THAILAND’S REDS REGAIN DOMINANCE
Erle Frayne D. Argonza
Thailand’s Red Shirts are back in power, as the For Thai Party of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra won landslide victory in the latest parliamentary polls. Yingluck Shinawatra, younger sister of the deposed premier, won as premier, rendering her the first woman chief executive of modern Thailand.
The victory is a big slap on the faces of the traditional elites of Thailand, who brooked no quarters in deposing any political party or movement that will not tow the globalization line. The message to detractors is “tow the line, no matter if the poor peasants, urban poor, and lowly artisans would eke a living.” Madly insane!
Thailand’s traditional elites are the king (and family), military offircers’ corps, big business, and technocrats. The elites are largely pro-West, with the King leading them in kowtowing to the dictates of the Western financiers led by Queen Elizabeth and the House of Rothschilds.
Under the rulership of the same elites and the Yellow Shirts that they have spawned, the benefits of growth have accrued to them only, with a negligible ‘trickle down’ of the same to the clerical class and underclasses. It has been a very lopsided development for Thailand as a whole, a prosperity track that left out many poor peasants, fisherfolks, urban poor, and poor artisans.
Incidentally, a populist party, the For Thai, arose from the bedrocks of obscurity to fame, led at first by its charismatic leader Thaksin Shinawatra. Healthcare and related welfare policies were thus crafted and executed with audacity during the brief stint of the deposed leader, welfare policies that mattered not to the callous elites.
Thus, Thailand has been so badly polarized along class lines, a polarity that will ensue in the foreseeable future. The populist For Thai is back in power, and most likely Big Business is again in jitters this early over the prospects of them paying up more (taxes) for redistribution as general welfare to the broad underclasses.
Thailand’s Reds are getting to be more homogenous through time, so the other ‘reds’ (social democrats, communists, Left anarchists, nationalists) can at best play the roles of swampy fringe groups vis a vis the mainstreamed populists. The latter better play it up as coalition partners with the populists or else face the consequences of irrelevance and low esteem by the underclasses who were badly marginalized by the globalization policies of liberalization, privatization, and deregulation.
Meantime, let me say my own kudos to the lady premier Yingluck Shinawatra over her victory. Kudos very big! Mabuhay!
[Philippines, 05 July 2011]