss this openly and fearlessly. I usually go to the gym every early morning for weight training. A TV is switched on for morning news programs, especially in the time the country mourns the passing of Princess Sister. Everybody in the gym, from the trainers to guests, just frequently talks about the succession like every daily topic. We are really afraid of what comes next, when and how. We feel totally helpless about it. Who would have that charisma and stature comparable to the current King to unite the country together?

    I believe Thailand’s current crisis will not grow into a civil war but rather become a ‘Philippines II’ with chronic poverty, ever-growing income gap, rounds of economic crises, higher crime rates, failed education, political turbulence, etc.

    Thaicrisis, thanks for starting this site.

  10. 11 thaicrisis 21 January 2008 at 11:30 am

    -> Chinesethai : welcome on this blog. And thank you for your kind comments.

    If thai people start to talk about those “taboo” issues, exchange ideas and criticize, then I think it’s a very positive beginning.

    As for “Philippines II” it’s indeed a scenario that many people are afraid of.

  11. 12 thaichris 16 March 2008 at 7:38 am

    This are remarks we should be worry about. Is Thailand on the way to become a second BURMA. Just read in “The Nation”:

    … Suppression of activists in Burma normal: Samak

    Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej Sunday described Burmese leader Senior General Than Shwe as being religious person and killings and suppressions in the neighbouring country were “normal’ things.

    Speaking during his Samak’s Talk programe broadcast live on Channel 11, Samak said Burma is a Buddhist country.

    “Killings and suppressions are normal there but we have to know the fact,” Samak said.

    “And Senior Than Shwe practices meditation. He said he prays in the morning … and the country has been in peace and order.” …

    If this is the way, Thailand is heading, we don’t need to worry about inflation, diesel price, porc and exchange rates. We only need to worry about Thailand becoming a right-wing dictatorship.

    I was allways defending the thai way. But with this governement, I start be be scared. Hopefully the thai population stands up early enough to fight. And the middleclass stops talking and start acting, not only in Bangkok but across the country.

  12. 13 OIE 21 March 2008 at 10:29 am

    I find this very interesting and very real at the same time.I have been reading alot about the history of Thailand during the 1920s thru 1975. Being born in Thailand and growing up thinking that the woman I called mom was not indeed my mother at all. She has only told me bits and pieces about me,her, and life in Thailand when she was a child. She always said she has done so much she was ashamed of. I wanted to know what it was like during her era and the more I learned the more I understand things that I never would have until my curiosity and vivid memories of the country I was born. I know my mother always had pictures of the king and queen of Thailand in our house as do most Thai restraunts here in the U.S. Like everywhere else in the world people are corupted due to possibly due to poverty,lost of hope and fear. I would hate to see Thai’s battling each other. It hurts me to think about it.

  13. 14 calmichael 1 April 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Great Web Site!

    Some random thoughts: Thailand has the possibility of becoming a moderately successful nation in S.E. Asia. But there are so many structural problems that they must face. Like they are doing in Burma and Laos, the Chinese are more than willing to come in and take over – bit by bit, but that does not help the Thais very much. Thailand needs to focus on their strengths which are tourism and agriculture and manufacturing. The King need to start on a smooth transition, and the government should make it’s markets and land ownership much more open to foreigners.

  14. 15 andy 8 June 2008 at 10:08 pm

    get tired of reading thai news every day… there IS no way out at the momement: either you’re PRO- or ANTI-thaksin.
    when the king dies one day (wll happen one day, sorry, Thai people)?… smooth version of a burmese-style government..? or will Thais wake up to what is commonly referred to as, eh… “democracy”??
    seriously: lack of education (think independent!) won’t help make things easier…

  15. 16 Nai Nokkie 23 June 2008 at 10:48 pm

    Its interesting, about the Royal succession. Indeed the Princess’s image is wayyy better than the Prince’s. I would hate to see Thailand in a huge civil war after the King dies, its definately shake the rest of SE Asia.

  16. 17 Hardcore Harry 4 July 2008 at 1:37 pm

    So what you’re saying is that sooner or later there will be a power vacuum here because of the succession and furthermore that this will be the major determinant of Thailand’s political process in the short to medium term (as Lord Keynes famously observed, ” Of course, in the long term we’re all dead.”

    As a counterpoint to all the talk as above and the like, I would submit the opinion of one of my former colleagues at Nida, Bangkapi so that Chimese Thai isn’t the only Thai voice heard here. I would note myself that the King’s health has been far from robust for what seems like decades now and so royal succession has been a constant topic of discussion in public if not in the media.

    What the NIDA ‘poo yai’ said in answer to my query ten years ago about the succession was first that the succession will fall to the prince. When I replied that the prince’s reputation seemed not to have improved much over the yearstne real answer came.It was to the effoect that ANYONE who succeeds King Bhumipol will necessarily have only a fraction of the ‘barramee’ that he has earned and hence the power of the throne will be lessened accordingly.

    Since then, I dare say the prince’s rating seems to have improved somewhat, hopefully to the extent that he will be able to adequately fulfill a reduced role as king. People don’t seem to expect him to step into his father’s shoes and wield the same degree of influence, therefore I question whether the author has proved his assertion that the succession is THE key to understanding where Thailand’s politics is headed. I wish it was that simple.

  17. 18 ThaiCrisis 4 July 2008 at 2:14 pm

    People don’t seem to expect him to step into his father’s shoes and wield the same degree of influence

    will necessarily have only a fraction of the ‘barramee’ that he has earned and hence the power of the throne will be lessened accordingly.

    You say it all ! 😉

    What you’re saying leads exactly to my conclusions. It’s less a matter of power vacuum I believe (someone or a group will have the power) than a reshaping of the thai political system…

    There will be a king, of course. But to do what ? And how ?

    Now considere this little “play”.

    If you were people depending on the current system (in it’s current state), you could be afraid of such coming change, right ?
    It’s the “blue group”.

    And on the other side, if you were people, with a lot of ambition, you could “smell” an historic opportunity there, right ?
    Let’s call it the “red group”.

    Those 2 groups are powerful, and have good reasons to act, to believe that they are right, and to think that the other group is wrong, and to prevent the other one to achieve its goals.

    The gap between them is fundamental. It’s not just some small differences that could be easily solved.

    Voila.

    I believe it’s a “summary” (a very short one, because actually we have more than 2 groups) of what we are living since a few years now.

  18. 19 Hardcore Harry 6 July 2008 at 8:17 am

    What I’m saying DOES NOT lead to your conclusion that old money (the Blue Group) and new money (the Red group) will be the dominant players in any likely political realignment here because you only acknowledge other groups as an afterthought without considering the likelihood of their emergence as influential factors except for your implicit dismissal of their ability to do so.

    Having said that, I haven’t yet seen any strong indicators that they are likely to do so, so at this stage I tend to agree with your ‘power politics’ outcome. However, “politics makes strange bedfellows” as they say, and it’s not inconceivable that Thaksin’s former mentor, (Chamlong) and former business buddy (Sondhi) will form new alliances separately.

    In addition, behind the scenes there is the usual ‘influence’ being brought to bear on the judiciary and independent organizations which help decide which politicians and their sons stay out of gaol. For example, PM Samak himself is a convicted criminal who is out of jail onlt because he is appealing his conviction and he himself acknowledged his cabinet to be pretty “ugly” i.e. dominated by inept/corrupt senior members.

    There’s a lot more that we can’t know yet. The buzz I am starting to hear is that many people here (myself included)in Bangkok would like to think that Abhisit will prove he is light-years ahead of party-hack Banyatadan once his leadership has had time to take more effect. The implimentation of the shadow cabinet concept by Abhisit was a very progressive move and some of his shadow ministers seem unusually capable if not actually tested as ministers – which is perhaps not such a bad thing.

    Then there’s the ‘F’ word. That’s right: ‘FEVER’ i.e. the eagerness of Thais (and dare I say especially Bangkokians) to climb onto the next big political bandwagon that rolls on to the scene. At least one has good reason to believe that Oxford-educated Abhisit will have a far better grasp of the complexities of modernisation and development than evinced by the ‘robber-barron’ capitalism overseen by the dodgy degree holders and dinosaurs with which one associates Thaksin’s TRT and PPP. Ironically though, the Democrat’s have been forced to follow suit as regards many of Thaksin’s cynical and ill-conceived populist programs, so there’s perhaps a silver lining after all.

    As for both major parties being ‘neo-conservative’ – this extremist ideology, like communism, seems to be on the wane elsewhere in the world and that would seem to be a very good thing.

    HHH.

  19. 20 Hardcore Harry 7 July 2008 at 2:46 am

    PS: For a more rigorous analysis of the ongoing political dynamic in Thailand than one can expect from online forums like this I would once again refer those interested to the following article by a former Oct 14,1973 student leader and political scientist:
    ‘Thai society at a crossroads’, by Sekasan Prasertkul, article in the Bangkok Post newspaper, 21 Dec 2007 (excerpted from a keynote speech on “Thailand in Transition”). Anyone recall the forum?
    HH

  20. 21 Thai OutsideIn 24 July 2008 at 5:57 pm

    First of all, great blog and solid summary of Thailand’s situation. I have a few thoughts as probably one of the few Thais on this post.

    Economy:

    – The probability that Thailand will be Phillipines II is rather low. Our nominal GDP per capita is at over $4k a year. Even with political nonsense going on the the past three years, we are still growing at a respectable 5%. Income distribution (GINI) improves from 10 years ago and is much better than countries like Philippines, China, Brazil or Mexico.
    – Most likely scenario is that Thailand will remain a mediocre, moderate growth economy. It will not reach developed nation status by 2020 (which is Malaysia’s target).

    Royal Succession:

    – There are too many variables to guess what will actually happen. But all interested parties are trying their best to fill the vacuum. Thaksin screwed up big time, as he was in the best position from 03-05. Either way, it will (and has been!) be a big mess for a while.
    – Bangkok people are too educated for us to go into Burma situation. The ’06 coup (or any earlier coup) would not be possible without backing from the king. Thaichris, Thai people, even TRT lovers in the countryside, know that Samak is just Thaksin’s pawn… No one really cares much about his view.
    – Despite several years of turbulence, succession will be healthy for Thailand in the long run. This system is unsustainable and it is better for the monarchy to have less power. “Anything that can’t go on forever, wont”…just like this system.

    Politics:

    – I now live overseas in HK but disagree with Hardcore Harry’s comments on people in Bangkok hoping Abhisit being the ‘savior’. We have all seen that he is just another opportunist…royal intervention, Cambodia saga, etc. Like Thaksin, he is another politician with potential but has never delivered..we have too many disappointing figures in our politics.

    Would love to hear any thoughts from Thais or foreigners.

    Cheers.

  21. 22 ThaiCrisis 25 July 2008 at 2:59 am

    Thai OutsideIn : great post. Thanks.
    -I answered you on a few economic points, in another post. Beware of GDP figures and comparisons…

    -As for the succession issue, when you write that “this system is unsustainable and it is better for the monarchy to have less power“… you’re walking on thin ice there. 😉

    Because, and basically, it’s exactly what some people want (less power)… and what other don’t want at all.

    It means that one group, or another, will rather feel… bad. Very bad. 😉

  22. 23 Lardprao 19 August 2008 at 4:23 am

    Murphy\’s law: Things that could go wrong . . . will.

    And I have this dread that while I am hoping for the best scenario to unfold, Murphy\’s law could just explode (with all those so many known and unknown wrongs) to the Thais soon at their most vulnerable hours.

    That very hour could be NOW when the Thai people deeply polarized, the Thai economy critically vulnerable, the politicians at their most irresponsible, and, with still no visible leader to provide the inspiration and the unity now the nation desperately needs.

    Reconciliation remain very elusive. Without reconciliation, any country crisis will be dreadfully magnified to cause more suffering to the divided Thais.

  23. 24 Anonymous 3 September 2008 at 4:48 am

    you guys really need to be careful about your discussions about the monarchy. this includes anybody in the royal family.

    some guy by the name of nicholas harry was just arrested for lese majeste. a teacher in some university in the north of thailand. the story originally broke out in a thai newspaper. none of the english newspapers have reported it yet.

    http://bangkokpundit.blogspot.com

  24. 25 jerb 4 September 2008 at 5:27 pm

    nice one ww

  25. 26 Paul A. Renaud. 30 January 2009 at 4:16 am

    I just found this site and its overall far too negative, in fact it strives on that!

    Thai stocks for example are overall among the cheapest in the region, its banking system is sound and the country completely avoided the traps/and collapses of the developed world. It has a new government and Thaskin is waning out. The currency remains firm and inflation is very low now. A year ago inflation was all the rage. The dramatic and sustained drop in oil prices are giving consumers some real relief as Thailand has a high oil to GDP ratio. Most of all Thailand’s SET index has not set a new low (unlike others in the region) and has been the most resilient market of the SE Asia. Along with one of the lowest d/e equity ratios of any country.

    How cheap do stocks here have to get before one gets exited? P/e’s of 2-4? well, we are there on many.

    The author of this site is like a kid whom keeps comparing how much better the BMW is vs. the Volkwagen, all true but then forgets that the BMW costs 3-4 times as much. Thai stocks have double the long term growth rate of developed countries, yet are trading at half the valuation and double the dividend rate. So its all relative and that is the key he is missing.

  26. 27 ThaiCrisis 30 January 2009 at 6:10 am

    Paul… you should read :
    https://thaicrisis.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/victory-ive-found-one-sensible-and-honest-thai-politician-who-sees-clearly-through-the-crisis/
    I’m not totally negative on Thailand. Far from it.

    Now specifically on the issue of stocks… I mean you can speak about PE Ratios as long as you can… the only rational decision right now for any sane investor is… to stay away from stock markets.
    PER are a rear view mirror. It’s the indicator prefered by the suckers, the people who believe in the “bottom out” theory, the “rebounders” (first half, second half of 2009, 2010…. make your pick).

    The crisis starts (just starts) to poison the real economy in Asia (since october actually). So the results of businesses will go down through 2009 and further. In this perspective, what the hell are you taking about PER ? it’s pointless.

    Stocks will go down, we still didn’t see the bottom, because businesses are going down.

    Even a child in BMW could and should understand this. 😉

  27. 28 loic 9 February 2009 at 4:03 am

    in some ways I agree with paul even if he is too optimist.
    pessimism is not my cup of tea.
    I prefer trying to find some light in this difficult and obscure environment and there is some.
    for example,I am myself a minuscule buisnessman but I know many like me,who import asian goods(textile,jewelry…)to europe;I can only tell you that, me and my friends, are actually cutting our purchases from china or india but not from thailand because even if the prices are not the best ,the quality is better and doing buisness whith thais is much better than with chinese or indians.
    I also know a lot of people still going visit thailand because almost everybody enjoy there holiday here.
    and finally I still hope for(not a recovery)but at least a stabilisation of the economy in the world.you have to think that this time(compared with 1929 depression) all countries and central banks act together,so maybe…it can work a little!?
    but above all ,all crisis cannot be solved without confidence and pessimism do not bring confidence.think of this.

  28. 29 loic 18 February 2009 at 3:20 pm

    http://www.allofinance.com/journaldemarcfiorentino/une-crise-paradoxale-745.html

    for those who can understand french language.

    do not be so pessimist!

    loic

  29. 30 stan the man 19 February 2009 at 12:04 am

    thailand is unique in that has never been subjugated by a western power. As a result it has never embraced western ideas and its resulting traditional approach is holding it back. While the thai people are held politically and idealistically naive the others will continue to control or take over. The relatively “closed shop” chinese and indians will take over economically. Another Fiji may be in the making where locally manned army periodically has to reclaim the ownership of thailand from the more western groups or western trends. The end result is turmoil for a while yet until thai traditions become open to the good ideas of the west, education of a questioning kind for the people (it is still somewhat submissive in style and partly the issue of loss of face that valid criticism may create) political informed debate and effective democracy.For me thai traditions ensure thai enslavement and the only historical remedy has been the royal family. The army and public service including the police prefer the old system.The non-thai ethnic groups can afford better education for their children and are money savvy unlike the thais.It is obvious what will happen if the thais dont get the message.

  30. 31 loic 25 February 2009 at 3:37 am

    hello,

    you just write “politicians cannot imagine long time crisis,for them it is a nigthmare scenario…”.
    I would like to tell: not only for them…!!
    it is why I prefer or hope they(politicians)are not too much wrong!.
    another thing about politicans;you often write that they are stupid and they lie but I do not think like you;I think it is part of there job to prevent any panick and keep the country stable;of course I do not mean you cannot critic or disagree with there politics,decision or how they manage the crisis…
    but I recognize that myslef has no better ideas than others…
    so I prefer not to critics politicians too much at that momment

  31. 32 ThaiCrisis 25 February 2009 at 5:19 am

    Loic, if you wish to be treated like a child who need to be comforted by popa and momma Politicians, fair enough.

    Their job is not to avoid panic.

    Do you think that Churchill tried to avoid panic in 1940 ? No. He said to the british people : “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.

    Let’s repeat to savor : “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.

    He was a real state man. He was a real politician. A man with a vision who was able to lead.

    But nowadays ? Politicians are nothing but selfish small men and women, who are doing their little scams, and who dare to think (particularly in Thailand) that they are smarter than the people !

    We have a freaking big problem. We need Churchill. Not someone who is telling us that everything will be fine in the second half of 2009, that Jupiter people are going to buy the cars manufactured in Thailand, that Saturn people are going to open factories, create job all around Thailand, invest in our mass transit system, and give all of us 2000 THB in april… Like this poor Abhisit.

  32. 33 World Citizen 25 February 2009 at 6:03 am

    The population has long had the feeling that the so-called elites in politics and management don’t give a fig about the common good, but only want to shamelessly stuff their own pockets. Like the executive board members of the seven biggest U.S. banks, who treated themselves to $140 billion (!) in bonuses. The danger is that such behavior makes social unrest likely, and this has already broken out in several countries; it will only be the beginning, if a real reorganization of the system does not take place soon.

  33. 34 laosuwan 1 March 2009 at 4:24 am

    the south will fall to islam because thailand does not realize the nature of the rebellion is based on religion not ethnicity. at the same time corruption allows the thai to participate in the rebellion for profit and sell out the nation to islamists operating in bangkok, ayudhya, and the hill tribe areas of the north. in my opinion islam is the single greatest and least understood threat facing the kingdom of thailand and it will be able to conquor thailand from within because of corruption, refusal to confront the issue, and submitting to the petro dollars of iran and saudi agents openly buying the loyalty of thai government. relative birth rates of muslim vs. non muslim alone will spell thailand’s doom in about 20 – 30 years even without jihad or betrayal of trust from within.

  34. 35 Crusader 9 March 2009 at 10:13 am

    Re: comment by ThaiCrisis:

    “He was a real state man. He was a real politician. A man with a vision who was able to lead.”

    This is the public image some people would prefer us to remember him by. To others, he was a drunken pig who betrayed England. He was also responsible for the disastrous Gallipolli campaign in the Dardanelles,where British and Anzac troops who were attemting to gain a foothold were shot by Turkish soldiers and snipers with ammunition British arms manufacturers had sold to the Turks prior the campaign.

    During the London Blitz, Churchill was privy to intelligence which informed him of coming bombing raids. He would then abscond to his estate in the countryside, leaving ordinary Londoners to their fate and only returning after the raid was over, to march through the streets with those who had survived the bombs, pretending he had braved the bombs like they had.

    Statesmen have the interests of their country and its people at heart, politicians only their own. There is more evidence to suggest that Churchill was a politician than evidence to show that he was a statesman.

  35. 36 Fish 31 March 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Crusader;

    What dribble you write .. What would have been the point of Churchill staying in London during the blitz ? too die and add to the problems of the 2nd World War by having no leader ?? Bring all the Londoners back with him to the countryside ?? he inspired the whole county to live though those years of horror, he lifted spirits ,hopes, which showed worked because as i am sure your know Britain held fast for years where the French fell in days then the US came in and the tide turned.

    You say he was privy to intelligence to the raids..of course he was he was the PM… and they bombed London every day and night for 11 weeks… so did he stay out for 11 weeks ?? How did he betray England as you put it ? In All wars mistakes are made, as the ones you state but to think he was a fat drunk that was out for himself is just wrong, i think your find the man he and the world was fighting was that, he was maybe a little bit thinner..

    I think Thai crisis is saying Thailand needs a leader with some balls, someone to inspire some faith and lead. Instead of what is a a never ending line of idiots promising alot and delivering nothing ..

  36. 37 Froggy 4 April 2009 at 5:58 pm

    I just came across your weblog, and I am astounded at the discussion. You and your commenters have touched on every major issue and problem, and many of the remarks have been very insightful. I’ll be back!

  37. 38 ThaiCrisis 4 April 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Thanks for the support Froggy, and welcome. Indeed we are talking a lot… 😉

  38. 39 some complete nobody 11 April 2009 at 7:07 pm

    I’m always interested in your blog because you try (within the limits of the law in Thailand) to identify the fundamental problems that Thailand faces. And as you say to Froggy “We are talking a lot”. And i think your analysis is pretty correct. The succession is a huge problem. But the mis-, dis- and un-information that inevitably surrounds it all is the necessary and inevitable corollary of the absence of the central event in Thailand’s 20th century political history, which remains completely sealed off from discussion. Which requires us not to think at all. Which obliges conversation to be coded and discreet. Which obliges us to worry about what we might say or think given that there are people watching the web to make sure that there are no more Suwicha Takhors lurking out there. Which event am I talking about? I have no idea. But three people (apparently real people) were executed for it even though those who were (apparently) close to it have publicly stated that those people were innocent. (I know nothing of this but hearsay).

    This is not ancient history. It is not even history yet.And until a coherent and plausible history can be offered Thailand and its politicians and its people will be like they are now. Frightened of their shadows.

  39. 40 Loving Kindness 9 June 2009 at 9:24 pm

    As an American Buddhist who was planning to retire in Thailand this year, I have put my plans on hold (after reading why we should worry). I will still visit Thailand every year, however my concern is this, I could never invest in any business or housing for fear of the unknown. I would like to hear from any expats as to their perspective of the future of farangs working, living, and investing in Thailand.

  40. 41 Robin 5 July 2009 at 7:58 am

    When will it happen? THE WAR. I dont think Thailand will suffer a war, neither do i believe the country will walk into a fog of riots. I been in and out of Thailand about 10 times the last 4 years. Even if there going to be riots i dont think Thailand will stop working as a country. Just look at the history, No matter what, Thailand always managed to raise up after any conflict or suffering of the economics.

    Actually i would feel much more scared to live in the US. Do i need to tell you why?

  41. 42 slacks 13 September 2009 at 4:13 pm

    I am a farang who has attended “red shirt” meetings. Those in attendence are local leaders, business owners, college professors, and police. When I ask these people what is going to happen, they nearly break into tears. And when they look at me, I can tell they are fed up with the current “system”.

    Unfortunately, their only solution is to put megalomaniac Taksin back into power. Most of the red shirts I’ve met don’t even like Taksin. To them, Taksin is a necessary evil.

    They see a fight ahead, starting with the upcoming protest set for 19 SEP 09, and another round of protests in mid October.

    Abhisit and the junta know from past history that using the army to do violence against protesters will lead to their downfall. The red shirts also know this and will “push” until violence breaks out somewhere, somehow. The script is written – lights, camera, action!

    No worries, she’ll be alright.

  42. 43 bodhisattva 2 October 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Wow!

    Finally a website worth looking at closely about Thailand.

    I have lived in Thailand for 4 years now and I have been preparing to get out of there since October last year. I had invested a lot there in housing, land and restaurants. The plan was to retire there and just do “easy” business and enjoy.

    Big mistake.

    First, there is no easy business in Thailand for a farang even tho he has a lot of money (legal). The moment I started buying things: a house, car´s, motorcycle etc. and investing in other things beside basic I stopped enjoying the Amazing Thailand. When you run in to the “Thai Factor”….and you will… then you realize that it´s all an illusion. When you have invested the problem starts and you slowly but steadily have to let good money follow bad money and you get stuck.

    I´m getting out slowly and have sold most of my things and investments and gotten paid oversees. I will come out of this a little damaged but very happy to have gotten out of there because Thailand is the last place on earth you should invest or do any business at all.

    There is no pessimistic in those who comment on the serious problems Thailand is having and the one´s that are a head. They are overwhelming and it´s not a good idea to be around now or any time in the near future.

    The cost of living/traveling in Thailand is absurd compared to neighboring nations and the strong Bath is not justified at all.

    I think most of the investors in Thailand are, unfortunately, bringing in black money so they can afford losing most of it and still make profit. But nobody in their right mind should think that doing business in Thailand is like doing business in a western country (I did not before myself, but I did not realize how much the Thai Factor is involved).

    The justice system is very slow and laws for investors are the most hostile I have ever known. So don´t invest and try only to enjoy (if you can afford it).

  43. 44 Jerry 2 February 2010 at 8:41 pm

    The new education system has the target of screening young people and prevent them TO THINK … what they want to be sure with the 65 million population of ROBOTS or LOBOTOMIZED PEOPLE that these robots have not any “creek” in their programs like it happened to Terminator when he had shown some impulses of humanity in front of his (its) son.
    Well, these impulses (pushed by the Red Shirts) must be removed from the program during the programmation of the BIOS (read: first years of education).
    That s exactly part of the plan extend one of the most brutal elite dictatorship of the planet, with a Middle Age society system , with an outside “maquillage” of shycrapers,bars and posh golf resorts.
    THAT IS THAILAND ,MY FRIEND. THIS IS 2010 (OR 2553) THAILAND.

  44. 45 Maximiliano 14 February 2010 at 5:51 pm

    I totally agree with your comparision between Thailand and Burma: with different tools and a differenet “technological maquillage” (Myanmar looks 1 century behind in time), the ultimate goal of this middle-age societies is the same…

    The difference is like the difference between a 50 years old poor housewife who looks old and tired and a 50 years old actress with 100 botox and lifting operations and lots of maquillage who looks fresh and 10 years younger.

    At the end, both of them are 50 years old women….

  45. 46 Pip 24 February 2010 at 3:46 am

    Death & Taxes are the only certanties in this life, the latter not even being certain in Thailand.


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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.


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