Four More Wasted Years Loom


Well, the election for Governor of Bangkok will be held this weekend and if, as seems likely, rarely seen incumbent Democrat Apirak Kosayodhin wins again, we will not see him again for another four years. This will probably be the last chance to talk about the election and, since it is an easy topic, that will do for me today.

The Nation has a story with the four principal contenders giving a couple of hundred words as to why they should be elected.

First up is PPP candidate Prapat Chongsanguan: he says he is a real man and not a brand and a doer rather than a, um, non-doer presumably. As for his policies: “Mine are simple; develop feeder systems and a common ticket as mass-transit policies, get rid of garbage systematically, clean canals by taking the dirty water for direct treatment, etc.”

Next is Khun Apirak himself: “I have planned five essential policies: environment, quality of life, children and education, traffic, and economic policies.” These are not real policies, are they? These are broad areas of human life. It is noticeable that Khun Apirak is unable to point to a single achievement from the four wasted years of his administration. He really is the equal of the workshy quisling Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Third, ‘fists of fury’ Chuwit Kamolvisit: he claims to have two main policies, which are: “First, there will be no corruption during my term in office.

Second, I will develop Bangkok while taking into account the problem of global warming. At least, during my period as governor, the development of Bangkok will not increase global warming.” The first of these does not sound very likely, given human nature and everything we know of how things work in the City of Angels and the second sounds impossible without enormous investment in new technology, which would be welcome but expensive.

Finally, Dr Dan, Kriangsak Chareonwongsak, who claims: “An obsolete idea yields nothing but perpetual problems, while innovative wisdom can resolve all issues. Though not bound by budget or jurisdiction limitations, we are certainly bound to the restrictions of our own creativity. For instance, traditional concepts will cling to massive public transportation in curbing Bangkok’s traffic congestion. But, from a novel perspective, I will add one policy to discourage commuter traffic building up to inner city workplaces. Bangkok office desks will be moved nearer to family domiciles, to a second workplace zone on Bangkok’s outskirts, known as Metroport.”  

How will he do this? It’s not a bad idea but how?

Only Prapat seems to have an idea of what to do but given his candidacy as a PPP member, it is not very likely that Bangkok people will vote for him. So, four more wasted years it will be then.

 

Oh the Joy of a Rainy Bangkok Morning!


Well, it began raining sometime after midnight and it was still coming down fairly strongly at 6 o’clock when I got up – oh joy, a Bangkok morning in the rain.

When it rains, the taxis are immediately seized with the fierceness of the liberated Soviet peasant seizing the commanding heights of the economy. My tactic is to go and wait close to the school at the end of the road – parents take their kids to school by taxi (some do, anyway) and then get out to take them inside. Then, as I lurk, the taxi approaches a few yards away and I leap in like a gazelle. In my imagination anyway.

However, unless it is my imagination, since the petrol prices have gone up so much, more and more people seem to be sharing taxis and just kick their tiny kids out on the street (OK – one parent will get out but the other will continue elsewhere and there are people outside the school anyway to manage traffic and kids).

The rain makes the situation worse because trips take longer as the traffic instantly snarls up and since 7 in the morning (by which time I was standing like a buffalo on Ladprao Road) is a common time for knocking-off and changing shift, a lot of taxi drivers were just evacuating their passengers and going home. I counted six doing this – unless they had very tiny passengers in the back, which is possible, or invisible people or ghosts (which is obviously not possible).

Now that the Bangkok Governor’s election is in full swing, large wooden boards advertising one or other candidate have started to be attached to every vertical object along the streets – lamp posts, telephone boxes, stationary dogs – which makes for a colourful spectacle when driving along but almost impossible to see what is coming from the pavement. Consequently, I had to peer around a board (number five, Apirak, I think) in order to keep an eye on potential taxi-white knights and that left me vulnerable to the drivers who think (or more likely do not think at all, ever) it is a good idea to drive at high speed close to the pavement and soak everyone and everything within several feet of the road.

So, by the time I arrived – and to skip over the anarchic who was here first mind battles that must also be fought – I was soaking wet, covered in mud and in no real mood to do any work.

To arrive at work in Bangkok in a good mood needs the patience of a Bodhisattva. Any of the candidates actually have any idea how to improve the situation? I mean, really?

More and Better Information on Bangkok’s Gubernatorial Election


Coincidence or not, both English language papers have started talking about Bangkok’s gubernatorial election today (I am always ahead of the game. Well, sometimes).

The Nation takes its support of the increasingly rightist Democrats seriously by talking up the achievements of incumbent Apirak ‘rarely seen’ Kosayodhin, as follows:

“As the incumbent, Apirak has lots of advantages. He belongs to the Democrat Party, which has strong support in all Bangkok areas. He has managed his job well enough to reduce traffic jams by improving road infrastructure and extending Skytrain routes. He has initiated bike lanes, which should be extended further. He should be credited for the creative plans to transform Bangkok, to enable it to compete with cities like London, Paris or Tokyo. He has also attracted more people to public transport as a way to save energy and resources.”

These improvements seem in reality to have had precious little to do with Khun Apirak, so far as I know. What are these plans to enable Bangkok to compete with London and Paris? Compete how? People are using public transport because of high petrol prices and because the government introduced free bus rides for people – not sure what his role in that was.

Oh well. How about the other candidates? Khun Prapat Chongsanguan is running for the PPP and formerly ran the MRTA so actually does understand public transport. Dr Kriangsak Charoenwongsak is a former Democrat MP running on programs for young people – perhaps he is the guy I mentioned yesterday – one of the problems I have in not watching television or getting news information from it is that I don’t actually know what most people look like.

There is also Khun Chuwit Kamolvisit – massage parlour baron – for once I am in agreement with the Nation, which also sneers as Khun Chuwit’s insistence on appearing as constantly furious like some kind of pantomime demon king. ‘Personality’ Leena Janjanja is being treated as a bit of a joke; she is the only female candidate – coincidence?

The final candidate is ML Nattakorn Devakul (ML denotes an aristocratic title). I mentioned yesterday that he appears to be the smartest of the candidates in terms of innovative thinking and internationalization, so far as I can tell. His ratings are low, apparently and so he remains an outsider.

The poll is due to take place on October 5th.  

More and Better Information on Bangkok’s Gubernatorial Election


Coincidence or not, both English language papers have started talking about Bangkok’s gubernatorial election today (I am always ahead of the game. Well, sometimes).

The Nation takes its support of the increasingly rightist Democrats seriously by talking up the achievements of incumbent Apirak ‘rarely seen’ Kosayodhin, as follows:

“As the incumbent, Apirak has lots of advantages. He belongs to the Democrat Party, which has strong support in all Bangkok areas. He has managed his job well enough to reduce traffic jams by improving road infrastructure and extending Skytrain routes. He has initiated bike lanes, which should be extended further. He should be credited for the creative plans to transform Bangkok, to enable it to compete with cities like London, Paris or Tokyo. He has also attracted more people to public transport as a way to save energy and resources.”

These improvements seem in reality to have had precious little to do with Khun Apirak, so far as I know. What are these plans to enable Bangkok to compete with London and Paris? Compete how? People are using public transport because of high petrol prices and because the government introduced free bus rides for people – not sure what his role in that was.

Oh well. How about the other candidates? Khun Prapat Chongsanguan is running for the PPP and formerly ran the MRTA so actually does understand public transport. Dr Kriangsak Charoenwongsak is a former Democrat MP running on programs for young people – perhaps he is the guy I mentioned yesterday – one of the problems I have in not watching television or getting news information from it is that I don’t actually know what most people look like.

There is also Khun Chuwit Kamolvisit – massage parlour baron – for once I am in agreement with the Nation, which also sneers as Khun Chuwit’s insistence on appearing as constantly furious like some kind of pantomime demon king. ‘Personality’ Leena Janjanja is being treated as a bit of a joke; she is the only female candidate – coincidence?

The final candidate is ML Nattakorn Devakul (ML denotes an aristocratic title). I mentioned yesterday that he appears to be the smartest of the candidates in terms of innovative thinking and internationalization, so far as I can tell. His ratings are low, apparently and so he remains an outsider.

The poll is due to take place on October 5th.