Let Them Eat Lobsters

With the steel-trap intellectual rigor with which he is rapidly becoming associated, PM Abhisit Vejjajiva has decided to close down all those dirty, nasty, unwanted manufacturing projects and replace them with shiny, shiny, shiny tourism resorts. Mr Abhisit, who is not believed to have done an honest day’s work in his life, seems not to have explained why it would be a good idea to get rid of skilled, high-paying, long-term manufacturing jobs and replace them with low-paid, low-skilled, seasonal tourism jobs – however, the strong suspicion is that, like so many other subjects, he has no idea what he is talking about. He has no connection with the working people of Thailand and his sleazy, repressive administration is an increasingly embarrassing failure. Meanwhile, in an obvious reinvention of the largely successful OTOP campaign, the Office of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Promotion (OSMEP) is to state a pilot project in the northeast of the country to promote silk handicrafts. Higher education institutions (including Silpakorn University) and some local co-operatives will join together to help ‘upgrade’ the industry – presumably this will be a mixture of technical skills and the ability to respond to market demand and market driven requests, which means finding out what people want and making it for them, rather than making things they know how to make. In addition, depending on how closely the OTOP model is to be followed, there may be help in distribution and national-level and international-level marketing. Meanwhile, barter trade with Russia is back on the agenda – readers might recall that during as I recall the premiership of Samak Sundaravej (who I believe is seriously ill) there was a plan to exchange frozen chickens for some more badly needed second hand fighter aircraft. The plan failed because – well, how many frozen chickens would you swap for a second jet fighter? Perhaps we could get the EBay people in to consult.

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JW has been one of the first contributors to this blog before he gave up on it all in April 2010, during a time when Thai society got more and more polarized about political matters because of red-shirt protesters.

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